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. 

ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION

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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, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. Organic products represented include organic foods, ingredients and beverages, as well as organic fibers, personal care products, pet foods, nutritional supplements, household cleaners and flowers. 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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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.


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