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Meet Your 2022 Commodity Classic Speakers!


David Armstrong 

CEO, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Lansing, Michigan

As a lender to more than 27,000 farmers, GreenStone has seen a steady rise in the financing and adoption of new technologies and how they impact farmers. Dave has a passion for ag tech and will provide insights to farmers looking to invest in new technologies.



John Baranick

DTN Ag Meteorology Lead

John Baranick graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology and a minor in agronomy. He has been a meteorologist with DTN since 2011 providing weather insights for clients across the aviation, transportation, energy, and agriculture industries worldwide. He is a frequent guest on ag media programs to discuss weather impacts on crops and operations both domestically and abroad. John’s passion for teaching others about how weather works and the impacts it can have on commodities, markets, and infrastructure shine through his daily weather briefings, videos, and blog articles for DTN.



  Galynn Beer

National Manager, AgroLiquid

A transplanted Boomer Sooner, Galynn can often be found waving his University of Oklahoma flag in his office in Michigan. Like his route from Oklahoma to Michigan, Galynn’s career trajectory was not necessarily a straight line through the ag industry. His degree from OU is in Business Administration and Finance, and he began his career in investment banking. He soon returned to his roots in agriculture, and he has been with AgroLiquid for more than 20 years. As the Senior Sales Manager, Galynn certainly develops projections and manages budgets, but he has a special gift in developing the personnel that provide the revenue stream for AgroLiquid. He is also diligent in staying connected with our customers as a part of monitoring the economic climate we operate in. He has unique insight in this area, as he owns an ag input supply company in Guyman, Oklahoma. Galynn also has an innate curiosity, which led him to attain an MBA from Michigan State University in 2018. Galynn lives with his wife, Lisa, in Mid-Michigan. Dedicated foodies, the couple travels extensively and knows the best restaurants in many states, cities, towns, villages, and four-way stops. As a licensed pilot and dedicated OU football fan, Galynn can also be counted on to be grilling burgers and brats at many OU football games.


 Dr. Fred E. Below

Professor of Crop Physiology, University of Illinois

Dr. Fred E. Below is a Professor of Crop Physiology in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. His research is focused on understanding factors limiting crop productivity, particularly corn and soybean. He has taught introductory crops courses to undergraduates, as well as advanced courses to graduate students, and given numerous presentations at international and national conferences, including 12 times at Commodity Classic. He has received numerous awards for his teaching excellence and he is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy. He developed the ‘Seven Wonders of The Corn Yield World’ and the ‘Six Secrets of Soybean Success’ as tools to teach farmers and agricultural professionals the value of their individual crop management decisions, and he is actively using these concepts to develop systems capable of sustainably producing high corn and soybean yields.  He has three daughters and he and his wife live on a small farm just outside Champaign, Illinois. 



 Matt Bennett

Grain Marketing Consultant, Channel Seed

Matt is a Windsor, Illinois farmer and blogger at Bennett adds the producer perspective to the panel, enriched with his extensive grain marketing background.









Erin Borror

Economist, U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Erin joined USMEF in July 2006 after receiving her M.S. in Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. She received her B.S. in Agribusiness at California Polytechnic State University. As Economist, Erin is responsible for USMEF’s red meat export forecasts, trade policy related analysis, global market analysis for U.S. exporters, and U.S. market analysis for international customers. In 2014, Erin also became Chairman of the Economics Committee for the International Meat Secretariat.

Raised on a cow/calf operation in Colorado, Erin has a background in production agriculture and a passion for the red meat industry. Working remotely for USMEF, she and her husband, Bryce Borror, along with their boys Clayton and Nolan, raise purebred and commercial cattle at Tehama Angus Ranch in northern California.



Jack Brodshaug, M.S.

Senior Principal Digital Agronomist, Nutrien Ag Solutions

Jack works to develop digital tool to help growers manage data, collect data, and analyze data for growers that participate in carbon markets and other sustainability projects. Jack has been working with growers for his whole career and comes from a farm in North Dakota.





 Dr. Alison Bryan

Research Agronomist, CNH Industrial

Dr. Alison Bryan is a research agronomist for CNH Industrial. She has a doctorate in agronomy and crop science.





Rachel Bush

Interim Ag Program Manager, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

Rachel Bush has been with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever for over a decade. Joining The Habitat Organization as a Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist, Rachel later served as the North Dakota State Coordinator before taking on added Conservation Program responsibilities for the Organization. Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management and a master’s degree in Zoology. Being raised on a small farm and ranch in south-central Michigan instilled an affinity for working lands and a desire to find conservation options that work for farmers and ranchers. Rachel currently resides in North Dakota with her husband, daughter, and two bird dogs.



Marion Calmer

Founder/Owner/CEO of Calmer Corn Heads

Marion Calmer, founder/owner/CEO of Calmer Corn Heads, president of Calmer’s Ag Research Center and a 1978 Black Hawk College graduate, developed the world’s first ultra-narrow row corn head and numerous other patented harvesting technologies, which have revolutionized how corn is grown and managed around the world. As a byproduct, these technologies help decrease world hunger, improve soil fertility and water quality, reduce the need for chemical weed control and increase farmer profitability.


These ultra-narrow rows substantially decrease in-row plant competition compared to traditional row widths. This technology helps maximizes corn yields, erosion control, natural weed control, production of organic matter and farmer profitability. This ultimately helps decrease the use of chemical weed control, further protects our environment, and improves soil health and water quality. 

In the mid-1980s Marion opened one of the nation’s first independent on-farm research centers. It is best described as a center run by a farmer for farmers. The research center allows Marion to share his honest opinion and years of unbiased information on various profitable and environmentally friendly approaches to growing and harvesting corn and soybeans.



Jesse Daystar

Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Sustainability, Cotton Incorporated

Dr. Jesse Daystar is the Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Sustainability at Cotton Incorporated and an adjunct professor at the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment.  Dr. Daystar leads the cotton industry to a more regenerative and sustainable future through supporting research and outreach programs aimed at implementing best science and practices in the soil and throughout the supply chain.




Randy Dowdy


“My name is Randy Dowdy and I am a 1st Generation Farmer. My focus is based on Return on Investment (ROI) and not necessarily about winning yield contests. I am a “Critical Thinker” as a result of my personality and professional training. I have Production Techniques that has been vetted in several different states and varying growing conditions and regions that resulted in positive proven results. I believe in paying my success forward. By this I mean, farmers, industry professionals, university personnel, and neighbors helped me when I began farming and I hope to help others in return. I have helped others increase their production time and time again and to help someone see some of the same results that I have witnessed is very rewarding. I have found that one of the hardest things for others to do is to change and be willing to try new things. Don’t be stubborn and resistant Like a Donkey; besides this is truly “change you can believe in.”



John Duff

Executive Vice President, United Sorghum Checkoff Program

John Duff serves as executive vice president for National Sorghum Producers and the Sorghum Checkoff, where he provides leadership and analysis on a wide array of sorghum industry issues from markets to policy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness and an MBA, both from Texas Tech University. John enjoys spending time with his wife, Amanda; daughter, Chloe; and son, Heston; as well as on the nearby family farm where he partners with his parents to produce sorghum and cotton. He is an active member at his church and in the New Horizon and Llano Estacado Emmaus and Chrysalis communities.





Sally Flis, Ph.D., CCA

Sustainable Ag Field Manager, Nutrien Ag Solutions

Sally works with the Sustainable Ag Field team to help ag retail and growers manage and participate in a wide variety of sustainability projects. Sally has worked in the sustainability and nutrient management field since completing her Ph.D work in Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont.







Dave Fogel

Vice President/Ag Risk Management Broker, Advance Trading, Inc.

Dave Fogel is a Vice President with Advance Trading Inc. and has been with the organization since 1984. He mentors close to 25 ATI branch brokers. His tenure with ATI has included working with both individual producer accounts and country grain elevators to assist with risk management needs. His client base stretches throughout the Corn Belt with a focus on corn, soybean, and wheat production as well as livestock/end-user accounts.




 Alex Forsbach 

Growing Acres Farm, Savannah, Tennessee

Alex grows 3,300 acres of corn, sorghum, soybeans and wheat in the Mississippi Delta. As a member of the AgLauch farmer network, Alex has tested dozens of new products on his farm and consults with innovators to field-test and commercialize their products.



Scott Foxhoven

PhD Research Assistant, University of Illinois

Scott Foxhoven is a PhD Research Assistant under the advisement of Dr. Fred Below at the University of Illinois. His research focuses on using new innovations in fertilizer source and placement technology to maximize corn productivity and update the 4R’s nutrient stewardship model. He has frequently presented his research at regional and state level agronomy meetings and twice at the National Strip Till Conference. He is originally from northeast Nebraska where his first degree in agriculture came from his family farm and his second degree came from the agronomy program at South Dakota State University. He currently lives in Champaign, Illinois with his wife and newborn son and will graduate in May of 2022.




Scott Gerlt

Economist, American Soybean Association

Scott Gerlt is the economist for the American Soybean Association, where he provides policy analysis and monitors markets to guide strategic organizational decisions. Prior to joining ASA in 2020, Scott was the program leader for U.S. crop policy and analysis at the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri. His position there involved him in the 2008, 2014 and 2018 farm bill evaluations for Congress. Scott has consulted or done analysis for or consulted with USDA, OECD and the Farm Credit System among others. He holds a bachelors and masters in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri.



Jay Halbur

Farmer, Halbur Farms, Glidden, IA

Jay is a graduate of Iowa State University & Drake University Law School. He operates a corn & soybean farm with his family in Glidden, IA. They are focused on producing high yields with high efficiency across a large farm of 5000 acres that spans 4 Iowa counties. These practices have included precise fertilizer placement with a spoon-fed approach that must show a positive return on investment before a whole farm adoption occurs.



Brian Hefty and Darren Hefty

Hosts, Ag PhD TV & Founders, Hefty Seed Company

Brian and Darren Hefty manage their family business, Hefty Seed Company, which has grown to become one of the largest seed and crop protection companies in the country, helping farmers be successful with products and agronomic advice for more than 52 years. Darren and Brian also host Ag PhD TV, which has aired a brand new show every week for more than 23 years. Ag PhD is the number one agronomy show in the U.S. today, and is seen in several foreign countries, as well. In July 2013, Brian and Darren also launched Ag PhD Radio, a live hour-long call-in show airing weekdays at 2 p.m. CDT on Rural Radio SiriusXM Channel 147. Darren and Brian are both fourth-generation farmers, agronomists, and fathers. Brian and Darren are focused on how to help you increase yields, make more money on the farm, and leave the land and environment in better condition for future generations.



 Jason Henderson

Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Director of Purdue Extension

In this role, Jason leads the statewide public engagement and research-based education in Agricultural and Natural Resources, 4-H Youth Development, Health and Human Sciences, and Economic and Community Development. As Assistant Vice President for Engagement, Jason provides leadership in university-wide initiatives designed to connect Purdue expertise and resources to statewide needs and forming effective partnerships to grow the state economy and improve the quality of life for Indiana’s residents. 


Prior to being named Director of Extension, Jason served as Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In that role, he served as the Bank’s regional economist and representative in the state of Nebraska, recruited and worked closely with the Branch's board of directors, and briefed the Kansas City Fed's president—a member of the Federal Open Market Committee—on economic and business activity in the state. In addition, Jason led several Federal Reserve efforts to track agricultural and rural economies, including the quarterly publication of the Tenth District Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions and the Federal Reserve System’s Agricultural Finance Databook. He also managed the Main Street Economist, a bi-monthly publication covering economic issues affecting rural areas, and the Nebraska Economist, a quarterly publication providing insights into the Nebraska economy. Previously, he served as economist and senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Jason is a nationally recognized expert in agricultural and rural issues. He has published more than 60 research articles in academic and Federal Reserve publications on topics such as land values, entrepreneurship, demographics, the growth of knowledge-based activity in rural America, the use of electronic commerce in agricultural industries, and the growth of value-added food manufacturing activity. Jason speaks frequently to a wide range of business, financial and policy audiences across the United States and internationally. His research on the agricultural and rural economy has been quoted by policy officials, researchers, and leading media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times and USA Today. In addition, Jason has been interviewed on CNBC and Fox Business and provided testimony on agricultural credit conditions to congressional subcommittees.



Andy Hineman

Farmer, Hineman Farms, Lane County, Kansas

Hineman Farms was established in 1886 when Andy’s great-great-grandfather homesteaded in Lane County, Kansas. Andy’s children are currently the sixth generation to farm and care for the ground. Andy and his father, Don, together farm approximately 15,000 acres of dryland cropland and own approximately 1,000 acres of grassland that they rent to ranchers or use for custom grazing. With an annual rainfall average of 18” per year, the farm’s crop rotations consist of winter wheat, corn, sorghum and fallow. They utilize precision ag systems for variable rate fertilizer and seeding, yield management, in-crop scouting and general farm record keeping.


Conservation practices are very important to the Hineman farm. Nearly every acre is enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program, and they also have 11 prairie potholes enrolled in the CRP – CP38B Playa program. Wildlife habitat and conservation are equally important as they have worked with Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism to complete two pheasant habitat improvement areas and plant hundreds of shrubs as well as pollinator plots.  Various portions of the farm are enrolled in Kansas Walk-In Hunting programs on a yearly basis.



Mitchell Hora

Continuum Ag, Washington, Iowa

This central Iowa farmer created Continuum Ag, a fast-growing company that quantifies and improves soil health. He recently won the prestigious Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge for advancements in soil health and had a meeting with The White House on soil carbon.




Delaney Howell

Chief Marketing Officer, TRADER Ph.D., LLC

Delaney grew up on a grain and livestock farm in Southeast Iowa and has been involved in agriculture from an incredibly young age. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences and minors in Broadcasting and International Studies from NOrthwest Missouri State University and a Master’s in Agricultural Communications through Texas Tech University.


Delaney strives to bring the most up-to-date information on the latest “news cycle” in DC politics, commodity markets and the international agricultural trade scene through her travels to 23 countries.  You may recognize Delaney from her role as former host of the 46 year old agribusiness show “Market to Market” or from her daily podcast she launched in 2017, Ag News Daily. In 2018 she launched Global Ag Network, a “herd” of agriculturally focused podcasts, which strive to provide entertaining, informative and essential information to the agricultural industry.


In 2020, Delaney took on a new role as Chief Marketing Officer for an ag marketing company out of Des Moines, Iowa, called Trader PhD, offering commodity advisory services to farmers and ranchers across the U.S.



Dave Hula


In 2003, Hula won his first National High Yield Contest with 322 bushels-per-acre, following up the next year with another win that yielded 339 bushels-per-acre. Another first place finish in 2007 at 385 bushels demonstrated Hula’s dedication to push the limits of high-yield farming to produce steady growth rates year over year. With each progressive year as a contestant in the contest he honed his technique to produce numbers that finally reached any farmer’s ultimate goal, the world record in corn yield in 2013 with 454 bushels-per-acre.  David is well known as the irrigated corn king.


Once described as progressive, aggressive, driven and innovative David spoke about his commitment to a high yield program year after year with Delta Farm Press in 2015 after setting the world record saying, “I hate to use this word, but it all comes back to the fact that there are no silver bullets in growing high-yield corn. We’ve been working on this a long time, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years. We started out trying to grow more than 200 bushels, then 250, then 300, then 350 and now this.”


Known as one of the top farmers in the world and a leader in the industry, Hula often participates in making educational videos and other media about high yield corn farming, sharing insights and tips on his own successes. When not working on the farm, Hula enjoys hunting and often participates in research programs with universities across Virginia. He is well known as the irrigated corn king for his massive 542 bu/a national high yield corn contest entry!


In 2019, David Hula broke all previous records and harvested a whopping 616 bushel per acre contest plot.



Ben Johnson 

Grain Weevil, Aurora, Nebraska

Grain Weevil is developing lifesaving technology that helps farmers autonomously inspect and manage grain in their bins by using compact robots equipped with a camera and sensors. In 2019, 23 farmers lost their lives in grain bin entrapments. With Grain Weevil, these accidents can now be prevented with an even more effective means of managing stored grain.




Josh Johnston

AgriGold Regional Agronomist, Mid-South U.S.

Josh Johnston is an AgriGold Agronomist in the Mid-South. He is very service-oriented, so a support role as an agronomist is a perfect fit. He graduated from Berea College in 2001 with a degree in Agriculture and Natural Resources and has worked in the agriculture field ever since. Starting as an operator at Miles Farm Supply and then as a fee-for-service crop scout. Josh started working with AgriGold in 2008 and quickly partnered with his sales team to help lead the sales conversation with agronomy. 


He has a beautiful wife of 17 years, Ashley, and three beautiful children Sam 14, Libby, 12, and Levi, 10, which keep him motivated every day. They love being together and are all active in their church. In their free time, they enjoy fishing/boating and playing music.



Kevin Juhl

John Deere Go-To-Market Manager

Kevin has been with John Deere for seven years, working in the field directly with customers and dealers. He has a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.B.A. from the University of Nebraska.






Michael Langemeier

Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University and Associate Director, Center for Commercial Agriculture

Michael Langemeier joined Purdue University in July 2012. Michael’s Extension and research interests include cropping systems, benchmarking, strategic management, cost of production, and technical and economic efficiency. Most of Michael’s research has focused on the efficiency of farms and ranches, and crop and livestock enterprise production costs and efficiency. He has also conducted research related to tillage systems, biomass crops and the tradeoff between crop rotation profitability and water quality.

Prior to arriving at Purdue, Michael spent 22 years in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. In addition to working on Extension and research projects, Michael taught courses in economic theory and farm management and worked closely with the Kansas Farm Management Association. He also conducted workshops for feed mill managers, emphasizing the importance of tracking financial performance, benchmarking and capital budgeting. 


In addition to conducting numerous workshops and presenting Extension and research information to numerous audiences in the United States, Michael has conducted workshops and given presentations in Australia, China, Ecuador, Ireland, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa and Tanzania. He is currently involved in agribenchmark, an international benchmarking group centered in Germany. 

Michael received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a doctorate from Purdue University. Michael’s family operates farms in eastern Nebraska. 



Luis Macias

CEO & Co-Founder, GrainChain

Luis is a serial inventor and entrepreneur with over twenty years of experience designing and implementing technological solutions in the agriculture, government, and insurance sectors. He has been CEO of numerous startups with successful exits. Luis has spent the last eight years focusing on viable agricultural solutions, where he founded and implemented SiloSys and developed GrainChain’s transaction platform using blockchain and smart contracts.  He has become a pioneer in blockchain technology and is a frequent featured speaker at agricultural and technology conferences around the globe. His relentless commitment, experience and guidance in the agriculture and technology sectors ensures that GrainChain will remain the leader in its market space.



Mac Marshall

VP, Market Intelligence, United Soybean Board

Mac Marshall serves as the VP, Market Intelligence for the United Soybean Board. In this capacity Mac works with USB leadership in evaluating and establishing long-term strategic initiatives in support of advancing domestic and international market opportunities for the US soybean industry. He also serves as an industry source of market information and analysis on behalf of both USB and the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC)


Mac came to USB and USSEC in 2020 from Bayer Crop Science, where he worked on international market access issues as part of a global agricultural policy team. Prior to Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto, Mac worked in Monsanto’s Global Strategy group with focus on commodity market analysis in support of the company’s long-term strategy setting and understanding of near-term market dynamics. Before joining Monsanto in 2014, Mac served as a staff economist at the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics with focus on agricultural commodities and later as a supervisory economist leading a team of economists covering service industries. He holds a BA in economics from Vassar College and an MA in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University. 



Mark McConnnell

Assistant Professor of Upland Birds, Mississippi State University

Received BS from LSU, MS and PhD from MSU.  Published the first research evaluating the economic outcomes of Farm Bill conservation enrollment using precision agriculture technology. Has since published multiple papers illustrating how precision agriculture technology can identify overlap in conservation and economic opportunities in agricultural landscapes.  Currently Assistant Professor of Upland Birds at Mississippi State University. Avid bird hunter, amateur dog trainer, mediocre fly-fisherman.






Chris McLeland

VP of Conservation Delivery, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

Chris McLeland is the VP of Conservation Delivery for Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever. His primary responsibilities are to oversee all field operations specifically as they relate to partnership and program development and the implementation of conservation programs. Chris a graduate of the University of Missouri and has degrees in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences and Wildlife Ecology. Chris currently lives in Hallsville, Missouri with his wife and two daughters. Prior to joining PF/QF, Chris served 13 years with the Missouri Department of Conservation with much of that time spent within the Private Land Services Division. During his time with MDC, Chris severed in varying capacities, working both as a private land’s biologist, state programs biologist, working in the NRCS State Office and regional supervisor. Chris has developed a vast network of relationships and partnerships with staff from all over the Midwest and within a wide range of agencies.



Nick McMichen

Farmer, McMichen Farms, Georgia & Alabama

Nick McMichen operates a 2,400-acre, sixth generation cotton farm in Georgia and Alabama where he implements numerous conservation practices to help improve local quail populations in addition to his own farm’s productivity and profitability. McMichen employs precision agriculture to identify unproductive acres and use those acres for wildlife friendly conservation practices that directly benefit his land use goals and production strategies. These practices have included quail habitat in field borders as well as native plantings in drainage ditch corridors and buffers. McMichen is dedicated to the integration of conservation into his farm and believes it is an essential part of being a farmer and steward to the land and the environment.



Seth Meyer

Chief Economist, USDA

Dr. Seth Meyer was appointed USDA’s Chief Economist in January of 2020, returning to USDA after two years. Prior to his return, Seth was a Research Professor and the Associate Director for the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri. FAPRI is well known for its agricultural policy and market analysis, being called on by Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its insight into commodity production, price, farm income and trade impacts from various agricultural policies including Farm Bill proposals, trade agreements and disruptions, and crop insurance. 


Dr. Meyer was previously the head of the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) in the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE), the agency at USDA charged with bringing together USDA resources in the assessment of crops around the world. The OCE also publishes those finding in the ‘WASDE’ report which is closely watched by agricultural markets here and abroad. 


Previously, Dr. Meyer served as an economist with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and as a visiting scholar at several research institutions around the world. Dr. Meyer grew up in eastern Iowa and has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri.



Michelle Miller 

The Farm Babe

Michelle brings high energy, wit and advocacy for our nation’s farmers – along with thousands of loyal social media followers. Among her achievements was getting Burger King to tone down on a national campaign that was insulting to our nation’s beef producers, by leading a social media campaign that led to a personal meeting with the Burger King’s Chief Marketing Officer.





James Mintert

Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University and Director, Center for Commercial Agriculture

James Mintert is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics where he serves as director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture, teaches commodity futures principles, and is one of the principal investigators for the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, a nationwide monthly sentiment survey of U.S. agricultural producers. Before taking on his role as Center for Commercial Agriculture director, Jim served as Purdue’s assistant director of Extension for agriculture and natural resources. Prior to joining Purdue’s faculty, Jim was a professor and extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University for over two decades. He holds B.S and M.S. degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University and a doctorate from the University of Missouri. 


Over the course of his career, Jim has received numerous awards, including Outstanding Extension Program Awards from both the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and the Western Agricultural Economics Association, in addition to the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association’s Premier Forecaster Award for his production and price forecasts. The author of more than 250 publications focusing on the economics of the farm economy, Mintert addresses a variety of farm and agribusiness audiences around the nation each year. Jim acquired his interest in agriculture while working on his family’s corn, soybean and wheat operation in the Mississippi and Missouri river bottoms, just north of St. Louis. 



Whitney Monin

AgriGold National Agronomy Manager

Whitney is a self-proclaimed plant nerd. Lover of Agriculture and an advocate for women and youth in Agriculture. Whitney grew up on a small hobby farm in Central Kentucky. It was here that her passion for agriculture and rural communities blossomed. She holds an MS in Integrated Plant and Soil Science from the University of Kentucky, a BS in Agriculture, and a BA in Communication Studies from Western Kentucky University. 


For the last seven years, Whitney has served farmers in the field through many Agronomic roles. Using a 'boots on the ground' perspective, she is responsible for supporting the AgriGold Agronomy organization in meeting goals and delivering the highest quality agronomic service at the farm gate.


Chip Nellinger

Risk Management Consultant & Futures Market Specialist

Chip was raised on a grain and livestock farm in N. Central Illinois and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a BS in Economics. His experience includes four years on the floor of CBOT for International Commercial Grain Hedging. He has been a Licensed Commodity Broker - Risk Management for Top PRoducers for 25 years and has been an Illinois-licensed crop insurance agent for 17 years. Chip is currently a commodity analyst on US Farm Report, Ag Day, RFD-TV, WILL & WNAX radio. A 15 year cancer survivor, Chip is also a member of the Agriculture Advisory Council of Illinois Central College.



Lone Nilsson

Novozymes Agriculture and Industrial Biosolutions VP of Applied Research

For nearly 20 years, Lone Dybdal Nilsson has been a leader in biological research and development at Novozymes. As the Vice President of R&D for Agriculture and Industrial Biosolutions she is responsible for the development of new sustainable biosolutions for the agricultural and industrial sectors at Novozymes; spanning crop and livestock farming, grain processing, bioenergy, water, fats and oils, forestry, and textiles, among others. 


Lone is passionate about contributing to a world where an increasing number of people can obtain and sustain health and high standards of living, in a way that is also good for the Earth. She holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the Technical University of Denmark and is a Copenhagen Business School, IMD and INSEAD alumni.



Michael Ott 

Rantizo CEO & Founder, Iowa City, Iowa

Rantizo addresses both the field needs of farmers and the business needs of custom applicators with the platform’s combination of autonomous hardware and user-friendly software.





Steve Schany

AgriGold Regional Agronomist, Western IA

Born and raised in rural Northwest IA on a 4th generation family farm, it was here where he learned the value of helping people succeed and developed the desire to pursue a career in agriculture. Steve is a certified crop advisor & holds a BS in agronomy from Iowa State University. 


For the past twelve years, Steve has provided agronomic support to farmers through various roles involving precision agriculture & ag retail. Currently, he is responsible for delivering product advancement & agronomic support for AgriGold's Western Iowa Sales Team.



Fred Seamon

Executive Director of Commodity Research and Product Development, CME Group

Fred Seamon serves as Executive Director, Agricultural Research and Product Development of CME Group. He leads the team responsible for conducting research on the structure and performance of agricultural markets, including investigating the feasibility and developing specifications for new futures and options products globally.


Since joining the company in 2001, Seamon has held roles of increasing responsibility and has been heavily involved in the creation of multiple domestic and international agricultural products, including ethanol futures contracts and cleared-only agricultural swap products. 


Prior to joining CME Group, Seamon was on faculty at the University of Wyoming, where he conducted research in commodity marketing issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Ph.D. in applied economics from Clemson University.



Landon Smith

Whispering Willow Farms, Parker City, IN

Located in East Central Indiana, Landon raises corn, soybeans, and wheat on 3,000 acres and owns and operates a custom bin building, custom hay operation, and a fabrication company. A vital component of the fabrication is a line of seed treatment equipment. Landon's opportunity to farm came from a neighboring farmer. Landon first started working for this neighbor, then began the process of buying him out over several years. Landon has kept ROI as his highest focus. That focus has allowed him to grow in acres and flexibility to try new practices for higher yields.



Joe Stephan

AgriGold Regional Agronomist, SW Michigan

Joe resides in Northern Indiana, where he has continued his passion for agriculture. He began tending to the family grain and commercial cattle farm at an early age. While at Purdue, Joe realized agronomy as his favorite area of study. After earning a B.S. degree at Purdue, twenty-four years with AgriGold, and a lifetime of being on his fourth-generation family farm, Joe's experience has established him as a trusted partner for customers and AgriGold employees. As a lifelong learner, Joe is constantly looking for ways to bring learnings and methods for heightened productivity to other farmers.






Nathanael Thompson

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

Nathan Thompson joined the Purdue faculty in February 2016 upon earning his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University. In addition to teaching Purdue’s capstone farm management class, Thompson has a strong interest in interdisciplinary, applied research with practical implications for producers. His research and extension programs focus on examining the profitability of new production and management practices, with a specific emphasis on risk management as it pertains to farm-level decision making. Nathan took the lead in developing the Center for Commercial Agriculture’s Crop Basis Tool, which provides weekly updates of current and historical corn and soybean basis data for Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. In some of his most recent research, Thompson has been examining how adoption of various precision agriculture technologies affects farm profitability. 



Jon Treloar

Technical Agronomist, Novozymes BioAg

Jon Treloar is the Technical Sales Support lead for Novozymes BioAg's North American Commercial Team. With expertise in field trials, agronomy, soil health and sustainable agriculture, he has a passion for the use and adoption of biologicals in agriculture. He holds a B.Sc. in Agroecology from The University of British Columbia and a M.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan.  Jon has been instrumental in the development and promotion of new biological solutions for growers. Jon resides in Saskatoon as he has a fondness of bitter cold coupled with a fear of mountains.



Doug and Ben Turley

Turley Farms, Clay, KY

Turley Farms is a second-generation farming operation located in Clay, KY, established with a humble beginning of 300 acres in 1978 by Steve Turley and today farm close to 5,000. In 2010 Steve's sons Doug and Ben formed a partnership and took over the family farm. They are a diverse farming organization growing field crops like corn, soybean, and wheat and livestock such as cattle and hogs. They are great stewards of the crop, eagerly wanting to learn how to improve.





Ed Usset

Grain Marketing Specialist, University of Minnesota

Ed is a Farm Futures contributing editor who writes the Advanced Marketing Class column in Farm Futures. In 2018 he published a second edition of his book, "Grain Marketing is Simple (it’s just not easy)." Usset was instrumental in reinventing the fantasy grain marketing learning tool “Commodity Challenge”




Brad Van De Woestyne

John Deere Corn & Soybean Agronomist

With a background in agronomy, sensors and data, Brad has been with John Deere for 15 years. He also owns and manages a family farm operation in Illinois. Brad has a B.S. in Crop Science from the University of Illinois, a PhD in Agronomy from Iowa State University and a Certificate in Systems Design & Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.







Brian Waugh

Regional Manager, AgroLiquid

One of Brian’s proudest accomplishments is working with individuals to develop them into a stellar regional, field team. Throughout his career, Brian has motivated and encouraged his field teams to build confidence, deepen experiences, and strengthen customer relationships. Brian hails from western Kansas where he says agriculture is in everything you do. He grew up working for neighbor farmers and raised livestock. That passion followed him to college as he earned a BS degree in Agricultural Business and Management from Fort Hays State University. With over twenty years at AgroLiquid, Brian embodies the company mission – to prosper the farmer. At AgroLiquid, the focus is on crop nutrition and fertility. Brian and his team place the same emphasis on their work as he notes ‘when raising crops, soil is everything.’ In his spare time, you can find Brian in the great outdoors fishing, camping, kayaking, and spending time with his lovely wife, children, and grandchildren.  



Stephanie Zelinko

National Agronomist, AgroLiquid

Stephanie Zelinko’s passion for agriculture started early. Growing up on a cash crop farm in Mid-Michigan, farming has always been part of her life. Building off that passion, she attended Michigan State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Crop and Soil Sciences. Upon graduation she began working as a researcher for AgroLiquid; a role she expanded and enhanced over nearly 19 years. Her efforts to broaden her skillset led her to attain a Master of Science in Research Administration from Central Michigan University in 2017. Her current position is National Agronomist, where she serves as the bridge between AgroLiquid’s sales, agronomy, and research teams. Stephanie is dedicated to evaluating soil and cropping systems to develop sound recommendations and provide agronomic solutions for growers. Farming around 4,000 acres with her husband, she understands the importance that good agronomics plays in successful farming.