Birmingham, Alabama 26 May 2011 – Kirchner Private Capital Group (the “Kirchner Group”) announces the formation of the Kirchner Food Security Group (“KFSG”) to pursue opportunities related to the challenges of producing sufficient food to feed the world’s expanding population.
“These are extraordinarily crucial times as the world struggles with the ability to feed itself,” said W.B (Bud) Kirchner, Founding Managing Partner of the Kirchner Group. “This global food crisis is fuelling unprecedented interest in innovative technologies to improve agricultural production and promote food security in both developed and developing countries. Our long history in the agricultural industry coupled with our deep operational and investing experience positions us well to identify and support the growth of entrepreneurial companies to meet this demand.”
The Kirchner Food Security Group (http://foodsecuritygroup.com) is focused on supporting technologies related to advanced fertilizers and related solutions, enhanced nutrient dynamics, seeds and genetics, pest and disease control and post harvest technologies. KFSG’s initial role will be to resolve the business challenges restricting the deployment of high potential agricultural technologies.
Taylor Pursell, a cofounder of KFSG and the former CEO of Pursell Industries, Inc., one of the oldest and largest specialty fertilizer companies in the United States, added “We are at the beginning of a dramatic shift in world focus to the issue of food security. There are tremendous opportunities for those who can combine agricultural technology know how with the necessary business savvy and access to growth capital. Controlled release fertilizers and other inputs commonly used in specialty markets will make major inroads into mainstream agriculture in order to increase yields and reduce the environmental impact. We will be at the front of this pack developing and commercializing breakthrough technologies.”
KFSG is supported by a world class advisory board which includes, in addition to Kirchner and Pursell, the following initial members:
- John Shields is the former CEO of the National Fertilizer Development Center and is currently involved in research at the International Fertilizer Development Center (the “IFDC”). Most of the fertilizer technology in use today was developed by the National Fertilizer Development Center under John’s leadership. John has an extensive academic background in agriculture and has over 30 years experience in various leadership roles in fertilizer research and development and with related technology transfers.
- John D. White is a partner with Murphree Venture Partners LP in Houston and co-founder, chairman of the board and CEO of Standard Renewable Energy Group. John is a former chair and current member of the Board of Regents of Texas A&M University and a member of the board of directors of the Houston Technology Center. John received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
- Gaëtan Lussier is the initial Chair of the Canadian Agri-food Policy Institute, dedicated to identifying issues and opportunities affecting the future of the Canadian agri-food economy. Mr. Lussier is a former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and of the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Mr. Lussier is also a former President of Weston Bakeries Quebec, a former President and CEO of Culinar, a member of the Order of Canada and serves on numerous boards of directors.
The Kirchner Food Security Group and its affiliates are developing an unprecedented strategic network with key thought leaders in food security issues in order to act as a conduit for the development of agricultural efficiency solutions. The relationship with these institutions varies per situation and includes Memorandums of Understanding, some formal business relationships for specific projects and for those organizations funded by donor programs an appropriate relationship. To date, KFSG has signed agreements providing for cooperative efforts to identify and support early stage agricultural technologies with Texas A&M University System, Office of Technology Commercialization (http://otc.tamu.edu), the National Research Council of Canada – Plant Biotechnology Institute (http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca) and the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture (http://borlaug.tamu.edu). The Group also has relationships with the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), Virtual Fertilizer Research Center (VFRC) and Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI).
Brett Cornwell from Texas A&M University System, Office of Technology Commercialization (“TAMUS”) commented “We look forward to working with the Kirchner Food Security Group and their agricultural team on projects to help identify and assess potential technologies and to assist in the deployment of technologies with our partners around the world.”
Kirchner added “An increasingly affluent world population rocketing past seven billion this year is increasing food demand; agricultural production will need to increase by 70% to 100% by 2050 to meet future demand. Yet, crop yield gains are currently increasing at a slower rate than population growth. These are problems that cannot be solved by governments alone but require the innovation and entrepreneurship of the private sector. This is where we can help.”
About the Kirchner Group
The Kirchner Group (www.kirchnergroup.com) is patterned after the original model for a merchant bank. Our team is comprised of successful business people who now apply their operational, transactional and investment experience to the unique needs of early and mid-stage companies and their investors with a strong focus on the agricultural sector. We pride ourselves in both the quality and quantity of the long-term relationships we have built over the last 26 years.
For inquiries, please contact:
W.B. (Bud) Kirchner
Founding Managing Partner
Kirchner Private Capital Group