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2017 Ag Chairs Speaker Bios

Ryan Quarles

Commissioner
Department of Agriculture

Ryan grew up on his family's farm in Scott County, coming from a family that has lived in central Kentucky for over 200 years. Ryan completed three undergraduate majors and two graduate degrees in just four years at the University of Kentucky, graduating in 2006. Read more about Ryan Quarles

Charles Rice

Professor
Kansas State University

Charles (Chuck) Rice is a University Distinguished Professor and holds the Vanier University Professorship at Kansas State University. He is a Professor of Soil Microbiology in the Department of Agronomy. He earned his degrees from Northern Illinois University and the University of Kentucky. Dr. Read more about Charles Rice

Jeffrey Sands

Senior Advisor for Agriculture Policy
EPA

Jeff Sands is the Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Agriculture at the Environmental Protection Agency. Jeff comes to EPA most recently from Syngenta, where he served as Manager of Federal Government and Industry Relations. Before working at Syngenta, Sands was director of public policy for the Agricultural Retailers Association from 2012 to 2015. Read more about Jeffrey Sands

Kim Shukla

Executive Director
Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance

Kim is Executive Director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA).   Serving in the capacity of ED Kim has represented the CHTA nationally and internationally including on Canada’s national Special Crops Value Chain Roundtable and the Biomass Quality Network.  During her seven years with CHTA the organization has grown from 120 members to over 500 members strong and is an internationally respected voice in all things hemp. Read more about Kim Shukla

Mark Stephenson

Director of Dariy Policy Analysis
University of Wisconsin

Mark Stephenson is the Director of Dairy Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. In this position, Dr. Stephenson conducts and coordinates research and   outreach activities related to the dairy industry. He is involved in applied research at the firm-level, including milk assembly costs, processing costs, new processing technologies, farm costs and price risk management. Read more about Mark Stephenson

Patti Strand

President
National Animal Interest Alliance

Patti is the founder of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), a broad-based, nonprofit animal welfare organization founded in 1991. NAIA is dedicated to securing high standards of animal care and treatment; to preserving the human-animal bond and to providing fact-based answers to complex and controversial issues regarding animals. Read more about Patti Strand

Alison Van Eenennaam

Cooperative Extension Specialist
University of California

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the field of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis.  She received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and both an MS in Animal Science, and a PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. Read more about Alison Van Eenennaam

Don Williams

Senior Specialist, Broadband Development
NTIA Department of Commerce

Don Williams is a Senior Specialist for Broadband Development for the National Telecommunication and Information Administration’s BroadbandUSA initiative. Read more about Don Williams

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