Ashton was instrumental in developing a cradle-to-grave soybean program that produced soybean varieties which was purchased for $8 million by a venture capital company.
Those varieties were subsequently used to attract over $130 million driven by a 429% percent increase in ingredients segment revenue.
He also pioneered a whole-seed genomic screening protocol that could screen populations within 1 week, resulting in saving significant field space and man hours of leaf punching for genomic data after emergence.
During the peak of the COVID outbreak, Ashton drove cross-country to setup a molecular screening laboratory and train new contract hires.
He achieved 100% functionality complete with SOPs, program layout, and organized communication structure within 14 days.
Ashton organized a team that produced a molecular breeding program trait data for 34+ unique SNPs targeting oil profiles, nutritional, herbicide, and pest traits.
Laboratory output produced over 250K data points per quarter (over 1 million a year) depending on acquisition and logistical needs.
Ashton created a centralized international seed distribution center that addressed all 12 elements of logistical readiness.
Preparation also included field layout and design, nursery, yield testing organization, and CRO planting labels and directions for 15+ locations.
Ashton managed integrated software databases for plant researchers and agronomists, allowing for data sharing from a central database among researchers at the same or in different locations, as needed.
These databases included all current and past growing locations both in the US and abroad, varietal and pedigree data, and all legal information regarding patents.
He also set up an indoor transgenic growing range that complied with all good practices and standards for the handling of GMO seed at an abandoned USDA facility that had been unused for 5+ years.
Ashton utilized existing HPLC equipment to expand inhouse testing capabilities from an amino acid profile exclusively to include screening for sugar profiles, eliminating the need for 3rd party screening.
He also developed and implemented a high throughput trypsin inhibitor assay that screened 96 samples simultaneously with a price point of $0.37/sample replacing 3rd party testing at a price point of $250/sample.