Keynote Speakers

SecPerdue-200x200Sonny Perdue, United States Secretary of Agriculture, uniquely qualified as a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture on April 25, 2017.



Caroll_Jim_PROMOPICsmall Jim Carroll provides deep insights into how organizations are adapting to fast-paced trends through uniquely creative thinking and innovative leadership. Jim Carroll is widely recognized for his deep research and analysis of how innovative organizations are achieving market or transformational growth despite deep economic challenges. He is the first external speaker to have ever been invited to open the Annual General Meeting of the PGA - Professional Golf Association of America. For close to 20 years, Jim has been studying the issue of what makes companies relentlessly creative and how they ride critical fast paced trends in order to achieve dramatic market success. Carroll provides guidance that is timely and unique: how to realign business strategy for fast-paced economic trends and new business realities; a realistic outline of the emerging trends, threats and opportunities that will impact your organization; how to become a more forward thinking organization that can anticipate and manage change, rather than reacting to change; and guidance on how to do things differently in a world that demands constant, relentless innovation. The author of Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast, Carroll has been featured in BusinessWeek as one of four leading sources for insight into future trends and innovation, and was a featured expert on the CNBC Series, The Business of Innovation.


Speaker Bios


Chenjun Pan, Senior Analyst - Animal Protein, at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group, Pan is focusing on researching agricultural sectors in China. She is recognized within the industry as an expert in animal protein, animal feed, food retailing, seafood, organic food and agricultural policy.

Ms. Pan joined Rabobank in 1998. She is the author of many publications such as ‘Convertible Bonds and State-owned Enterprises Restructuring’, ‘Pork Supply Chain: the US and China’, ‘Development of China’s Feed Industry’, ‘Competitiveness of China’s Meat Industry’, and a series of industry overviews of China’s agricultural sectors published by Rabobank, as well as by Dutch Royal Embassy. She often conducts research surveys of farming locations – from poultry to pork in provinces throughout China.

Ms. Pan has a Master in Enterprise Restructuring from Management School of Maastricht, the Netherlands, and a Bachelor in Foreign Trade from Shanghai Jiaotong.

Don-CloseDon Close, animal protein analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group, Close is responsible for analyzing all animal protein sectors, but specializes in beef. Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance, Close served as market director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association in Amarillo, Texas, representing cattle feeders in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. He previously held roles with AzTX Cattle Co. in Hereford, Texas; Future Beef Operations in Parker, Colorado; and PHI Marketing Services at Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa.

Close has conducted research on a wide-range of topics including confinement cow/calf operations, LFTB, ground beef and development in international trade. Currently, Close authors bi-monthly columns for the National Cattlemen’s publication, and is working on market issues at the intersection of marketing and ag policy.

EhmkeTTanner Ehmke, manager of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, which provides market and industry research on sectors affecting the rural economy, including grains, oilseeds, biofuels and farm supply; animal protein; dairy; specialty crops; and power, energy and water. Prior to joining CoBank in 2015, he marketed seed for his family’s seed company in western Kansas, where his family has farmed since 1885.

Ehmke previously was a commodities analyst at an agricultural market research and advisory firm in Chicago, a commodity markets reporter for Dow Jones at the Chicago Board of Trade, and an agricultural journalist covering crop production and farm business management. He continues to maintain an active role in farming today. Ehmke holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a master’s degree in agricultural business, both from Kansas State University.

chris.galanek.1Chris Galanek, is an enterprise solution architect in CoBank’s information technology division, where he focuses on providing flexible and scalable solutions that enable the business to meet their goals, and innovative thought leadership.  Mr. Galanek specializes in containerization, microservice architecture, integration, and blockchain.

Prior to joining CoBank’s enterprise architecture team in 2016, Galanek was a senior software engineer developing custom solutions focused on leasing, risk, and minerals management.  He has also held various roles focused on a wide array of technologies.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Metropolitan State University.

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. 

Todd HultmanTodd Hultman is Lead Analyst in charge of DTN's overall market view and manager of the DTN Six Factors(TM) Strategies. He heads up a team of five full time analysts plus a broad group of consulting analysts and market advisors.

Todd came to the DTN commodity analysis team in 2014 as grain analyst. His familiarity with DTN and its market information and outlook goes back much further, to his early days as a broker where he relied on DTN's news and market quotes to guide clients. He’s worked for several brokerage houses and also as an independent broker where he created an online educational resource for futures traders. DTN subscribers can catch his view of the markets through daily commentary, his weekly "Todd's Take" column which is featured on DTN paid platforms each Friday, and on the daily DTN Closing Market Video which is posted following market closes.

Emily_JohannesheadshotEmily Johannes, Principal, ResourceMAX Director, arms food and agricultural businesses with valuable tools, plans, and analysis to increase their credibility in the marketplace. She leads K·Coe Isom’s teams to build sustainability programs for beef, dairy, pork, turkey, and grain/feed companies, enabling them to capture and report sustainability information to valued customers and the public. In addition to food companies, she advises progressive producers on using sustainability performance metrics to their advantage, responding to customer demands, opening up sales opportunities, and negotiating with key business partners.

SarahHendrenSarah Hendren, MS, RDN, LDN,CD Nutrition and Quality Assurance Manager at Culver Franchising System, Inc., experienced food and nutrition professional with a demonstrated history of working in the restaurant industry. Skilled in communication, food science, quality assurance, regulatory, public speaking, supply chain, R&D, and health promotion.

 Break-out Session Speakers

James Marzolf, MBA, Principal and Matthew House, CPA, Principal, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen

Doug Claussen, CPA, Principal, KCoe Isom

Dominick Chirichella, DTN

Marty Wooldridge, farmer, Mooringsport, LA

Quint Pottinger, farmer, New Haven, KY

Lori Culler, Ag Hires

Shawn Smeins, Rabo Agri-Finance

Mark Welch, Texas A&M

Lance Woodbury, family business advisor, Ag Progress

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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