Agriculture is an industry built on relationships and working relationships between educational institutions, growers, and private companies have been a pillar for advancement. Founder and Chairman of PureCrop1, Ray Drysdale explained that collaboration with universities and growers has been a critical factor in product development. Already working with a variety of industry members, Drysdale said that most recently they have formed a relationship with Cal Poly.
“We do work with a lot of different universities out of California and in California. But Cal Poly was very innovative, and they’ve got a big ag innovation center. I took a tour with the Dean of Agriculture and was amazed. It’s a 10,000-acre campus. They have 4,200 ag students and the nanotechnology and colloidal science was very interesting,” said Drysdale. “The thoughts are that that will be a great proving ground for us and a center of knowledge and information in the nano colloidal science which we’re in the middle of that and its adoption and integration into the ag market.”
Forming working relationships with academic institutions helps to provide scientific data from a variety of different standpoints. That information can prove the efficacy of materials and can show where some products may need further research and development. Growers also play an important role in product innovation. Farmers can serve as examples of how materials can function within a commercial setting, providing important feedback to product developers. Drysdale said that industry feedback is paramount. Input from farmers can also provide companies with insight into areas that might not have been known otherwise. Drysdale noted an example of input from farmers growing hops in Washington.
“Our product was being used by some of the larger groups up there and they saw a profound increase in terpenes – like a triple increase in terpenes – by using the product,” Drysdale explained. “I guess the terpenes are like flavonoids and that’s the value in the craft beer. So, it was just one area that we were informed, ‘did you know this?’ And now we know and now it’s just a lot of business going on in Washington for us.”