FOODSHOT 1
INNOVATING SOIL 3.0
GROUNDBREAKERS
Innovating Soil 3.0 imagines a world where a new soil operating system sets the framework for
a food system capable of sustainably producing healthy, nutrient-dense food that is accessible
to all. FoodShot Global winners are building a new soil foundation by providing technological
or ecological tools that enable farmers to maximize yield and the long-term health of the land.

The inaugural Innovating Soil 3.0 FoodShot was followed by a Deep Dive, which focused on
innovations related to soil carbon measurement, soil microbiome functionality, and the rapid
adoption of regenerative practices.
DEEP DIVE
PRIZE WINNER
$200,000 to Dr. Keith Shepherd, Chief Scientist at Innovative Solutions for Decision Agriculture (iSDA), an Honorary Scientist at Rothamsted Research and Chair of Agricultural Applications at ProbabilityManagement.org, for Innovating Soil, Deep Dive and his work on both soil carbon measurement and rapid adoption of regenerative practices. Keith is using soil infrared spectroscopy to provide a rapid, highly reproducible and low-cost soil measurement method for many soil functional properties, including different forms of soil carbon. He is also developing a new Global Soil Spectral Calibration Library and Estimation Service for handheld infrared spectrometers and demonstrating its use in providing actionable soil recommendations. The development is set to scale the use of spectral technology on farms in Africa and Asia.
DR. KEITH SHEPHERD GROUNDBREAKER
PRIZE WINNER
Ultimately, this work aims to provide a freely available online service to estimate a wide range of soil properties from a rapid infrared spectral soil scan. Once calibrated, soil infrared spectroscopy estimates soil organic carbon concentration very accurately and can also predict soil texture, enabling a soil organic matter index to be directly estimated, and allowing soil organic matter contents to be estimated for carbon mitigation tracking. The global calibration library for handhelds will open up opportunities across the Soil 3.0 topics: (i) for soil carbon measurement both for a soil health indicator and for carbon stock monitoring, (ii) as a rapid indicator of soil microbiome functionality; and (iii) as a soil health measure with which to demonstrate good soil practice in regenerative agriculture.
DEEP DIVE SEED
PRIZE WINNER
$60,000 to Samuel Rigu , CEO and Founder of Safi Organics, for Innovating Soil, Deep Dive and his work to increase rapid adoption of regenerative practices by combining patent-pending hardware and software technology to downsize and decentralize fertilizer production in Kenya, while also reducing air pollution from the burning of crop residues.
DEEP DIVE PRIZE FINALISTS
CRISTINE MORGAN
CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER
SOIL HEALTH INSTITUTE
DORN COX
RESEARCH DIRECTOR
OPEN TECHNOLOGY ECOSYSTEM FOR AGRICULTURAL MANAGEMENT
MANOJ KUMAR
CEO
NAANDI FOUNDATION
DEEP DIVE EQUITY FINALISTS
INNOVATING SOIL 3.0
EQUITY AWARD WINNER
$3 MILLION EQUITY INVESTMENT IN TRACE GENOMICS FROM
S2G VENTURES AND GRANTHAM FOUNDATION , TO REVOLUTIONIZE
SOIL MANAGEMENT BY MAPPING THE MICROBIOME OF LIVING SOILS.
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INNOVATING SOIL 3.0
PRIZE WINNERS

GERLINDE DE DEYN

GROUNDBREAKER PRIZE WINNER
$250,000 to Dr. Gerlinde De Deyn, Professor in Soil Ecology, Wageningen University, to advance her extraordinary work to gain a mechanistic understand- ing of plant-soil interactions and their feedbacks to ecosystem functioning, including productivity, nutrient cycling, disease suppression, and soil carbon sequestration.

KEITH PAUSTIAN

GROUNDBREAKER PRIZE WINNER
$250,000 to Dr. Keith Paustian, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, to accelerate the global adaptation of his COMET tool systems, which provide farmers and land managers with sustainability metrics and decision support resources that promote regenerative and conservation-based agricultural practices at scale.

DORN COX

GROUNDBREAKER SEED PRIZE
$35,000 to Dr. Dorn Cox, Research Director, Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment, to support his ambitious vision of using a collaborative Open Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management (OpenTEAM) to democratize access to environmental data and provide universal access to site specific global agricultural knowledge.

Dr. Gerlinde De Deyn

GROUNDBREAKER PRIZE WINNER
Dr. Gerlinde De Deyn will use the funding to advance her groundbreaking research on the role of plant diversity and its impact on soil functionality. Dr. De Deyn studies plant diversity in space (species mixtures) and time (species succession/rotation), using trait-based approaches to gain a mechanistic understanding of plant-soil interactions and their impacts on various chemical and biological processes, including productivity, nutrient cycling, disease suppression, and soil carbon sequestration. Specifically, the prize will enable Dr. de Deyn to expand the proof of principle to African soils and sorghum.

By using state-of-the-art molecular techniques and isotope tracing to study the composition of soil microbial communities, and by applying remote sensing from spectral imaging, Dr. De Deyn has detected and quantified plant-soil feedback effects in agro-ecosystems. Understanding the combinations of plant species that reinforce each other's positive qualities (e.g. yield quality) and reduce each other's negative impacts (e.g. disease build-up) will allow farmers to rebuild soils and their functioning by harnessing plant diversity and its microbiome, enabling the production of nutritious food without adverse effects on the environment. This work is unique in its multi-disciplinary approach and scope, as it integrates plant and soil microbial ecology, greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 and N2O), nutrient use efficiency, soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration and remote sensing.

Dr. Keith Paustian

GROUNDBREAKER PRIZE WINNER
Dr. Keith Paustian will use the GroundBreaker Prize to accelerate the adaptation of the groundbreaking COMET tool systems to agricultural regions outside the US and subsequently to the entire globe, configuring the system to operate as an open-source tool that allows country-specific inventory models.

COMET makes available sustainability metrics derived from dynamic, system-level model-data systems capable of providing robust, cost-effective, science-based quantification of soil carbon, greenhouse gases and soil health indicators. At a very practical level, Dr. Paustian's groundbreaking tool allows for reliable quantification systems of carbon sequestration/GHG emissions reduction, increasing confidence on the part of: 1) governments designing carbon-friendly ag policies, 2) agriculture industry efforts to develop sustainable supply chains, and 3) carbon finance to invest in climate-smart ag systems. FoodShot also recognizes tremendous opportunities to add further functionality and features that will empower farmers to take center-stage in remaking our land use systems for maximum sustainability and benefit to society.

Dr. Dorn Cox

GROUNDBREAKER SEED PRIZE
Dr. Dorn Cox will use the funding to support Open TEAM's goal of creating an ecosystem of open source tools that provide site-specific, actionable knowledge -- regardless of scale or production system -- by leveraging a rapidly evolving landscape of observational technology, remote sensing and modeling technology, data visualization, and mobile and web-based decision support tools. This model will create trust and interoperability across the ecosystem in order to democratize access to environmental data and provide universal access to global agricultural knowledge. The "Seed" Prize funds potentially transformational work that needs additional validation; by using the funding to demonstrate initial results, the applicant is in a strong position for the following year's GroundBreaker Prize.

Trace Genomics

Trace Genomics has developed the first analytics engine that learns as it maps the living soil to help growers maximize the value of every acre. Trace Genomics has taken microbiome science to production scale by evaluating thousands of samples per week and generating a database of hundreds of thousands of microbes. The company uses high-throughput DNA sequencing, artificial intelligence, and a growing database of microbial species living in agricultural soils to identify and profile the soil microbiome, interpreting key soil health and disease risk indicators for every soil sample and delivering actionable insights about how to achieve more efficient nutrient use, how to reduce input costs and crop disease risk, and which seeds, rotations or biological agents will work best for their soils.

Trace Genomics can also effectively gauge soil health, carbon sequestration, and sustainable agricultural production to help partners meet critical sustainability goals, thereby providing the technical basis for changing management practices at the farm level. Trace Genomics helps connect soil health to yield gains and make the economic case for farmers and businesses to invest in improving soil health.
PRIZE FINALISTS
KENNY EWAN
CEO AND FOUNDER
WEFARM
RACHEL BEZNER KERR
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
CORNELL UNIVERSITY
CO-FOUNDER
LAND CORE
 
BASTIEN SACHET
CEO
EARTHWORM FOUNDATION
CHINTAN VAISHNAV
ACADEMIC DIRECTOR
MIT TATA CENTER FOR
TECHNOLOGY & DESIGN
MATTHEW WALLENSTEIN
PROFESSOR & ENTREPRENEUR
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

EQUITY FINALISTS