Speaker Bios

JOHNNY COUNCIL is the president and CEO for The Tremont and Lyman Groups located in California. Prior to creating The Tremont Group, Inc., he served as an infantryman in the army, spending a year in Vietnam; worked as a field engineer and manager for Occidental Chemical and also for Simplot Soil Builders at Dixon. Tremont and Lyman groups focus on full-service, diversified retail business specializing in wholesale, manufacturing, tolling and transportationin the Northern Sacramento Valley and the North Coast.

JIM DAVIS is director of sales and marketing for Meherrin Agricultural and Chemical Company. In addition, Davis serves on the Board of Directors for Tenkos, Inc., the largest distribution entity for crop protection productions in the United States. Community service roles include serving as a volunteer coach and member of the Franklin, Virginia, Baptist Church and the Masonic Lodge. He is a 1987 graduate from Virginia Tech with a bachelor's in agricultural engineering.

JACK EBERSPACHER, ARA president and CEO, is a 31-year industrialist. He previously served as chief executive office of the National Association of Wheat Growers and is credited with guiding the organization out from negative $200,000 net earnings to a positive $80,000 in two-and-a-half years. Since taking the helm of ARA, association membership dues has grown to more than $1 million since 2007; and leads an aggressive public policy agenda for members.

HUGH GRANT is chairman of the Board of Directors and President and CEO for Monsanto Company, a global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Grant previously served as managing director of all Monsanto business units in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and also led the marketing, sales and technology organizations in Europe and North America. He was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Monsanto Company in 2000 and was named to his current position in 2003.

JOHN LAGEMANN is vice president of sales for John Deere, overseeing seven sales branches in the United States and Canada, as well as customer acquisition, national account sales, dealer development and sales and marketing administration. He previously lived overseas managing John Deere operations in Australia, New Zealand and East Asia. Lagemann holds a master's in business administration and a bachelor's in feed science and management from Kansas State University.

is president and CEO of Cargill, Inc. He joined Cargill in 1974, and has served several roles including several domestic jobs in Cargill's animal nutrition business, head of animal nutrition operations in Asia, corporate vice president of Excel Corporation, and in 2000 he was named president and chief operating officer. In 2007, Page became the fourth nonfamily-member to hear the 142-year old company with the support of the Cargill family, senior executives and board.

DAVID PARKER is a founding management team member of ABG, an Adayana Company; a training and strategy consulting firm based in Indianapolis, Indiana. In his position as vice president of instructional services, Parker oversees facilitation activities for the company and manages several key accounts. A native of central Indiana, he grew up on a still-active grain and livestock farm, he holds a bachelor's in agricultural economics from Purdue University; having recently served as a member of the Purdue Libraries Development and Dean's Advisory Board; and the first recipient of the Special Boilermaker Award for service to the Purdue community.

DON POTTINGER is vice president of major accounts and global partner relations for the application equipment division of AGCO, a global manufacturer and marketer of agricultural equipment headquartered in Duluth, Georgia. Pottinger has dedicated 30 years to the advancement of the ag retailer industry, serving in various leadership position within his company, industry and as chairman of ARA's Conference Planning Committee. He has published numerous articles and is an industry expert on value-added input marketing and the importance of service-generated in a commodity business. Pottinger has served on the ARA Board of Directors for more than 20 years and is the recipient of the coveted ARA Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

JAMES PROKOPANKO is the president and CEO of Mosaic Company. He joined Mosaic in 2004 as a director prior to his appointment to lead the company. Prokopanko previous served in several executive and leadership roles for Cargill from 1978-2006, including corporate vice president and leader of Cargill’s Ag Producer Services Platform. While at Cargill, Prokopanko engaged in retail agriculture businesses in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and United Kingdom.

JOHN RYAN is president and CEO of Rabo AgriFinance. He joined the company after holding the position of president and CEO of Farm Credit Canada from 1997-2007. During his 10-year tenure, Ryan led the strategic repositioning and expansion of Farm Credit Canada to become the country’s largest agricultural lender, achieving 300 percent growth in loans and increased profits, as well as the development of several new lines of business.

KEVIN STILL is CEO of CO-Alliance LLP and former head of Midland Co-op, Inc. Co-Alliance is a Danville-based farm supply, energy, grain and swine marketing partnership of Midland Co-op, Inc., IMPACT Co-op, Inc., Laporte County Coop, Inc., and Frontier Co-op, Inc. Under Still’s leadership, the Co-Alliance partnership is committed to leading its markets, grow members' profitability, give back to communities and remember its cooperative roots—returning profits back to local farmer-owners after expenses are met.

BOB TREADWAY is a strategic planning consultant, futurist, forecaster and speaker. He provides consultation and facilitation for some of North America’s most innovative companies including Gillette, Motorola, ExxonMobile and Berkshire Hathaway. In addition, Treadway has served as a board advisor for one of America’s largest telecommunications organizations; and is a faculty member for the Institute for Management Studies.

DEAN WILLIAMS is the regional manager for the South Central U.S. Region for Crop Production Services. Before Agrium acquired UAP in May 2008, Williams was an executive vice president of UAP Holding Corp. He joined UAP in 1988 and served in various sales and management positions in the Delta Region, as well as manager of the Southwest Region, Southern Plains and Division 3.