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Indoor Ag Conversations & ASTA Present: Seeds of the Future


Nov 11, 2020 12:59 PM

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Andrew W. "Andy" LaVigne
President & CEO @American Seed Trade Association
Andrew W. LaVigne joined ASTA in 2006. He has had a 30-year career in government relations, industry representation, public affairs advocacy, and management. His core areas of expertise include agriculture, food policy and international trade. Prior to joining ASTA, Andy was Executive Vice President/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, representing citrus growers on issues affecting their business. Previous to joining Florida Citrus Mutual, Andy spent 4 years as Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association’s (FFAA) President and Executive Director. FFAA is a non-profit, agricultural trade organization representing companies that specialize in crop protection and plant nutrition products. Previously, Andy spent 8 years in Washington, D.C. working in the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He served as Legislative Director for Congressman Charles Canady, Agriculture Committee staffer for Congressman Tom Lewis, and on the staff of USDA Secretary Ed Madigan.
Dr. Aaron Crawford
Lead, Technical Product Commercialization @Pairwise
Dr. Aaron Crawford works with Pairwise, an AgTech start-up focused on improving vegetables using CRISPR technology (Gene editing). The Pairwise team is working in the leafy space, identifying alternative crops to current leafy greens that would have wide application to Indoor Ag. Aaron has a long-term interest in plant-based nutrients, and how phytonutrients and diet are related to improving health and reducing the risk of disease. He has led multiple projects to improve the nutritional quality of plants, and has led teams that focus on commercializing products with improved nutritional plant-based profiles. He has multiple patents and publications in this area. Dr. Crawford has a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology, where his focus was understanding the molecular signals that cells use to communicate.
Tracy Lee
Head of Controlled Environment Agriculture Department @Sakata Seed America
A native of the Lowcountry region of South Carolina, Lee grew up immersed in local agriculture. After completing her BA at Clemson University, she also earned a Master of Science in Horticulture. Her field of study focused on sustainable vegetable production, examining measurable quality outcomes of organic versus inorganic field production in sweet corn, green bean and sweet potato. She has 22+ years of experience in the retail & wholesale vegetable & flower seed industry including management of all vegetable & flower seed variety trials, product selection, purchasing, as well as print& internet marketing to the end consumer for reputable seed companies including Park Seed Company in Greenwood, SC and W. Atlee Burpee & Co. in Warminster, PA. She served as a Board Director for AAS (All-America Selections), NGB (National Garden Bureau), HGSA (Home Garden Seed Association), & the Doylestown PA Food Co-Op. She has also published photography & editorial works on gardening and more.