The Georgia Centers of Innovation comprise six key industries in the state – Manufacturing, Logistics, Aerospace, IT, Energy Technology and Agribusiness. We are doing a monthly series showcasing the director for each Center and the role they play in expanding business in Georgia.
Bo Warren has been the director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness since 2013. He has extensive experience in the field of agriculture and economic development and brings a home-town charm to his role. Involved in the ag industry in Georgia? This is a guy you need to know.
What drew you to your role with the Centers of Innovation?
Prior to the Center, I was in a business development role with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and still serve partially in that role. Because that role overlapped in many cases with this role, it was a natural fit for me.
What do you offer agribusiness companies in Georgia?
We work with all types of companies in Georgia. We help small operation basic family startups add value to products on their farms, and also help Fortune 500 companies create innovative technologies for their agriculture equipment.
What is the best part about what you do?
The best part is working with entrepreneurs in the field of agriculture– from the producer on the farm to the entrepreneur who’s got an innovative twist to an old idea or product. I love that entrepreneurial spirit and independence to make things better and more efficient.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love the outdoors– from hunting and fishing to hiking and camping. And of course I love agriculture. My family has a farm, and anytime I get a chance to get back there is great.
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
Well I am typically about 5 seasons behind on any good series, and right now I’m catching up on Mad Men. I also love watching old episodes of The West Wing.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Never accept no as an answer from someone who doesn’t have the authority to tell you yes, whether you’re facing an obstacle or barrier. Also never accept defeat from someone who can’t provide you the solution.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing.
With my background in policy and new experience in economic development, I’d probably be doing something else in public policy in agriculture. If I couldn’t do that, I’d very much like to teach at the college level.
What do you hope Georgia’s agribusiness industry looks like 5 years from now and how will your Center will be a part of it?
I’d like to see continued growth and more of our residents purchasing locally grown and Georgia-made products. And I’d love to see people exploring more of our great agritourism facilities here.
Bo recently accompanied a delegation to Brazil, Georgia’s sixth-largest export region. Find out more about Georgia-Brazil relations here.
For more information on the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness and how Bo and his team help manufacturing businesses in Georgia, click here.