2019 Innovation Lab Events


The STEMconnector Food & Ag Careers Innovation Lab is a membership group with the goal of engaging the next generation in STEM careers in food and agriculture. The Innovation Lab is a reimagining of the prior STEM Food & Ag Council of STEMconnector, whose vision is to develop the requisite human capital to drive the innovation necessary to sustainably feed over nine billion people by 2050. The Food & Ag Careers Innovation Lab convenes key players from industry, non-profits, higher education, and the public sector in order to maximize impact through collective action.

About Feed, Nourish, Thrive

Launched by the STEM Food & Ag Careers Innovation Lab in 2015, Feed, Nourish, Thrive is an initiative to help those currently making decisions about their future (largely high school, undergraduate and graduate students) explore various interesting and fulfilling STEM careers in food and agriculture. The vision of the project is to create and curate a portal with dynamic content to engage young people in an interesting way.

 The Feed, Nourish, Thrive site will be continually modified and updated, to accommodate the changing opinions and interests of the target audience. The Innovation Lab will use external and internal channels, including live events, to reach as wind an audience as possible. 

To see the site please click here.

Why Food & Agriculture?

Innovation Lab Benefits

STEMconnector Innovation Labs explore specific components of the STEM talent gaps and, through facilitated roundtable discussions, surface possible solutions. Benefits of Labs include opportunities to:

  • Branding- Each member organization will receive branding in all relevant documents, blog posts, press releases and presentations
  • Project Working Groups – Member organizations may join a Working Group of their choice
  • Online Content – Member organizations may highlight people, programs and initiatives of their choice on FeedNourishThrive.com
  • Research – Research and reports conducted by Innovation Lab members and partner organizations will be shared with Lab members
  • Networking – Formal and informal networking, both physically and through virtual convenings, with other high-level, like-minded individuals working in STEM food and ag fields

Key Past Activities

  • 2014 – Release of Food & Ag Workforce Report 
  • 2015 – Launch of Feed, Nourish, Thrive Campaign 
  • 2016 – Launch of FeedNourishThrive.com 
  • 2017 – Inaugural #AGis Outreach Event

Participants of Lab Meetings Have Included:


  • ADM 
  • CHS 
  • Cargill 
  • Diversified Search 
  • DowDuPont 
  • Mead JohnsonNutrition 
  • Monsanto 
  • Nationwide 
  • PepsiCo 
  • Smithfield Foods 

Professional Societies: 

  • Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environment Science Societies 
  • American Society of Plant Biologists 
  • International Food Information Council 

Youth Development Organizations: 

  • Agriculture Future of America 
  • MIND Research Institute 
  • National FFA Organization 

Community Colleges: 

  • Des Moines Area Community College 
  • Ivy Tech Community College 


  • American Farm Bureau Foundation 
  • Noble Foundation 


  • USDA: Agriculture Research Service 
  • Economic Research Service 
  • Food & Nutrition Science 
  • Research Education & Economics 


  • Tuskegee University 
  • University of California, Davis 
  • Florida International University 

Past Projects

STEM Food & Ag Council Annual Report

In 2014, the STEM Food & Ag Council worked to create a story that clearly captures the food and agriculture industry’s human capital needs and the enormous career opportunities that it offers anyone who wants to make a difference in the world. This annual report is the culmination of our work. It laid out our insights and direction, and offered a common path for creating a more robust food and ag human capital pipeline. We offer it with the fervent hope that it will be an important step toward leading the way to global food security in the decades ahead. Whether you are in agribusiness, an educator or perhaps a young person with an interest in STEM careers, this is your opportunity to be a part of something big. Join us and together let’s eliminate global hunger.

A Conversation Between Current and Future Leaders

On April 27, 2017, the Lab simulcasted a Town Hall in Jack Morton Auditorium at The George Washington University. With the goal of increasing awareness of STEM Career Opportunities in Food and Agriculture the event targeted college-aged students who have a demonstrated interest and aptitude in STEM fields. There was a live audience comprised of students from member institutions and local schools. Speakers included senior, high level executives from Food and Agribusiness who spoke about the opportunities and trends in the field. Students in the live audience and throughout the world had the opportunity to interact with speakers and ask questions, aided by technology. An emphasis was put on global participation from various locations, including live interaction.