Speakers

Dicamba: Lessons Learned in 2017

Pre-Conference Workshop
Tuesday, Nov. 28
2:15 to 4 p.m.

Dr. Ford Baldwin
Practical Weed Consultants

Dr. Stanley Culpepper
University of Georgia

Ford BaldwinEarlier this year, Missouri and Arkansas temporarily banned sales and use of Dicamba following a deluge of complaints.

Dr. Ford Baldwin, who will lead a pre-conference workshop on dicamba issues on Nov. 28, recently appeared before the Arkansas Plant Board. Baldwin is a stanch supporter of biotechnology’s role in weed control, but offers a critical perspective on dicamba use.

“People have the right to plant anything they wish without having chemical trespass on it,” Baldwin said in his June 29 column in Delta Farm Press. “While I wish it could be different, spraying large acreages with dicamba in the summer, without off-target effects, is virtually impossible.”

He sees a need for growers, suppliers and regulators to work together to develop better rules to prevent drift.

“I believe herbicides are a wonderful thing if they do their intended job and they can be used without causing harm to others,” he said. “In the case of the Xtend technology, the second part is not happening and that is why the stop use was ultimately issued.”

Dr. Baldwin served as a weed scientist with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service from 1974 to 2001. During that time, he conducted extensive applied research trials in rice, soybeans, cotton and wheat, and developed weed management recommendations and educational programs for farmers. Since January 2002, Baldwin has been a partner in Practical Weed Consultants with his wife, Tomilea.

He has been an expert witness in several legal cases involving agriculture. He has also been asked by insurance companies to mediate negotiations to determine fairness for all involved. He prides himself in keeping an unbiased opinion in all his recommendations and legal matters. He has been an invited speaker and hosted numerous groups of agricultural consultants, growers, and fellow colleagues around the world.

Consolidation in Agribusiness

General Session - Keynote Presentation
Wednesday, Nov. 29

Jim Collins
DuPont

Jim CollinsJames C. Collins, Jr., Executive Vice President with DuPont will discuss the DuPont-Dow merger, strategic developments and current trends impacting the ag industry. He will keynote the opening general session Nov. 29.

Mr. Collins is responsible for the DuPont Agriculture segment: DuPont Pioneer and Crop Protection. After the completion of the proposed merger of equals between DuPont and Dow, he will become the chief operating officer for the DowDuPont agriculture business.

He joined DuPont as an engineer in 1984 and began his career in DuPont Manufacturing. He held positions in engineering, supervision and business management at a variety of plant sites. In 1993, he joined the Agriculture Sales & Marketing Group as a sales representative and product manager. He then served in a variety of roles across the globe, supporting DuPont’s seed and crop protection businesses. From 2004 to 2010, Mr. Collins was responsible for DuPont Crop Protection first as vice president and general manager and then president.

In January 2011, he was appointed vice president for Acquisition & Integration of Danisco, and was named president of the newly formed DuPont Industrial Biosciences in May of that year. Beginning in September 2013, he assumed responsibility for the Performance Materials segment and additional corporate functional responsibilities as senior vice president. He was named to the position of executive vice president in December 2014 and in July 2015 added responsibility for the Electronics & Communications segment. He was named to current role as Ag Segment leader in January 2016.

Mr. Collins studied at Christian Brothers College in Memphis, Tenn., and received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He also received his MBA from the University of Delaware in Marketing with a focus on International Business.

A supporter of youth education and leadership, Mr. Collins serves on the executive board of the Chester County Council Boy Scouts of America and has received an honorary American FFA Degree for his efforts to promote Agriculture education with youth in the United States. 

The End of the World ... and Other Opportunities

General Session - Keynote Presentation
Wednesday, Nov. 29

Peter Zeihan
Zeihan on Geopolitics

Peter ZeihanRussian, Middle Eastern and Asian conflicts are about to trigger the greatest energy crisis in history. Dozens of countries are slipping into deflationary spirals from which there is little hope of escape. And America's swerving into demagogic populism will unhinge its entire alliance network. The world as we know it is in its final days. Find out how and why it all came to be, how and why it is all falling apart. But most of all find out how the world's end heralds the greatest expansion in American power and security in the history of the Republic.

Geopolitical strategist and global energy, demographic and security expert Peter Zeihan will keynote the opening general session of the ARA Conference and Expo, Nov. 29, at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

Mr. Zeihan’s world-view marries the realities of geography and populations to a deep understanding of how global politics impact markets and economic trends, helping industry leaders navigate today’s complex mix of geopolitical risks and opportunities. With a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines, his irreverent approach transforms topics that are normally dense and heavy into accessible, relevant takeaways for audiences of all types.

In his career, Mr. Zeihan has ranged from working for the U.S. State Department in Australia, to the D.C. think tank community, to helping develop the analytical models for Stratfor, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies. Mr. Zeihan founded his own firm — Zeihan on Geopolitics — in 2012 to provide a select group of clients with direct, custom analytical products. Today those clients represent a vast array of sectors including energy majors, financial institutions, business associations, agricultural interests, universities and the U.S. military.

His freshman book, The Accidental Superpower, forecasts the coming collapse of the global order. It debuted in 2014. His newest project, The Absent Superpower, published in December 2016. It highlights what comes next.

Alternative Business Models

General Session - Panel Discussion
Thursday, Nov. 30

Amol Deshpande, Farmers Business Network
Steve Watts, Farrell Growth Group
Dr. Dave Downey, Purdue University (Moderator)

Steve_Watts_600x600.jpg Amol_Despande.jpg
Steve Watts Amol Deshpande

Retail is rapidly evolving. In consumer retail, former brick and mortar anchors such as Sears, JC Penny and others are facing bankruptcy and closing stores. Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is poised to radically disrupt grocery, delivery and logistics industries.

Farm supply retailers recognize change is an unavoidable business principle. The Agricultural Retailers Association strives to equip members and stakeholders with the tools and knowledge to meet the challenges ahead, which is why the conference planning committee invited Farmers Business Network to participate in a panel discussion on alternative business models.

This general session will offer attendees an opportunity to better understand emerging retail models, the impacts they may have on traditional ag retailers and how your organization can prepare to meet the challenges presented by new players working from a different playbook.

The “Uber of ag retail” may not be a reality, but it may not be far off.

The panel discussion features Steve Watts, a partner with the Farrell Growth Group and FBN Co-Founder and CEO Amol Deshpande. It will be moderated by Dr. Dave Downey, professor emeritus at Purdue University.

In his role with FGG, Watts assists agricultural retailers with mergers and acquisitions, financial benchmarking and a wide variety of business consulting needs. He helped launch Aligned Ag Distributors, a new crop protection distribution company founded by six western retailers/distributors and United Suppliers, Inc.

Deshpande has spent the better part of his career in and around agriculture at start-up companies, large companies such as Cargill and most recently as a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm focused on digital, greentech and life sciences. He has launched and led ventures in water and waste management, biotechnology and energy sectors.

Despande holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an MBA from Cornell, where he was a Park Fellow.

Coming to a State Near You

Breakout Session
Wednesday, Nov. 29
3:30-4:30 p.m.

Mary Hartney, Florida Fertilizer and Chemical Association
Renee Pinel, Western Plant Health Association
Katie Fast, Oregonians for Food and Shelter
Moderated by Jim Byrum, Michigan Agribusiness Association

Mary Hartney ReneePinel_500x667.jpg KatieFast.jpg JimByrum.jpg
Mary Hartney Renee Pinel Katie Fast Jim Byrum

This panel discussion features state association leaders from Oregon, California and Florida, arguably three of the most challenging regulatory and legislative environments for agribusinesses to operate.

The goal of the session is make ag retailers in other regions aware of what’s happening on the regulatory frontier so they can prepare if and when those issues arise locally. Katie Fast, Renee Pinel and Mary Hartney will share perspectives on the impact of marijuana legalization, state and local ballot measures to ban aerial spraying and biotechnology, water quality, endangered species, GMO labeling and federal pesticide registrations.

The panel will be moderated by Jim Byrum, President of the President of Michigan Agri-Business, a trade organization of more than 400 members who represent virtually every segment of the agriculture industry including: feed and agronomy suppliers and grain handlers, renewable fuel producers, transportation companies and other suppliers and companies involved in agriculture. 

Mr. Byrum, a fourth-generation farmer, is a strong advocate for Michigan agriculture, and has extensive experience in the public policy arena, working closely with state and federal leaders on a variety of issues. He also has considerable experience working to expand markets both domestically and internationally.

In addition to her responsibilities as President and CEO of the Western Plant Health Association, Renee Pinel advocates on behalf of WPHA membership with the state legislature and regulatory agencies. She has served on advisory boards to several California state agencies including the Department of Pesticide Regulations, Air Resources Board, Central Valley Regional Water Board, and Department of Food and Agriculture. She also serves as an executive board member of the Central Valley Salts Coalition. Since February 2006, Ms. Pinel has served as President and CEO. Before becoming CEO she was Director Legislative Affairs and Policies for WPHA.

Katie Fast is executive director of Oregonians for Food and Shelter, a coalition that promotes the responsible use of pesticides, fertilizers and biotechnology. Previously, she served as vice president of public policy for the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation and director of government affairs for the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. Ms. Fast grew up on a ranch and continues to farm with her husband and two children. She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Animal Sciences with minor in Agricultural Business Management. She currently serves on the board of directors for the OSU Alumni Association, OSU College of Agriculture’s ER Jackman Friends and Alumni, Oregon’s Resources Education and Agriculture Leadership program and Ag-PAC.

Mary Hartney joined the Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association in 1998. Her expertise in public affairs and communications was honed in previous leadership positions with Polk County Farm Bureau, Florida Citrus Mutual and The Lakeland Ledger. Through her leadership of FFAA, she works with Florida legislators, state regulatory agencies, grower groups and allies on science-based agricultural and environmental policies. Ms. Hartney is a University of Notre Dame graduate and holds a Masters Degree from the University of South Florida.

Protecting Yourself from Liability

Breakout Session
Wednesday, Nov. 29
3:30-4:30 p.m.

David Leath
Petrie Dorfmeier, LLP

David LeathAlthough dicamba has made headlines recently, over-spray, misapplication and drift are issues applicators, crop consultants and ag retailers need to consider for all products with potentially negative effects on neighboring crops.

In this breakout session, David Leath, partner with Petrie Dorfmeier, in Fresno, Calif., will offer his expert advice on protecting yourself and your company from liability against crop loss, off-target application, spray drift, exposure and other issues associated with crop protection applications. His focus will be on how consultants, applicators and ag retailers can protect themselves and their company when providing consultative advice, pesticide recommendations, product sales and use or when drift occurs.

Mr. Leath has been specializing in agricultural litigation for more than 15 years, with an emphasis in crop loss and pesticide matters. He has handled cases involving the vast majority of commercial crops grown in the Western United States and has significant experience in all aspects of crop claims, including working with experts during the investigation phase to jury trial verdict. Before entering private practice, he served as a Deputy District Attorney in Merced, California, where he was a member of the Ag Crimes Task Force.

We Won But... Legal Perspectives on Key Industry Issues

Thursday, Nov. 30
8 – 9 a.m.

Ross Johnson, Faegre Baker Daniels
Del Ehrich, Faegre Baker Daniels

Ross Johnson Del Ehrich
Ross Johnson Del Ehrich

Agriculture won several major regulatory and legislative battles in the last year (Process Safety Management, Andersons Seed v. EPA, Des Moines Water Works litigation, existing stocks provisions for canceled pesticide registrations, chlorpyrifos, Risk Management Program requirements, etc.), but the war is not over. Attorneys Ross Johnson and Del Ehrich with Faegre Baker Daniels will provide their perspective on what may happen next on key regulatory and legislative industry issues – including dicamba – facing ag retailers, distributors and suppliers.

Mr. Johnson is a partner and the Des Moines office leader at Faegre Baker Daniels. He regularly represents local and national clients in agribusiness, product liability, toxic tort, personal injury, class action, general commercial and other matters in Iowa and numerous other states around the country. Mr. Johnson is a member of the firm's national food and agriculture industry team and heads the crop nutrient/fertilizer market segment for firm-wide support of clients in this industry.

Mr. Ehrich is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and leads the firm's environmental practice area. He focuses his practice on complex environmental and natural resource damage litigation. With more than 30-years’ experience, Mr. Ehrich has represented business clients in a wide variety of litigation and administrative proceedings involving major federal environmental statutes—including Superfund, RCRA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and TSCA—and myriad state environmental statutes and regulations.

A Big Pay-Off: Moving from Paper to Electronic Business Transactions

Thursday, Nov. 30
8 – 9 a.m.

Ann Vande Lune, Key Cooperative
Randy Fry, Ceres Solutions
Brent Kemp, Ag Gateway (Moderator)

Brent Kemp

Is manual data entry draining away your efficiency? Could you be doing a better job managing inventory? Some retailers have been streamlining for efficiency through automatic, electronic data exchange for order-to-invoice processes, inventory management, sales reporting, and data collection and exchange with field operations and agronomic services. In this session you’ll hear from two ag retailers who are reaping the benefits of going electronic, featuring ROI and value statistics. You’ll also hear how to leverage the many assets of AgGateway, a non-profit organization with the mission to help agribusinesses move to electronic connectivity.

Speaker Highlights

Keynote Speakers

Peter Zeihan, Geopolitical Strategist

Jim Collins, Executive Vice President, DuPont

Scott Pruitt, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (invited) 

Panel Discussions

Alternative Business Models

Amol Deshpande, CEO, Farmers Business Network
Steve Watts, Partner, Farrell Growth Group
Dr. Dave Downey, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University (Moderator)

Coming to a State Near You

Mary Hartney, Florida Fertilizer and AgriChemical Association
Renee Pinel, Western Plant Health Association
Katie Fast, Oregonians for Food and Shelter
Jim Byrum, Michigan Agribusiness Association (Moderator)

Implementing eConnectivity in Ag Retail

Brent Kemp, AgGateway (Moderator)

Breakout Sessions

Protecting Yourself from Liability
David Leath, Petrie Dorfmeier

We Won! Now What? Legal Perspectives on Key Issues
Ross Johnson, Faegre Baker Daniels

Past Presentations

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