goddess of grain

Angie Setzer
Master of Ceremonies

Angie Setzer has been in the cash grain industry for over 18 years. She has dedicated her career to learning the ins and outs of the cash grain business from both the commercial and the farmer side, working to marry the two, teaching the farmer to manage his grain as an elevator would.

She left the elevator business to launch Consus in 2021. At Consus she not only works with farmers helping take their bushels from concept to cash, she and her partners consult with agribusinesses and other industry members around the world. In addition to actively trading the cash market Angie is a well-known market analyst, having been seen on Bloomberg Television, BBC News, Fox Business, Market to Market, and the Weather Channel. She has also been a featured guest on Bloomberg’s “Oddlots” podcast and well as a regular guest on Forex Analytics Community Experience and Benzinga’s Pre-Market Prep, taking her ag industry knowledge mainstream.

Dr. Shawn P. Conley

Dr. Shawn P. Conley is a Professor of Agronomy and the state’s Soybean and Small Grain Specialist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Conley’s research goal is to generate science-based solutions to address real world problems in soybean and small grain production.  This knowledge is then integrated and delivered through his Extension program. Dr. Conley has authored or co-authored 106 refereed journal articles and has spoken at more than 750 events and to nearly 57,000 clients since beginning his academic career.  Dr. Conley also co-authored the children’s book “Coolbean the Soybean.”

Join Dr. Conley at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 for the Beer & Bull session, and again at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2 for the bonus agronomic breakout session.

Dr. Rodrigo Werle

Dr. Rodrigo Werle is an Associate Professor and Extension Cropping Systems Weed Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research and Extension program (aka WiscWeeds) focuses on integrated approaches to weed management in corn, soybean, and small grains in Wisconsin farm systems. Dr. Werle received his BS in Agronomy from São Paulo State University in Brazil, and his MS and PhD degrees in Agronomy with Specialization in Weed Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Join Dr. Werle at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 for agronomic session and again at 4:30 p.m. for the Beer & Bull session.

Damon L. Smith, Ph.D.

Damon L. Smith, Ph.D., is a native of the Finger Lakes Region of Western New York State.  After graduating from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Geneseo with a B.S. in biology in 2001, he attended North Carolina State University where he earned an M.S. degree in plant pathology in 2004 and his Ph.D. in plant pathology in 2007. Damon spent time at Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor of plant pathology and horticulture extension pathologist from 2007-2012 before joining the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in September 2012.

Join Dr. Smith at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 for agronomic session and again at 4:30 p.m. for the Beer & Bull session.

mental-health-panel

Adrienne DeSutter

Adrienne is part of her husband’s fourth-generation farm family in Knox County, Illinois. They farm corn and soybeans, with a small herd of cattle and a small herd of children. With a Master’s degree in Counseling (and a self-proclaimed Master of Farm Family Chaos), Adrienne recognized a need for mental health advocacy in agriculture and began partnering with ag businesses and organizations to promote healthy minds and prevent farmer suicide. In addition to public speaking, she helps create and connect valuable ag mental health resources, writes wellness articles, and has been featured in articles, podcasts, and initiatives across the globe.

Join Adrienne at 1:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1 for a session on mental health in agriculture.

Matt Bennett

Matt Bennett is a co-founder of AgMarket.Net. He is also a Windsor, Illinois, farmer and former grain elevator owner. He is Channel Seed’s grain marketing consultant and holds a Series 3 brokerage license doing business through AgMarket.Net, Farm Division of JSA.

Matt brings the producer perspective to the table, enriched with his extensive grain marketing background. He specializes in formulating risk-management strategies for corn, soybean farmers and livestock producers.

Matt’s analysis and commentary on the grain markets appears on various TV and radio stations across the Midwest, including “AgDay”, “U.S. Farm Report”, “Market to Market” and “This Week in AgriBusiness”.

A graduate of University of Illinois, Matt and his wife Tiffany live on the family’s centennial farm north of Windsor, where they are raising their five children. He owns and operates a 3,000-acre corn and soybean farm with his father while raising 60 head of registered Angus cows.

Join Matt at 8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, for a session the morning markets session.

Rob Sharkey

Rob Sharkey is a risk taker and out-of-the-box thinker. Better known by his digital alias, The SharkFarmer, Rob is an Illinois grain farmer, owner of a whitetail deer hunting outfitter, podcast & radio show host, and host of multiple TV shows on RFD-TV and PBS.

Known for his authentic and honest storytelling on his podcast, Rob isn’t afraid to address controversial topics or share the struggles of being a modern farmer and business owner. His unfiltered words resonate with almost a million listeners weekly around the world.

Join Rob at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, for a lunch and listen with the SharkFarmer.

Farm Bill Panel

Pam Jahnke
Farm Director, Midwest Farm Report Radio Network

Getting up at 2 in the morning might shock some of her listeners, but for Pam Jahnke, it’s part of the business. Growing up on a dairy farm just north of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Pam Jahnke grew up surrounded by agriculture. Raised on her family’s 200 acre dairy farm, she learned the “farm work ethic” first hand. Pam has been dedicated to agriculture throughout her life being actively involved in both 4-H and FFA activities. She happily served as a 4-H camp counselor, was a dairy exhibitor in county fairs, and even reigned as Oconto County’s Dairy Queen.

Pam is a past president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting(NAFB), and was named Farm Broadcaster of the Year 2013. In 2022, she was inducted into the NAFB Hall of Fame

In her spare time, Pam is active farming in partnership with her brother, sister and mother on the home farm. To date, the Wisconsin Farm Report network has grown to encompass 36 stations in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and daily appearances on the CBS TV affiliate in Madison.

Pam will moderate the Farm Bill panel.

Virginia Houston
Director of Government Affairs, ASA

Virginia Houston is the Director of Government Affairs at the American Soybean Association, where she handles issues relating to trade policy, market access, and international biotechnology and crop protection. She joined ASA in June 2020 after six years as the Director of Government Relations at the American Seed Trade Association, where she was responsible for implementing ASTA’s federal legislative initiatives. She also served as the lead for SeedFIrstPAC.
Prior to joining ASTA, Virginia held previous positions at the National Pork Producers Council, the Animal Agriculture Alliance and the Agriculture Marketing Service at USDA.

A native of east Tennessee, Virginia grew up on a diversified cow/calf operation, and her family owns and operates the oldest livestock auction market in Tennessee. Virginia has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Mississippi and a master’s in Political Management with a specialization in advocacy politics from The George Washington University.

Wayne Stoskopf
Director of Public Policy, NCGA

Wayne Stoskopf serves as a Director of Public Policy at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), where he focuses on risk management and tax issues. He is the lead staff for NCGA’s grower-led Risk Management and Transportation Action Team which is leading NCGA’s policy development for the 2023 reauthorization of the Farm Bill. Wayne previously worked for the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee where he served as Senior Professional Staff overseeing commodity, crop insurance, disaster, and grain standards programs. In that role, he led staff-level negotiations for the commodities and crop insurance titles during the 2018 reauthorization of the Farm Bill. He formerly served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Pat Roberts (Kan.) and Rep. Lynn Jenkins (Kan.) handling agriculture issues. Wayne was raised on his family’s farm near Hoisington, Kansas, and graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Agribusiness.

A native of east Tennessee, Virginia grew up on a diversified cow/calf operation, and her family owns and operates the oldest livestock auction market in Tennessee. Virginia has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Mississippi and a master’s in Political Management with a specialization in advocacy politics from The George Washington University.

Chase Adams
Senior Director of Congressional Relations, NPPC

As Senior Director of Congressional Relations, Chase Adams works closely with all National Pork Producers Council issue managers to ensure maximum success of NPPC initiatives and its advocacy agenda on Capitol Hill. Chase is a registered lobbyist. Prior to joining NPPC, Adams was senior policy and information director for the American Sheep Industry Association and was director of communications for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He began his career in agriculture as farm director for radio station KBHB in Sturgis, South Dakota. He also practiced law for several years.

Market Development Panel

Brent Boydston
Chair, U.S. Grains Council

Brent Boydston serves as the chairman of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), a non-profit organization that promotes the global use of U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including ethanol and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS). In this capacity, Boydston serves as member of the organization’s 15-person board of directors.

Boydston has a farm located in Centerville, Kansas, and has been farming with his family his entire life, but increased operations when his father passed away in 2020. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University and a Master of Business Administration from Colorado State University. Boydston has been a Council delegate for five years and is the industry affairs lead at Bayer Crop Science. He previously worked for Senator Norm Coleman, Rep. Steve King and with the Colorado Farm Bureau.

The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.

Eric Wenberg
Executive Director, Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance

Eric Wenberg has ushered in a new era for U.S. Identity Preserved soybeans and grains, helping to establish the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance as the premier trade association serving this industry. He retired in 2018 as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, rank of Minister Counselor, after a 28-year career with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service serving in American Embassies in Ottawa, Pretoria, Warsaw, and Moscow. Eric was active abroad assisting U.S. agricultural businesses with exporting, negotiating trade agreements, settling disputes with foreign governments, and speaking and publishing reports on foreign agricultural conditions.

On domestic assignments at USDA headquarters, Eric served as Assistant Deputy Administrator, Foreign Service Operations, directing 90 offices abroad. Eric also served as Director of Cooperator Programs, with responsibility for setting financial management and policy for Farm Bill foreign marketing programs of grants to U.S industry worth $252 million. From 2002-2004, Eric represented FAS on the governing board of the American Foreign Service Association.

Eric is from Wyoming and graduated from the University of Wyoming with a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics. He helps his family operate a farm in North Dakota.

Kim Atkins
Director of Strategic Partnerships, U.S. Soybean Export Council

Kim Atkins serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the U.S. Soybean Export Council. With nearly two decades of experience working to promote U.S. agriculture overseas, Atkins has a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Before joining USSEC, Atkins served as manager of membership and engagement at the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA). Prior to that she was vice president of public affairs and policy at Laura Wood Peterson (LWP) Consulting and vice president and chief operating officer for the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).

Dean Meyer
Immediate Past Chair, USMEF

Dean Meyer and his three sons raise corn and soybeans on their diversified operation, which also includes a cattle feedlot and a farrow-to-finish hog facility. This provides him with a deep appreciation of the diverse range of agricultural sectors that make up U.S. Meat Export Federation. Dean is the Immediate Past Chair for USMEF and brings a great depth of knowledge on how checkoff support advances USMEF’s mission.

Neil Caskey
CEO, National Corn Growers Association

In February 2023, the National Corn Growers Association’s Board of Director appointed Neil Caskey as NCGA’s CEO. In this role, Neil not only manages the organization’s day-to-day operations but also works in concert with the NCGA officer team and the board of directors to establish NCGA’s strategic  goals and direction.

Prior to becoming CEO, Neil’s served as NCGA’s vice president of communications and industry relations for over four years and spent over a decade promoting agricultural issues as executive vice president at OBP Agency, a leading advertising and public relations firm. His professional background also includes work for the American Soybean Association and as a legislative aide for a U.S. member of Congress.

During his tenure at NCGA, Neil has been at the forefront of some of the organization’s top issues. Most recently, he played a leading role in challenging Mexico on its efforts to ban genetically modified corn. As a result of these efforts, the U.S. Trade Representative requested a panel formation under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Neil holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MBA from Webster University.

CTIC: Farmers for Soil Health panel

Ben West
Executive Director, Farmers for Soil Health

Ben West serves as the Executive Director of Farmers for Soil Health, a joint effort by the United Soybean Board, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Pork Board. Ben has more than 25 years of experience in natural resources, agriculture, administration, leadership, communication, fundraising, and developing strategic partnerships across disciplines. He has numerous degrees with an emphasis in wildlife biology and holds a doctorate in Wildlife Biology from Utah State University.

Ben will moderate the panel discussion.

Catie Geib
CTIC Soil Health Specialist

Catie Geib is a Soil Health Specialist at the Conservation Technology Information Center in Eau Claire, WI. Raised on a fifth-generation ranch in Northern California, where her family continues to farm grapes, she observed her parents implement no-tillage and cover crops from an early age on their land. Catie earned her degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on Soil Science from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. In her role as the state technical assistance provider for the Farmers for Soil Health program in Wisconsin, Catie is dedicated to working closely with farmers, facilitating the adoption of cover crops. Her passion for soil health shines through in her commitment to fostering sustainable farming practices and supporting farmers in optimizing their land for long-term productivity.

Austin Omer
Sustainable Systems Agronomist | Morton, IL

Austin’s most recent role was the Associate Director of Natural Resource Policy in the Governmental Affairs and Commodities Division for the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB). Before joining IFB, Austin worked as a Hydrologist for Weyerhaeuser Company managing research projects and providing technical support to foresters. Prior to working in the forest industry, he worked as both a research and extension associate for Mississippi State University Extension Service investigating conservation practices and providing outreach to farmers. Originally from Quincy, IL, Austin attended Illinois State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science, and a master’s degree in agricultural science. In 2017, he finished his Ph.D. at Mississippi State University, which researched conservation practices aimed at preventing nutrient loss from agricultural landscapes and providing surface water for irrigation.

Jeff Gaska
WI Farmer, CTIC Cover Crop

Jeff Gaska grows corn, soybeans and wheat near Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Jeff has tried a variety of cover crop and grazing strategies over the years and incorporates them into his operation. He was presented on a variety of strategies, including interseeding a cover crop into 30-inch corn rows and also 60-inch corn rows to understand the benefits of feeding a herd on the lot versus grazing in the late fall months.

Andy Bensend
WI Farmer, sustainability advocate

Andy Bensend is the Vice-President for the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board. He grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa near Dallas, Wisconsin. Andy grew up on a dairy farm and was a dairyman himself until 1985.

Sustainability is a high priority for Andy and his operation. Andy was among the first to adopt no-till farming practices in the glaciated soils of the predominantly rolling topography he calls home. In 2016, Bensend was awarded the American Soybean Association Conservation Legacy Award.

Andy has served on numerous boards throughout his career, including serving as President of the Wisconsin Soybean Association in 2009. Most recently, he served on the board of the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance.

Compeer Financial Panel

Adam Gaskill
Vice President of Asset Liability & Capital Management, Compeer Financial

Adam Gaskill is vice president of asset liability & capital management at Compeer Financial, contributing 15 years to the organization. Based in Morton, Ill., Gaskill’s expertise spans financial analysis, loan pricing, investments, asset liability management and capital management. With degrees in economics, he leads efforts to ensure stable earnings through pricing strategies and optimal funding sources, as well as managing Compeer’s capital for growth and risk mitigation.

David Dinderman
Regional Manager of Appraisal, Compeer Financial

David Dinderman is regional manager of appraisal at Compeer Financial, with 16 years of experience in the Farm Credit System. Holding a bachelor’s degree in agri-business from Illinois State University, David leads the appraisal team in northern Illinois and Wisconsin, providing crucial support for collateral in Compeer lending. His role involves communicating organizational vision and policies, ensuring compliance and delivering premier appraisal services.

Carmen Michels
Financial Officer, Compeer Financial

Carmen Michels, a financial officer at Compeer Financial for seven years, leverages her agricultural upbringing on a cattle and crop operation in southeast Minnesota. Specializing in various operations, from cash grain to dairy, Michels is a proactive relationship manager dedicated to providing clients with capital, knowledge and resources. Carmen holds a degree in ag business from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Londa Lauber
Financial Officer, Compeer Financial 

Londa Lauber is a seasoned financial officer with six years of dedicated service at Compeer Financial in Burlington, Wis. Hailing from a dairy farm in southeast Minn., Lauber previously worked for the American Jersey cattle Association and Semex USA. Her role involves communicating with clients on loan terms, interest rates and financial benchmarks. She holds a degree in dairy science from UW-River falls and is a graduate of the Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 10.

WPA breakout sessions

Nic Rue
Vice President of Swine Lending, Compeer Financial

Nic Rue is a Vice President of Swine Lending at Compeer Financial. Prior to joining Compeer, Nic led a team that financed large agriculture business producers and broader capital markets with a focus on pork production and processing. He has been with our team since 2021 and with the Farm Credit System since 2004. Since working with the Farm Credit system, Nic has held various positions throughout his career which include sales, credit, and audit. Nic earned his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business from UW- River Falls and is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Graduate School of Banking. Nic and his wife Carrie have 4 kids and reside on a farm in southwest Wisconsin.

Mike Berget
Owner, Berget Farms and Silver Creek Family Farms

Mike Berget is the owner of Berget Farms and Silver Creek Family Farms located in southwest Wisconsin. Berget Farms is a row crop operation that has a 1,500 head commercial sow division, trucking business and grain operation. Mike is a forward-thinker who always strives to improve the family operation. He has been highly proactive in establishing sustainability programs, biosecurity protocols, promoting animal husbandry, efficiency, and creating a welcoming family-oriented atmosphere for their employees at the farm. Berget Farms utilizes manure as an organic fertilizer source and practices several different production techniques to ensure the longevity and health of their animals, soil, land, and air.

Dr. Cesar Corzo
Associate Professor, Swine Health and Productivity, University of Minnesota

Dr. Cesar Corzo is an Associate Professor and the Allen D. Leman Chair in Swine Health and Productivity at the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. He has over 20 years of experience working in the swine industry. His research focuses on understanding the epidemiological features of swine infectious diseases to develop methodologies to prevent, control and ultimately eliminate pathogens from pig populations. His research involves understanding factors related to the occurrence of PRRSv, PEDv, and Senecavirus. He leads the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project (MSHMP), a project funded by the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) that monitors high impact diseases and develops tools for FAD preparedness.

Harold Lee
Hueber Feed/Great Plains Management

Harold Lee is a Production Specialist for Great Plains Management, a Division of Hueber, LLC. He lives in LaMars, IA, with his wife, Tammy, and three children. He is the author of “A Diary of a PEDv Outbreak,” published in National Hog Farmer in February 2014. He has done consulting work for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the U.K. along with U.S. swine genetic companies. He is recipient of the 2014 Iowa Master Pork Producer award. Harold has been a member of the Great Plains Management team since August of 2015 and has 30+ years of experience in the swine industry. Harold conducts biosecurity training and audits as part of his duties as well.

Holy Cook
National Pork Producers Council

Holly Cook is the National Pork Producers Council’s Staff Economist and is responsible for providing economic support to NPPC staff. She collects and analyzes data related to hog prices, production, profitability, inventories, pork price spreads, national employment, food prices, and exports. Cook also conducts economic research related to the impacts of proposed policies and regulations on the pork industry and develops resources for staff and stakeholders. Cook has extensive knowledge of the agriculture industry from growing up on a farrow to finish swine operation in Winthrop, Iowa. Cook holds a Master of Science in agriculture economics from Iowa State University.

Luke Wall
National Pork Producers Council

Luke Wall is a Regional Director of Producer Services for the National Pork Producers Council. serving Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Working directly with pork producers, Wall seeks to increase awareness of NPPC programs and current policy priorities within the pork industry. He also represents NPPC at various producer functions.
Before joining NPPC in March 2023, Wall worked as a Regional Account Manager for Zoetis focusing on swine health. He received a B.A. in Agriculture Science from Western Illinois University. Growing up in Henry County, Illinois, the “Hog Capital of the World,” Wall has been involved in agriculture his entire life. He continues to raise livestock on the family farm with his wife and two daughters.

Courtney Knupp
National Pork Board

Courtney Knupp is the Vice President of international market development for the National Pork Board. In her role, Courtney’s focus is to establish pork as the global protein of choice through marketing and promotion. She collaborates with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the National Pork Producers Council to research and develop new markets and expand the customer base for U.S. pork.