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ZeaKal elects Jay Brumfield as chairman, Hank Plain as board member

Agriculture and Healthcare leaders to help expand PhotoSeed Commercialization

San Diego, CA, February 21, 2023 – ZeaKal today announced the appointment of Jay Brumfield as its Board of Directors Chairman and Hank Plain as Board Member. The appointments further validate the market potential of ZeaKal’s novel PhotoSeed® trait technology and the broad impact of its ‘NewType’ business model to transform agriculture.

“As one of ZeaKal’s initial investors, I have witnessed the remarkable evolution of the company’s vision to improve the photosynthetic capacity of plants”, said Brumfield. “As Chairman, I am honored for the opportunity to further advance the company’s mission to convert carbon dioxide into improved productivity and nutritional quality across the world’s most important crops.”

As an accomplished entrepreneur and investor in healthcare and agriculture, Brumfield’s expertise will help ZeaKal expand its strategic partnerships and commercial opportunities globally. Brumfield’s background includes being president and CEO of two healthcare start-ups that were sold to publicly held strategics and then co-founder and managing director of Finistere Ventures. While at Finistere, he led its investment in ZeaKal as well as six others that were successfully exited, including ag tech start-up Athenix.

Board of Directors Bolster Governance Profile Ahead of 2024 Commercialization

As a new board member, Plain brings additional expertise having been involved in some of the largest venture-backed life science exits over the last decade. Currently, he is a special partner of Lightstone Ventures and a general partner at Morgenthaler Ventures.

“Having grown up in central Illinois, I clearly see how ZeaKal’s technology and vision will restore profitability and resilience to U.S. agriculture, starting with delivering more value to the grower,” said Plain. “As a science innovation company, ZeaKal’s proprietary technology, innovative business model and impact on the future of agriculture aligns with my commitment to tackle global challenges like climate change and access to affordable nutrition.”

In addition to ZeaKal, Plain serves on the boards of Imperative Care, Nuvaira, Moximed and Setpoint.

“ZeaKal’s PhotoSeed technology and NewType model will deliver more equitable value to our supply chain partners as we improve profitability for all participants,” said Han Chen, co-founder and CEO of ZeaKal. “Together with our management team and partners, I’m excited to fully engage Jay and Hank as we accelerate our growth across several crop areas and usher in a new dawn of plant trait technologies.”

Over the past two years, ZeaKal built a fully integrated supply chain, with Gro Alliance and Perdue AgriBusiness as its first partners, to deliver better, more sustainable food starting with seed genetics that is more equitable for farmers. In 2022, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) deregulated ZeaKal’s seed technology for soybeans paving the way for broad adoption across the U.S. market.

About ZeaKal

At ZeaKal, we are building a value driven “NewType” of agriculture to harmonize the needs of farmers, consumers, and our planet. Our flagship plant trait technology, PhotoSeed™, helps crops capture more carbon and sunlight, leading to healthier, nutrient-rich food and feed grown on a smaller environmental footprint. We go beyond science to make affordable nutrition more sustainable, with marketable differentiation for growers. Discover how we are transforming carbon to nutrition: zeakal.com or @zeakal on Twitter.

Media Contact

Jennifer Goldston
AgTech PR for ZeaKal
[email protected]