Embracing women in leadership: Pheronym welcomes Bio-Ag leader Dr. Pam Marrone to the board of directors

Dr. Fatma Kaplan
5 min readSep 18, 2021

Dr. Marrone’s accomplishments have had an extraordinarily positive impact on the agriculture and food industry. Dr. Marrone started three successful, high-impact agricultural natural product companies (Novo Nordisk Entotech, Inc., AgraQuest, Inc., Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc.,) to bring sustainable, eco-friendly pest control to farmers. At AgraQuest, she developed eight products from three active ingredients (two microbials and one adjuvant). Serenade® Biofungicide for vine, fruit, nut, and vegetable crops became the biofungicide industry standard. At Marrone Bio Innovations, she commercialized ten award-winning products from six active ingredients including one to control invasive zebra and quagga mussels. She also developed a nematicidal/insecticidal seed treatment used on millions of acres of corn, soy, and cotton acres. Further products are on the pipeline: three more EPA-approved and one more submitted including three bioherbicides and a biofumigant. Furthermore, Dr. Marrone was way ahead of her time when she decided to bring her vision to agriculture. She had major challenges ahead of her. She had to knock down barriers to bring innovative, science-based, and environmentally responsible natural product solutions to market. She has changed the paradigm of how to discover and develop new products based on optimization of natural product chemistry as well as how these products are used by farmers in integrated programs with conventional solutions for a better return on investment (ROI) to the farmer. Currently, we are all becoming familiar with the benefits of soil health and biological solutions. Now, consumers are enjoying the option to buy food that is treated with organic pest control solutions thanks to Dr. Marrone’s efforts for the past 30 years.

Dr. Marrone has created opportunities not only for her company but also for anyone in the biopesticide industry. To be successful she needed to improve the market perception and credibility of biopesticides in the agriculture pest control industry. This was a difficult task. So, in 2000, she started the Biopesticide Industry Alliance trade group (now called the Bioproducts Industry Alliance with hundreds of members) that required industry members to adhere to a set of quality and efficacy…

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