2019 CONFERENCE PRESENTERS

DR. JENNIFER TUCKER

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DR. JENNIFER TUCKER 

Jennifer Tucker, Ph.D., was named Deputy Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program on June 21, 2018. Dr. Tucker served as Associate Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program from 2011-2018. Before joining USDA, she served as a group facilitator and organization development consultant, working primarily with scientific and technical government and non-profit organizations. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Science from Wesleyan University, an M.S. in Management from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.

MR. JOHN BLANCHFIELD

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MR. JOHN BLANCHFIELD 

Our speaker has over 40 years of experience in agricultural finance. He spent 25 years in Washington, DC directing the agricultural banking policies of the American Bankers Association. Before that he was a commercial banker in central New York State focused on lending to dairy farmers.

Five years ago John founded Agricultural Banking Advisory Services, an independent consultancy that is dedicated to helping community bankers improve their ag lending programs with the goal of making more credit available to farmers and ranchers. Since starting his company Blanchfield has published over 20 articles on ag banking and has delivered more than 60 speeches to bankers and their farm and ranch customers.

In 2015 the American Bankers Association created a new award named in his honor that celebrates his commitment to agricultural banking. Today, ABA selects a new Blanchfield Award recipient annually.

He and his wife live in Damascus, Maryland and Custer, South Dakota.

DR. MARIA GIOVANNI

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  MARIA GIOVANNI PhD, CFS  

As a sensory scientist with degrees in food science, Dr. Giovanni’s career has focused on understanding and assessing the factors underlying food choice. She has conducted research both in industry and academia, including human odor and taste perception and influences on behavior, cross-cultural food preferences, and enhancing the quality of fruits and vegetables to consumers. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at California State University, Chico, near her roots in Glenn County, where her family were dairy farmers. 

DR. CINDY DALEY

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DR. CINDY DALEY 

Dr. Cynthia Daley is a professor within the College of Agriculture at California State University, Chico, and currently serves as the Rawlin's Endowed Professor for Environmental Literacy, and the Director for the Center for Regenerative Agriculture & Resilient Systems.

Cindy is originally from Illinois, where her family has been actively engaged in the farming profession for more than four generations. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois, her doctorate at University of California Davis.

She joined the CSU Chico, COA faculty in 1997 and later founded the Organic Dairy Education & Research Program in 2006. Seeing the need to grow the ecological farming movement, Daley went on to co-create the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative in 2016 and guided  this program  to Center status in May of 2019.

The new Center for Regenerative Agricutlure & Resilient Systems is a consortium of interdisciplinary faculty and farmers who recognize the ecological benefits of regenerative farming practices including water conservation, soil fertility, and carbon sequestration. The Center's guiding principle is that agriculture, when done regeneratively, can be the solution to soil degradation and climate change.

ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION

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MEGAN DeBATES

Megan DeBates is the Director of Legislative Affairs and Coalitions for the Organic Trade Association (OTA). In this capacity, she develops and implements policy strategies in the interest of OTA’s mission and its members, and engages Congress, federal and state agencies and other stakeholder groups to further those policy goals. She currently serves as staff for the Trade Association’s recently formed Dairy Council. The OTA Dairy Council brings together farmers, handlers, processors, and manufacturers in order to advance the organic dairy sector. The current membership of the council collectively represents over 90% of the U.S. organic dairy market.

Prior to joining OTA, DeBates served as Senior Legislative Aide to U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04). She graduated from the University of Oregon with a dual degree in international studies and environmental studies.

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The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, rectifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. 

OTA’s member organic businesses work together through networking, advocacy, and other initiatives to encourage and protect organic farming practices, and to share messages about the positive environmental and nutritional attributes of organic products with consumers, the media, and policymakers. 

NATIONAL ORGANIC COALITION

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ABBY YOUNGBLOOD

Since 2015, Abby Youngblood has served as the Executive Director at the National Organic Coalition (NOC), an alliance of farmers, ranchers, NGOs, and companies dedicated to protecting organic integrity. Youngblood has been a passionate participant in the organic farming and food justice movement for more than two decades and is a former co-owner and operator of a vegetable farm in upstate New York.  She holds a masters degree in public policy and non-profit management from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, and lives with her husband and two children in Arlington, MA.

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The National Organic Coalition (NOC) is a national alliance of organizations working to provide a "Washington voice" for farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, consumers and industry members involved in organic agriculture.  NOC seeks to advance organic food and agriculture and ensure a united voice for organic integrity, which means strong, enforceable, and continuously improved standards to maximize the multiple health, environmental, and economic benefits that organic agriculture provides. The coalition works to assure that policies are fair, equitable, and encourage diversity of participation and access.


Pasture Satellite Imaging Panel

FARMERS EDGE

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JAMIE DENBOW

Empowering growers and agricultural professionals with Precision Digital Solutions. At Farmers Edge, we’re dedicated to developing the best platforms to increase production and help you grow more with less. We give you everything you need to get value from farm data, manage risks and maximize farm profitability.

REZATEC

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PHILIP BRISCOE 

Philip Briscoe is Chief Operating Officer at Rezatec, a leading global Geospatial Data Analytics company. Philip is responsible for Rezatec’s go-to-market strategy, international expansion and partner relationships. He has over 20 years’ experience in the technology industry, holding senior management positions across a diverse range of software companies. Grass SAT is a Rezatec brand.  

ORGANIC VALLEY

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  DR. GREG BRICKNER

CROPP/Organic Valley staff veterinarian and grazing specialist Greg Brickner earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993, and began a career as a large animal vet in Southwest Wisconsin.  While most of his veterinary work is in dairy and beef cattle, he also has a strong interest in sheep and goat medicine.  
Greg, wife Vicki, and their two daughters live on a 160-acre farm near Wonewoc, Wisconsin, where they graze 250 ewes and their lambs. He began his dairy career in 1987 as a herdsman on an organic dairy in Pennsylvania, and formerly ran a 45-cow herd on his Wisconsin farm.  Dr. Brickner looks forward to working with Organic Valley farmers to help them improve herd health.

STRAUS FAMILY CREAMERY

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JOSEPH BUTTON

Joseph Button is the Director of Sustainability at Straus Family Creamery. In his role, Joseph implements best-in-industry sustainable management business practices throughout the mission-driven company’s operations. Joseph also works to ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of family organic dairy farms in the northern San Francisco Bay area by driving initiatives that improve farms’ ecological resilience while ensuring the farmers’ financial outlook.

Joseph has worked in the field of sustainability for more than ten years. He has graduate degrees in business and international environmental policy. He is a firm believer that businesses must manage to the triple bottom line and that a sustainable society will only be achieved through public-private partnerships in which businesses take primary responsibility for social and environmental leadership and innovation. Before Straus Family Creamery, Joseph held a variety of positions in the fields of business consulting, climate policy, energy efficiency, and humanitarian development. 

BREAKFAST PRESENTERS

NOVAVIVE INC.

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NOVAVIVE INC. 

Mark Hill is the Founder and President of AABEX Animal Health, an animal health sales and marketing company founded in 2018. Mark and his team work with NovaVive Inc. to represent the NovaVive line of USDA-approved immunotherapeutic products, including OMRI-listed Amplimune® for the treatment of calf scours. Mark is a seasoned professional who was most recently employed as Senior Sales Director for the U.S. Large Animal Division of Merial Ltd. In addition to his sales experience, Mark also held several marketing management roles during his career where he worked with some of the leading brands in the industry. Mark graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and a MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship.


Mark will present during breakfast. 

The title of his presentation is: 

 The Use of Immunostimulants in Organic Dairies as an Alternative to Antibiotics 


ALLTECH

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ALLTECH

Ulises Salas-Vega joined Alltech in January 2015, and his role focuses on hosting bilingual training and educational dairy workshops for dairy employees.

Originally from Costa Rica, he moved to the United States to continue his education after receiving his bachelor’s degree in agriculture engineering. He sought to invest in the dairy business, and after working with Hilmar Cheese Company, he started his own Jersey dairy in South Dakota. While running his operation, he prided himself on the relationships he made with employees to better enhance employee knowledge and training, which ultimately led to increased production and overall efficiency.


Ulises will present during breakfast. 

The title of his presentation is:   

The Tools and Talent for Employee Success 

ALLTECH

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 ALLTECH

Dr. Luke Miller's expertise extends to every level of a dairy operation. Prior to joining Alltech, he was the general manager for a 6,000-head, multi-site dairy in central California. During his eight years at the dairy, he managed dairy operations and a team of 45 employees, and he designed and constructed a state-of-the-art, 80-stall rotary milking barn. He also worked with local and national government agencies on grants and permitting.

Previously, Miller spent eight years as a large animal veterinarian, where he became the practice owner. He practiced all facets of large animal medicine and also aided in the design and implementation of dairy protocols and standard operating procedures.

He received a bachelor's degree in animal science and a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine from Michigan State University. Miller and his family currently reside in central California. 

Dr. Luke Miller will present during breakfast. 

The title of his presentation is:   

The Tools and Talent for Employee Success 


LUNCH & PRESENTATION SPONSORED BY

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 Linda Squires is a longtime leader in Customer Risk Management in central California and beyond. She has been in the Risk Management industry for over 30 years, with seven years of service at American AgCredit. She specializes in the dairy, tree nut and almond industries, among many others. She grew up working on her grandparents’ ranch and is married to a farmer who uses crop insurance. She knows first-hand how crop insurance can protect and benefit an operation.  

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LINDA SQUIRES 

Linda Squires is a longtime leader in Customer Risk Management in central California and beyond. She has been in the Risk Management industry for over 30 years, with seven years of service at American AgCredit. She specializes in the dairy, tree nut and almond industries, among many others. She grew up working on her grandparents’ ranch and is married to a farmer who uses crop insurance. She knows first-hand how crop insurance can protect and benefit an operation.