AgriThority® Introduces Board of Advisors

AgriThority® Introduces Board of Advisors

Leader in Ag Innovation Development Taps Industry Leaders for Strategic Guidance

(KANSAS CITY, Mo. USA—December 13, 2019) AgriThority®, an agricultural product development company specializing in accelerating new technologies to commercialization around the world, announces the formation of a board of advisors comprised of globally respected leaders in the agriculture industry.

“Our AgriThority global business model delivers turn-key development services.  We capitalize on our scientific expertise to aid in business analysis, product positioning through field trial execution and market access for commercialization. To enhance our capabilities, we’ve sought outside seasoned and objective input to optimize operations and to continue our leading position in our industry,” says AgriThority Founder and CEO Jerry Duff. “Our Advisory Board members represent different disciplines to complement our strengths, while providing broad management and business development knowledge. We are fortunate and honored to welcome these esteemed industry leaders to our team.”

Board of Advisors members include:

Ryan Bartlett, Ph.D., Vice President, Innovation and Product Development, Compass Minerals

Ryan Bartlett, Ph.D., leads the R&D team for Compass Minerals’ plant nutrition division, anchoring its operations in North and South American Innovation Centers. Bartlett spent ten years with Monsanto Company. In his most recent position as Global Technology Development Innovation Lead, he was responsible for the development of global commercial field testing and innovation strategy, including the assessment of new technology from third parties. Bartlett also led the evolution of the Monsanto field testing network to meet the needs of a more diversified product pipeline and provided strategic leadership for growth platforms such as biologicals and precision agriculture.

Franz Brandl, Ph.D., Global Product Manager Syngenta Seedcare Fungicides

Franz Brandl, Ph.D., leads the biologicals work and is the Global Product Manager for Syngenta Seedcare Fungicides in Switzerland. He spent several decades at the intersection of crop protection and breeding genetics for innovative seed care technologies and their application.

Gerardo Copello, Agronomist, Business & Marketing Specialist

Mr. Copello is recognized globally as a business development expert for conventional and biological/natural crop protection and high-value fertility products. He also has a broad range of expertise in bioenergy crops. His 35 years of experience cover a wide range of agricultural and horticultural applications. Copello has worked with multinational crop protection companies in technical services and business management throughout Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Martin Gruss, former Global Head SeedGrowth, Crop Science Division, Bayer

Recently retired, Mr. Gruss completed 40 years with Bayer in 2018, including the management of the Crop Protection business in Australia and New Zealand in the 1990s. After 1998, he managed the Crop Protection business in the country group for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and later the global Bayer SeedGrowth business. He has been a champion of ground-breaking achievements in seed applied technologies that have created new market segments.

Stephen Mock, Business/Investment Advisor

Mr. Mock recently retired from the active practice of Public Accounting with over 40 years of providing business advisory services to owners of closely held businesses. His areas of focus were on helping business owners manage and grow successful businesses along with helping them with equity and debt financing, accounting, and tax planning issues. He previously retired as a partner of a national CPA firm and before that founded and served as managing partner of a Kansas City, Missouri-area CPA firm. Mock also served as a CFO of a rapid-growth business and has extensive experience in helping owner-managed businesses develop strategic plans, implement the related tactical steps to project completion, and deep experience in mergers and acquisitions, due diligence and management issues.

J.M. “Jim” Schultz, Managing Partner, Open Prairie

Mr. Schultz is the Founder and Managing Partner of Open Prairie, and a fifth-generation agriculture investor and entrepreneur with more than 30 years of investment experience; and has been instrumental in starting and providing capital to companies throughout the country. In his career before private equity, Schultz held executive level management positions and served as the Chairman of the Board of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Small Business Advisory Council on Agriculture, Labor, and Small Business. He has been the Open Prairie representative on the Board of Directors of their agriculture investments in Legacy Seed Companies, Vestaron, and NewLeaf Symbiotics.

About AgriThority

Founded in 2008, AgriThority moves agricultural innovations to market. Our seasoned, scientific global network serves as an independent and collaborative resource devoted to accelerating product, business, and market development. We help overcome regulatory challenges, manage trial design and execution, and establish connections for market access. Learn more at