Kip Tom has been nominated to serve as the US Ambassador to the United Nations for Food and Agriculture.
Tom, who runs Tom Farms in Leesburg, Indiana with operations in Argentina, served on President Donald Trump’s agriculture advisory committee during his presidential campaign. Under his leadership, Tom Farms became the largest contract seed producer for DuPont Pioneer, and is currently one of Monsanto’s largest seed producers running an operation of nearly 20,000 acres.
Tom is a keen proponent of agrifood tech adoption across the industry, trialing many startup technologies Tom Farms where his colleagues have recently been working with AgFunder portfolio company Solinftec as one of Solinftec’s inaugural US customers. He was also an advisor to Granular, the farm management software startup that exited to DuPont last year, and earlier this year he joined online venture capital platform AgFunder’s advisory board.
“If confirmed by the US Senate to serve as the US Ambassador to the UN for Food and Agriculture, I will look forward to serving our country and having a positive lasting impact on those around the world who are food insecure and oftentimes living in poverty or in the midst of civil conflict,” Tom told AgFunderNews. “We will need to continue to better leverage the effective resources used in the past in order to curb famine globally. But today we are at the dawn of a new area in agriculture as it relates to technology and its impact to productivity; it is my belief that the agtech sector can play a critical role around the world in developing nations. If we have the ability, we have the obligation. I challenge all of you in agtech to get involved.”
Tom serves on the boards of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Future Farmers of America Foundation, and the National 4-H Foundation. He is also the recipient of the 2015 Agriculture Future of America Ag Leader of the Year Award.
If confirmed by the Senate, Tom would be the head of the United States Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome, which makes him the United States ambassador to the three United Nations agencies: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Programme.
“Whether it is information and technology or equipment technology, there are technologies that will help our agriculture industry deliver a sustainable, affordable, and nutritious supply of food to global consumers,” he told AgFunderNews in 2016. “It’s exciting, but what is most exciting is when we see collaboration between people in the field, who understand what we need, and developers in places like Mountain View, Palo Alto, and San Francisco. Also, we have an investment community saying this is something new that we haven’t paid much attention to.”