We are thrilled to announce our world-class judges panel for The Radicle Carbon & Soil Challenge by UPL!
Jai Shroff is the Global CEO of UPL Limited. He is a well-recognized global leader in the Chemical & Agri-Inputs industry with over 30 years experience in India and internationally.
UPL group is focused on strengthening the food security in over 130 countries by offering world class technologies and solutions for sustainable agriculture production. Under Jai’s leadership, UPL has been one of the fastest growing agri-input companies in the world with strong presence in the Seeds, Plant Nutrition, Crop protection and Post harvest food preservation value chains. He has driven the transformation of UPL from a largely domestic player to a truly global Indian multinational organization. UPL has a global workforce comprising of more than 25 different nationalities. It operates 35 manufacturing plants in India, Asia, Europe, Latin and North America and serve the farming community across the globe.
Jai’s vision for UPL is to endeavour to continually provide smart, affordable and profitable solutions to the global farming community with a strong focus on Innovation, Research and Excellence by “Doing Things Better’.
Jai believes in the power of collaboration and inter-sectoral partnerships. He is actively involved in the global development agenda, including the World Economic Forum’s Grow Africa and Grow Asia initiatives, IFPRI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Global Food Security Initiative, WBCSD, Chicago Council, IGD and ICAR.
Commercial & Financial Director
Economist, Guilherme Scheffer, is one of the heirs of the family that started growing cotton, soybeans and corn in Mato Grosso, in the 1980s, and in 2015 in Maranhão, in 13.5 thousand hectares of crops in Buriticupu, 400 kilometers from the port of São Luís. In total, there are 169 thousand hectares of cultivated land, with production of 562.9 thousand tons of soybeans, cotton and corn in the 2019/2020 harvest. In the current harvest, which ends in June, the projection goes further to a cultivated area of 200 thousand hectares still in the harvesting process. Cumaribo has been a regular route for the Scheffers since last year, when the family started a pilot agricultural project in this Colombian region taken over by cattle ranching and almost a desert for generating employment and income, in a country with a population of 50 million people. “It’s doing what we did in Mato Grosso 40 years ago,” he says. “Colombia imports products, such as soybeans and corn, which are the basic commodities that we are used to making in Brazil.”
“We are starting a project of great economic and social impact in Colombia, with great challenges, but generating income and jobs”, says Scheffer. At the beginning of the project, there are already 50 people in the operation, of which only three are Brazilian. In the first harvest, to test the area, 1,000 hectares of soybeans and 1,000 hectares of corn were planted. This harvest will be 2,500 hectares of soybeans and 4,000 of corn, in two cycles. But the goal, after another year of technology adjustments, is to extend the area under cultivation by leasing land. “We want an operation that justifies being in another country. Initially, the goal is 40,000 hectares, reaching 100,000 hectares in Colombia,” says Guilherme.
HARRY H. STINE
Harry Stine is synonymous with many titles – innovator, businessman, entrepreneur – but the title holding the most significance to him is farmer. Raised on the family property in Dallas County, Iowa, Harry graduated from Central Dallas High School and then McPherson College in Kansas. In 1964, he joined his father’s soybean cleaning business in Adel, Iowa.
Harry’s interest in research and seed breeding started when he found some unusual soybean plants in one of the company fields. He saw the value and profit opportunities that breeding, developing and growing newer, higher-yielding soybean varieties would have for his company and farmers. While yield checking the soybean lines, he came to understand what a conventional breeding program could bring to the soybean industry and growers.
Previously done only by universities, Harry began a soybean-breeding program with four other seedsmen. Named Improved Variety Research (IVR), the company was the first private soybean research and development company in the United States. IVR dissolved in 1973, and Harry and head plant breeder Bill Eby formed Midwest Oilseeds, which is still the soybean genetics licensing company of choice in the United States. Interest in corn breeding and genetics inspired Harry to form Eden Enterprises with Bill Eby in the early 1980s.
Retail soybean seed sales efforts were launched in 1979, when Harry began selling soybean seed under his own label, Stine Soybean Seeds. In 1992, in addition to being one of the top four soybean seed companies in the United States, Stine began selling corn and soft red winter wheat under the Stine label.
Harry is a member of the American Society of Agronomy and the American Seed Trade Association. He also serves on the board of directors of the Trees Forever Foundation (Trustees Emeritus) and has served on a number of other boards, including the Iowa Arboretum and the Brenton Arboretum.
CELSO LUIZ MORETTI
Executive and senior scientist with 27 years of experience with Embrapa – Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, one of the leading and largest organizations of tropical agriculture in the world. As the President of Embrapa, I currently lead a team of 2,500 researchers in 43 research centers in the Brazilian territory as well as in the USA and Europe. With a BSc., MSc. and a PhD in agriculture, I am also trained in business and public administration in the following institutions: Harvard Kennedy School of Government, National School of Public Administration (ENAP) and Fundacao Dom Cabral. My skills rely on organizational management in diverse fronts, from designing and mapping processes to planning and implementing corporate strategies. I am routinely involved in the process of measuring adoption and impacts of solutions delivered to stakeholders. During the last two decades I accumulated significant experience on building and managing teams in different positions: scientist, advisor of Master and PhD students, Director General of a Research Center, Head of Embrapa´s R&D Department and Executive Director of R&D. I am currently a member of different Executive Boards such as the Global Panel for Nutrition and Food Systems (London, UK), International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA, United Arab Emirates) and the Agribusiness Council of São Paulo Industries Federation (FIESP). In 2021, I received the “Norman Borlaug Award”, in the category “Sustainability”.
I also have an extensive history of collaboration with different private and public institutions such as academia, government agencies, industry, multilateral development organizations, among other strategic partners. My international experience as a consultant, counterpart in projects and as an invited speaker comprises more than 40 countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
CRISTINE MORGAN, PHD
- Chief Scientific Officer at Soil Health Institute
- Adjunct professor of Soil Science at Texas A&M University
- Editor in Chief at Geoderma (Global Soil Science Journal)
- Founding Editor in Chief of Soil Security
Dr. Cristine Morgan serves as Chief Scientific Officer at the Soil Health Institute, where she establishes research priorities to advance soil health and develops the scientific direction, strategy and implementation for soil health research programs. Dr. Morgan is an adjunct professor of Soil Science at Texas A&M University where her research emphasis was in soil hydrology, pedometrics, and global soil security. She is an editor in chief at Geoderma, a global soil science journal, and a founding editor in chief of Soil Security. Dr. Morgan has served on the board of directors for the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) and is a fellow of SSSA. Dr. Morgan earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.S. degree in Plant and Environmental Soil Sciences from Texas A&M University.
CEO / Managing Partner
Kirk Haney is the CEO & Managing Partner at Radicle Growth.
Under Kirk’s leadership, Radicle Growth has become a market leader in early-stage ag and food tech investing and company building and has secured top-tier financial and corporate investors. As a serial entrepreneur, Kirk has raised over $200M in venture capital, private equity and corporate capital and has had three successful exits. He’s worked in technology, venture capital and ag & food his entire career and has a clear understanding of what early-stage companies need to be successful.
Speaking & Associations:
Kirk regularly speaks at industry events, including: The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit and Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
Kirk is the Co-Chair of the YPO Global Ag & Food Group, a member of the OurCrowd Advisory Forum and serves on the board of advisors for several ag and food conferences.
“I have been an entrepreneur and an investor for over 20-years. I know what to look for in great entrepreneurs and they know that I understand what it is like to be in their shoes. The result is a candid dialogue between the entrepreneur and investor that helps to build companies with a greater probability of success.”