About Us

Born in the field.

Jord BioScience blends science, operational excellence and commercialization experience to deliver custom microbial solutions for the world’s leading ag companies.

The company was created to translate nearly four decades of basic and applied research to real-world applications and bring to life the values of protecting and sustaining our Earth. Dr. Linda Kinkel and her team of University of Minnesota researchers systematically collected thousands of unique soil microbes from diverse crop systems, prairie and forest habitats from around the world to understand the interactions among soil microbes that influence plant productivity.

What they discovered, tested and validated is the ability of certain microbial interactions to specifically enhance other beneficial bacteria in the soil to help protect, stimulate and feed a wide range of plants, boosting plant productivity. Today, Jord BioScience’s proprietary technology and custom formulations are available to commercialize and incorporate with products in the market to extend lifecycle or in development to enhance crop performance, drive more consistent results and expand market adoption.

Key Milestones

  • 1990
    Dr. Linda Kinkel begins research the University of Minnesota.

  • 1992
    First comprehensive collection and phenotypic characterization of Minnesota suppressive soil populations.

  • 1996
    Expanded collection to diverse croppings systems.

  • 2006
    Initiated global microbial collection.

  • 2016
    Company commercialization and outside investment begins.

  • 2019
    Jord BioScience finalized technology license from University of Minnesota.

  • 2020
    Jord BioScience opens and establishes field tests across eight states on potato, soybean and alfalfa crops.

  • 2021
    Jord BioScience expands commercial development relationships.

Leadership Team

Dr. Keri Carstens

President, CEO & Member of the Board

Dr. Keri Carstens leads Jord BioScience. She grew up on a farm, continues to farm, and has devoted her career to delivering safe, sustainable solutions that benefit farmers globally. Keri brings innovation and commercial experience applicable to our technology and a proven record to recruit and develop top talent  as we build a world class team to serve our customers. Prior to Jord, Keri led global regulatory strategy for Corteva Agriscience, where she also served in key roles in regulatory science, program management, and on the leadership team to build and launch Corteva’s seed applied technologies and biologicals businesses. She is a recognized industry leader, having served as chair of the American Seed Trade Association’s Seed Treatment & Environment Committee, as well as service for the Honey Bee Health Coalition and Entomological Society of America.

Dr. Linda Kinkel

Chief Science Officer & Board of Directors

Dr. Kinkel is the founder of Jord BioScience, built on the findings and applied insights of her breakthrough research at the University of Minnesota. She leads our development work to create technologies that provide customizable improved performance and consistency for today’s global agriculture leaders. After 30 years of research and countless research grants dedicated to improving agriculture, she realized her work would have little impact on growers in the real world without taking the leap to commercialization. Today, the growing Jord BioScience team fulfills her vision of creating a more sustainable world.

Dr. Andrea Arias

VP - Data Science and Crop Testing

Dr. Andrea Arias leads the management and development of our data and analytics and crop testing.  She has more than ten years of experience in agricultural product development, machine learning, artificial intelligence and analytics to improve products and product development processes. Prior to joining Jord, she was the Global Data Science Lead at Corteva Agriscience and a Corteva Laureate. In her previous roles, Andrea led  teams of data science experts supporting seed, biological, seed treatment, and crop protection product development. Andrea adds to our talented team and diversity of thought to accelerate our deep insights as we unlock the microbiome for ag. She is highly active in scientific and cross industry associations like National association of Plant Breeders (NAPB), and Chief Data and Analytics Officer Community, as well as a member and mentor of organizations focused on inclusion, diversity and equity like SACNAS. Her passion outside of helping our Commercial Partners win is playing tennis and she is a ranked player and our in-house pro.

Dr. Briana Kozlowicz

VP - Lab Operations & Product Development

Dr. Kozlowicz is a microbiologist with specialty in microbiome genetics and microbial physiology, and has more than 13 years of experience in product development in the feed, food, health, and industrial sectors. Prior to joining Jord, she served as Microbiome Director for Cargill, where she led a global team to build and manage the microbiome capabilities and programs to create new and support existing microbiome modulating products for animal health and production. Briana has a breadth of project and program management experience, and a track record of data-driven product development. She adds to our talented team and diversity of thought to accelerate product development as we unlock the microbiome for crop production.

Board of Directors and Advisors

Kip Pendleton

Chair of the Board

Kip is the Chair of the Board of Jord Bioscience. He grew up on a farm in Champaign County, Illinois and works in the family business of helping feed the world. He has led four companies with teams as large as 800 people in public, private and emerging sectors. He has been Chair or a Board Member of eight Ag Tech companies. His focus has always been on commercializing and scaling new technology solutions to the market that create value. Having been a part of more than 30 mergers and acquisitions he understands how to build and scale a strong value-driven organization to meet the mission-critical needs of Agriculture and Food.

Dr. Peter Innes

Board of Directors

Peter has more than 35 years of experience in the agribusiness and biotechnology industries. Innes started his career in plant breeding and has rich experience bringing impactful biological solutions to market. Previously, Peter served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Becker Underwood, Inc., which was acquired by BASF in 2012. Peter has served on numerous Boards of Directors, including currently serving on the Board of Indigo Agriculture.

Erik Torgerson

Board of Directors

Erik Torgerson has over 30 years of financial and investment industry experience. He is very active as a private investor and works closely with management teams to successfully execute their strategic growth plans and assist them with capital formation, strategic planning, and acquisitions. Erik is a former partner and senior advisor at Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) in Minneapolis, Minn. He joined NEP in 1993 and over the course of his career focused on growth financings, recapitalizations, and management buyouts in the agriculture, distribution, manufacturing, and communications industries across North America, Latin America, and Europe. At NEP, Erik was on the board of Becker Underwood. Erik currently serves as chairman of the board of Sentera LLC and Pure Archery (a NEP portfolio company), and as a director of Native Microbials, Inc., Jord Biosciences, Discovery Capital Advisory Board, as a trustee of the University of Minnesota Foundation, and is a member of the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business Advisory Board and the Tippie Society.

Russ Straate


Russ heads up the Technology Commercialization Venture Center team, which is responsible for leading the formation and launch of new companies based on a broad range of technologies coming out of the research enterprise at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Mike Smanski

Science Advisory Board

As an associate professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics and the BioTechnology Institute, Mike is currently developing technologies to engineer biology in ways that address challenges in medicine, agriculture and the environment. Mike is also the Deputy CTO for BioMADE, a USA Manufacturing Innovation Institute focused on accelerating the commercialization of new bio-industrial manufacturing technologies.

Dr. Will Harcombe

Science Advisory Board

Will is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior and the BioTechnology Institute. He is integrating systems biology and evolutionary ecology to develop tools to understand, predict and manage complex microbial communities. He has developed novel methods of genome-scale metabolic modeling and high throughput microbial experimentation to quantitatively understand the dynamics of microbial systems.

Dr. Daryl Gohl

Science Advisory Board

Daryl leads the University of Minnesota Genomics Center’s Innovation Lab. His research has focused on developing novel tools and technologies for answering biological questions and improving genomics-based measurements of the microbiome. In addition to his academic work, Daryl was a co-founder and CSO of CoreBiome, Inc. (now Diversigen, Inc.) a microbiome sequencing and analysis company.

Meet The Growing Team of “Jordians”

Sarija Janardhanan

Data Scientist

Sarija has a M.S. in Data Science from the University of St. Thomas. Her passion towards solving problems using machine learning algorithms advances the innovative transformation of raw data into biological and commercial insights.

Sara Bachmeier

Research Assistant

Sara graduated from North Dakota State University with a B.S. in Biology. Her experience working with Fusarium diseases in soybean provides roots in both plant and laboratory experiments that aids in the growth of Jord’s technology.

Evelyn Hayhurst

Research Assistant

Evelyn graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Biology and experience in soil ecology and plant pathology. Evelyn has a foundation well rooted to contribute to the Jord laboratory research team.

Owen Geier

Research Assistant

Owen graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Plant Science and is a specialist in mycology. It’s been his obsession since High School. Owen brings lab experience in plant and clinical pathology to contribute to the Jord laboratory research team.

Kate Philips

Research Assistant

Kate graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Biochemistry and has a passion for science to change the World from an early age. She has lab experience in microbial natural product discovery and unique skill set to contribute to the Jord laboratory research team.

Stephen Heinsch

Bioinformatics Scientist

Stephen received his PhD from the University of Minnesota. Stephen will drive our bioinformatics approaches to help us further characterize and categorize our +6500 microbial collection, and other collections, for our clients. Stephen brings to Jord direct experience in microbial omics, genome engineering and bioinformatics science; in addition, Stephen has strong industry IT and lab automation experience, and will help us build out our systems and analytics approaches across Jord. Stephen’s passions are cycling, language, and hobby electronics.

Join our team as we unleash the potential of the microbial movement.

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