Andy Papathanassiou Headshot (2)Andy Papathanassiou, NASCAR visionary and motorsports industry innovator

Pit crews operate in one of the most dynamic and demanding teamwork environments imaginable. In racing, like in business and in life, there are no guarantees. Make one mistake that's too big or at an inopportune time and your day at the race is over - you go home while the race continues on without you.  

Andy Papathanassiou, a Stanford University master's graduate, shares how passion overcomes obstacles and makes things happen. He talks about the make-up of highly successful teams. Whether it's pit crews, sales teams or groups that come together to accomplish any goal, the characteristics of successful teams are universal. He discusses leadership and the role of the individual and coined the term, "Over the Wall Thinking," to describe his philosophy.

It’s no secret that as the CEO of your farming business, you must constantly evaluate your team to optimize performance. Tinkering with procedures, programs and production/management practices are keys to leading a well-oiled, functioning group. Don't miss this learning opportunity! 

dr_behraveshChief Economist, IHS

Dr. Nariman Behravesh, oversees the work of more than 400 Professionals and directs the entire economic forecasting process of IHS.

He has responsibility for developing the economic outlook and risk analysis for the United States, Europe, Japan, China and emerging markets. He has been covering the global economy for nearly 40 years. Dr. Behravesh frequently is cited by leading business publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, USA Today, Investor's Business Daily, Business Week, Newsweek, Fortune, Forbes and US News & World Report. He also appears regularly on national radio and television programs, including BBC World Business Report, NBC Nightly News, CNN Headline News, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer (PBS), Fox News, CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Radio, All Things Considered and Marketplace on National Public Radio. Dr. Behravesh’s university degrees include a Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), Cambridge, Mass., U.S., as well as a master’s and a doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S. He is the author of Spin-Free Economics: A No-Nonsense, Nonpartisan Guide to Today's Global Economic Debates (McGraw-Hill).

Speaker Bios

pat-christiePatrick Christie, Founder, Board of Directors, EVP, Sales & Business Development, has over 20 years of experience in technology development and consulting. Prior to Conservis, he was Executive Vice President of WAM!NET and helped deliver over $1.6 billion of network services under contract with the U.S. Navy. He was also President of Cybernet Systems, a highly profitable technical systems integration firm that generated over $6 million in the U.S.

Sid Gorham-Headshot

Sid Gorham leads the digital agriculture group at DuPont which now includes Granular. He helps set the strategy, build the brand, and ensure the organization lives up to our commitments to customers and shareholders.  Sid has built successful software and analytics businesses in a diverse range of industries including telecom, media, and restaurants. All of these companies have successfully helped customers use data, software, and analytics to continuously improve performance and make smarter decisions. Most recently, Sid led strategy and new business development for Nielsen (NLSN), the global leader in marketing information and analytics serving the media and consumer packaged goods industries. Prior to Nielsen, Sid served as CEO of Telephia, the leading provider of benchmarking data and analytics to mobile phone companies. Telephia was acquired by Nielsen in 2007. Sid was also on the founding team at (OPEN), a global online reservations platform that provides restaurants with software and data to improve efficiency and serve their customers better.

SoltwedelKeithKeith Soltwedel is the Manager, Production Systems for John Deere’s Region 4 Marketing Organization.  Keith’s team focuses on Corn and Soybean Production in the United States. Keith and his team are analyzing the customer requirements needed to improve profitability by increasing yield and reducing costs for corn and soybean production in the United States and Canada.  He has a team of 5 individuals that study the market to better understand how customers desire to manage corn and soybean production systems in the next 5-10 years.  This work involves leading Product Solution Concept sessions with internal stakeholders and agricultural producers that grow corn and soybeans.  In an effort to stay connected to agricultural production, he is also actively involved with his family’s farming operation in Illinois.  


Jerre Stead is executive chairman of DTN. In addition, he is chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of IHS Markit. Previously, Mr. Stead was chairman and CEO of IHS. He led IHS' successful IPO in November 2005 and, in the following 10 years, IHS total shareholder return increased 515%. He also has served as CEO at Honeywell-Phillips Medical Electronics, Square D, AT&T Global Business Communications Systems, AT&T Global Information Solutions (NCR Corporation), NCR Japan, Legent Corporation and Ingram Micro. Mr. Stead has served on 36 boards of directors. In July 2017, the National Association of Corporate Directors awarded Mr. Stead its prestigious B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his values, leadership, commitment and impact. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Iowa and a degree from the Harvard University Advanced Management Program in Switzerland.

zuckerbergKenneth S. Zuckerberg AIF® AFA® is an Executive Director and Senior Farm Inputs Analyst within Rabobank’s RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.
Ken is responsible for managing FAR's research mandate in the North American Farm Inputs sector (Crop Protection Chemicals, Equipment, Fertilizer, Seeds, Ag Technology, Water.) He brings to the Bank more than 25 years of institutional investment research and asset management experience in diverse industries and sectors including Agribusiness, Consumer Staples & Discretionary, Financials, Industrials and Technology.

Sam Willett 2014 (2)Sam Willett is Senior Director, Public Policy for the National Corn Growers Association. He’s responsible for monitoring federal farm and risk management programs, rural development issues, tax legislation and commodity exchange regulatory matters. Prior to NCGA, Willett served as Legislative Director for Representative Henry Brown of South Carolina and Representative Gil Gutknecht of Minnesota. His Congressional staff service began in 1995 as the District Administrator and Senior Legislative Assistant for Representative Ron Lewis of Kentucky. A formal Naval Officer and graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Willett earned a Masters Degree from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky. 

Brad Lubben - Sept 2015Brad Lubben is an Extension Associate Professor, Policy Specialist, Faculty Fellow with the Rural Futures Institute, and Director of the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has more than 25 years experience in teaching, research, and extension, focusing on agricultural policy and agricultural economics and working in Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska. Brad's expertise includes federal farm policy and agricultural policy development and education. Brad grew up on a grain and livestock farm near Burr, southeast of Lincoln and holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Kansas State University.

MikeTate2016Michael Tate is the owner/manager of a family-owned partnership in North Alabama’s Tennessee Valley. Cotton is the principle crop of the 6,000-acre operation in Meridianville. He also is president and a director of Cotton Growers Cooperative Gin and Warehouse, is a director of Staplcotn and is board chairman of the Alabama Farmers Cooperative.  A graduate of the National Cotton Council’s Cotton Leadership Program, Tate currently serves as a NCC director and has served on multiple NCC committees, including the Cotton Flow Committee, Farm Policy Task Force and Environmental Task Force, which he chaired in 2015. He also served as a director and board advisor of the NCC’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International. He currently serves as chairman of the NCC’s American Cotton Producers (ACP) on which he has held various leadership positions.

Emily_JohannesheadshotEmily Johannes is head of Sustainability efforts for K-Coe Isom, working to build connections between food producers and the wholesale and retail industry to create products with strong consumer confidence.


Curt Hudnutt 38Curt Hudnutt is the Head of Rural for Rabobank North America, overseeing the rural lending business. He is also a member of the Rabobank North America Executive Team.  In this role, Curt is responsible for planning and directing all aspects of the organization’s strategic rural business development policies, objectives and initiatives. Curt collaborates across functions to ensure Rabobank North America is balancing financial performance, customer experience and risk. Curt began his career with Rabo AgriFinance in May 2002. Prior to his current role, he served as Chief Commercial Officer.

Curt graduated with honors from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Spanish. He earned a Master of Business Administration in Management, graduating with honors in 2008. Curt is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program having completed the General Management Program in 2015.


Steve Allard, Executive Vice President Chief Credit Officer, leads the credit approval, special asset and appraisal functions for Farm Credit Mid-America. He also leads the credit side of capital markets. He has more than 30 years of financial services experience within the Farm Credit System. He began his career as a loan officer in Owensboro, Ky, later leading a special accounts unit and then serving as Regional Vice President, and Vice President Credit Analysis.


Darin Newsom, DTN/The Progressive Farmer senior analyst, oversees a team of five analysts who provide daily market commentary on more than a dozen commodities, ranging from grains to fuels. He is also the creator and guiding force behind DTN Six Factors® Marketing Strategies. Newsom has more than 20 years of experience analyzing commodity markets and developing risk-management strategies. He focuses on explaining how the structure of a market — the trend of the futures combined with the price relationship between contracts — indicates what type of market exists, and therefore which strategies are appropriate. Newsom's articles and commentary are also frequently featured in industry publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, SFO Magazine, and Commodities Now Magazine, along with multiple newspapers and radio stations across the country. Newsom is also a regular guest on CNBC and the Iowa Public Television Program "Market to Market."

lance.woodburyLance Woodbury is a Garden City, Kansas, author, family business consultant and professional mediator specializing in agriculture and closely-held businesses. Over his two decade career, he has guided many families through inter-generational farm transfers as well as mentored successors and facilitated small business peer groups. He contributes monthly columns to both DTN and The Progressive Farmer on the personal dynamics of operating farm family businesses. 

jay joyJay Joy is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Bestifor Farms in Belleville, Kansas.  Today, Bestifor consists of an 8,000 acre corn & alfalfa farm, a regional hay brokerage business, and a commercial trucking company.  Prior to joining Bestifor in early 2016, Jay spent the first dozen years of his career financing cattle feedyards, commercial dairy farms, and grain elevators for lenders that included Rabobank, CoBank, and Bank of the West.  In addition to his duties at Bestifor, Jay is also a partner in a dairy farm in Northeast Kansas, founder of a farm financial consulting business, member of the AgProgress CFO peer group, and an advisory board member for Valley Ag Software.  When not at work, Jay enjoys attending K-State athletic events, reading business & motivational books, and riding his Harley.

Paul Kanitra 2017Paul Kanitra is the Founder and President of Peak Soil Indexes with 30+ years experience as a fixed income specialist, and he has been involved in the release of many new derivative products. He has more recently dedicated himself to the financialization of farmland. With approximately 9.7 billion people to feed by 2050, the need to financialize the commodity has never been more essential. Farmland currently lacks the basic features common to other commodities and has no risk reduction tools available for use. Paul directs Peak Soil to provide the indexes and analytical tools required to transform farmland from an investment into an asset class.

Gloy-2CDr. Brent Gloy is an agricultural economist specializing in agricultural finance and agribusiness management. His research has been quoted and referenced in media ranging from the farm press, to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Economist, Bloomberg, Reuters, USA Today, and Barron’s, among others. Brent founded and served as the first Directr of Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. Dr. Gloy’s current writings can be found on his website Agricultural Economic Insights. Dr. Gloy has held tenured faculty positions in agricultural economics at Purdue University and Cornell University. He is currently operating his family farming operation in Southwest Nebraska. Brent received his masters and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

bryceBryce Anderson, Senior Agriculture Meteorologist Bryce Anderson has brought in-depth analysis and forecasts on agricultural weather and market impact to DTN readers in the U.S. and worldwide for more than 20 years. His daily weather commentaries, videos, blogs and Progressive Farmer magazine articles are widely read and watched. Anderson is a frequent guest on ag media for articles and programs. His speaking schedule includes presentations at producer conferences and farm shows. Anderson is a native of south-central Nebraska.  

Ag Summit Editors and Moderators

Greg Horstmeier DSC_5940
Greg Horstmeier, DTN editor-in-chief, joined DTN as production editor in August 2007. He became editor-in-chief in July 2010. He comes from the University of Missouri, where for six years he served as director of the Extension and Agriculture Information News office. Before that he was the chemicals and technology editor for Farm Journal, as well as crops editor for the Pennsylvania Farmer.

Gregg Hillyer, The Progressive Farmer editor-in-chief, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Before coming to The Progressive Farmer, you may remember him as the editor of Soybean Digest where he edited the publication for nearly 12 years. Before that he was managing editor of Hogs Today, as well as field editor for Wallaces Farmer.  Hillyer also worked in public relations for Miller Meester Advertising.

Urban C. Lehner, emeritus vice president, editorial, joined DTN as editor-in-chief in July 2003. He became vice president of the editorial operations of DTN/The Progressive Farmer in July 2010. He is a past president of the North American Agricultural Journalists, and in 2009 was named "Writer of the Year" by the American Agricultural Editors' Association. Lehner spent 33 years at The Wall Street Journal, including 20 years in Europe and Asia, where he did stints as a reporter, editor, and executive.

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