Agriculture faces major challenges globally on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, from the farm level through the supply chain. We have assembled a panel with three leaders of major international ag companies to talk about the challenges they have within their walls as well as the challenges their companies face navigating their supply chains. They will discuss the nature of those challenges, programs, and initiatives they run today to address them, and progress being made. We’ll end with a perspective on what’s most urgently needed to bring greater equity particularly for women and members of underrepresented minorities.



Beth Lorsbach Global Development Leader at Nufarm Americas

Tim Faveri VP, Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations at Nutrien Inc.

Karen LeVert Venture Partner, Pappas Capital. Co-Founder, Ag TechInventures



Neal Gutterson Partner & CTO at Radicle Growth


Key questions:

1. How would you characterize the current state of diversity, equity and inclusion at your company?

2. What strategies and commitments have you made on DEI?

3. What programs or initiatives do you currently use to foster DEI?

• At least one exemplary program from each company
• What’s necessary to make these programs successful? (eg passion, focus, intentionality)

4. What are your key challenges for improving DEI?

5. How would you characterize the pace of progress in the past 5 year?

6. Can you share some experiences you’ve had and most importantly perspectives on skills you’ve honed to become a successful leader of DEI?


Partner & Chief Technology Officer
Radicle Growth

Thought leader on the impact of technology on the future of Agriculture

• CGIAR System Board Member
• Former CTO of Corteva Agriscience ($15B per year Ag Co)
• Former CEO of Mendel Biotechnology
• Senior research and development roles at corporate and biotechnology start-up
• Brings his passion for food system transformation

“From changing consumer preferences to the challenges presented by COVID, the food system is undergoing a major transformation. Open innovation from startups often fuels growth to meet these challenges. I’ve seen first-hand how Radicle helps entrepreneurs convert great ideas into workable, differentiated and scalable solutions. Now, I look forward to helping early-stage entrepreneurs build companies in my role with Radicle.”


Global Development Leader
at Nufarm Americas

Beth Lorsbach is the Global Development Leader for Nufarm. During her more than 20 years with Dow AgroSciences (DAS) and Corteva Agriscience, Beth contributed to the success of Crop Protection R&D through her leadership in Discovery Chemistry, Process Chemistry groups, and Global Leader for Small Molecule Discovery and Development (SMDD). Recently, Beth joined Nufarm as the Global Development leader where she will continue deliver innovative and disruptive solutions to solve farmer’s needs. In her new role, Beth is responsible for driving the Nufarm pivot to becoming an agricultural innovator.

Externally, Beth has impacted the scientific community through her active leadership in the American Chemical Society both locally and on a national level. Beth served as local section chair and various committee chair roles before being elected to councilor in 2016. Beth has been a member of the Local Section Activities committee (LSAC) in
the National ACS governance and was recently appointed Chair of the committee. In addition, Beth is currently an Executive Editor for the journal, Pest Management Science, and has served on the Editorial Board for the Organic Process Research &
Development. Beth has found time to co-organize several external symposia at ACS meetings and continues to influence the science of crop protection externally.

Beth has authored over 94 patent applications, 29 external publications, and 48 conference presentations. She was recognized in 2009 as a finalist for Indy’s Best and Brightest Award, received the 2015 Rising Star Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS), and recently was named a 2019 ACS Fellow.

VP, Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations
at Nutrien Inc.

Tim Faveri is Vice President, Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations at Nutrien Inc. Inthis capacity, Tim provides strategic leadership and oversight for Nutrien’s global sustainability strategy and Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) performance. Tim is a seasoned business and sustainability professional with over 25 years of experience including: ESG reporting / disclosure; carbon management; stakeholder engagement; and value chain and industry partnerships development. Tim currently represents Nutrien on the Board of Directors of US Farmers & Ranchers in Action.

Tim joined Nutrien from Maple Leaf Foods Inc., where he was VP Sustainability & Shared Value, leading the organization to become the first major food company in the world to become carbon neutral, and the first food company in Canada to set science-based targets. Prior to Maple Leaf Foods, Tim led Sustainability & Responsibility at Tim Hortons Inc., one of North America’s largest publicly-traded restaurant chains and iconic Canadian companies. Tim holds a Bachelor’s degree
(Biology) from Queen’s University and a Master’s of Health Science from University of Toronto.

Nutrien is the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services. Nutrien is striving to feed the growing global population providing food security, while also driving positive environmental outcomes, fostering equity, diversity and inclusivity, and supporting the ongoing sustainable production efforts of growers with new tools, technology, and practices.

Venture Partner, Pappas Capital
Co-Founder, AG TechInventures

Karen LeVert is a venture partner of Pappas Capital based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and co-founder of Ag TechInventures, LLC. After a successful IT, financial and executive career in corporate America, LeVert became an entrepreneur and has now come full circle with her mission to advance disruptive technologies in agriculture.

LeVert launched two accelerators to commercialize early-stage technologies from university research labs through the co-founding of Southeast TechInventures (optoelectronics applications) and later Ag TechInventures. She then joined venture firm Pappas Capital to invest in companies with the potential to transform the agtech industry.

Said her nominator, Michelle VonCannon of North Carolina Biotechnology Center, “Karen has placed key emphasis on supporting women in their entrepreneurial pursuits…. she recognizes the hurdles women can face and has made it a mission to spotlight these amazing women and their technologies to further revolutionize agriculture.”

LeVert is a recipient of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s Outstanding Service. She also has been named to the WRAL TechWire Hall of Fame. Additionally, LeVert is a member of the North Carolina (NC) Ag Tech Council, NC Biotechnology Center Board, Economic Development Partnership Board of NC, and NC State University Agriculture and Life Sciences Foundation Board.