2016 AgVocacy Forum

2016 AgVocacy Forum brought to you by Bayer

Formerly Ag Issues Forum, AgVocacy Forum continues a decade-long tradition of bringing together a diverse mix of people, experience and opinions to exchange ideas and philosophies that help shape and influence modern agriculture. This year’s event will shine a spotlight on how being an “AgVocate” may help bridge the growing divide between consumers and those involved in food production.

Guest speakers include accomplished authors, a child CEO and a former NASA bioscientist. The entire event will be streamed live online and a full media kit with speaker bios and head shots, logos and news releases is also available below.

Join the conversation on social media using #AgVocate and follow @Bayer4CropsUS on Twitter and Instagram. You can also check out the Bayer Connect Blog for additional content.

Speaker Bios and Head Shots

Charles Baron

Charles Baron

Co-founder and Vice President, Farmer Business Network
In his role at Farmer Business Network, Charles Baron leads the development of FBN’s breakthrough agronomic network that democratizes farm information by connecting thousands of American farmers and their agronomic data.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Sebastian Cocioba

Sebastian Cocioba

Owner, New York Botanics, LLC; Scientific Consultant, School of Visual Arts
In addition to founding and leading New York Botanics, an ornamental plant genetic engineering start-up located in New York City, Sebastian Cocioba is also an independent researcher for the education-oriented biotech nonprofit, Binomica Labs.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Dr. Christine Daugherty

Dr. Christine Daugherty

Vice President, Sustainable Food Production, Tyson Foods
Dr. Christine Daugherty leads Tyson’s sustainable food production efforts, including farm animal wellbeing, responsible sourcing and natural resource conservation programs. Her team manages FarmCheck®, which ensures through third-party audits that supply chains for chicken, hog, cattle and turkey treat animals properly.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Dan Dye

Dan Dye

CEO, Ardent Mills
In 2013 Dan Dye was named CEO of Ardent Mills, the independent joint venture of parent companies Cargill, ConAgra Foods and CHS. Ardent Mills operates a network of 40-plus community flour mills and bakery mix facilities—as well as a specialty bakery—in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Lorie Farrell

Lorie Farrell

Freelancer, Digital Contributor, Community Manager
Lorie Farrell helps farmers and agriculture by amplifying their voices. A freelancer specializing in digital communications, she spends her time as a digital contributor AgVocating for food, farm and public policies that support agriculture, and combating misinformation and junk science head-on.
Full Bio     Head Shot
David Hollinrake

David Hollinrake

Vice President of Marketing & Portfolio Management, ‎Crop Science, a Division of Bayer
Since an increasingly hungry planet will need all available means to create a safe and affordable food supply, David Hollinrake remains passionate about the need to AgVocate on behalf of modern production practices.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Dr. Tim Landers

Dr. Tim Landers, Ph.D., RN, CNP, CIC

Assistant Professor, Ohio State University
In his work at Ohio State, Dr. Landers has focused his research on the epidemiology and prevention of antibioticresistant infections in different settings and practical, evidence-based strategies to prevent infections.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Amy Machamer

Amy Machamer

Co-owner, Hurd Orchards
Amy Machamer and her mother, Susan, are the owners of Hurd Orchards, a 200-year old family fruit farm nestled between the banks of the Erie Canal and the shores of Lake Ontario in Western New York.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Braeden Mannering

Braeden Mannering

Founder, Brae’s Brown Bags (3B)
Braeden Mannering, 12, of Bear, Delaware, founded the nonprofit 3B to provide healthy food and other items to homeless and low-income people in his community. He has activated more than 2,600 volunteers, provided more than 4,500 “brown bags” of healthy food, and raised more than $52,000 for hunger relief.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Carolyn O’Neil

Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RDN

Food and Nutrition Journalist, Cookbook Author, Former CNN Reporter
As a noted nutrition expert, award-winning food writer, television personality and registered dietitian, Carolyn O’Neil believes “The More You Know, The More You Can Eat!” Carolyn reported on food, nutrition and travel at CNN for nearly 20 years and her blog is at www.oneiloneating.com.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Dr. Margaret Riley

Dr. Margaret Riley, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
After receiving her Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1991, Dr. Riley joined the faculty at Yale University, where she remained for 15 years while developing an internationally renowned research program in antimicrobial drug discovery.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Kavin Senopathy

Kavin Senopathy

Author and Contributor, Forbes
Kavin Senapathy is a science communicator tackling myths on science, health and food. She is the Co-Executive Director of international pro-science, pro-biotech movement March Against Myths, and co-author of The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari’s Glass House.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Frank Sesno

Frank Sesno

Moderator & Director, School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University
Frank Sesno is an Emmy award-winning journalist and the creator/host of PlanetForward.org, a user-driven web and television project that highlights innovations in sustainability. He is also chief executive of FacetheFactsUSA.org, a nonpartisan, fact-based content hub.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Kelly Shea

Kelly Shea

Vice President, Government & Industry Relations, The WhiteWave Foods Co.
In her role at WhiteWave, Kelly Shea supports the company’s commitment to nutritious and sustainably produced products like Silk, So Delicious, Vega, International Delight, Wallaby, Earthbound Farm and Horizon Organic.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Dr. Anne Kopecky Vidaver

Dr. Anne Kopecky Vidaver, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
A past president of the American Phytopathological Society, Dr. Anne Kopecky Vidaver is named in the APS press book on pioneering women in plant pathology. Her research interests have focused on everything from plant-associated bacteria to genetics.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Darren Wallis

Darren Wallis

Vice President of North America Communications, Crop Science, a Division of Bayer
With more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, Darren Wallis currently leads all North American internal and external corporate communication activities, including corporate reputation, media relations, employee communications, and digital communication.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Tyler Wegmeyer

Tyler Wegmeyer

Owner, Wegmeyer Farms
Tyler Wegmeyer spent 15 years working in Washington, D.C., for both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and the American Farm Bureau Federation. Together with his wife, Harriet, he founded Wegmeyer Farms in 2002.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Sara Wyant

Sara Wyant

President, Agri-Pulse Communications Inc.
As president and founder of the largest communications firm focused on agricultural and rural policy issues, Sara Wyant is well recognized on Capitol Hill, as well as with farm and commodity associations across the country.
Full Bio     Head Shot
Josiah Zayner

Dr. Josiah Zayner, Ph.D.

CEO, The Odin
A global leader in the BioHacker movement, Dr. Josiah Zayner is constantly pushing the boundaries of science outside traditional environments. He is the founder and CEO of The ODIN, a company that makes science more accessible by providing inexpensive resources to allow anyone to perform cutting-edge genetic engineering at home.
Full Bio     Head Shot

News Releases

Agvocacy Forum logo

Bayer Forum Narrows Gap Between Public and Food Production

Advancing the conversation about the best ways to sustainably feed a growing population will be the overarching theme for the 2016 AgVocacy Forum, sponsored by Bayer. Representatives from agriculture and consumer media will hear from thought leaders in science, nutrition and sustainable food production at the invitation-only event on March 1-2, 2016. Read More >>
Bayer cross logo over green field

Bayer Honors Two Farmers’ Commitment to Innovation, Sustainability and Community

Bayer recognized the 2016 Young Farmer Sustainability Award and Produce Innovation Award winners at the 2016 AgVocacy Forum. The Young Farmer Sustainability Award was presented to Tyler Wegmeyer of Wegmeyer Farms, a commercial wholesale, u-pick and agritourism operation in northern Virginia. Amy Machamer and Hurd Orchards, a family-owned fruit farm in upstate New York, received the Produce Innovation Award. Read More >>
Bayer Feed a Bee Program

Orleans Parish 4-H and Bayer to Break Ground Ground on Pollinator Garden at Benjamin Franklin Elementary

Bayer and the Orleans Parish 4-H chapter teamed up to help a new generation make its own mark on the city by breaking ground on a pollinator patch in the teaching garden at Benjamin Franklin Elementary Mathematics and Science School. Read More >>
Sivanto Prime logo

Sivanto™ Prime Insecticide Provides Excellent Sugarcane Aphid Control

Sorghum growers wrestling with crop-threatening sugarcane aphid infestations have a highly effective, fully labeled management tool that provides industry-leading residual control. Sivanto Prime insecticide from Bayer has a full Section 3 federal label and brings the power of butenolide chemistry, the first and only IRAC Group 4D product, to work against sugarcane aphid. Read More >>
Bayer West Sacramento Greenhouse ribbon cutting

Bayer Showcases Agricultural Advancement With Grand Opening Of New Greenhouse Site In West Sacramento

Bayer recently celebrated the grand opening of its West Sacramento greenhouse site to support the Crop Science division’s growing Biologics and Vegetable Seeds businesses. The $12 million complex, situated on 5 acres, represents Bayer’s continuing commitment to innovative agricultural solutions to provide growers with more options and help crops adapt to seasonal and regional growing conditions. Read More >>

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