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Source: Larta Institute news release

Ag Innovation Showcase just wrapped its ninth year with a bang and we have a lot to celebrate. The showcase sold-out weeks ahead of schedule, launched a second showcase in Davis, California last May, and had several big wins in St. Louis, Missouri.

Larta Institute's "Ideas, energized" Prize

Somadetect was this year's winner of Larta Institute's 2017 "Ideas, energized" Prize at Ag Innovation Showcase. Evaluated by a panel of judges from the event's Advisory Committee, companies were judged on the novelty of their innovation, market potential and showmanship. SomaDetect received a check for $5,000 and will receive a year of commercialization consulting from Larta Institute.

SomaDetect is a precision-dairy company that has created an in-line system for measuring the two most critical indicators of dairy-quality somatic cells and fat content. Using their technology, dairy farms are better connected with every cow they milk, can identify problems early, make informed decisions, and produce the best possible milk. They are combining a novel IoT sensor technology with cutting-edge machine learning and computer vision techniques to give dairy farmers the information they need to optimize their farms.

CEO of SomaDetect, Bethany Deshpade, presented for the company and can be seen here in a short Facebook live video.

People's Choice Award

For those of you familiar with Ag Showcase, you'll remember we run a poll after each showcase segment to ask the audience which company presentation they liked best. At the end of the showcase, the company with the most votes wins. This year, NanoGuard Technologies was the winner.

The Food and Agriculture Organization currently reports that 1 billion metric tons, or approximately 25% of what is harvested annually, is lost due to spoilage and mycotoxin contamination. NanoGuard Technologies has addressed this waste with a new non-thermal pasteurization technology for grain, fresh produce and other foods to reduce loss and improve safety, wholesomeness and security of food. NanoGuard's technology can reduce loss without compromising flavor or texture.

Top Tweets

Social media soared this year at #17AIS, with a reach of 6.8 million in Twitter and 4,500 video views on Facebook. The following tweeters were this year's Top Tweeters:
•Beth of Soma Detect @SomaDetect with 28 posts
•Sue Marshall @suzqt with 18 posts
•Renix Inc @RenixUIX with 18 post

Breaking news at the Showcase

Benson Hill Biosystems, a Showcase alum, announced the launch of CRISPR 3.0, a new gene editing tool to provide an alternative to existing tools, including the high-profile CRISPR Cas9, at Ag Innovation Showcase.

Motorleaf, a presenting company in one of the Special Content Sessions this year, broke a story at #17AIS about a partnership with one of the largest tomato producers in North America. The collaboration allowed Motorleaf, a software company that has built the hardware to improve its software, to use the greenhouse's historical data to create a custom algorithm to model yield prediction for tomato production. So far, the result that Motorleaf can publicly report, show that their AI/Machine Learning is on track to make a significant difference to how a producer can forecast its anticipated yield weeks into the future. Modeling shows an error rate of 6%, compared to current methods which can run as high as 25%.

If you missed Ag Innovation Showcase this year, you can keep in touch by following the event's blog for updates and the most up to date stories.

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