Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA) Welcomes Chief Science Officer to Advance Science Supporting Regenerative Agriculture

Dr. Laura Kavanaugh will lead AEA's science, research and development for the company's regenerative ag products and services

Advancing Eco Agriculture's new Chief Science Officer, Dr. Laura Kavanaugh. (Photo: Business Wire)

MIDDLEFIELD, Ohio--()--Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA), a farm consultancy and nutritional products company that works with farmers to develop large-scale regenerative farming systems, has hired a new Chief Science Officer (CSO), Dr. Laura Kavanaugh.

In her new role, Dr. Kavanaugh will lead all science, research and development for AEA. This includes gathering, organization and assessment of current science, and developing a strategy for future research and development. One area of Dr. Kavanaugh’s focus will be how DNA sequencing and other advanced technologies can be used to demonstrate the power of the plant-microbe interactions that are already functioning within natural systems — and which are at the heart of regenerative agriculture.

“I'm thrilled to join AEA, a company at the forefront of regenerative agriculture," said Kavanaugh. “It's a personal goal of mine to further develop the science behind regenerative farming, shifting the perception of regenerative farming from anecdotal to highly scientific. I believe consistent demonstration, on small and large scales, of how regenerative farming is more profitable and healthier for people and the environment will drive wide-spread adoption. I want AEA to be a leader in driving this transition.”

Dr. Kavanaugh has a rich science and engineering background. She holds a Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics from Duke University, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, both from Purdue University.

Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Dr. Kavanaugh worked for 13 years as a Guidance, Navigation, and Control Officer in Space Shuttle Mission Control and later as a manager for Space Shuttle Operations at the Johnson Space Center for United Space Alliance. After receiving her Ph.D., she worked at Syngenta for nearly 12 years as a Senior Computational Biologist and Team Lead for Comparative Genomics. In this role, she focused primarily on bioinformatic analysis of plant DNA for a wide variety of crops with the intent of developing GMO crops.

Through her experience at Syngenta, Dr. Kavanaugh became increasingly interested in the role of soil microbes for improving crop performance. She found this approach to be a more impactful, longer-term approach than GMO methods. To further explore this idea, Dr. Kavanaugh founded her own company, Genome Insights, LLC. At the same time, she worked as a soil health expert at the regenerative vineyard, Union Grove Farm, in Hillsborough, N.C., which gave her practical, hands-on experience at applying regenerative farming principles.

“Dr. Kavanaugh is an exceptional plant scientist who will help us explore and prove the power and hope of regenerative agriculture," said John Kempf, AEA's founder and chief vision officer. "I was able to hear her speak at the RegenOrganic Conference last winter and was immediately impressed by how she was applying DNA sequencing technologies to assess soil fertility. I look forward to the incredible value I know she'll add to our team, business and entire field of regenerative agriculture."

About AEA

Founded in 2006, Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA) works alongside large-scale farmers who use regenerative farming practices. The company’s comprehensive product line includes biologicals and nutritionals; microbial and fungal inoculants; and liquid macronutrients and micronutrients. In addition to these products, AEA offers customized farm programs, full consultations, and testing to help farmers succeed.

AEA’s regenerative agriculture systems balance microbial, mineral, and mechanical inputs to consistently improve farm profitability by increasing fruit size, quality, and yield. The company works with growers to create custom plant nutrition programs that deliver results.

To help farmers assess how best to maximize crop production, AEA offers an innovative plant testing process called Plant Sap Analysis.

AEA also produces educational content to support the growth of the regenerative farming movement, including the top-rated and highly regarded Regenerative Agriculture Podcast and other educational content available at Advancing Eco Agriculture for growers around the world.

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