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2016 Farm Futures Business Summit

Speaker bios

Gary Baise

Gary Baise, a principal at OFW Law, specializes in Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) litigation as well as agricultural corporate governance issues. He has defended clients, including farm producers, in several of the leading wetlands enforcement cases under the CWA in federal courts. He serves as general counsel for U.S. Grains Council, Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), and National Sorghum Producers (NSP). Gary was the first Chief of Staff to the first U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator. He owns a family farm in Jacksonville, Ill., and writes a weekly column, Defending Agriculture, for FarmFutures.com.

Matt Barnard

Matt is CEO of Crop Copter and Chief Agronomics, LLC. He started Chief Agronomics in 2013 after retiring from various leadership roles during a 14-year career in the seed industry.  He is an owner/operator of Barnard Farms Partnership, working with his family, as they produce corn and soybeans across five central Illinois counties. Matt is active as a trustee in his local church, is a past advisor and current board member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.  He is a past graduate of the Illinois Ag Leadership Program and a 2014 recepiant of Vance Publishing's 40 under 40 Leaders in Agriculture.  A University of Illinois graduate, Matt resides in Foosland, Ill., with his wife, Angie, and children, Alex and Brecke.

Lance Burditt

As a Senior Director with Water Street Solutions, Lance works alongside the financial, legacy and risk management department. He grew up on a family grain and livestock farm in northeast Missouri and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Ag Economics and his master’s degree in Agribusiness Management, both from the University of Missouri. Lance has managed field sales, led training and development teams, and later served as operations product analyst and product manager for Monsanto. He was an account manager at Learfield Communications/Brownfield Network. More recently, he was Vice President and Managing Director of Osborn Barr, a marketing communications firm focused on agriculture.

Bob Craven

Bob has a B.S. in Animal Science and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota. His areas of specialty include business management for farmers and credit analysis for agricultural lenders with emphasis on financial planning and analysis. His work for the Center has focused on development of FINPACK, Ag financial software. He also played a key role in the development of the National Risk Management Education Library. Bob is also actively involved in a 1,200-acre family farming operation in southwestern Minnesota. 

Richard F. Dunn

Rich Dunn is co-owner of Dunncreek advisors, a fee-only Minnesota-based financial planning firm focused on preserving and managing wealth. A veteran financial planner, Rich’s experience is informed by a lifetime in the agricultural industry and a 15-year career working with food and agriculture businesses and farmers. He grew up on an Illinois farm and earned a bachelor's degree in Ag Education and Ag Communications at University of Illinois. Because Rich is a fee-only, independent advisor, he strives to place clients’ interests ahead of his own.

Nate Franzen

Nate is currently the President of the Agri-Business Division at First Dakota National Bank, overseeing all aspects of Ag banking for the company. First Dakota is a $1.2 billion bank and one of the largest Ag banks in the country with total Ag loans under management in excess of $800 million.

Nate grew up on a diversified family dairy, grain, and beef cattle farming operation near Langford, SD. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree at Northern State University with majors in Management and Marketing, obtained his Master's in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and obtained a degree from the American Banker’s Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking held at Georgetown University. He is a past Chairman of the American Bankers Association’s Ag & Rural Bankers Committee, a past Chairman of the South Dakota Banker’s Association’s Agricultural/Commercial Lenders Committee, and a past President of the Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Brett Haas

Brett Haas is Vice President of Sales, Crop Copter. Along with his family, Brett has operated Haas Seed Sales, LLC for over 35 years. A self-described "techie," Brett is passionate about precision agriculture and quickly adopts it on his central Illinois farm. Brett has been focused on signing up new Crop Copter dealers throughout the Midwest.  With more than 1,000 flights to his name, Brett is Crop Copter's most experienced pilot.  The University of Illinois graduate lives in Downs, Ill., with his wife, Ellen, and sons, Colton and Ethan, and daughter, Evelyn. 

Kelvin Leibold

Kelvin Leibold has over 28 years of experience with ISU Extension. His areas of expertise include farm management, farmland and building leasing, global agriculture, land values, farm machinery management, estate planning, intergenerational transfer and beginning Farmers. He is a member of the ANNIES national leadership team. Kelvin has observed agriculture in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Paraguay, Russia, South Africa, and Western Europe. This included setting up a pork genetics project in Nigeria and ongoing work with Agri-Benchmark from Germany. Kelvin earned a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University.

David Kohl

Dr. Kohl is a retired professor of agricultural economics at Virginia Tech.  He has conducted more than 6,000 workshops and seminars for agricultural groups including farmers, bankers, Farm Credit, and agribusiness groups.  Kohl has published more than 1,500 articles on financial and business-related topics in journals and other publications.

Bryce Knorr

Bryce Knorr is the senior market analyst for Farm Futures magazine and www.FarmFutures.com. He has been associated with the brand for 20 years.  Knorr was the senior market analyst for CyberCrop.com, where he helped build the first online grain marketing Internet sites for farmers.  In his current role, Knorr writes daily, weekly and monthly market analysis for online readers and web browsers as well as feature stories for the magazine. He also conducts survey research into a variety of management topics including secrets of success.

Peter Martin

As finance and growth consultant with K-Coe Isom, Peter leads companies to their next stage of growth. He advises businesses on where they are today and develops a game plan to turn growth opportunities into reality. With M&A and capital raising experience, Peter helps business owners and leadership teams choose among the best alternatives as they acquire, merge or form joint ventures. A featured Ag finance columnist and national speaker, Peter earned a degree in Psychology and an MBA, with emphasis on finance and accounting. He is a member of the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors and Association for Corporate Growth.

Jerry Moss

Jerry Moss is CEO of Moss Family Farms and American Heartland Co., a farm management, consulting, sales, and appraisal company in Quincy, IL. He currently manages 57 farms in Illinois and Iowa, totaling over 17,000 acres. Moss consults with farmers on enterprise analysis, risk balancing, performance comparisons, record keeping, employee management, cost cutting and acquisitions. He is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the American Society of Ag Consultants.

Jason Moss

Jason farms with his father Jerry Moss and has been a Brock Associates marketing consultant since 2005. As a marketing consultant, Jason works with a variety of producers across the country in developing and implementing marketing plans to best manage price risk. As Chief Operating Officer he is in charge of developing new products, improving customer development and streamlining customer relationship management. Jason earned a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois, a M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and a M.B.A. from Indiana University.

Paul Neiffer

Neiffer is an Agribusiness CPA and business advisor specializing in income taxation and accounting services related to farmers and processors. He graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Business Administration.  He actively consults with farm families on succession planning issues and opportunities.  He helps farmers set up specialized computerized accounting systems for use in their operations and provides guidance on the use of accrual accounting for management purposes while maintaining the cash method of accounting for tax purposes. Paul is also the primary contributor to the Farmcpatoday.com blog for farmers and others involved in the Ag industry.

Dwight Raab

Originally from south Texas and raised in small-town rural central Indiana, Raab oversees the farm management associations in Illinois.  His undergrad years were spent at Purdue University; after a short tour of duty in retail seed sales he began his career with Illinois FBFM in 1987. He has served as the State Coordinator since 2008.  Illinois FBFM has a long relationship with the Agricultural and Consumer Economics Department at the University of Illinois.

Manuel Sanchez

Manuel serves as the manager of global trade for the U.S. Grains Council. In this capacity, he supports the Council’s worldwide trade servicing, monitors and tracks trade issues in expanding markets, and helps with the overall management of Council programs involving U.S. corn and barley. Prior to joining the Council, Manuel worked at Cargill Incorporated from 2007-2014, serving in various roles including grain marketing advisor in Valparaiso, Ind., and trade execution supervisor in Coral Gables, Fla. Sanchez holds a master’s in business administration degree from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, where he majored in international business.

Sponsor speakers

Kathleen Walton

Kathleen Walton is Principal at K·Coe Isom. She leads K·Coe Isom’s outsourced CFO services and investment banking practice. In addition to being a corporate and M&A attorney, Kathleen was a partner at a $500 million private equity firm where she negotiated and evaluated dozens of acquisitions, and participated in capital-raising and portfolio company management. Her goal is to provide data and analysis help to farm business owners looking to grow their operations.

Dennis Roddy

Dennis Roddy is Manager at K·Coe Isom. Dennis relates to farmers and ranchers throughout the Midwest as a farmer and rancher himself. Bringing over 20 years in credit analysis, commercial lending, tax planning, estate and succession planning, and business planning, Dennis educates farmers on the financial aspects of their operations to ensure they can make better business decisions, faster.

Mark Hoorman, Farm Manager, New Vision Farms

Wayne Noffsinger, Manager, Helena Continental

David Widmar, Purdue University

Brady Spangenberg, Market Intelligence Manager, BASF