Skip to main content
Gifts and Awards

Tackling Nutrient Use From Multiple Angles

Verdesian Life Sciences is deeply invested in maximizing the health of plants with its support of the N.C. PSI.

Verdesian Life Sciences Study Room

NC State’s new Plant Sciences Building is buzzing. On any given day, industry partners may be meeting in a conference room down the hall from nuclear engineers and soil scientists developing plasma fertigation systems while students attend a machine learning workshop in the seminar rooms downstairs. For a building designed to create interdisciplinary and inter-industry collisions, it hits above its weight.

Just 20 minutes northwest of the Plant Sciences Building (PSB), a group of similarly-minded people are using advanced science to maximize the health of plants in their own way. As the latest donor to the PSB, Verdesian Life Sciences is exactly the kind of industry partner the building was designed to bring in. Verdesian aims to “enable a sustainable future for farmers through nutrient use efficiency […] by developing products and technologies that help farmers grow more with less.”

Verdesian now has a study room named after it in the PSB, but its support doesn’t end there. Verdesian has been a uniquely involved partner for the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative, having already sponsored the 2022 CALS Ag Day Tailgate as well as two reception events and a poster session during Phosphorous Week hosted recently by the STEPS Center. Verdesian’s continued and varied support illustrates its enthusiasm for and commitment to the success of the N.C. PSI and its potential impact.

We sat down with Matt Lail, Verdesian’s Director of Marketing Communications and Public Relations, to dig into why the company decided to give back. As an NC State alum himself, Lail couldn’t be more excited and hopeful for Verdesian’s collaboration with the N.C. PSI.

What is Verdesian’s connection to NC State?

With our close proximity in Cary, we’ve enjoyed some great partnerships over the years with respect to research and trial work, but we also have several enthusiastic NC State alums working in a variety of departments at our headquarters. Among others, our Chief Science Officer, Dr. Kuide Qin, boasts multiple degrees from NC State and I graduated from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1997.

Why did Verdesian decide to support the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative?

Agriculture is an ever-changing industry that will require the best and brightest moving forward to solve the many challenges that ag faces. We felt it was important to show that we realize the next generation of experts is being educated right now to do great things. As the leading land grant institution in the state, NC State makes a lot of sense for us with which to partner.

From an industry perspective, how do you think the NC State Plant Sciences Building will help foster innovation?

Phosphorus use is a big deal. All of us in this industry know that – and have known that for some time. Agricultural leaders now have a tremendous resource on our side to help direct that conversation in a way that will result in measurable changes. The PSB also allows for a connection to the entire growing system instead of individual disciplines, for example, integrating soil science with crop science, chemistry, data science, and engineering altogether.

How do Verdesian’s mission and methods align with N.C. PSI and the STEPS Center?

We’re “The Nutrient Use Efficiency People” for a reason. Everything we do at Verdesian has the best, long-term interest of the grower in mind. Our portfolio enhances nutrient uptake, reduces nutrient losses to the environment and improves yield potential. That aligns so perfectly with STEPS as we are intimately involved in the challenge of phosphorus use.

What makes the STEPS Center unique among other institutions working on nutrient use efficiency?

What excites us is how thoroughly STEPS is focusing on Phosphorus and its current and long-term use and availability. It’s not just about agriculture and the impact of P runoff in the Chesapeake Bay area, but it’s about all the myriad ways that everyone around the world has a need for Phosphorus – but also around how we can be efficient and effective with it. We all have a part to play in Phosphorus efficiency, and STEPS is helping to lead the way.  

You partner with several universities and research institutions. What unique outcomes are possible when private industry partners with public universities?

There is a definite trust factor that comes when a private entity aligns itself with a well-respected public university – particularly one that is so ingrained in creating practical solutions for farmers. It also allows us the ability to pulse-check our technologies in an objective setting which allows for unbiased findings – something that is key in our industry. We’re able to drive innovation through scientific understanding with the research university collaboration.