Stephen Baenziger is the primary small grains breeder at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, with a focus on developing improved cultivars and germplasm of wheat, barley and triticale. His primary research goals are developing improved breeding methodologies, emphasizing biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and the use of biotechnology. For more than 40 years, Baenziger has been contributing to the advancements of plant breeding and was recently recognized with the National Association of Plant Breeders’ Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s not just contributed to the field of research, but to the field of teaching. Baenziger is recognized at the university as the former Eugene W. Price Distinguished Professor and is the Nebraska Wheat Producers Presidential Chair. He also sits on the Board of Trustees of the International Rice Research Institute.
As regional head of Bayer EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) for Seeds, Kamel Beliazi is responsible for the seed business in Europe, Africa and the Middle East — a role he started in at the beginning of 2015. Prior to this, Beliazi led the Canadian business as president and CEO and previously held a number of roles throughout his 24 years with Bayer. These included positions in sales and marketing in Portugal, France and Germany, as well as country division head in Vietnam and Mexico.
Robert “Robb” Fraley
Robert Fraley is executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto. He has been with the company for more than 30 years, and oversees the global technology division which includes plant breeding, plant biotechnology, ag biologicals, ag microbials, precision agriculture and crop protection. Fraley is recognized as the father of agricultural biotechnology. He has authored more than 100 publications and patent applications. Fraley’s discoveries and applications of science are also routinely recognized for the impact they’ve had in supporting farmers. His honors include: World Food Prize Laureate (2013), the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton (1998), the National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science (2008), among others.
Wilson Hugo serves as an agriculture officer in the Plant Production and Protection Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations with a focus on seed, seed industry development and seed policy. Based in Rome, Italy, Hugo works to provide technical advice to help governments establish national seed policies and works in southern Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Central America. Hugo began his career with the National Agriculture Research Institute in Uruguay in the Seed Unit and also farmed. He also worked as manager of business units for multinational companies that deliver inputs for farmers in Uruguay for seven years and was a member of the board of directors for the Uruguayan Seed Chamber during that time.
Marcus Meadows-Smith joined BioConsortia in February 2014 as chief executive officer. He has been tasked with leading BioConsortia through the business development and commercialization phase for its Advanced Microbial Selection products. Prior to joining the company, Meadows-Smith served as CEO for AgraQuest, a $10 million biopesticides company, which he turned around and sold to Bayer CropScience for nearly $500 million in 2012. This started an explosion of acquisitions and heavy investment in the biological products category. Meadows-Smith also spent 14 years at Chemtura, where he was executive vice president responsible for $2 billion in crop protection, consumer products and plastic additives businesses.
As president of Mustang Seeds in Madison, S.D., Terry Schultz manages the family-owned seed company that delivers corn, soybeans, alfalfa, cover crops, grasses and small grains to farmers in a five-state area. This year, Schultz has served as president of the Independent Professional Seed Association and helped to lead it through a leadership transition with the hiring of a new CEO. Schultz is a graduate of South Dakota State University and studied agricultural business management.