By Chair of the Board Stacy Miller
“Our work tells you the facts. We don’t tell you to eat or not to eat this or that, we just tell the truth.”
That’s how CEO of AGQ Labs Tenesor Peña describes the company's goals and mission.
Keeping to the facts is a good thing when you’re a science lab responsible for chemical analysis of food and soil. It’s exactly the type of science gaining public notice in the wake of a rising consumer base that wants to know what’s in their food and how it’s grown.
AGQ’s Oxnard lab focuses their work solely on food safety and agronomy, the science of soil management and crop production. Their work is highly sought after by agriculture business looking to take their farms and produce into the future.
How does analysis from a lab like AGQ make a difference?
“We give growers a lot of helpful information,” says Peña. “We can show growers how much water and fertilizer they need so they don’t waste resources. Take nitrogen, for example. Too much means the extra will leech into the soil. Our analysis will prevent overdoing it and in turn, be better for your soil because you’re only giving your crops exactly what they need.”
Saving resources, saving money and creating better soil means long-term benefits for growers from season to season.
AGQ Labs is more than just a standout business partner for growers. Over the last eight years since opening in Oxnard, it’s become an engaged community partner.
Why is Oxnard the place for its only lab in the United States? Why is Oxnard ideal for a cutting-edge laboratory with global ties and nine labs all over the world?
“Oxnard really was a perfect fit for our agronomy work. It’s close to growers and the Ag industry, and close to an international airport, which helps us maintain our global ties and send and receive samples internationally. It's an affordable and beautiful city to build a lab,” explains Peña.
He also says the city openly welcomed AGQ and, because of that goodwill, he believes strongly in giving back to the community.
AGQ is a partner in Ventura Farm Day, offering an open house and free public tours alongside local farms. Peña himself is a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and lives locally in Oxnard, like his employees (a team of 40), who all live local in the Oxnard and Ventura County area.
AGQ Labs is growing their local engagement through business connections, educational partnerships with Cal State Channel Islands, Cal Poly and Ventura College, and even supporting local youth soccer teams.
In addition to hosting a recent tour of the lab for Oxnard Chamber leadership and city management, AGQ loves to host tours for local children. “We like to show kids where their food comes from," states Peña. “It’s our way to teach the next generation.”
Proof AGQ is growing more than just good science right here in Oxnard.