iHemp Summit

iHemp Summit & Expo

Jo Townshend

Research and Development Manager at Midlands

Jo is a Research Agronomist who leads a small but able team of applied research specialists at Midlands in Ashburton. This is where the ‘rubber meets the road’ for many new technologies in the arable sector. Current leading agronomic research at Midlands includes endophytes, biopesticides, biostimulants, chemical free production systems, carbon & nutrient foot-printing, assisted insect pollination systems, IPM, AI learning and interactive grower guidance platforms. In Jo’s opinion it is our responsibility to make sure that every input has a reason and every seed counts. Innovation, best practice, quality assurance and compliance are everyday expectations in the world of global seed & food trade. It is Jo’s vision that Industrial Hemp grown and processed in New Zealand will one day sit alongside other globally accepted plant-based consumer products and she has spent the best part of 16 years working with this crop at the ground roots level to accomplish this. Jo has a strong interest in sustainable food production systems and rural communities. Outside of work, she tries to incorporate these principles into her own small community and 60Ha farm on the Canterbury Plains, which keeps her at the coalface of rural life.