Call for Proposals
Share your expertise and insights with more than 700 attendees from across the food and agriculture value chain by submitting a proposal for an in-person breakout session.
Here is your chance to be one of the experts! We are pleased to open a Call for Breakout Session Proposals for the 2023 Sustainable Agriculture Summit, December 6-7 in Charlotte, NC. Share your expertise and insights with more than 700 attendees from across the food and agriculture value chain by submitting a proposal for an in-person breakout session.
This year’s Summit, Scaling Collective Impact: Collaborating to Accelerate Agricultural Sustainability, will explore how leveraging the interconnectedness embedded within U.S. agriculture can help us scale our collective action and achieve sustainable outcomes faster and more efficiently. We are looking for breakout sessions that provide specific examples of actions, outcomes, and learnings that attendees can implement, adapt, and scale in their own businesses and operations when they leave the Summit.
Download the 2023 Call for Proposals guide for more information on selection criteria and submission requirements. Proposals must be submitted online by August 25, 2023.
Meet our 2022 Speakers
Sarah Stokes Alexander
Sarah Stokes Alexander serves as Vice President of Programs for Keystone Policy Center. She started at Keystone in 1994, and her early projects focused on the environmental restoration of federal facilities facing closure throughout the nation, balancing shrinking budgets and effective consultation with local communities, states, tribes and the environmental justice community. She led the formation of a multi-stakeholder organization focused on sustainability for commodity crops in the US which is now Field to Market, its own 501(c)3. She has worked on many other strategic efforts in the sustainable agriculture space to connect efforts and farmers on the ground with the supply chain, policymakers and others, including the formation of Keystone’s Monarch Collaborative.
Sarah’s other work at Keystone has focused on developing transportation solutions to challenging corridors, bringing leaders together to focus on how to invest in water at the state level, as well as several leadership training programs that focus on collaboration and sustainability. She graduated from Middlebury College with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and holds a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University.
Tammy Baker is the General Manager for Dairy Management West. She manages the planning and implementation of programming reaching over 7 million people in Arizona and 3 million in Nevada. This encompasses marketing, merchandising, industry relations, communication and nutrition education. Tammy also sits on the Global Positioning Committee of Dairy Management Inc. (the national dairy checkoff), which focuses on the industry’s collective environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts.
Tammy started her career with the dairy industry over 20 years ago as the registered dietitian on staff. During that time, she also served as a Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 9 years. In addition, she has served as president, Media Representative and Public Relations Chairman for the Arizona Dietetic Association. She received the recognized Young Dietitian of the Year award for Arizona, as well as Arizona’s Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award. She currently serves on the Diamondback Foundation Executive Council, which focuses on raising money for charitable causes in Arizona.
Tammy and her husband, Steve, have two daughters and in their spare time they enjoy riding their three horses, playing with their two rescue dogs and regular target practice at the Scottsdale Gun Club.
Tammy earned her master’s degree in nutritional science from the University of Arizona and bachelor’s degree in dietetics and dietetic internship from Loma Linda University.
AgResource Co. is a domestic and international agricultural research firm located in Chicago.
Mr. Basse is an economist that has been in the commodity business since 1979. Raised on a dairy/grain farm in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Mr. Basse has a keen sense of production agriculture. Mr. Basse graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has worked with Professional Farmers of America, Brock Associates and the ag research division of GNP Commodities in Chicago.
In 1987, Mr. Basse founded AgResource Company to serve the market research needs of the world agricultural community. Mr. Basse holds global conferences on agriculture in Canada, Switzerland and Brazil and is Vice Chairman of Farm Foundation.
Cornelius Blanding began his career in development work as an economic development intern for the City of Miami Beach and since then has gained a broad experience base including rural, international and cooperative economic development.
His experiences include business and project development, management and marketing. He has worked as a small business development & management consultant, manager of a multi-million dollar revolving loan fund, domestic and international project director, Director of Field Operations & Special Projects, Deputy Director and is now presently serving as the Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund.
Cornelius has also served and continues to serve on various boards and committees, including the National Cooperative Business Association, Agricultural Safety & Health Council of America, Southeast Climate Consortium and the Presbyterian Committee on the Self Development of People.
Jim Boyle, Jr.
Jim Boyle is a fourth generation Arizonan and owner-manager of his family's dairy and integrated crop farm in Casa Grande, Arizona. The 1500 acre farm in central Arizona grows a variety of forage crops to feed the dairy’s 3500 milking cows and 2500 heifers.
Jim sits on the Executive Board of the United Dairymen of Arizona, a farmer-owned cooperative that markets 80% of the milk produced in Arizona. He also leads the Western States Dairy Producers Association, a group that brings together state dairy associations to strategize on legislative and regulatory matters that impact dairy farmers in the Western US.
He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and holds a Ph.D. in Archaeology from New York University. He lives in Chandler with his wife and three children.
Lori Captain is Executive Vice President, Global Sustainability, Science and Industry Relations at Dairy Management Inc.(DMI). In this role Lori is responsible for advancing US dairy’s vision, guiding environmental science and proof building and enabling and aligning broad industry support and execution to meet the industry 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals.
With more than 25 years working in agriculture, Lori led policy, communication and sustainability work at Corteva and its predecessor DuPont, most recently as chief of staff, External Affairs and counsel to the CEO. She previously led corporate communication for Syngenta in the Americas region. Her experience spans corporate communications, executive and stakeholder engagement, policy sustainability disciplines.
Field to Market Farmer of the Year
The Arion, Iowa farmer runs a 6,000 acre no-till operation of corn, soybean, and winter wheat. He also manages a 500 head cow-calf herd and GLC Beef, a direct-to-consumer beef retail operation. Some of Garrett's main goals on the farm are practicing soil conservation and achieving uniformity of yield throughout his many acres. Kelly Garrett boasts a 2016 National Corn Growers Association win using drip irrigation, several state NCGA no-till irrigated yield wins, and most recently took third place nationally in the National Corn Yield Contest, no-till irrigated class, with a yield of 387.93 BPA in 2021.
Corine is the staff veterinarian at Giroux’s Poultry farm in upstate New York, where she oversees live production, bird health, and biosecurity. She is an Alumnus of the State University of new York at Albany, where she received her bachelors’ degree, and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she received her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.
In the past she has worked for Hickman’s Family Farm in Arizona as their company veterinarian, where she was in charge of bird health, as well as the development of bird welfare and biosecurity programs. She also has been a member on the US Poultry’s Roundtable for Sustainability International Poultry Welfare Alliances layer welfare committee, where she helped developed the framework for layer welfare. In addition, she has held industry leadership positions including Association of Veterinarians in Egg Production. Corine has now returned home to work on her family’s farm as company vet as well as learning all aspects of the business.
Phillip Haynie, III
Philip J. Haynie, III, more commonly known as P.J., graduated from Northumberland High School, Heathsville, Va., in June 1995. While in high school, Haynie served as vice president of his Future Farmers of America chapter and actively worked on his family farm in Reedville, Va. Haynie graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics in May 1999. While attending Virginia Tech, he served as president of the Virginia Tech MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences) chapter. During his senior year at Virginia Tech, Haynie was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
After graduating from Virginia Tech, he chose to pursue his childhood dream and continue the family tradition of farming. Haynie, a fifth-generation farmer, currently owns and operates Haynie Farms, LLC, a grain farming business, producing corn, wheat, soybeans and canola throughout all four counties of the Northern Neck of Virginia. Haynie and his family also own and operate a transportation company specializing in food grade liquid bulk and dry bulk transportation, a timber harvesting company as well as a landscaping & excavating company. Haynie currently serves as Chairman of the National Black Growers’ Council. P.J. and his wife, Dr. Lisa Haynie, reside in Reedville, Va., with their three children, Colette, age 18; Philip, IV, age 17; and Trevor, age 12.
Kara works across regional and national programs to help develop and execute AFT’s strategy for increasing resilience for agriculture in the Western United States, including California and Pacific Northwest Regions. Throughout a long career working on agricultural sustainability and natural resource conservation in California, Kara has led the strategy and development of programs and policies that provide greater opportunities for farmers and ranchers to engage in sustainable environmental stewardship practices and protect agricultural land. Kara was formerly AFT’s California Regional Director where she developed and expanded AFT’s programs and policy work. Before joining AFT, she was the executive director of the Sonoma Resource Conservation District where she worked with a diverse cross-section of the community on landscape-scale conservation planning, agricultural sustainability, and education. Kara is also a former soil conservationist for NRCS where she worked throughout the Russian River Watershed in California. Kara is a native Californian and the grand-daughter of a Nebraskan dairy and corn farmer. She is an alumna of Sonoma State University where she studied both biology and environmental studies and planning.
Scott Herndon serves as the President of Field to Market. Prior to joining Field to Market in 2022, he served as the Vice President and General Counsel of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, focusing on the regulatory issues that impact the industry including pesticides, biotechnology, sustainability and crop insurance.
Scott has also served as Director of Global Government and Public Policy for S& P Global in Washington, D.C. and in various roles for Members of the U.S .House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the Florida Senate. He also worked in the orange juice production business started by his great grandfather, for Louis Dreyfus Commodities in Brazil, and for a citrus and cattle business in Florida.
Scott holds a JD from the University of Miami, an MBA from the University of Florida, and a BA from Tulane University. He has studied in Costa Rica, Argentina, Mexico and Brazil. Scott currently lives in Washington, DC with his wife, daughter and Labrador Retriever. He is admitted to practice law by the Supreme Court of the United States, the District of Columbia and the State of Florida.
Mr. Sheldon Jones, a 4th generation Arizonan, was born and raised on the family’s ranch near Payson, AZ. Sheldon now serves as the Chief Operating Officer with the Soil Health Institute, Morrisville, NC, with over 40 years of experience, a balance of private sector, non-profit and public service experience. Prior to joining SHI Sheldon served as Vice President at the Farm Foundation, from 2008 to 2016, where he oversaw the Foundation’s financial operations and project management activities. His public service experience involved service as deputy commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, 2004-2008. From 2002 until 2004, Sheldon was executive vice president of the Agri-Business and Water Council of Arizona. In From 1997 until 2002, Mr. Jones was director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture. During his term, he was active in the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the Arizona/Mexico Commission, and the Board of Governors Agribusiness and Water Committee. Mr. Jones worked in the Arizona banking industry for 14 years before beginning his career in government service. Mr. Jones earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Agri-Business at Arizona State University.
Ermias Kebreab, Ph.D.
Ermias Kebreab is Associate Dean and Professor of Animal Science. He holds the Sesnon Endowed Chair in Sustainable Agriculture. He conducts research in animal nutrition, mathematical modeling of biological systems and impact of livestock on the environment. He is contributing author to 2019 IPCC update on enteric methane emissions. He co-chaired the feed additive and methane committees of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. He has authored over 250 peer-reviewed articles and received several awards including Excellence in Ruminant Nutrition and International Agriculture from American Society of Animal Science, and 2022 Chancellor’s Innovator of the year award. He served on two committees of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on methane and nutrition of dairy cattle. He is a regular invited speaker including TED talks. His research was in the top 10 of all research conducted at the University of California system in 2021. He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Asmara, Eritrea and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Reading, U.K.
Natalie Kovarik is the co-host of the popular podcast Discover Ag as well as the co-founder of Elevate Ag - an online course and community providing producers with the tools they need to successfully advocate and share online. She and her husband live in Central Nebraska where they own and operate Kovarik Cattle Co, a cow calf operation with a growing registered herd. For the past 2 years Natalie has been sharing her ranching and familying story online to showcase the beauty behind the western lifestyle as well as foster a community who supports and trusts in Agriculture as much as she does.
Anjali Marok is the Head of Global Responsibility at Corteva Agriscience. She stewards the development and execution of the company’s Global Responsibility strategy, inclusive of ESG& Sustainability, Agriculture Development, and Community Investment. Through these practice areas, she is focused on advancing the company's social, environmental and economic efforts for farmers, the land, its communities and corporate operations in over 140 countries. She is a passionate, experienced, and candid thought leader who aims connect and amplify critical efforts to support sustainable agriculture for generations to come.
She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Keystone Policy Center, a non-profit working to identify common, sustainable solutions for contentious US-based policy challenges.
Prior to this, Anjali built over 10 years of international experience driving responsible business outcomes spanning sales planning, business forecasting, marketing, consulting, partnerships, strategy and program design across a wide range of stakeholders, including global finance, agriculture, early-stage start-ups and venture entities, and non-profit organizations. Most recently, Anjali was the Global Sustainability Strategy Leader for Corteva, where she designed Corteva’s first ESG disclosure practices.
She is a graduate of Wellesley College and University of Chicago Booth School of Business (with honors). She has also studied International Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and Sustainability Leadership & Corporate Responsibility at London Business School.
Alan Martinez is Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, the sustainability research-to-action hub of Cornell University. He leads the center’s work on transition finance for regenerative agriculture. He serves as the co-chair of Field to Market’s Innovative Finance Committee and is an executive committee member of the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation.
His entrepreneurship and consulting experience includes management roles in financial services, impact investing, consulting and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining the center, Alan was part of the leadership team for a fintech startup focused on financial inclusion. Prior to acquisition, he led partnerships with organizations such asthe World Bank, Mastercard and FICO to expand access to finance for more than one million entrepreneurs across the globe. His finance career started inChicago as a community lender to small businesses.
Alan earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Texasand a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Porter also is an attorney, having graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree and obtaining her juris doctor from Arizona State University (ranking third in her class). She clerked for federal appellate Judge William Canby and was a litigator for Brown & Bain; Coppersmith Gordon Schermer Owens & Nelson, PLC; and Osborn Maledon PA. She left her law career in 2006 for Audubon because she wanted to contribute to a collaborative effort to address Arizona’s natural resource challenges. She will now dedicate that focus to the Kyl Center.
Kimberly Ratcliff is the manager of Caney Creek Ranch, a diversified ranching operation located in East Central Texas, started by her parents Wesley and Marie Ratcliff. Kimberly joined the ranch in 2007 after leaving her job with Bloomberg, a New York City financial firm where she was a Branding Specialist.
Kimberly manages and helps operate the family business producing registered Charbray Cattle, from which bulls, replacement heifers, semen and embryos are sold national and international. The ranch also produces commercial cattle and livestock feed resources.
In 2016, Kimberly launched Farm to Freezer Meat Company, LLC, which purchases finished cattle from Caney Creek Ranch with the mission to provide the highest quality ranch-direct beef possible, in a simple, convenient and responsible manner.
Megan Rock is vice president of sustainability and innovation at CHS, the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and an agronomy, global energy, grains and food company.
In 2022, Rock joined CHS as the company’s first VP of sustainability and innovation. Prior to CHS, she served as VP of corporate responsibility and sustainability and global lead of sustainability solutions at Bunge, Inc., and held sustainability and environmental management positions in government and banking.
In her new role, Rock will lead CHS efforts to develop and execute sustainability and innovation strategies across its $38 billion enterprise.
Rock holds a bachelor of science degree in soil, environmental and atmospheric science from the University of Missouri and a graduate certificate in advanced studies in environmental policy and management from the University of Denver.
Rock has served on the board of directors for Field to Market and Ag Future of America. In 2015, she received the Changemaker of Tomorrow award from Keep Akron (Ohio) Beautiful, and she is a member of the St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 under 40 class of 2020. She lives in St. Louis with her three children and two French bulldogs.
Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist and head of the Climate Impacts Group at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), is the 52nd Laureate of the World Food Prize. By designing and leading rigorous observational and modeling research efforts, she has influenced climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in over 90 countries. She founded the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) in 2010,building a community of experts dedicated to advancing methods for improving predictions of the future performance of agricultural and food systems in the face of climate change. She is also an Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Columbia Climate School and a Professor at Barnard College.
As President of Truterra, Tom leads Land O’Lakes’ sustainability business and is driving farmer adoption of climate-smart practices. Under Tom’s leadership, Truterra is focused on creating new value streams up and down the supply chain by connecting farmers, ag retailers, and food and CPG companies. Not only does Tom have industry-spanning experience working with farmers and ag retailers, but he is also a multi-generation farmer who practices sustainability and soil health practices on his own farm.
Tom is a 23-year veteran of the Land O’Lakes Federated system, and throughout his tenure, he has held multiple leadership roles, most recently leading WinField United’s business operations team where he oversaw customer experience, business analytics and data science. He also led WinField United’s Strategic Retail Alliance efforts executing partnerships, alliances and joint ventures across 40 ag retailers.
Tom has strong experience in precision agriculture and working directly with farmers and ag retailers to evaluate and adopt conservation practices. He first joined Land O’Lakes in 2005 as a Seed & Agronomy Advisor and previously served as a Technical Service Provider with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. In this role, he helped farmers develop conservation plans, apply for federal conservation funding, and adopt new regenerative practices.
Tom is a multi-generation farmer who is an active partner in his family’s 1,200-acre corn and soybean farm near Springfield, MN. He currently resides in Ham Lake, MN with his wife Kori and their son Jack.
Tara Vander Dussen
Tara is a New Mexico native, 5th generation dairy farmer, an environmental scientist, and mom of two girls. Daniel, her husband, manages all day-to-day on his family dairy farm while Tara hasher own career as an environmental consultant, speaker, and online agriculture advocate.
Tara began sharing her story online through her platform, New Mexico Milkmaid, because she found that people often had misconceptions about farmers and modern farming, and she wanted to set the record straight about dairy farm life and on-farm sustainability. She now has a community of more than 73,000 followers. And she has had the opportunity to speak at national and global conferences about dairy sustainability including at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Committee on World Food Security and the Forbes AgTech Summit.
Tara is also the Co-Founder of Elevate Ag, an online course to provide farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to successfully share their ag story and grow their businesses, and the Co-Founder of Discover Ag, a docuseries and podcast of being agriculture to people in a new way.
Steven Wooten is the president of Beatty Canyon Ranch, Inc a multi-generational cow-calf enterprise in the Purgatoire River Canyons of southeast Colorado. Purchased by his great-grandfather in 1929, Wooten’s family has been raising grass for cattle grazing on native pristine pastures ever since. Sustainability has guided their work – Beatty Canyon began a rotational grazing plan almost 30 years ago, with the primary focus on maximizing rest periods after grazing. They have diversified their operation in response to 25 years of drought period and the economics of beef ranching. Additionally, Wooten has a big game hunting enterprise, landscape stone sales and a modest vacation program. He and his wonderful wife of 46 years, Joy, have two daughters and sons-in-law and five grandchildren.
Wooten has held multiple leadership positions, including as the current president of Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, and served as 2021-2022 chairman of the board of U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. He is the recipient of Denver Business Journal’s Trailblazer Award, Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award and NCBA’s 2020 National and Region V Environmental Stewardship Awards.