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NEDPA Speakers

PRE-CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Dario Arezzo
Farm Credit East (sponsored session)

Dario is a Senior Tax Consultant at Farm Credit East, ACA where he specializes in tax consulting, research, planning and compliance for both individuals and businesses within the agricultural community. Dario has a quarterly column titled Arezzo on Agriculture published in the prominent national tax publication State Tax Notes. Dario also authored the Cornell Income Tax School’s New York State tax manual.  

Dario holds a B.S. from Cornell University, J.D. from Albany Law School and a LL.M from New York University.

Joe Baldwin
Farm Credit East (sponsored session)

Joe manages the financial services department of Farm Credit East’s Geneva, NY office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bucknell University, a master’s degree in business administration from UMASS and a master’s degree in taxation from Northeastern University.

In addition to his involvement with Farm Credit East’s internal training program,  Joe has lectured through the Cornell Income Tax School, the Farm Financial Standards Council and the NY Society of Enrolled Agents.

Allen Behrer
Willow Behrer Farms (session sponsored by Dairy One)

Allen is managing partner of Willow Behrer Farms, LLC, a joint venture with Seven Stars Dairy. Together they milk 950 cows in two parlors and crop about 1900 acres. 

Allen graduated from Penn State University in 2001 with a B.S degree in Dairy and Animal Science.  In 2005, Allen completed the Cornell Dairy Executive Program, and has served on several boards. From 2010-2013 he was a member of the Huntingdon County Farm Bureau, he is currently serving on the Pennsylvania Beef Council Board, and is a Land-O-Lakes Unit 5 alternate delegate.

David Crass
Michael Best (session sponsored by PRO-DAIRY and NEDPA)

David’s practice sits squarely at the intersection of the food-water-energy nexus. His work in the areas of environmental, regulatory, agricultural production, manufacturing and distribution, and energy projects gives him the depth of experience necessary to counsel clients who will be feeding and powering a projected global population of nine billion people by 2050—at a time when resource scarcity and consumer confidence require an ongoing commitment to stewardship and sustainability.

David grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and maintains a presence in Michael Best’s Madison, WI office, as well as in Washington, D.C., allowing him to serve the agricultural, dairy, and food processing industries both locally and at a national policy level. Besides providing environmental, regulatory, project development, and legislative counsel, David’s work for agribusiness includes enforcement defense, compliance counseling, project development structure and permitting, litigation support, and interest-based negotiation.

Karl Czymmek
Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY (session sponsored by PRO-DAIRY and NEDPA)

Karl Czymmek is a staff member of PRO-DAIRY and key collaborator with the Nutrient Management Spear Program at Cornell University with statewide extension responsibilities in the area of nutrient management for field crops with particular emphasis on CAFO issues.   Prior to joining Cornell University, he has experience working on farms and in the private and public sectors.  Karl works with producers, public and private planners, researchers and state and federal agency staff to help examine the confluence of farming, regulations and science and implement practical solutions that enhance farm production and sustainability.  He has provided leadership toward the development of the NY P and N indices and development of a system that links the CNMP with NRCS standards and Land Grant Guidelines.  Karl holds a BS degree from Cornell University majoring in Agronomy and a JD (Juris Doctor) degree from University of Buffalo School of Law, and was admitted to the NY Bar in 1994.

Bruce Charleton
Lincoln Agribusiness (sponsored session)

Bruce Charleton  has been affiliated with Lincoln Agribusiness for nearly 10 years.  He uses his 25 years of training and experience in banking, finance and sales to help his clients reach business and personal financial planning goals. Bruce Charleton is a Registered Representatives of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.  Securities offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker dealer. Investment advisory services offered through Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. 

Jeff Fetter
Scolaro, Fetter, Grizanti, McGough & King, P.C. (session sponsored by Lincoln Agribusiness)
Jeffrey M. Fetter is a shareholder of Scolaro, Fetter, Grizanti, McGough & King, P.C. in Syracuse, New York and is Chairman of the Business Practice Group. His statewide practice focuses on business, estate, tax, succession and transactional planning for closely held and family owned enterprises. Jeff Fetter is not affiliated with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.

Kevin Harvatine
Penn State University (session sponsored by Mycogen Seeds)

Kevin Harvatine, is an Associate Professor of Nutritional Physiology at Penn State University.  He grew up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania and received his BS in Animal Science from Penn State. He earned an MS from Michigan State University and PhD from Cornell University. His area of expertise is nutritional regulation of metabolism.  Currently he investigates milk fat depression, fat supplements, and daily patterns of intake and milk synthesis.  His lab conducts experiments ranging from applied dairy nutrition to mechanistic molecular biology experiments.  He has authored or co-authored 50 peer reviewed publications since 2009 and has spoken extensively at regional, national, and international conferences.

Michelle Payn
Cause Matters Corp. (session sponsored by Micronutrients)

Michele Payn, CSP, connects the people and science of food and farming as principal of Cause Matters Corp. She is known for being a community catalyst, a passionate advocate for global agriculture - and antagonizing people into action. Michele has worked with farmers in more than 25 countries, raised over $5 million in sponsorships for the National FFA Foundation and founded the weekly online Twitter conversations, AgChat and Food Chat. She is the author of two books, No More Food Fights! and Food Truths from Farm to Table, an Amazon #1 best seller. Michele's degrees are in Agricultural Communications and Animal Science from Michigan State University. She has earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation, awarded to less than 10% of professional speakers globally. She resides with her daughter on a small farm in central Indiana, where they enjoy Registered Holsteins, MSU Spartans, and arguing about science while cooking. Michele connects conversations between the food and farm communities at www.causematters.com and socially through @mpaynspeaker.

Tom Rehberger
Church and Dwight Co. (session sponsored by Arm and Hammer Animal Nutrition and Papillon)

Tom serves as R&D and business manager with broad base of experience coming from University and industry positions ranging from founding start-ups to leading multidiscipline R&D teams in large corporations.  He has pioneered the research in microbial ecology and immunology to improve understanding of direct-fed microbials (probiotics) in livestock systems and developed one of the first high-throughput molecular microbial ecology platforms for the development of customized direct-fed microbials for the livestock industry.  Author of over 50 peer reviewed journal articles, 30 patents and 100 abstracts.

Chuck Schwab
Schwab Consulting (session sponsored by Adisseo)

Dr. Schwab was on the faculty at the University of New Hampshire for 34 years and 8 years ago founded Schwab Consulting LLC. He received a B.S. degree in Animal Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville in 1969, a M.S. degree in Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970, and joint Ph.D. degrees in Dairy Sciences and Nutritional Sciences in 1974 from UW-Madison. During his tenure as a professor with teaching, research and administrative responsibilities, he provided leadership for numerous departmental and college initiatives. He is recognized internationally for his research on amino acid nutrition of dairy cattle and was a member of the Dairy NRC (2001) Committee, providing leadership for the development of the protein and AA submodel. As a consultant, Dr. Schwab educates dairy nutritionists and producers worldwide on advances in amino acid nutrition and its implications on milk component production, transitional cow health, and efficiency of N utilization.

Doug Szemborski
Bazooka Farmstart (session sponsored by Pikeside Enterprises)

Doug was raised on a Dairy farm in Central Wisconsin. He worked for a dairy equipment supply company as a service man for 8 years before becoming as representative for the company specializing in the design of manure systems. These systems involved getting the manure from the cow to the field through different processes depending on the farms bedding choice and layout. He has worked with many regulatory agency’s such as the NRCS over the last 30 years dealing with manure management and system designs before being hired by Bazooka Farmstar. At Bazooka Farmstar he now design systems to transfer manure from storage to the field, specializing in proper land application to reduce runoff and utilize the nutrients for better crop production.

Tim Veazey
Lincoln Agribusiness (sponsored session)

Tim Veazey grew up on a dairy farm in western New York. He spent the first 10 years of his career as an agricultural lender, and after that, has been a financial planner focused on agribusiness clients for over 20 years. This experience has fueled his passion for helping owners of large farms develop and implement business succession, estate transfer and personal financial plans.  Timothy Veazey is a Registered Representatives of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.  Securities offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker dealer. Investment advisory services offered through Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. 

Leah Ziemba
Michael Best (session sponsored by PRO-DAIRY and NEDPA)

Leah takes a big-picture approach in advising clients as they face challenges on environmental, food safety, and regulatory compliance issues. She draws on experience gained in cases involving the EPA, FDA, and other public agencies.

Leah’s success as a counselor, litigator and negotiator reflects her combination of subject matter expertise, industry knowledge, and creativity. Her work includes:
    Investigating, assessing, and remediating vapor intrusion issues at sites with historic solvent contamination
    Providing environmental liability assessments and risk management during transactional due diligence
    Implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act and advising on food labeling matters (e.g., “natural” claims, standards of identity)
    Navigating local, county, and state environmental regulations to permit and build or expand manufacturing facilities and commercial dairy operations

Leah has successfully negotiated State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System-related consent orders for agribusinesses with state regulatory agencies and the EPA. She has also achieved positive outcomes for clients with Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) on environmental compliance matters.

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Kim Bremmer
Ag Inspirations
Kim Bremmer, a nationally recognized motivational agriculture speaker, shares her true passion of speaking up for agriculture with everyday consumers. She is a vocal champion of agriculture everywhere she travels, from the grocery store to the airport.

Kim grew up as a farm girl and is a mother of two, graduate of UW-Madison and was a dairy nutritionist for 15 years. “As a dairy consultant, she had the great opportunity to work with farms of all types and sizes and can share experiences and perspective on modern agriculture from the people who are actually doing it.”

Kim founded Ag Inspirations with a mission to inspire farmers to tell their stories, connect people to where their food comes from, and represent the great success of American agriculture. She is the Wisconsin State Coordinator for Common Ground, a national movement of farm women who share information about farming and the food we grow, a regular contributor on Rural Route radio, and the President of Wisconsin Women for Agriculture – an affiliate of American Agri-Women, the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agri-business women. Kim is also an Academy Member of the National Speaker’s Association and serves on the Executive Advisory Council for the American Dairy Coalition.
 

Donald De Jong
Agri-Vision Farm Management
Donald serves as owner and chief executive officer of AgriVision Farm Management, LLC – a company that manages organic and conventional farmland and dairy operations.

Donald De Jong also serves as co-owner and CEO for Natural Prairie Dairy — one of the largest, family-operated organic dairy farms in the U.S. based in Hartley, Texas. Natural Prairie Dairy’s mission is to deliver best-in-class organic milk from their family to yours.

Donald attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California and majored in agribusiness management. In addition to his duties at Natural Prairie Dairy and AgriVision, Donald serves as vice chairman of Select Milk Producers, Inc. and serves as a director on the following boards: Greater Southwest Milk Marketing Agency, fairlife, and the Texas Department of Agriculture Organic Advisory Board. He also serves as a trustee for the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity Foundation and on the school board for Saint Anthony Catholic School.

Donald lives in Dalhart, Texas with his wife and business partner, Cheri De Jong and their three daughters Ashley, Allison and Alexandra.


Dr. David Kohl
Professor Emeritus, Virginia Tech
David Kohl received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University.  For 25 years, Kohl was Professor of Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.  He was on special leave with the Royal Bank of Canada working on advanced initiatives for two years, and also assisted in the launch of the successful entrepreneurship program at Cornell University. Kohl is Professor Emeritus in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at Virginia Tech.

Kohl has traveled over 9 million miles throughout his professional career!  He has conducted more than 6,000 workshops and seminars for agricultural groups such as bankers, Farm Credit, FSA, and regulators, as well as producer and agribusiness groups.  Kohl has addressed the American Bankers Agricultural Conference for more than 35 consecutive years, and has appeared before numerous state bankers’ schools and conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the world. He has published four books and over 2,100 articles on financial and business-related topics in journals, extension, and other popular publications.  Kohl regularly writes for Corn and Soybean Digest, and other ag lending publications.

As facilitator of the United States Farm Financial Standards Task Force and member of the Canadian Agricultural Financial Standards Task Force, Dr. Kohl was one of the leaders in establishing guidelines for the standardized reporting and analysis of agricultural producers' financial information on a national and international basis.  The Kohl Agribusiness Centre has been established in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech in honor of his long-term commitment to practical teaching, research, and extension. In 2017, Kohl was inducted into the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame.

Kohl is currently President of AgriVisions, LLC, a knowledge-based consulting business providing cutting-edge programs to leading agricultural organizations worldwide. He is also a business coach and part owner of Homestead Creamery, a value added dairy business in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
 

Andy Novakovic
Cornell University
Andrew Novakovic is the E.V. Baker Professor of Agricultural Economics at Cornell University, where he has been since 1978. His primary interest is dairy markets and policy, and he also is a Cornell resource on agricultural and food policy.  In addition to his research and teaching, he also serves as the Director of Land Grant Programs in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.


Craig Regelbrugge
AmericanHort
Craig Regelbrugge is Senior Vice President of AmericanHort, the national trade organization representing the horticulture industry, including nursery and greenhouse growers, garden retailers, interior, and exterior landscape professionals, and others in the plant supply chain. He leads the industry’s advocacy and research programs.

Regelbrugge serves in national leadership positions representing the horticulture industry on matters relating to the labor force, plant health, and trade. He co-chairs the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, a broad-based coalition providing legislative strategy, legal, and economic guidance toward a stable and legal agricultural workforce, and is on the board of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund.  He also serves on the executive committee of the National Council of Agricultural Employers. 

Regelbrugge received his undergraduate degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech, and he worked in the nursery industry and served as a county horticultural extension agent in Virginia before joining the trade association community in December, 1989. 

He is a frequent presenter, author, and spokesperson on topics relating to the workforce and immigration, production, trade, and environmental issues impacting farmers and small businesses in and connected to the horticulture industry.
 

Paul Vitale
Vital Communications, Inc.
Paul Vitale has become one of America’s most sought-out speakers and trainers by using his unique combination of excitement, energy, and experience to encourage and motivate others. The founder of Vital Communications, Inc., Paul is a native of Arkansas and acquired his degree in mass communications and journalism from the University of Central Arkansas.

For almost twenty years, Paul has impacted individuals and organizations, imparting an understanding of the leadership and determination required to excel. Through his keynote presentations, seminars, and retreats, Paul helps his clients build strong teams and increase productivity. He speaks worldwide about the significance of optimism, a strong work ethic, and concepts vital to personal and professional growth, while reaching hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life. Paul’s energetic and enjoyable presentation style has made him a favorite at countless universities, meetings, conventions, seminars, and training conferences. His diverse client list includes ESPN, Walmart, the United States Postal Service, Southwest Airlines, the National Football League, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tyson Foods, and Dole Hong Kong, among others.

Prior to speaking professionally, Paul was director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Preceding his role at the CVB, Paul launched his professional career with the largest marketing firm in the State of Arkansas—Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods. His team was responsible for all of the Natural State’s tourism promotion.
 

Tom Wall
Dairy Coach LLC
Tom Wall, The Dairy CoachTM, is passionate about helping people reach their potential.  He’s been working with dairies throughout the country for over 15 years, helping managers create and implement simple systems that work while also training and coaching their employees.

Wall, based out of Green Bay, owns and operates Dairy Coach, LLC, and has been a regular columnist with publications such as Dairy Herd Management and Progressive Dairyman.  He is also the creator of the Details for Dairy training video series, Dairy Interactive Milker Training software, and the latest employee management software DairyCOR.

 

BREAKOUT SESSION SPEAKERS

Jason Karszes
Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY
As a senior extension associate with the PRO-DAIRY program at Cornell University, Jason works with 80 to 100 dairy producers a year, focusing on education and research around annual business performance, budgeting, decision making, and goal setting to improve business performance.  He also coordinates activities across the state for Cornell University’s Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program, business discussion groups, and activity cost analysis projects.  With a focus on management education, he coordinates the Cornell Dairy Executive Program and works closely with the Academy for Dairy Executives Program in New York.
 

Kendra Lamb
Lamb Farms
Kendra Lamb is involved with community relations for Lamb Farms in Oakfield, NY.  In this role Kendra is responsible for tours, Facebook and website updates and a neighbor newsletter with the goal of fostering a strong relationship with the local community and educating the public on modern farming practices.
 

Joe Swyers
Swyers Dairy
Joe Swyers began operating Swyers Dairy in 2001 in Dansville, NY.  Today, they milk 1400 cows and farm around 3700 acres of crops.  Joe always felt hosting farm tours was important.   When one of Joe’s four children came home from school concerned about her classmates being required to read Omnivore’s Dilemma, Joe decided that he need to expand his focus and has made hosting farm tours and participating in panel discussions for older youth and adults a priority.

Maureen Torrey
Torrey Farms
Torrey Farms Inc. is a family farm operation based in Elba, New York.   Family members involved today include members of both the 11th and 12th generations of the Torrey family to farm in this country.   They control all aspects in the growing and selling of our produce, from seed to shelf.    The Torrey family farm over 12,000 acres across 5 counties in Western New York.  Today, the  11th Generation family members include 3 siblings; brothers John and Mark who oversee the growing, field operations, harvesting and packing operations for all commodities and Maureen, who handles all of the sales and marketing, financial, and human resource aspects of the business.   On the dairy side of their business, Torrey Farms currently milks about 3000 cows.  Torrey Farms hire both domestic and H2-A labor providing housing to over 300 employees, both seasonally and year-round.  Maureen has been a leader for over two decades representing agriculture and being a voice on the need for immigration reform and helping our elected officials understand the need for a guest worker program that would include the year-round needs for both the dairy industry and other agricultural commodities.