With almost four decades of experience as a plant breeder in both the public and private sectors, Roy Cantrell brings immense expertise and sought-after specialty to his role as Scientific Advisor at Catalyst BC. His career began on his family farm in Texas and has taken him around the world. Through international experience, he has gained insight and diversified expertise in plant breeding, international and digital agriculture, environmental science and sustainability. As a published writer, Roy has co-authored 5 book chapters and 77 scientific papers on various aspects of plant genetics and breeding. He has also assisted in the development and public release of 15 cotton varieties, 11 cotton germplasm lines or genetic stocks, and three wheat cultivars.
Roy worked for Monsanto for over a decade and held various roles including Cotton Discovery & Molecular Breeding Lead, Global Cotton Breeding Lead, and most recently Global Breeding Outreach & Partnerships Lead. In these roles, Roy championed the modernization of North American and Indian breeding programs, led the transition to Single Seed Descent (SSD), and launched multiple Root Knot Nematode (RKN) resistant varieties. Roy also led the successful germplasm transition from BollGard 2 Roundup Ready Flex to Bollgard 2 Xtend Flex, while sustaining genetic gain for yield and fiber quality. In his role as Global Breeding Outreach & Partnership Lead, Roy led outreach efforts in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Genetic Improvement of Tropical Legumes in Africa, Borlaug Training Foundation, and the Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program.
The ongoing passion for advanced topics such as Global Breeding Management, Genetics and Society, Breeding Methodology (Optimizing Genetic Gain), Molecular Breeding and Germplasm Diversity and Introgression has continued to fuel Roy’s global influence. In 2000, Roy was one of the framers and founders of the International Cotton Genome Initiative (ICGI).
Roy has taught numerous graduate and undergraduate courses in Plant Genetics, Genetics & Society, and Plant Breeding, as well as trained multiple Ph.D., MS and Post-Doctoral students in Plant Breeding. His education includes a BS in Crop Science from Texas Tech University, an MS in Plant Breeding and Genetics as well as a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.
During his time as owner and operator of the vertically-integrated seed-to-sale operation, Leif logged over 15,000 hours of hands-on operational experience. This experience led Leif to develop an extensive skill set in various areas of operating a cannabinoid business, such as processing and retail facility design, harvest and curing operation, SOP development, scalability, work-flow, vendor sourcing, and brand development.
Leif worked tirelessly to establish Kind Love as an industry leader, and through it, developed highly sought-after experiences and abilities that would catapult his career further into the industry. In both seeing the need and answering the demand for his expertise and guidance, Leif sold Kind Love to co-found Good to Go Management (GTG), a cannabinoid consulting firm which encompassed a suite of services to cater to, meet the needs and exceed the expectations of operational and emerging companies. During the first year of operations, GTG worked with a client to receive one of the top-ten ranked cultivation and dispensary licenses in Maryland, a state with one of the most competitive application processes to date. As operations continue to expand, Leif and the GTG team have consistently provided proven operational expertise to some of the largest companies in the cannabinoid industry.
In conjunction with GTG, Leif and partners have developed multiple ancillary companies, such as Allele Genetics, an extensive, cannabinoid-rich genetics library of proprietary strains, and Greenhaus Industries, a leading custom design/build source for vertical cultivation solutions. In addition to his ancillary endeavors, Leif simultaneously held the position of Supply Chain Manager of FLRish at the Harborside Health Center in Oakland, the largest medical retailer in the United States, which services over 200,000 registered patients in California.
As Chief Marketing Officer of Catalyst BC, Leif accentuates his experience with his compassion for those who find relief in cannabinoid based therapies to provide clients with the tools needed to meet the demands of both medicinal and recreation consumers and forge a successful business. He dedicates his energies and resources to the patients and communities that he serves and continues to consult with many of the original people for which he was a caregiver. Leif’s passion for the potential of cannabinoid-based treatments to change people’s lives provides him with the fuel needed to continue to lead and influence individuals and companies in the burgeoning industry.