Wednesday, Nov. 29
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
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.