Dragan Macura, AgroThrive
Dragan Macura is the founder and owner of AgroThrive, Inc. of Gonzales, C.A. AgroThrive manufactures liquid organic bio-fertilizers by a proprietary, auto thermal, natural microbial digestion process that he calls Progressive Digestion Process (P.D.P.). AgroThrive was the first company in California to adopt the H.A.C.C.P. food safety system for the production of organic fertilizers. He did this right after the 2006 spinach poisoning with E. coli O157:H7 and before LGMA guidelines were in place because he understands that there is no kill step between the farm and the fork when it comes to the production of leafy greens.
Dragan holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Food Science and Technology and Applied Microbiology from U.B.C., Vancouver, Canada. After a brief research position at U.B.C., Dragan worked for McCormick spices and flavors company, growing plant tissue cultures of black pepper, Vanilla, and Cinnamon to produce their respective flavoring compounds under controlled laboratory conditions. He then worked for a company that developed some of the early modified atmosphere packaging technologies for the extension of the shelf life of small fruits and cut fruits and vegetables. After that, he had a successful private consulting business in Canada where he developed new products and solved technical problems in the food industry. After that, he move to California and became involved with organic fertilizer production. He eventually started AgroThrive in 2006 which he still runs with his two sons who hold business degrees from San Jose State University.
In today’s panel discussion, Dragan will represent the liquid organic fertilizer manufacturers and discuss the challenges they face as a result of handling heavily contaminated raw materials and having to decontaminate them before they are used as fertilizers in the leafy greens industry.