Renée Vassilos is The Nature Conservancy’s Director of Agriculture Innovation. She manages TNC’s investments in innovative companies that will help scale regenerative agriculture production practices. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Renée spent nearly a decade at John Deere, including several years based in Beijing, where she worked across corporate functions and geographies to build global market product strategies, design and manufacture equipment, and marketing and sales. Post-Deere, Renée led her consulting firm, Banyan Innovation Group, advising growth-stage agriculture technology start-ups and investors. Renée has a BS and MS in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and University of California, Davis respectively.
Critical components of regenerative agriculture are farm profitability and secondly, practices that support soil regeneration including [but not always applicable] cover crops, no till, increased rotations, and reintroduction of agroforestry. Solutions required to move the needle on these practices include innovative agriculture equipment, insurance and finance solutions, storage solutions, scalable (up and down) processing solutions, plant products including cover crops, etc.