About Soil in Formation

Soil in Formation (SIF) is a U.S. public benefit corporation that aims to restore soil health across the world by scaling accurate soil health measurement technology and developing a contextual data platform for key stakeholders.

SIF aims to enable informed decisions based on affordable and auditable soil data that will drive sustainable and transparent government subsidy systems, carbon markets and supply chain metrics. Founded by leaders with decades of expertise in the corporate food and agriculture world, SIF aims to help dramatically improve global soil health.

Management Team

Henry Rowlands

CEO

Henry has been advising governments and pension funds on agricultural metrics for over a decade. He is also Founder of The Detox Project, which manages the Glyphosate Residue Free international certification program for food and supplement brands and also promotes and assists on the development of new technology to measure food contaminants. He also Founded Sustainable Pulse an online international media focusing on sustainable agriculture and sustainable food.

Harriette Brainard

Director of Operations

Harriette is a systems, sustainability and educational consultant. She was an early food, health and planetary health pioneer, farm to fork restaurant owner, educator, coach, journalist and publisher. Advisor to initiatives building regenerative finance, food systems/fiber circularity. Associate with Imagine.World and North Star Transition. Founding board member of C-Change Conversations.

Jeremy Bennett

Technology Lead

Jeremy is a data engineer and architect with 22 years of experience designing and building robust, resilient and scalable solutions for enterprises and startups. He spent 10 years at Nielsen as a VP of Engineering building products that served as a digital currency for audience measurement. Prior to joining Nielsen, he was lead architect for a successful advertising measurement startup Vizu.

Board Members

Thomas Newmark

Co-Founder and Director

Tom was CEO of dietary supplement company New Chapter, which was acquired in 2012 by Proctor & Gamble. He is co-owner of Finca Luna Nueva Lodge, a farm and ecolodge in the mountainous rainforest of Costa Rica that teaches regenerative agriculture. He is also the co-founder of The Carbon Underground.

Larry Kopald

Co-Founder and Director

Larry spent 25 years managing advertising for global brands like McDonalds, Coke, and Honda. He was CEO of Think Technologies, co-founder of The Carbon Underground and is a Senior Fellow, Marshall School of Business at USC, and a member of World Economic Forum’s Carbon and Technology Committee.

Anna Van Der Hurd

Director

Anna Van Der Hurd is the Chief Executive Officer for The A Team Foundation, a U.K. based philanthropic charity that supports food and land projects that are ecologically, economically and socially conscious, contributing to the wider movement that envisions a future where nutritious food is produced by enlightened agriculture and all will have access. Anna has guided the Foundation’s strategic direction, grant and impact investment portfolio since The A Team’s inception in 2009.

Howard Fischer

Director

Chief Evangelist of Gratitude Railroad, a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in seed/startup through buyout investments in food, agriculture, resource efficiency, and environmental and social problems. Previously head trader and co-manager of the institutional convertible trading desk at Smith Barney and a convertible trader at Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Gig Kaplan

Director

Giora Kaplan, also known as Gig, is a technology inventor and entrepreneur. He was a Co-Founder of Wix.com in 2006, also serving as its Chief Technology Officer. He was also Co-Founder of Promotix, and is Co-Founder of soil health related MRV Collective.

Jack Wielebinski

Director

Jack has spent the entirety of his career in the financial services industry beginning as an investment banking analyst and later expanding his acumen to work inside both the fund management and advisory businesses and most recently as the head of investor relations at a publicly-traded company called GAN. During his tenure with GAN, Jack built out the entire investor relations function, beginning as a <$100MM microcap company listed on the London Stock Exchange, and supporting market cap to grow to over $1B post-uplist on the NASDAQ. Jack also holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson’s School of Management. At One Small Planet’s Fire Fund, Jack oversees the entirety of the fund’s operations, from business development and deal sourcing to execution, capital deployment and fund management. Jack is passionate about making the world a better place.

Advisory Board Members

Dr. Hans R. Herren

President and CEO, Millennium Institute, Co-Founder and President Biovision, Recipient of the World Food Prize, Recipient of the Alternative Nobel Prize

Dr. Herren is an internationally recognized scientist who lived and worked for 27 years across Africa in agriculture, health, and environmental research and capacity development. As Director of the Africa Biological Control Center of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria, he conceived and implemented the highly successful biological control program against the cassava mealy bug and the green mite that saved the cassava crop, the staple of 200 million Africans and averted Africa’s worst-ever food crisis. For this achievement, he was the first Swiss to receive the World Food Prize in 1995. He is also the founder of Biovision Foundation, Switzerland. He is a member of the World Future Council since 2018.

Dr. Kofi Boa

Executive Director and Founder of Howard G. Buffett Institute Center for No-Till Agriculture

Dr. Boa studied agricultural science at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana and agronomy at the University of Nebraska. Early in his career he worked as an on-farm research scientist at the Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Ghana. Now Boa works independently through the Center for No-Till Agriculture, the organization he founded with support from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The Center also hosts research done by The Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University, for which he serves as Senior Advisor.

Dr. Tim LaSalle

Co-Founder and Director of Outreach and Development, Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems, California State University – Chico

Dr. LaSalle has served as the first CEO of Rodale Institute, Executive Director of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management, consultant, advisor, and research coordinator for the Howard Buffett Foundation in Africa on soils and food security for smallholder farmers. He is Professor Emeritus of California Polytechnic State University, and former President/CEO of the California Agriculture Leadership Program where he arranged educational leadership programs in more than 80 countries with heads of state, ministers, and community leaders.

Daniela Ibarra-Howell

Co-Founder and CEO, Savory Institute

A native Argentinian, born and raised in Buenos Aires, Ms. Ibarra-Howell is an agronomist by profession and holds a MS in Natural Resource Management and Economics. With over 25 years of international experience in ranching, Holistic Management, and collaborative ecosystem restoration programs, Ms. Ibarra-Howell co-founded with Allan Savory and other colleagues the Savory Institute in 2009, and became its CEO in 2011. Since then she has led her team in the design and implementation of a revolutionary entrepreneurial, self-sustaining global impact strategy for large-scale restoration of grasslands through Holistic Management to tackle global food and water security, and climate change issues.

Dr. Eduard Muller

Founder, University for International Cooperation and Regenerate Costa Rica

Founder and rector of the University for International Cooperation since 1994 working on permanent innovation in education, leading UCI to be a pioneer in online education in over 60 countries. Dr. Muller is currently a member of the World Intellectual Forum, India; Senior Lecturer, UNESCO Chair of Biosphere Reserves and Natural and Mixed Heritage Sites at UCI; member of the Scientific Council on Climate Change - 4C of Costa Rica and; Member of the Global Council of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance – WEAll.

Dr. Paul Luu

Executive Secretary, 4 per 1000 Initiative

Dr. Luu is an agronomist specialized in tropical agronomy, graduate from AgroParisTech, the Institute of tropical areas and the University of Montpellier (PhD). Dr. Luu years spent nine years developing the agriculture of French overseas departments and territories as Technical Advisor "Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry" and as Director of ODEADOM. Since September 2016, Dr. Luu is Executive Secretary of the “4 per 1000 Initiative: Soils for food security and climate”, launched at COP 21 in Paris.

Key Scientific Team

Dr Shalini Prasad

Director of the Biomedical Microdevices and Nanotechnology Lab at University of Texas at Dallas

Dr. Prasad is the Director of the Biomedical Microdevices and Nanotechnology Lab at University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Prasad's research interests are multi-disciplinary. They include the engineering of multi-functional nanomaterials for designing portable, “point-of-care” devices and platforms for cellular and molecular diagnostics. Her current research interests focus on addressing public health challenges of rapid and cost-effective diagnostics that have applicability in the diagnosis of various diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Prasad was recently elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). She is the first bioengineer at UTD to earn the honor.

Dr. Anil Somenahally

Associate Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University

Dr. Somenahally is an Associate Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. Dr. Somenahally’s research focus is on understanding soil microbial communities and functions in the rhizosphere environment. Other areas of interest include identifying novel and competent plant beneficial microbes for biofertilization, disease suppression and bioremediation. He applies biogeochemical analysis and genomic tools to characterize soil microbial communities and functional responses. Currently, Dr. Somenahally’s research goals are to identify soil management techniques to improve plant beneficial microbial interactions, soil health and nutritional quality of foods, and increase soil carbon capture.

Dr. Saurav Kumar

Assistant Professor, School of Sustainable Engineering, Arizona State University

Dr. Kumar is an Assistant Professor and part of the hydrosystems engineering group in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. He is interested in developing methods that integrate disparate data streams to enhance sustainable water management. His current research focuses on developing hybrid models for carbon and water systems, integrating aerial and satellite remote sensing with water system models, and developing hyperspectral signal acquisition and processing models.