AgriThority® Taps Industry Leaders for Strategic Guidance 

AgriThority. Science without Borders


Mary Jane Duff – (816) 841-0922,

Leader in Ag Innovation Development Taps Industry Leaders for Strategic Guidance

(Kansas City, Missouri, USA — April 12, 2022)  AgriThority®, an agricultural product development company, announces new members of its Board of Advisors composed of globally respected leaders in the agriculture industry. As a specialist in accelerating innovative technologies to commercialization around the world, AgriThority continues to evolve services with the independent counsel of its advisors.

“Our AgriThority global business model delivers comprehensive product development services,” said AgriThority Founder and CEO Jerry Duff. “We capitalize on our scientific expertise to aid in business analysis, product positioning through precise field trial execution and market access for commercialization. To enhance our capabilities, we have sought outside seasoned and objective input to optimize operations and continue our leading position in our industry. 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.”

Adrian Percy, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the NC Plant Sciences Initiative at North Carolina State University and Venture partner of Finistere Ventures LLC. With more than 30 years of experience in the agricultural sector, Percy is an advocate of the need for and benefits of modern agriculture. He is also a strong proponent of the development and adoption of new agricultural and food technologies that support global food security while conserving the environment and supporting rural community development.

Percy is the inaugural Executive Director of the Plant Sciences Initiative (PSI) at North Carolina State University. The PSI aims to exploit inter-disciplinary science and technology through public-private partnerships to advance plant sciences to the benefit of growers, consumers, and other food chain stakeholders.

He also is a Venture Partner at Finistere Ventures LLC, a technology and life sciences venture capital investor, focused on transforming the food value chain. Percy serves on the board of directors of BioLumic, FA Bio, HiFidelity Genetics and Evogene. He is a member of the science and technology boards of Oerth Bio, Harpe Bio Terramera, Biotalys and Rothamsted Research and hosts the AgTech360 podcast on behalf of NC State’s Center for Excellence in Regulatory Science in Agriculture (CERSA).

Prior to joining NC State, Percy served as the Chief Technology Officer of UPL Ltd, a major crop protection company that is a leader in global food systems. Prior, he was the Head of Research and Development for the Crop Science division of Bayer and part of their executive committee. In that role, he had responsibility for internal and open innovation activities in the areas of crop protection chemistry and biologicals, as well as seeds and traits. During his 25-year tenure at Bayer and its legacy companies, he also held numerous positions in agricultural research and development in France, Germany, and the U.S.

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Percy earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, as well as a master’s degree in toxicology and a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Birmingham. He now resides in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, USA, with his wife and two children.

AgriThority also welcomes Valdemar Fischer to the Board of Advisors. Fischer serves as Chairman of Syngenta Group LATAM at Syngenta Group in Panama City, Panama. His deep international experience extends from the U.S. and Mexico to Ecuador, Brazil, and Australia. In addition to his current non-executive director duties in public companies, Fischer is a Certified Board Member of the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance (IBGC). His corporate experience includes Compass Minerals, Syngenta and Nufarm Limited. His academic degrees are Agronomy, Agriculture from Universidade Federal de Pelotas, and International Master in Practicing Management from Lancaster University. He speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Other Board of Advisors members include:

Martin Gruss served as Global Head SeedGrowth, Crop Science Division of Bayer. 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, 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. He continues to monitor the agricultural needs and sustainability movement within the EU and around the world.

Stephen Mock is a Business/Investment Advisor capitalizing on his experiences from his active practice of Public Accounting. Mock has worked more than 40 years delivering 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 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 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. Schultz 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 and with roots dating back to 1985, 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 product development process, and establish connections for market access. Learn more at