Phytelligence™ Announces New Vice President of Operations

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SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced the hiring of its new Vice President of Operations, David LeBreton. LeBreton will lead the company’s lab, greenhouse and pre-production teams in North America.

In this new role, LeBreton will ensure operations are functioning efficiently to meet grower demand, oversee the integration of pre-production technology, and spearhead the implementation of infrastructure systems and processes to support rapid company growth.

David has quickly demonstrated strong leadership and earned respect from our teams in Portland and Seattle,” said Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence. “We are thrilled to have his support managing and advancing the company’s growth. His experience in strategy development, performance and operation management, coupled with his drive for service improvement will be extremely valuable as we continue to expand and provide growers with the highest quality food crops.”

LeBreton has been working with Phytelligence for the past nine months, evaluating research functions and developing an operational strategy for pre-production before stepping into his new position. In his prior role, he created a framework and procedure for assessing and introducing new products into the company’s sales portfolio.

Prior to joining Phytelligence, LeBreton built a strong career in a variety of fields, including as the principal at LeBreton & Sons, a family owned residential real estate company, where he oversaw capital investment and expansion. He also spent time as the managing director at Popskull, an advertising startup. In addition, LeBreton held the role of chief performance officer for Cook County government in the greater Chicago area, where he led a successful performance management initiative. LeBreton has also supported several political campaigns as a campaign strategist and organizer.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with some transformative leaders and groundbreaking organizations throughout my career and during my first year at Phytelligence,” LeBreton said. “I am eager to apply my knowledge around strategy, performance and operations to my new role as we continue to build on the already impressive and disruptive growth.”

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is an agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Utilizing its MultiPHY™ proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced testing enabling guaranteed delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. The company has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain. Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University and is headquartered in Seattle with facilities in Pullman, Wash. and Portland, Ore. Learn more at www.phytelligence.com.

Contacts

PR for Phytelligence
Janae Frisch and AnnMarie Henriksson
206-282-4923 ext. 125
phytelligence@communiquepr.com

Phytelligence Secures PollyO Hazelnut Propagation License

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Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, announced it has secured a license to propagate the PollyO hazelnut variety. PollyO is the latest hazelnut variety developed by Oregon State University (OSU) and is named after Polly Owen, a longtime expert in the nut industry. Partnering with OSU and utilizing its advanced growing process, Phytelligence will provide growers with hazelnut rootstock that is native to the U.S.

The new PollyO variety provides growers with higher yields at an average of 65 pounds of nuts per tree and is resistant to Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB), a fungal pathogen that has drastically impacted hazelnut growers around the U.S. Additionally, PollyO hazelnuts blanche easily, and mature up to two weeks earlier than the Barcelona hazelnut, another popular hazelnut variety grown in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

“We’re eager to propagate PollyO and provide growers with hazelnut trees that are resistant to EFB and produce nuts that fit perfectly into the chocolate and baked goods industry,” said Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence. “Nut growers in Oregon have been fighting EFB for more than 40 years and the demand from consumers for hazelnuts continues to climb. PollyO fits nicely into the industry portfolio of hazelnut varieties, such as Wepster and Yamhill, and it will serve as a natural alternative to the Yamhill variety.”

Developing disease-resistant hazelnut varieties has been the top priority in the agricultural biotech industry because EFB has limited the cultivation of the nut. Outside of western Oregon, the majority of hazelnuts commercially sold are grown in Turkey.

In addition to resistance to EFB, OSU’s PollyO hazelnuts crack easily and the kernels, along with its size, stay whole during processing – both are ideal attributes sought after by the chocolate industry. PollyO is compatible with other popular hazelnut varieties such as the McDonald and Wepster allowing them to serve as pollinizers for each other.

“I’m optimistic our propagation license will help increase the quality and quantity of nuts delivered to growers and consumers,” said Phytelligence Vice President of Global Sales for Nuts, Hops and New Crops Peter Viss. “Our growing process will help deliver a healthier and more durable hazelnut tree to market, as well as boost the equity of the U.S. nut industry.”

Phytelligence is now accepting PollyO orders for delivery in 2020. For more information on PollyO, or to secure order information, please email PeterViss@Phytelligence.com.

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is an agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling guaranteed delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. The company has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain. Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University and is headquartered in Seattle with facilities in Pullman, Wash. and Portland, Ore. Learn more at www.phytelligence.com.

Contacts

PR for Phytelligence
Janae Frisch and AnnMarie Henriksson
206-282-4923 ext. 125
phytelligence@communiquepr.com

Phytelligence Welcomes New Chief Business Officer

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SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced the hiring of its new Chief Business Officer, Glen Donald. Donald will oversee the company’s sales, marketing and business development teams to facilitate company growth and grower satisfaction.

In this new role, Donald will support and manage the marketing team to expand knowledge and continue raising visibility of the company. He will also partner with the business development leads to grow revenue, navigate new crop segments and provide the highest quality products and services that align with the needs of growers.

Glen’s experience in the industry adds immense value to Phytelligence’s leadership team,” said Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence. “His diverse leadership experience with companies of varying sizes, as well as in a university spin-out, will be instrumental as we look to expand our customer base and continue to provide excellent service to our growers at every turn.”

Donald has extensive experience in the agriculture and biotech industry. Most recently, he was vice president of business development at Plant Health Care, Inc. In this role, he secured technology licensing and distribution agreements, as well as oversaw global branding, budget management and product registration for the company. Donald also served as CEO, director and chairman of Sonoplot, Inc., a technology start-up spun out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison that sells instruments for scientific research applications.

In addition, Donald spent 18 years at predecessor companies of Bayer Crop Science where he held various leadership roles including technical sales representative, product manager and vice president of marketing. Under Donald’s leadership the company successfully launched a variety of crop protection products, as well as expanded business development and improved marketing strategy.

“I am thrilled to join Phytelligence and I look forward to guiding the sales, marketing and business development teams on their path to provide superior products and services to growers,” said Donald.

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is an agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling guaranteed delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. The company has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain. Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University and is headquartered in Seattle with facilities in Pullman, Wash. and Portland, Ore. Learn more at www.phytelligence.com.

Contacts

PR for Phytelligence
Janae Frisch and AnnMarie Henriksson
206-282-4923 ext. 125
phytelligence@communiquepr.com

Phytelligence Welcomes New Executive Vice President of Global Sales

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Todd Raasch joins Seattle-based startup as the company’s first executive vice president of global sales

Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced its first Executive Vice President of Global Sales, Todd Raasch. Raasch will oversee the company’s strategic sales plan to facilitate company growth and grower satisfaction.

In this new role, Raasch will manage Phytelligence’s expanding sales team, advance sales strategies in each segment, lead competitor analysis and direct implementation of sales policies and practices that align with the needs of growers. Raasch’s hire marks the company’s fifth executive hire within the past year. Other recently announced positions include four global vice presidents of sales who manage the citrusgrapeberry and hops, nut and new crop segments.

Raasch brings more than 20 years of sales experience in the food and consumer packaged goods industries. Prior to joining Phytelligence, he served as the vice president of North American sales at Cooke Aquaculture’s True North Seafood. During the five years he spent as vice president, Raasch was responsible for facilitating more than $950 million in global sales, managing 20 regional sales managers and team members, as well as hiring and overseeing all broker networks. He was also responsible for “top-to-top” relationship management for more than $300 million of sales within North America food retailers including Costco, Kroger, Safeway/Albertsons, Walmart, Sysco and MGM Properties.

“After an extensive search process, we’re pleased to name our very first executive vice president of global sales. With Todd’s leadership we look forward to strengthening our sales strategy and the relationships we’ve fostered with growers,” said Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence. “Todd’s experience in achieving long-term strategic sales goals will be invaluable as we continue to expand and provide growers with the highest quality food crops.”

Raasch, throughout numerous corporate acquisitions, was also a valued member of the executive leadership team at Kelley-Clarke Seafood when the company was purchased by Icicle Seafood in 2005, and again in 2016 when Icicle Seafoods was purchased by Cooke Aquaculture. From 1999 to 2013, Raasch held various key strategic roles including general manager of Kelley-Clarke Seafood, director of branded sales and senior director of North American sales for Icicle. During this time, he managed and sold resources directly and through broker networks within the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe to deliver the highest margins and ensure increased revenue.

“With Phytelligence’s growers-first approach, Todd’s expertise in building and retaining successful relationships with both internal and external customers will help scale operations. His extensive North American and international sales expertise will be instrumental in managing our growing sales pipeline around the world,” added Ken Hunt.

“I’m looking forward to building on Phytelligence’s impressive company growth,” said Raasch. “Its disruptive growing process, proprietary techniques and commitment to growers are notable, and I’m eager to work in a new and very exciting segment of the food industry.”

Phytelligence Welcomes New Global Vice President of Sales for Citrus

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Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced its new Global Vice President of Sales for Citrus, Gerard Bogdon. Bogdon will oversee sales of citrus varieties of rootstock, spring buds and whips among Phytelligence’s existing and new customers.

Based in Florida, Bogdon will also work with Florida Foundation Seed Producers to provide growers who have been impacted by Huanglongbing disease (HLB or citrus-greening disease) with the opportunity to access true-to-type, virus and disease-free rootstock that is also tolerant to HLB.

Bogdon brings more than 17 years of experience in specialty agriculture to his new role. Mostly recently, he was group publisher of the U.S. horticulture group Meister Media Worldwide (Meister Media) where he managed sales, editorial and circulation for its publications, including American and Western Fruit Grower, American Vegetable Grower, Florida Grower, Greenhouse Grower and Greenhouse Grower Technology. During his time with Meister Media, Bogdon also held roles as the southern sales representative and associate publisher where he led the company to four consecutive years of record growth.

“We’re excited to welcome Gerry to the team and look forward to collaborating with him to strengthen relationships with citrus growers in Florida and around the world,” said Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence. “The combination of Gerry’s experience in sales and agriculture, and his extensive network of contacts in the citrus industry will help further our mission to provide all growers with the highest quality food crops.”

Bogdon’s expertise in horticulture is intertwined with more than 25 years in sales and profit/loss management experience. Prior to his time at Meister Media, he was the district sales manager for R.H. Donnelley Sprint, Bell Atlantic and BellSouth where he honed his abilities to grow revenue by increasing existing accounts and prospecting new relationships.

“Gerry has deep knowledge of the challenges and opportunities faced by growers in the citrus segment of the market,” said Hunt. “His expertise and understanding of growers’ needs will be instrumental in providing growers with the information and resources required to thrive in a changing market.”

“I’m eager to join Phytelligence and continue developing relationships with citrus growers in Florida and around the world,” said Bogdon. “After closely covering the agricultural industry for the past 17 years and witnessing Phytelligence’s recent disruption, I’m excited to connect and communicate with growers in a new manner and help them achieve success through integrating new tissue culture practices.”

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is an agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling guaranteed delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. The company has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain. Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University and is headquartered in Seattle with facilities in Pullman, Wash. and Portland, Ore. Learn more at www.phytelligence.com

 

Contacts

Communiqué PR for Phytelligence
Janae Frisch and AnnMarie Henriksson, 206-282-4923 ext. 125
phytelligence@communiquepr.com

Phytelligence Founder Amit Dhingra Promoted to Professor of Genomics and Biotechnology at Washington State University

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Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, is proud to announce that its founder, Amit Dhingra has been promoted to professor of genomics and biotechnology in the department of horticulture at Washington State University’s (WSU) College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences. Amit will remain Phytelligence’s chief science officer and continue driving innovation and discovery in horticulture.

Amit has been a valued member of WSU’s faculty for the past 12 years. He joined the university in 2006 as an assistant professor and was promoted and received tenure in 2012. Most recently, he held the title of associate scientist and associate professor of horticulture genomics with the university.

“I am honored by the university’s recognition and eager to continue my research, instruction, and support of activities aligned with WSU’s mission on a more enhanced basis,” said Amit Dhingra. “The partnership between Phytelligence and WSU is deeply rooted in the University’s land grant mission and I look forward to giving back to the university by advancing students’ training for the food crop industry.”

Promotion to a full-time professor demonstrates Amit’s expertise and the confidence his colleagues and university administrators have in his ability to embody WSU’s mission. The promotion also presents added expectations for scholarship and leadership opportunities.

In addition to his role as a professor, Amit is deeply involved with the university as a chairperson in WSU’s Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors program, member of the Provost Leadership Academy and Graduate Mentor Academy, member of the graduate faculty in four graduate programs including the NIH Protein Biotechnology Training program, Molecular Plant Sciences Graduate program and the Horticulture and Master of Science in Agriculture program. Amit also serves on various departmental, college and university committees and coordinates two undergraduate research programs: one for Native American students and the other in the area of plant genomics and biotechnology.

“We are proud of Amit and wish him the best in his new role,” said Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence. “He is invaluable to our growth and made it possible for Phytelligence to provide growers with the highest quality crops available in the industry.”

Amit has received numerous awards and honors throughout his 12 years with the university, including the National Council on Undergraduate Research Biology Division Mentor Award in 2017, Favorite Professor and Influential Faculty Recognition by the undergraduate students in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences in 2016 and 2017, WSU Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassador in 2016, Outstanding Thesis Advisor in the Honors College in 2014. He was nominated to the university’s Provost Emerging Leader Faculty Member program in 2011, was a Featured University Faculty at WSU’s Innovators Series Lectures in 2008 and received the Undergraduate Research Excellence Award in the College of Undergraduate Education in 2008.

Phytelligence Welcomes New Global Vice President of Sales for Berries

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Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced the addition of Lee Cobb to its team as global vice president of sales for its berry segment. Cobb will pioneer expansion of the company’s berry sector and lead the pursuit of new customers eager to propagate berry plants and develop new varieties.

In his new role, Cobb will work alongside the company’s sales team to strengthen existing relationships with berry growers and educate new customers on the benefits of tissue culture practices and planting genetically confirmed, true-to-type and disease-free berry plants.

“The combination of Lee’s sales and business development background with his experience as a berry farmer is impressive and aligns well with our objective to grow our berry segment,” said Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence. “His deep knowledge of the blueberry industry and the challenges growers face in this space will be instrumental to further support our growers, as well as new customers.”

Cobb has widespread industry experience both farming and leading sales and strategy development in the berry market. Mostly recently, Cobb served as the blueberry commodity manager at BlazerWilkinson LP (BW), where he led BW’s blueberry business to $5 million in less than two years under the well-known “FOXY” label. Prior to BW’s 2016 acquisition of Andrew Smith Co.’s (ASCO) berry business, formerly Colorful Harvest LLC, Cobb was hired to help the company enter the blueberry sector in 2012; and a year later, he was promoted to ASCO’s vice president of business development of blueberries. In this role, Cobb was forefront in the successful launch of the company’s blueberry segment.

Cobb was also paramount in blueberry cultivation at Bee Branch Farms Inc. (BBF) and ultimately the sale of the company in 2012. Cobb held several leadership roles during his time at BBF and also co-wrote an industry white paper, which secured an investment partner and doubled the company’s farm acreage within two years.

“I look forward to joining Phytelligence and building its capacity to service berry segment growers,” said Cobb. “I’m eager to expand my knowledge of tissue culture practices and further the company’s commitment to delivering high-quality crops across all sectors.”

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is an agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest and reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling guaranteed delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. The company has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain. Phytelligence was founded by Dr. Amit Dhingra in 2012 out of his Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University and is headquartered in Seattle with facilities in Pullman, Wash. and Portland, Ore. Learn more at www.phytelligence.com.

Contacts

PR for Phytelligence
Janae Frisch and AnnMarie Henriksson, 206-282-4923 ext. 125
phytelligence@communiquepr.com

Phytelligence Inks Deal with Seven Star Fruits, a Mahyco Grow Company, India’s Leading Agriculture Innovator

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Phytelligence brings MultiPHY™ technology to India to revolutionize Indian horticulture 

Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announces a partnership with Mahyco Grow to provide Indian farmers with the most advanced technology available in horticulture.

The plants produced by Seven Star Fruits, a company of Mahyco Grow, using the Phytelligence MultiPHY™ process will support higher density planting systems, which results in higher yields per acre and more sustainable production. The partnership will also enable the delivery of new varieties of apples, cherries, peaches, plums, berries, grapes, nuts, oranges and other tropical fruits to Mahyco Grow’s existing customers and the region’s farmers.

Utilizing Mahyco Grow’s extensive network and agricultural expertise along with Phytelligence’s world-leading MultiPHY™ technology, the partnership aims to help growers plant modern rootstocks and varieties, improve farm incomes and increase fruit quality. The first trees of the partnership will be available for sale in 2018 and delivered in the spring of 2019.

“Collaborating with a group as innovative as Mahyco Grow presents a strong step forward for Phytelligence internationally,” said Phytelligence CEO Ken Hunt. “It’s a major win not only for the company, but also for growers in the region who can look forward to improved plant material and a much higher profit in the coming years. Our mission is to serve growers across the globe and this partnership takes us one step closer to fulfilling that promise.”

“Combining the expertise of both companies will have a significant impact on farmers’ lives by improving yields and providing disease resistant plants,” remarked Aashish Barwale, Director, Seven Star Fruits Private Limited. “As a leading group in the agriculture field, we’ve experienced first-hand how innovations in agronomy make a very real difference to the people within our own communities. We look forward to making an impact in the fruit industry in India together.”

About Mahyco Grow

Mahyco Grow, formerly known as Barwale Group, was founded in 1964 by Dr. Badrinarayan Barwale, a World Food Prize winner, with a vision to resolve farming challenges by expanding the availability of the latest scientific solutions in seeds. The group has pioneered seed innovations in India with the introduction of several hybrids and Bt Cotton – the first in the country’s history. The Group’s research infrastructure in India has recently expanded its presence to South East Asia and Africa. Seven Star Fruits Pvt Ltd, a part of Mahyco Grow, is dedicated to improving the global fresh fruit industry through agricultural innovation.

About Phytelligence

Phytelligence is an agricultural technology company that is revolutionizing food crops. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest while reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. In addition, Phytelligence has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain.

Phytelligence was founded in 2012 by Dr. Amit Dhingra, Associate Professor of Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research at Washington State University. Phytelligence is headquartered in Seattle with facilities in Burien and Pullman, Wash. and Portland, Ore. Currently, Phytelligence has over 100 employees and continues to grow.

Contacts

Phytelligence:
Communiqué PR for Phytelligence
Janae Frisch and AnnMarie Henriksson, +1-206-282-4923 ext. 125
Phytelligence@communiquepr.com
or
Mahyco Grow:
Subbarao Appemane, +91 22 67573000
Corporate Communication – Lead
subbarao.appemane@mahyco.com

Phytelligence Welcomes New Vice President of Global Sales for Nuts, Hops and New Crops

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Agronomy expert Peter Viss joins Seattle-based startup to lead company’s nut, hops and berry sales

Phytelligence, a leading agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced the addition of Peter Viss to its team as vice president of global sales for nuts, hops and new crops. In this role, Viss will lead the company’s efforts to provide new and existing growers with premium planting stock in these segments.

Viss will work with Phytelligence’s customer service, accounting and marketing teams to ensure growers have access to the highest quality nut trees, hop plants and new product lines. Overseeing these segments, Viss will also work to both educate growers on the economic benefits associated with planting Phytelligence’s true-to-type, virus-free plants and to respond to growers’ need for information on best agronomic practices.

Viss has extensive industry experience driving tissue culture strategy, research and variety development with organizations such as Plant Genetics, Plant Research Laboratory, Brooding Bee and Honey Company, Dave Wilson Nursery and High Desert Ag. During this time, he facilitated the integration of new commercial planting practices with the introduction of the self-fertile “Independence” almond variety to Southern California and Arizona as salesman and in-house agronomist at Dave Wilson Nursery. Viss was also paramount in the development of tissue culture protocol for the commercial production of “Prunus” hybrid rootstock and the first genetic engineering of an apple as research director at Plant Research Laboratory.

“The combination of Peter’s sales and research experience in agronomy and tissue culture are unparalleled,” said Ken Hunt, CEO of Phytelligence. “His deep understanding of the study and development required to propagate virus-free varieties and optimize growth in the field will be instrumental to further company innovation and better support industry growers in the nut, hops and new crop segments.”

Prior to joining Phytelligence, Viss founded his own consulting firm, Viss Consulting in 1997, where he established four tissue culture laboratories and oversaw tissue culture programs developed for prunus, pistachio, juglans, garlic and a variety of annual crops. As owner of the firm, he provided extensive agronomy consulting to more than 20,000 acres of almond and pistachio growers, as well as a number of grape growers in wineries including South Coast Winery, David Bruce Winery, Tanner Vineyards Winery and Vindema Winery.

Viss is also a pioneer in worm compost and compost tea practices. He aided in introducing this strategy to California’s agricultural market – securing more than $2.5 million dollars in sales within six years – and since, has helped companies integrate organic compost practices and advanced irrigation installations.

“I look forward to continuing my career and passion for agronomy and agriculture with Phytelligence,” said Viss. “I’m excited to join the team and support the company’s commitment to innovating tissue culture and delivering high-quality crops to growers in all segments.”

Phytelligence Works to Protect Rights to Cosmic Crisp Apple and Provide Greater Access for Growers

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In late February, we filed a lawsuit against Washington State University (WSU) to protect Phytelligence’s right to propagate Cosmic Crisp apples and increase availability for Washington state growers.

In 2012, we were granted an option for a license from WSU or its agent to commercially propagate Cosmic Crisp. We have exercised that option; however, WSU and its agents have not yet provided the license to Phytelligence. Our efforts have been met with repeated delays and misinformation, ultimately preventing us from propagating Cosmic Crisp to date. During this time, Washington state growers have been increasingly frustrated with unnecessarily restricted access to Cosmic Crisp.

We recognize and value WSU’s broad and continuing support of Phytelligence; our concerns in this matter stem from the actions of a few individuals within the University. As such, concurrent to this legal filing, we are continuing to work directly with WSU to identify a mutually beneficial resolution.

Given our long-standing relationship with WSU and our shared interests, we are optimistic this issue can be resolved to everyone’s benefit.

Ken Hunt

CEO, Phytelligence