Shultz joined Arcadia in 2019, and he’s played a vital role in the development of its breeding technologies while working closely with the hemp grower community.
In his new role, Shultz will lead the execution of Arcada’s multi-year strategic plan to become a market leader in hemp innovations while continuing to advance its GoodWheat pipeline, the company said.
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"We're fortunate to have a seasoned and innovative R&D strategist like Randy at the helm as we enact and expedite our plans for the budding multi-billion dollar hemp industry," CEO Matthew Plavan said in a statement. "Randy has played an integral role in the development and rollout of ArcaTech, a proprietary crop-agnostic discovery platform that will help us meet growers' demand for quality and compliant seeds and unlock the full potential of this plant in the industrial and food ingredient markets."
All told, Shultz brings more than two decades of experience in plant science and agricultural biology to the table. Prior to joining Arcadia, he served as director of R&D and director of R&D strategy at Inari Agriculture. Before that, he led numerous scientific production teams at Monsanto, including their genome editing platform.
"Since joining Arcadia last year, it has been rewarding to apply my experience in plant breeding and genomics to the improvement of a previously uncharted crop like hemp," Shultz said. "It's an honor to accept this new role building out a disruptive technology platform for Arcadia that holds such promise for growers, businesses and consumers alike."
Davis, California-based Arcadia focuses on three strategic crops: wheat, soybeans and hemp. The company's GoodWheat product line, which delivers nutritionally enhanced ingredients such as high fiber resistant starch and reduced gluten wheat varieties, recently made its commercial debut.
Since launching its hemp operation in 2019, the company has been rapidly prototyping novel non-genetically-modified hemp varieties targeting certain quality and performance characteristics. The proprietary discovery process, ArcaTech, combines Arcadia’s breeding science and genomics technology with real-time market intelligence from the field, the company said.
Arcadia is relying on what it calls “Elite growers” enrolled in its GoodHemp Innovation Partners program, located in six major hubs across the US, to provide feedback and guide the company’s development strategies.
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