Former Tesla and Impossible Foods executive joins agtech start-up Iron Ox as the first Independent Board Member

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AUTHOR: Tilly St Aubyn

The Series-B stage agtech firm, Iron Ox, recently announced the appointment of Rachel Konrad to their board amid rapid business expansion. The California-based company appears to be scaling up its manufacturing and retail operations, having recently acquired a new 535,000 square foot site in Lockheart, Texas, as well as hiring further roles including plant scientists, engineers, greenhouse operators and roboticists.

Iron Ox seeks to sustainably innovate the farming industry through the use of artificial intelligence and robotics. On a mission to solve food insecurity, Iron Ox’s hydroponic automation enables farms to use 90% less water than traditional methods whilst generating thirty times more produce per acre. The precision-based technology facilitates optimal growth environments, resulting in sustainable, fresh and nutritious food for local communities as well as reduced labour intensity. In some areas of California, Iron Ox’s progressive approach is already being used to supply global retailer, Whole Foods.

Rachel Konrad, joins the board from Impossible Foods where she held the position of Chief Communications Officer for five years, working directly under CEO Pat Brown. From 2011–2016, she worked as Global Head of Communications and Marketing at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. Prior to this, she was Director of Communications at Tesla where she reported directly to Elon Musk.

“We can’t solve our planet’s climate crisis without radical changes to the way we make food”, says Konrad. “Iron Ox’s intellectual property portfolio can usher in a new era of farming that produces food sustainably and ethically. But honestly, I was sold after my first whiff of Iron Ox basil.”

“Rachel understands the unique power of disruptive startups to shift entire industries and force even the most entrenched incumbents to do the right thing for people and the planet.”, explains Brandon Alexander, Iron Ox CEO and Co-Founder. “Her unique perspective will help Iron Ox refine and execute our ambitious strategy. As our first independent board member, we expect Rachel to help us set a new standard for inclusive governance in corporate America.”, he concludes.

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