“I think this is the most exciting time in the history of agricultural biopesticides,” said Pam Marrone, CEO and founder of the company. “Biologicals are becoming the base of agricultural pest management programs, not just supplements.” Marrone said she was “especially proud of MBI’s development of five successful commercial products in its first decade.”
The event, held at the Company’s headquarters in Davis, Ca., drew a roster of notable guest speakers, including:
- Congressman John Garamendi, California 3rd District, a longtime friend of founder Marrone, who said the company “holds more than 40 patents. I don’t know of any other company in this industry that could move from being a startup to a publicly traded firm in such a short time.”
- Dr. Janet L. Andersen, founding director, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD), Office of Pesticide Programs, US Environmental Protection Agency, related stories about the formation of the BPPD and its importance to the nascent biopesticide industry.
- Dr. Helene Dillard, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, who praised the MBI’s work with the university. “It’s been a perfect collaboration between UC Davis and the private sector,” she said, adding that the company “is a devoted supporter of the university’s innovators.”
- Louis Stewart, Deputy Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, of the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development spoke about the importance of ag innovation and startups to the Sacramento region and the state, as well as the need to host an Ag Innovation Summit to promote strategic collaboration between universities, government agencies, the agricultural industry, investors and technology innovators in California; and
- Anthony Engelsgaard, Branch Manager (Fresno), Crop Production Services (an MBI customer), spoke about the generational change in how Millennials look at food and the important role small companies, like MBI, serve to provide choice, customer service and innovation to farmers in an era of large company consolidation.