About Us

Proven Science for a Bountiful Future


Increasing plant yields to provide abundant crops and food.


EpiCrop Technologies Inc. uses cutting-edge strategies to harness natural epigenetic crop vigor and decode the gene pathways that guide crop performance.


EpiCrop Technologies was founded in 2014 in Lincoln, Neb., by Dr. Sally Mackenzie and Dr. Michael Fromm. Several years ago, the Mackenzie lab made the remarkable discovery that plants can sense changes in their environment through specialized plastids that create sensory signals in the plant. These sensory signals trigger epigenetic changes in a programmed way that influences the plant’s response to stress and its ability to achieve enhanced growth. EpiCrop Technologies was designed to apply this new information for agricultural gains in crop performance and resilience.



Sally Mackenzie

Co-Founder, Member of the Board of Directors 

Read Bio

Dr. Sally Mackenzie is the Lloyd and Dottie Huck Chair for Plant Functional Genomics in the Departments of Biology and Plant Science at Penn State University. The Mackenzie Lab at Penn State investigates how nuclear genes interact with mitochondria and plastids to control plant growth and environmental responses. Sally is the Founding Director of the Plant Institute at Penn State. She holds a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Genetics from the University of Florida, Gainesville and a B.S. in Plant Biology from UC Davis.

Get in touch with Sally through our Contact Form.


Michael Fromm

Co-Founder, Member of the Board of Directors 

Read Bio

Dr. Michael Fromm received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in mammalian virology, specifically the DNA virus SV40. He was responsible for several discoveries and developed processes now used in commercial agricultural applications. At Monsanto, Michael led a 30-person team, which produced several products including YieldGardtm Bt corn and RoundUP Ready corn. He later founded Mendel Biotechnology and served as CEO, growing the functional genomics company to a staff of 50. In 2001, he joined the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where he served as the Director of the Center for Biotechnology and as a professor in Agronomy. In 2014, he left the university and co-founded EpiCrop Technologies.

Get in touch with Michael through our Contact Form


Kyla Morton

Manager, Plant Breeding

Read Bio

Dr. Kyla Morton joined the company in 2015 as a research scientist in molecular biology. Previously she conducted graduate research in biochemical and proteomic analysis of the maize endosperm at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in plant breeding and molecular genetics, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Doane University.

Find Kyla on LinkedIn


Jeff Raikes

Chairman, Board of Directors

Read Bio

Jeff is the co-founder of the Raikes Foundation, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to creating a more just and inclusive society. Prior to launching the foundation in 2002 with his wife, Raikes served as Chief Executive Officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Before joining the Gates Foundation, Jeff was president of Microsoft’s Business Division and served as a member of the company’s senior leadership team. He has served on the board of the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

Find Jeff on LinkedIn 


James Burgum

Member of the Board of Directors

Read Bio

James is a founder and Venture Partner at Arthur Ventures. Prior to Arthur Ventures, James was a founding team-member of the North Dakota Trade Office and worked in North Dakota’s Office of the Governor on economic development initiatives. James holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from North Dakota State University. 

Find James on LinkedIn 

Work with Us

The new area of epigenetic research is providing definitive evidence of increasing yields in plants. The EpiMethyl Analysis platform is demonstrating a capability of accelerating the crop epigenetic breeding process by selecting lines with the greatest predicted performance potential.

EpiCrop Technologies is eager to work with partners to advance epigenetic plant breeding into robust commercial breeding and production systems to produce crops with increased yields.

To learn more about opportunities to partner with us, reach out to Michael Fromm through our contact form.

Ready to harness nature's power through epigenetic technology?