2017 AgVocacy Forum

2016 AgVocacy Forum brought to you by Bayer

The 2017 AgVocacy Forum will take place in San Antonio on February 28 and March 1. This annual event brings together great minds in the realms of agriculture, technology, policy and sustainability to discuss the challenges and opportunities we all face in terms of global food production for a growing population.

The lineup of speakers and panelists for the AgVocacy Forum will present attendees with diverse perspectives and experiences as they relate to science, Ag and food. Some of our panelists include: Louisa Burwood-Taylor, chief editor of AgFunderNews; Dr. John Goldberg, founder of Science Based Strategies and former long-time adviser on the House Ag Committee; Vivian Howard, chef and owner of Chef & The Farmer in Kinston, N.C., and star of PBS’s “A Chef’s Life;” David Rosenberg, CEO of AeroFarms; representatives from Campbell’s, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Feeding America; growers from various U.S. geographies, among others.

Visit this page at the start of the Forum to download items from our media kit.

Join the social conversation live at www.agvocate17.com.

Press Releases


Food and Ag Leaders Emphasize Collaboration to Feed the Future

Annual Bayer event brings together industry influencers to discuss the role of innovation, public policy and sustainability in feeding the future. » more

Speaker Bios and Head Shots

Barbara CohenBarbara Cohen

Co-founder, Food Cowboy
Barbara Cohen, a public health and nutrition expert, has addressed issues of hunger, food insecurity, nutrition and the relationship between food and health outcomes at both national and local levels through program development and evaluation.
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Ben ChostnerBen Chostner

Vice President of business development, Blue River Technology
Ben joined Blue River in 2012 and has helped bring the See & Spray machines to life by linking grower needs to research and development in the lab. He now leads strategy and commercialization and pursues partnership opportunities.
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Brian AntleBrian Antle

President, PlantTape
Brian Antle is current president of PlantTape, a global automated transplanting system owned by Tanimura & Antle. The PlantTape technology is leading the way in reducing labor and cost, while increasing yield, uniformity and sustainability.
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Carrie CalvertCarrie Calvert

Director of Tax and Commodity Policy, Feeding America
Carrie Calvert is the director of tax and commodity policy at Feeding America, the nation’s largest antihunger organization. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 local agencies, Feeding America feeds 46 million Americans a year and leads efforts to reduce hunger in America.
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Darren Wallis Darren Wallis

Vice President, Communications Bayer, 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, digital communication and issues management.
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David HollinrakeDavid Hollinrake

Vice President, North America Marketing Crop Science, a division of Bayer
At Crop Science, David is responsible for strategy development and execution for ACO marketing and serves on the North America Leadership Team. He is based at the North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
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David RosenbergDavid Rosenberg

CEO and Co-founder, AeroFarms
David, a serial entrepreneur, co-founded and leads AeroFarms, a clean-technology company that builds and operates advanced vertical farms in urban environments. Recognized for its sustainable food production model, it has been named a Circular Economy 100 company, won the World Technology Award for most impactful Environmental Company, was voted Most Innovative Company at the Future of Agriculture conference, the Best Growth Company to invest in at The Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference and was a finalist for The Circular Awards.
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Deb GangwishDeb Gangwish

Co-Owner, PG Farms, Inc. and The Diamond “G”
Deb currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. She is also on the Freedom to Operate Action Team for National Corn Growers Association. Deb is the co-owner of PG Farms, Inc., and The Diamond “G”, a family farm and ranch with a custom seed corn harvest and trucking company employing 20 full-time and 10 part-time employees.
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Dr. Adrian PercyDr. Adrian Percy

Global Head of Research & Development, and Executive Committee Member of Crop Science, a Division of Bayer
Dr. Adrian Percy has held numerous positions in the research and development departments of the Crop Science division of Bayer and its legacy companies in France, Germany and the U.S. These include leading crop protection development activities in North America and, most recently, regulatory affairs activities across the Crop Science technology platforms, including seeds and traits, crop protection and environmental science.
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Dr. John GoldbergDr. John Goldberg

Founder, Science Based Strategies
Dr. John J. Goldberg is the founder of Science Based Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based food, agriculture and environmental policy consulting firm. Prior to his move to the private sector, Dr. Goldberg served 22 years as Science Advisor to the Committee on Agriculture in the United States House of Representatives.
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Frank SesnoFrank Sesno

Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University
He is the author of Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change and is an internationally recognized journalist and interviewer with more than 30 years of experience reporting from around the world. Sesno spent 21 years at CNN, serving as White House correspondent, anchor and Washington bureau chief.
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Jack A. BoboJack A. Bobo

Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Intrexon
Jack Bobo serves as the senior vice President and chief communications officer for Intrexon, a synthetic biology company developing revolutionary solutions to the world's most pressing problems – in food, energy and health. In 2015, he was named by Scientific American one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology today.
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Jay HillJay Hill

Grower, Hill Farms and Wholesome Valley Farms
Jay Hill is a second-generation farmer in southern New Mexico. Jay partners with his father, Jim Hill, on their 750-acre farm started by Jim in 1969. The majority of their operation is dedicated to vegetable and nut production.
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Jeremy BrownJeremy Brown

Texas organic crop farmer, Broadview Agriculture Inc.
Fifth-generation family farmer Jeremy farms with his wife, Sarah, and three children on their 3,000-acre farm on the South Plains of west Texas, growing both conventional and organic cotton, wheat, rye, grain sorghum, peanuts and sesame. Jeremy is committed to sustainable farming practices, including crop rotation, minimum tillage and using cover crops.
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Kelly JohnstonKelly Johnston

Vice President of Government Affairs, Campbell Soup Company
Kelly Johnston joined Campbell in July 2002 as vice president – government affairs. He coordinates activities and relationships with local, state, federal and international government legislative and regulatory agencies, as well as the company’s participation in trade associations. He reports to Adam Ciongoli, senior vice president and general counsel.
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Kevin WulfKevin Wulf

Kevin Wulf was born and raised on a beef and crop farm near Morris, Minnesota. He joined the Riverview team in 2007 after teaching fifth grade for eight years and works in the human resources, employee education and community relations areas of the business. His primary duties include employee development and training, organizing and giving tours, and cultivating community relationships. He also focuses on maintaining Riverview’s culture, employee recruitment and the company’s BE SAFE initiative.
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Louisa Burwood-TaylorLouisa Burwood-Taylor

Chief Editor, AgFunderNews
Louisa is chief editor of AgFunderNews, bringing over 10 years of financial journalism experience to the team. She has covered a range of financial products and markets during her career, from equity capital markets in Asia to structured bonds in Europe, before turning her attention to agriculture three years ago. She’s also been responsible for launching two publications: an institutional investment intelligence service for Financial Times and the first-ever title focused on agriculture investment, Agri Investor, for PEI Media.
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Lynn JacquezLynn Jacquez

Managing Partner and Principal, CJ Lake LLC
Lynn Jacquez currently serves as principal at CJ Lake LCC, with a professional background that spans private law practice, government relations and service in the federal government.
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Nathan “Nate” KauffmanNathan “Nate” Kauffman

Asst. Vice President / Omaha Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Nathan Kauffman is assistant vice president and Omaha Branch executive with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In this role, he serves as the Bank’s regional economist and representative in the state of Nebraska, recruits and works closely with the Branch’s board of directors, and is responsible for briefing the Kansas City Fed’s president – a member of the Federal Open Market Committee – on economic and business activity in the state.
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Randy RussellRandy Russell

President and CEO, The Russell Group (Coalition for Safe & Affordable Food)
Randy M. Russell was born and raised in Virginia. Randy attended George Mason University, where he was a proud member of the school’s baseball team and where he completed his undergraduate studies in public administration and graduate work in economics.
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Ray GaesserRay Gaesser

Grower, Gaesser Farms
Ray grew up on a small farm in Indiana. Ray and his wife, Elaine, were married in 1977 and moved near Lenox in southwest Iowa – where they began farming. They have two children, Jennifer, who is the high school vocal instructor at Atlantic Iowa, and Christopher, who is an agronomist and farms with Ray and Elaine.
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Roger LoweRoger Lowe

Executive Vice President of Strategic Communications, Grocery Manufacturers Association
Roger Lowe is executive vice president of strategic communications at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and has more than 35 years of experience as a corporate communications leader, public relations consultant and newspaper reporter.
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Steve TuttleSteve Tuttle

President & CEO, Agrimetis
Steven comes with more than 25 years of global agricultural business experience and expertise. His experience includes building, running, developing and leading global businesses. Specifically, within the agricultural segment, he has held several sales, marketing and commercial management roles.
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Vikram MansharamaniVikram Mansharamani

Dr. Vikram Mansharamani shows people how to anticipate the future, manage risk and spot hidden opportunities. He gained widespread attention with the release of his first book, Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst, in 2011. Since then, he has been a frequent commentator on issues driving disruption in the global business environment.
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Vivian HowardVivian Howard

Chef and Television Personality – PBS Television Series, A Chef's Life
Howard graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC in 2003. She completed an internship at Wylie Dufresne's wd~50 and trained at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market. Howard moved to North Carolina in 2005 and opened Chef & the Farmer in 2006 in a downtown building that had once been a mule stable.
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Wayne ParrottWayne Parrott

Professor, University of Georgia
Wayne Parrott received a degree in agronomy from the University of Kentucky and MS and Ph.D. degrees in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the faculty at the University of Georgia in 1988. Since then, he has been conducting research on the development, use and safety of transgenic (i.e., GM) crop plants, using grant monies from USDA-NIFA, NSF, DOE and the United Soybean Board.
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Zach BaileyZach Bailey

Farm Manager, Bailey Family Farm
Zach is farm manager at Bailey Family Farm. In his role, he has the task of overseeing daily operations – everything from organizing employees and logistics to performing equipment maintenance, planting and harvesting. Additionally, Zach is responsible for organizing the long-term outlook for the farm with his father and brother.
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