AgLaunch Initiative Adds New Board Members as Farmer-Led Innovation Model Expands
Coleman and Moinester deepen board representation with agricultural economics and advocacy experience
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (November 29, 2022) — AgLaunch Initiative, a nonprofit ag innovation organization based in Memphis,Tennessee, announced the addition of Marcus Coleman, Ph.D. and Arielle Moinester to its Board of Directors. Coleman and Moinester will help provide strategic guidance and leadership to expand the organization’s farmer-led, open innovation model regionally and nationally.
“We are excited to add Marcus and Arielle to the AgLaunch Board to play a crucial role in helping shape the transformative vision that is the heartbeat of our work,” said Pete Nelson, AgLaunch President. “Both candidates have deep agriculture knowledge and experience, while bringing a passion for innovation that is based on inclusion and creativity.”
• Marcus Coleman, Ph.D currently serves as Professor of Practice in the School of Liberal Arts at Tulane University. He is an experienced educator with administrative, teaching and outreach experiences at 1862 and 1890 land-grant universities. Growing up in Louisiana’s rural Mississippi Delta, Coleman understands the disproportionate nature of agriculture and food system opportunities available to socially disadvantaged communities. Coleman is a native of Newellton, Louisiana, and earned a Ph.D. in Agriculture and Extension Education from Louisiana State University. He holds an M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
• Arielle Moinester is the Senior Program Director for Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA). She is committed to collaboratively building just food systems that work for people and the planet by centering the solutions of women around the world. Before moving to the Bay Area, Arielle lived in Africa and Asia designing and managing large-scale agricultural development projects and saw how women’s work in food systems was routinely sidelined to the detriment of communities, ecosystems, and the climate. Arielle is from Memphis, Tennessee and earned her M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics, an M.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis, and a B.A. in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis.
“The AgLaunch vision is ambitious and we are blessed to have new board members to help us grow to expand our aspirations to provide more nutrient dense crops, carbon negative farms and more equitable ownership across the supply chain,” said Nelson.
AgLaunch is known for its best-in-class accelerator program that places farmers at the center of innovation to help develop and scale new technologies in the ag and food sectors. In addition to its base of operations in the Mid-South, AgLaunch also has regional partnerships and farmer representation in the Pacific Northwest, Mid-West, Southern Appalachia, and is expanding to the Southern Plains in partnership with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. AgLaunch and its farmer network have 15 agtech startup companies in its portfolio advancing climate-smart technologies in areas ranging from soil health and data management to low-impact production practices and robotics.
Coleman and Moinester’s appointment to the board is effective immediately. They join other longtime board members, including Corinne Gould, Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; Fayre Crossley, Chief Grants and Compliance Officer at Epicenter Memphis; Karen LeVert, CEO of Ag TechInventures (AgTI); Andrew R. McCarroll, General Counsel for Southeastern Asset Management, Inc.; and Rhedona Rose, Executive Vice President Tennessee Farm Bureau.
For more information on AgLaunch’s mission visit: www.aglaunch.com
AgLaunch is revolutionizing the way that innovations in agriculture and food are brought to market by bridging the present and future to grow a more diverse and sustainable farm economy and provide healthy food for all. AgLaunch leverages its distributed network of farm incubators, entrepreneurial farmers, aligned capital partners, research consortia, technical consulting, and best-in-class accelerator programming to effectively challenge the status quo and thoughtfully create value for farmers and the communities they serve. The AgLaunch vision is a transformed regional agriculture and food economy centered around farmers, innovation, and prosperity.