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The ACS Award for Innovation in Chemistry of Agriculture is given to an active researcher working in North America for a chemical innovation that significantly enhances agricultural or veterinary pest management and productivity. Nominations should be received by the award committee chair by December 31 of each year. Contact James Seiber, AGRO Awards Committee Chair, 530-752-1141 for more information.

2019 Awardee

Pamela G. Marrone is the CEO/Founder of Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI), a company she started in 2006 to discover and develop bio-based products for pest management and plant health. On August 2, 2013, MBI listed its stock as MBII on NASDAQ.

The company’s award-winning products are used in fruit, nut, vegetable, and row crop markets. MBI is also marketing Zequanox® for invasive zebra and quagga mussels. MBI has several more products in the pipeline, including a biofumigant and three bioherbicides.  

In January 2019, Pam was awarded the “Sustie” award by the Ecological Farming Association for her decades-long leadership in sustainable agriculture. She received Agrow’s Best Manager with Strategic Vision for her career-long leadership in biopesticides in October 2014. She is also the receipient of Natural Resources Defense Council’s Growing Green Award in the Business Leader category which recognizes new pioneers in sustainable farming and food. The company received the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award and a California Department of Pesticide Regulation IPM Innovator award.  

Pam founded AgraQuest in 1995 and served as its CEO, Chairman and President until March 2006. AgraQuest commercialized biopesticide products that became the biological standards for their categories. Before AgraQuest, she was founding president and business unit head for Entotech, Inc. in Davis, California, a biopesticide subsidiary of Denmark-based Novo Nordisk. At Monsanto, she led the Insect Biology group which was seeking alternative ways to control insect pests.  

Pam is an alumni-elected trustee of Cornell University, Treasurer of the Association for Women in Science, Board member of the Foundation for Food and Ag Research, and is past-Treasurer of the Organic Farming Research Foundation. She is Founding Chair of the Bio Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), a trade association of more than 100 biopesticide and related companies. She is on the University of California-Davis Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council and served for many years on the Cornell University College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council.  

Pam holds several hundred patents and is in high demand to deliver keynote addresses on the future and potential of biologicals for pest management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. She was elected by her peers as a Fellow of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). She has a BS in entomology with Honors and Distinction from Cornell University and a PhD in entomology from North Carolina State University.


Past Awardees


Vincent L. Salgado, BASF, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina


Qing X. Li, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa


Thomas M. Stevenson, DuPont Crop Protection


Thomas C. Sparks, Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, Indiana


Scott R. Yates, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Riverside, California


Jeanette M. Van Emon, US Environmental Protection Agency, Las Vegas, Nevada


Steven J. Lehotay, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania

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