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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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sustainable agriculture investment

Blue River Technology Raises $3.1 Million from Khosla Ventures and Angel Investors

September 10, 2012 |

Photo: Blue River Technology

News Release–SUNNYVALE, Calif.–Blue River Technology, a pioneer in the use of computer vision and robotics for agriculture, today announced it has raised $3.1 million in Series A funding led by Khosla Ventures. Steve Blank, author of “The Startup Owner’s Manual,” Ulu Ventures, and Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs also joined the round. In addition, Ryan Kottenstette of Khosla Ventures has joined the company’s board of directors.

Founded in 2011 by two Stanford University Alumni, Blue River Technology is developing an alternative to chemical-intensive agriculture, which is both expensive and hazardous to the environment. Read More

US Farmland Investment and Why There Aren’t More Sustainable Agriculture Funds

June 22, 2012 |

When TIAA Cref – which describes itself as “the leading retirement provider for people who work in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields” – announced a $2 billion investment into farmland last month, it barely caused a ripple despite its size. Large investors expanding their exposure to farmland has become commonplace. There’s likely around $3-5 billion worth of US farmland held by investors according to consulting group Highquest Partners[1] and this represents less than 1% of total farmland, yet sustainable agriculture advocates have focused so much attention on trying to deter investors from buying farmland that they have frequently neglected to ask a bigger question: “how sustainable are these investments?” Read More

Silicon Valley Incubator Program Places Focus Squarely on Development of Sustainable Food and Farm Startups

May 29, 2012 |

Palo Alto-based Local Food Lab aims to be an incubator for sustainable food- and farm-focused startups that will help rebuild a broken food system. The idea is to equip entrepreneurs with the tools to create businesses that are scalable so they can make a larger impact in the food sector, says Local Food Lab CEO and Co-Founder Krysia Zajonc. Local Food Lab starts its first incubator program in June, offering entrepreneurs four weeks of top-notch business training, access to seasoned mentors, opportunities to network with each other and the chance to pitch their ideas to investors. Read More

Despite Technology Issues & Crop Costs, Investor Interest in 2nd Generation Biomass Remains

May 10, 2012 |

Biomass-based biofuels – fuels produced from renewable biological resources – are arguably the most successful of sustainable agriculture sectors when it comes to attracting investors. While other sectors were fortunate to break $100 million in investments, 33 biomass deals raked in just under $1.4 billion last year, according to industry journal Biofuels Digest. Read More

Washington State University Announces $5 Million Investment to Support Organic Ag, Model Farm

April 21, 2012 |

News Release – SEATTLE – Washington State University took another giant step in becoming the world’s model for research, teaching and extension in organic and sustainable agriculture thanks to a $5 million donor investment announced here this afternoon.

“Washington State University has played an important role in the region’s organic and sustainable agriculture for quite some time, establishing the nation’s first four-year organic agriculture systems major in 2006,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. Read More