By David M. Greenwald
Davis, CA – On Wednesday, Biome Makers held its grand opening of its new headquarters located on Cousteau Drive in Davis—what Greater Sacramento called the Global AgTech Hub of the world.
“Biome Makers continues to drive innovation in agriculture by decoding soil biology at scale, and enhancing soil sampling processing times through its expanded lab space and state-of-the-art facilities,” a release proclaimed.
“This is important,” Ferrero said of the move to Davis. “This is the place that we need to keep growing, keep impacting, because this is something that’s in our DNA.”
Biome Makers’ technology which they call BeCrop, they say, “is setting the standard for soil health with the world’s largest taxonomic database of references of microorganisms.”
According to their release, “BeCrop combines advanced genomics, microbial network science, and AI to provide insights into specific functions being performed by the entire soil microbiome.”
It explains, “Farmers, crop advisors, ag input manufacturers, and retailers worldwide have trusted BeCrop for almost a decade for soil health intelligence and recommendations for over 170 crops across 45 countries. Their 2022 Impact Report showcases a 20% reduction in agrochemical fertilizers and a 15% increase in agricultural carbon sequestration for farmers utilizing BeCrop.”
Ferrero explained “the ecological dimension… is especially important for us.”
They are “having a global impact.”
“We’re becoming the leaders in this field,” he said. “We currently have operations in 45 different countries. We have served over 18,000 farmers so far in this year.”
This is particularly important because it helping to “decrease the load of chemical fertilizers that they use, helping them to really preserve this natural fertility of the soil to keep producing the food that we need.”
He noted, “95% of our food comes directly or indirectly from the soil.”
He added, “And in the last 40 years, we have lost one third of the arable soil, mainly because the way we farm. So just in 40 years, we have destroyed it. Desperately, it’s time to stop, think, and start doing things in the right way.”
Alberto Acedo, Co-Founder and CSO, noted that their mission is better food, better soil, and better life “to grow our sustainable agriculture, to get a new place in sustainable agriculture, approaching the soil health for our future generations.”
He said, “This is the core lab in the world for all the network or labs that we are building, especially to digitalize the soil biology, to understand to the coding, the survey already for what to generate indicators.”
“That’s my role,” he said. “I’m the science in the company together with my team, especially to do that, to bring knowledge, to put actions on the field because science is very complex. Microbiome is very complex. But the coding that information, putting that information in the hands of the people to get actions is the better thing that we can do to promote the life and biodiversity and soil health for the sustainability of the agriculture.”
Councilmember Gloria Partida said, “I’m super excited to be here on this day when we’re welcoming this really exciting company into our ecosystem of hopefully more lab spaces that produce this type of innovation and that help us go forward in some of the areas that are important to us.”
She noted having worked in a lab on campus herself for 30 years, “I understand how important it is for laboratories and for scientists to collaborate and to be close to each other and to be close to a steady stream of talent.”
She added, “We’re super excited to have you. We’re especially glad that we stole you from West Sacramento. We keep losing people to West Sacramento—so this is a big win.”
Michelle Willard, the Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, thanks the Sacramento Business Journal and Davis Vanguard for being here.
She said, “Emerging life science companies are imperative to the growth and economic development of our region. And we really couldn’t do it without the emerging biotech and life science startups. And one day you’re a global company and hopefully you’ll have double your headquarters one day and continue to grow here in Davis.”
Rhett Cinquini, CEO at Cinquini Farms & Head of Business Development & Agriculture, Liventia, has been utilizing the BeCrop technology for the last two years.
He explained that he wears a few hats, he’s a fifth generation farmer located in the Chico area. He said they’ve been farming almonds and walnuts all his life.
He said, “I’m also the head of the US Business Development and Agriculture for a microbio stimulant company, LIventia.”
“I have a unique perspective working with biomarkers for two very different angles,” he said.
He said that, as a grower, it has become “very yield focused.” He said, “We kind of lost sight that not only are we farming what’s on top of the, of the ground, but also we need to take care of our soils as well.”
Cinquini said, “And having someone like biomarkers be able to come in and give us a reading and validation of where we are and where we’re at with our soil health is important to the foundation of whatever you’re growing out there in the ag world.”
He continued, “So we’re kind of moving into this new regenerative landscape and having an ally like biomakerss be able to give us readings of where our soil health is, where we’re at, how we’re doing with inputs organically, chemistry. It’s been such a useful tool from a grower level and also from a product development level for Leventia, having them as an ally has been great for the validation of microbio stimulant product.”
He said, “It’s been such a useful tool for us as a product development company.”
“Davis is the perfect place for an agricultural tech company like Biome Makers,” said Mayor Will Arnold. “The proximity to growers who need this technology will no doubt be a competitive advantage as will the educated work force in this field graduating from UC Davis.”
The building is owned by Buzz Oates, who made tenant improvements for the company to create a more modern and functional workspace. The new headquarters will be located at 202 Cousteau Place, Suite 100, accommodating the growing company and increased global customer base.
“We are honored to help a global and growing biotech company, which is our leading and top industry in the Greater Sacramento region,” Greater Sacramento Economic Council Board Chair and President & CEO of Buzz Oates Larry Allbaugh said. “We want to continue to support world-class biotech companies that are working diligently on developing and producing the best food for the world.”
Following the speeches, we were taken on a brief tour of the facility…