Part 3: And Their Daughters After Them

From Farms to Incubators: The last of a three-part series of stories about minority women entrepreneurs in AgTech in the Salinas Valley and beyond. The series is sponsored by a grant by the International Center for Journalists. Part 3 focuses on efforts from the public and private sectors to develop a knowledge-based workforce, and a new generation of girls and young women considering a future in AgTech.

Challenges & Opportunities: Miku Jha of AgShift

Miku Jha’s affinity for agriculture started with mango trees. Although raised in Mumbai, Jha came from four generations of farmers. As a little girl, she grew up surrounded by the family’s main staple – mangos. Jha, 39, said what she learned on the family farm was priceless.

“I was looking at daily challenges and how things could be improved,” said Jha. “I kind of always had this feeling that we can put technology into changing certain things, and (using it) to improve this whole ag ecosystem especially for small and medium commercial farms.”

— Excerpt from profile published Feb. 16, 2017

Challenges & Opportunities: Trace Genomics' Diane Wu, Poornima Parameswaran

On any given day, Diane Wu and Poornima Parameswaran can be found on the farm, in the lab or inside the agtech incubator in Salinas. Their venture combines all three aspects.

Trace Genomics, launched in 2015 as a microbial evaluation system to detect diseases in soil. emerged in the Salinas Valley a year ago when it won the 2016 THRIVE Accelerator competition beating out 10 other finalists out of a pool of 200 applications from 36 countries.

Founded by Wu and Parameswaran, two young Ph.D.s from Stanford University ...

Part 2: Challenges and Opportunities

From Farms to Incubators: Stories of minority women entrepreneurs in agtech in the Salinas Valley and beyond. The series is sponsored by a grant from the International Center for Journalists. Part Two focuses on the emergence of agtech, a new generation of young women in the agtech space, and the challenges and opportunities they face.

"Change is the only constant in life” — Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher.