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A Peek at Members-only Benefits: 2022 WIA Summit Ag Innovation Hour

By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (February 28, 2023)

So they say, membership has its privileges, and who are we to go against that premise? That’s why at Women in Agribusiness, we offer a membership with special benefits. One of those is exclusive access to WIA Summit session video recordings – such as our Ag Innovation Hour – which have just been released from the 2022 Women in Agribusiness Summit in Dallas, Texas.

Get the details about membership here, which includes discounts on Summit registration and invites to special events, and see below for a video peek into the Ag Innovation Hour at the 2022 Summit.

The Ag Innovation Hour is a yearly favorite at the Summit featuring the latest and greatest diverse innovations that are changing the future of agriculture and food. In past sessions, we have highlighted products like lasers to control nuisance birds, edible grasshoppers, and portable 3D cameras to weigh animals as they walk past.

Participants in the 2022 session, who spoke of the world’s first millet-based milk and a new granola made from teff flour, each discussed their company’s path to innovation and their journey alongside that. They were:

Sujala Balaji is an engineer and food scientist turned entrepreneur who founded RainFed Foods in 2020 to reimagine the future of dairy. Rainfed is the world's first alternative protein startup using climate-resilient millets to create plant-based dairy products with unparalleled taste, nutrition, and functionality. Balaji is an active thought leader in the emerging alternative protein industry and is an honoree of "Women Building the Future of Food".

Jill Devlin, vice president of marketing for UpTerra Company, leads the company’s efforts in promoting its agtech solutions that help create better water to boost yields and quality, reduce water consumption, and enhance the effectiveness of agricultural inputs. UpTerra’s water conditioning product has seen increases in yield in peanuts, cotton, almonds, soybeans and more, with 30 percent less inputs. By “solving today’s problems with tomorrow’s technology”, the company has saved 245 million gallons of water.

As co-founder and CTO of Fieldcraft, Kristy Flynn is building a B2B marketplace and digital supply chain for agriculture. Fieldcraft democratizes market access and enables growers and food and beverage companies to connect with greater efficiency and transparency while mitigating market risk. Flynn is passionate about building a marketplace that removes barriers, opens new markets, and fuels the growth of food and agriculture innovators everywhere.

Claire Smith, founder and CEO of Tenera Grains, grew up on a 2,300-acre farm but moved away to pursue other career options. She was lured back to the farm by her parents’ idea of working with teff, an ancient grain native to Ethiopia. With that offer accepted, she created Teffola, a teff-based granola (which WIA Summit attendees might remember enjoying tableside during the event as samples were provided), which has taken off since its introduction in 2018 and is now sold in more than 120 locations across nine U.S. states. Smith and her farm in Addison, Michigan, were recently featured in Successful Farming magazine, thanks to a connection made at WIA!

The popular panel was moderated by Karen Levert, who also was a 2022 WIA Demeter Award of Excellence recipient. Levert is a venture partner with Pappas Capital, based out of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, who is leading the expansion of the firm’s investments in agtech. 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.

If you'd like to learn more about the innovative products and ideas that were discussed by these speakers during the Ag Innovation Hour, claim your Women in Agribusiness membership here to view the entire video presentation.


Do you have a story you'd like to contribute to WIA Today? Or a suggestion for a story, or comments about an article? Please reach out to Michelle Marshall at and share your thoughts. We'd love to hear from you.

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