Speakers

Conference Panelists

Ray Gaesser

Ray Gaesser has been a leader in the Iowa and national soybean associations since 1997. He has served as president of the Iowa Soybean Association, and recently as president of the American Soybean Association. Gaesser also serves on the National Cover Crop Council and the National Climate Smart Agriculture steering committee. The Gaesser farm has a long history of community service, early adapting with innovations in agriculture and caring for the land. Gaesser Farms grow about 6,000 crop acres total, with about half soybeans and half corn each year.

Jason Gomes

Owner of North Iowa Agronomy Partners, LLC

Jason Gomes is the owner of North Iowa Agronomy Partners, LLC, based out of Janesville and serving clients throughout northeast Iowa. NIAP provides crop planning, scouting, soil sampling, data management and other services to farmers. Gomes also currently serves as the outreach and technical assistance coordinator for the Middle Cedar Partnership Project, including the Benton-Tama and Miller Creek watershed project areas. The Middle Cedar Partnership Project is an effort led by the city of Cedar Rapids to improve water quality in the Cedar River.  

Erin Hodgson, Ph.D.

Erin Hodgson, Ph.D., is an Extension entomologist and associate professor at Iowa State University. Her Extension and research programs are focused on improving profitability, sustainability and environmental stewardship of agriculture.

Mike Leetch

Mike Leetch leads and manages a team of Syngenta agronomists across the states west of the Mississippi River in the corn belt. The agronomy team works side-by-side with the sales force to ensure Syngenta products are used correctly to enhance the farmer’s experience. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri in agronomy and agricultural business. He earned a master’s in agronomy weed science from Kansas State University. He joined a legacy company of Syngenta in 1985 where he has held many roles in research and development, marketing and sales.

Mike Naig

Mike NAIg is the Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. He grew up on a farm near Cylinder, Iowa. Naig is a graduate of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake with degrees in biology and political science. He has spent his entire career working in agriculture, having served in public policy roles for state and national agribusiness trade associations as well as in private industry. Currently, Naig assists in management responsibilities, focused on the areas of policy, budget and personnel. He also supports the Department’s efforts to be accessible for Iowans by traveling regularly to meetings and events across the state.  

Doug Pudenz

Doug Pudenz is a row crop and cattle producer in Carroll, Iowa. He has been involved in the Elk Run Water Quality Initiative. Pudenz has participated in tile monitoring and has installed one of the bigger saturated buffers in the state, with the cooperation of his neighbor. In addition, he has started another research opportunity with the Iowa Soybean Association doing soil nitrate monitoring during the fall, late spring and summer. Pudenz shares a unique perspective on regulation and has offered his personal experiences on a panel discussion in the Carroll area.

Mark Schleisman

Mark Schleisman is a farmer and livestock producer from Lake City, Iowa. Schleisman plants cover crops — usually cereal rye mixed with turnips, radishes, rape and or triticale — on about 800 acres for grazing about 300 head of cattle fall through spring. This summer, he initiated the installation of a bioreactor and a saturated buffer along a field near Carroll, at his father and uncle’s farm, through the Elk Run Water Quality Initiative. These two locations have been involved in tile monitoring through the Elk Run project. Additionally, a portion of that same field is enrolled in pollinator habitat through CRP.

Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent is the owner and operator of Bunker Hill Farms, Inc., a 1,400-acre row crop operation. He was raised on a grain and livestock farm in eastern Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University. Vincent spent 22 years in the ag lending and management business. The majority of years were with Brenton Banks where he led the agribusiness lending division. Vincent has been active in community and industry organizations including the National Pork Producers Council and the Iowa Soybean Association. In addition to farming full time, he is also an associate with the Russell Consulting Group where he works with agricultural producers on financial analysis, benchmarking and commodity marketing.

Arvin Voss

Arvin Vos owns Terrace View Farms, a 2,700-acre corn and soybean operation, in Pella, Iowa. He is conservation-minded and has planted cover crops on all his acres for the past three years. Vos is a member of the Iowa Soybean Association and participates in the ISA water monitoring program through the Van Zante Creek Water Quality Initiative. He is an active member of his community, serving on several boards and as a deacon in his church.

Mike Weber

Mike Weber is senior technical service representative at Bayer CropScience. He has worked with the company through legacy companies of Rhone-Poulenc and Aventis CropScience, since 1999. He earned a bachelor’s in general agriculture in 1995 and a master’s in weed science in 1998 from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Weber’s current position has many responsibilities including research and demonstration plots of experimental and commercial products, technical support to sales representatives and technology exchange to dealers and growers to mention a few.

Conference Speakers

Ed Anderson, PH.D

ISA Senior Director of Research

Ed Anderson, Ph.D., serves as senior director of research at the Iowa Soybean Association. He is responsible for integrating the association’s contracted research programs and managing the On-Farm Network® and Environmental Programs and Services teams. Anderson collaborates with land grant universities, the United Soybean Board, North Central Soybean Research Program and a variety of soybean and agricultural industry groups to leverage resources to improve environmental performance and enhance the competitiveness of soybean farmers. Anderson previously served as a senior strategy manager at DuPont Pioneer, assistant professor in plant pathology at the University of Arkansas and as a research assistant at the graduate and post-graduate levels at the universities of Florida and Missouri.

Sotirios Archontoulis, Ph.D

Assistant Professor at ISU

Sotirios Archontoulis, Ph.D., assistant professor at Iowa State University, is a cropping systems scientist with expertise on modeling and analysis of genotype by management by environment interactions. Archontoulis’ research aims to understand and model complex dynamic interactions between soils, crops, climate and management to improve algorithms behind predictive models and deliver scientific information to farmers via creation of online decision support tools.
Amy Asmus, is owner and agronomist of Asmus Farm Supply, Inc., located in Rake, Iowa. Asmus currently serves on the board of the Agricultural Retailers Association, as well as the boards of the Iowa Certified Crop Advisers and the Agribusiness Association of Iowa. She also has served through the executive leadership of the International Certified Crop Advisers 2012-2014. From 2012 to present, Asmus has served on a national task force through the Weed Science Society of America to find more effective private and public approaches to manage herbicide resistance. Asmus also works with the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan Task force.

Gwyn Beattie, Ph.D

Gwyn Beattie, Ph.D., is currently the Robert Earle Buchanan Distinguished Professor of Bacteriology in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Iowa State University. Her teaching and research is focused on the genomics and ecology of plant-associated bacteria, with current projects on the influence of microbial communities on plant water use efficiency and the factors enabling bacterial pathogens to use light and environmental stress signals to colonize plants. Beattie is a member of the American Society for Microbiology and The American Phytopathological Society (APS), the incoming APS Public Policy Board Chair and a co-author of the Phytobiomes Roadmap.

Steve Bruere

President of Peoples Company

Steve Bruere is president of Peoples Company, a leading Iowa-based land brokerage firm, which offers land management, land appraisal and land investing services in 14 Midwest states. Bruere has steered Peoples Company into one of the Midwest’s fastest-growing land brokerage and land management firms. He currently stays active with speaking engagements across the country and serves on many industry boards, including the Strategic Advisory Board for the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, the University of Northern Iowa Real Estate Program Advisory Council and chairing Iowa’s Soil and Water Future Task Force. His latest project, the Iowa Ag Tech Accelerator, identifies and invests in startups and technologies that will improve yields, sustain our environment and feed the world.

John Cantwell, Ph.D

Technology Development Representative, Monsanto

John R. Cantwell, Ph.D., is a technology development representative with Monsanto specializing in insect and herbicide trait development. Cantwell got his bachelor’s in agronomy and master’s in weed science from Southern Illinois University. He earned his Ph.D. in weed science from the University of Illinois. Cantwell has worked as a research and development rep for over 25 years with Monsanto, Bayer and Syngenta legacy companies. Responsibilities included: field research, managing academic research and relations and investigating crop response claims.

Matt Darr, Ph.D

Matt Darr, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. He currently manages a team of university professionals who provide leadership to a range of ag machinery topics including precision agriculture, telematics data analytics, unmanned aerial systems and next generation machinery automation. In addition to his research assignment, Darr is the lead instructor for ISU courses in precision agriculture and agricultural machinery electronics engineering.  

Ranae Dietzel, Ph.D

Ranae Dietzel, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate at Iowa State University. She began as a biologist, took an interest in soils and now thinks about how soils and plants interact at a molecular to field scale both during and after the life of the plant. She grew up in Radcliffe, Iowa. Earned her bachelor’s in biology in Morris, Minnesota as well as her master’s in soil science at Cornell University. Dietzel earned her Ph.D. in crop production and physiology and sustainable agriculture at ISU.

Heath Ellison

ISA Operations Manager of Ag and Natural Resources

Heath Ellison is operations manager of ag and natural resources for the Iowa Soybean Association. Ellison provides leadership, operational support and staff management for diverse resource conservation and environmental projects, action plans and applied research. In this role, he oversees conservation project development, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and analysis. Prior to joining ISA in 2002, Ellison was a crop consultant for Case Corporation for three years working in central and west central Iowa. He has been a Certified Crop Adviser since 1999 and recently earned both the 4R Nutrient Management Specialist and Sustainability Specialist certifications.  

Diane Ercse

ISA Watershed Coordinator/Resource Management Specialist

Diane Ercse is a watershed coordinator/resource management specialist at the Iowa Soybean Association. Ercse, in conjunction with Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance, leads efforts in implementing the Elk Run Watershed Water Quality Initiative project. In this position, Ercse works to engage farmers in parts of Sac, Calhoun and Carroll Counties in discussions and the implementation of water conservation practices outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Prior to joining ISA, Ercse worked with the Pinnacle Group on nutrient management plans and received a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in agronomy-ecology. She is also an experienced technical writer as well as a research and mapping specialist.

Kevin Falk

Kevin Falk is a second year Ph.D. student in plant breeding in the Singh Soybean Breeding and Genetics Group at Iowa State University and a native of Manitoba, Canada. His current research focus is on exploring the genetic diversity of soybean root traits from various geographies. In addition, Falk is attempting to correlate specific root traits with shoot phenotypic traits. He also has developed an interest in root-soil microbiome interactions.

Karl Gesch

ISA Watershed Coordinator/Resource Management Specialist

Karl Gesch is a watershed coordinator/resource management specialist at the Iowa Soybean Association. Gesch leads and facilitates watershed projects and conservation efforts across Iowa. In his role, Gesch prepares watershed plans and engages with farmers to develop action plans to implement and evaluate water quality practices outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Prior to joining ISA, Gesch completed his master’s degree in soil science at Iowa State University after earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Luther College. He worked as a research technician and graduate research assistant while at ISU in addition to an internship with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.

Theo Gunther

ISA Resource Management Specialist

Theo Gunther is the resource management specialist at the Iowa Soybean Association. He provides technical and planning assistance to farmers in the development and application of resource and environmental management systems. Gunther works with farmers to develop conservation and nutrient management plans and assists with collection, review and analysis of farm management data. He also assists in development and implementation of field research projects to measure and improve conservation cropping systems. He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and agronomy from Iowa State University, as well as a master’s degree in crop production and physiology.

Chris Hay, Ph.D.

Senior Environmental Scientist, Environmental Programs & Services (EPS), Iowa Soybean Association

Chris Hay, Ph.D., is the senior environmental scientist at the Iowa Soybean Association. In this role, Hay provides technical assistance to field planning/experimental operations, leads scientific research efforts and oversees the certified water quality lab. Hay has more than 20 years of experience in agricultural water management and water quality in academia, consulting, industry and government. He has partnered with agencies, commodity groups, industry, agricultural producers and other stakeholders on research and educational outreach programs. Prior to joining ISA from South Dakota State University, Hay was an associate professor focusing his research on agricultural drainage practices. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after receiving his bachelor’s and master’s from Colorado State University in agricultural engineering.

Brian Hicks

Brian Hicks is owner and manager of Nettiewyynnt Farm in Tracy, Minnesota. He is the fourth generation of the Hicks family to own and operate Nettiewyynnt Farm. Hicks attended the University of Minnesota and studied animal science. In 2005, the Hicks family started working with Jeff Strock and Gary Sands from the University of Minnesota. Since then, they have been conducting research on drainage water management along the Cottonwood River, which runs through the farm. The Hicks family is concerned about the environment. They continually strive to find ways to farm profitably, while having a positive impact on the environment. Hicks currently serves as Board Chairman for Meadowland Farmers Coop in Lamberton, Minnesota.

Tom Isenhart, Ph.D.

Tom Isenhart, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University. He is chair of the Environmental Science Interdepartmental Graduate Program. Isenhart’s research focuses on stream and watershed ecology and addresses the design and establishment of landscape buffers to improve the environmental efficiency of agriculture. His teaching responsibilities include stream ecology, natural resources and agriculture, and fire ecology and management.

Adam Kiel

Adam Kiel is the operations manager of water resources at the Iowa Soybean Association. Kiel provides leadership, operational support and staff management for diverse water resource, watershed planning and environmental projects including development of action plans and Environmental Programs and Services (EPS) program development. He manages EPS efforts in watershed planning, assessment and monitoring activities. Kiel works closely with farmer groups in watersheds across Iowa to focus on improving resource conservation, environmental performance and profitability. Prior to joining ISA in 2013, Kiel worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in the watershed improvement section.

Eileen J. Kladivko, Ph..

Eileen J. Kladivko, Ph.D., is professor of agronomy at Purdue University, where she teaches and does research and Extension work in soil physics, soil biology and soil management. Her research studies have included cover crops, soil health, earthworms, no-till and drainage and water quality over the past 35 years. Kladivko is a founding member of the Midwest Cover Crops Council.

Keegan Kult

Keegan Kult is an environmental scientist with the Iowa Soybean Association. He assists with the successful implementation of natural resources, watershed and environmental management projects and research. Kult manages various ISA Environmental Programs and Services grant projects including work timelines, budgets and deliverables. Prior to joining ISA full-time in 2008, Kult worked as a summer intern for the association before starting his final semester as an undergraduate at Iowa State University. He also performed field and lab work for the riparian buffer research team in the Natural Resources Ecology and Management Department at ISU.

Peter Kyveryga, Ph.D.

Director of Analytics, Iowa Soybean Association.

eter Kyveryga, Ph.D., is director of Analytics at the Iowa Soybean Association. Kyveryga earned his Ph.D. in soil science and soil fertility from Iowa State University. He leads projects focused on identifying the best practices for collecting, analyzing and summarizing data from on-farm agronomic and environmental studies. Kyveryga’s current research interest is focused on predictive modeling, statistics, remote sensing and precision agriculture. He is the technical editor of precision agriculture for the Agronomy Journal, a publication of the American Society of Agronomy and he is a collaborator assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University.

Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis, of Bayard, Iowa, farms in Guthrie, Dallas, and Greene Counties with his brother. Before coming back to farm, he worked at West Liberty Foods six years as a systems administrator and continues working in IT as an IT director for the Coon Rapids Bayard School District. Lewis and his brother also have a Beck’s Hybrids seed dealership called ZoneTech Ag, and it is here where the opportunity to test multi-hybrid came from. Lewis’s passions in life are faith, family, farming and technology.

Mark A. Licht, Ph.D.

Mark A. Licht, Ph.D., is an assistant professor and Extension cropping systems agronomist in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University. Licht conducts research and Extension programming in cropping systems that integrates all aspects of soybean and corn production. His collaborative approach results in identifying interactions between management practices through on-farm and research plots as well as the use of cropping systems models. This approach has led to development of the Soybean Planting Decision Tool. Licht earned his Ph.D. from ISU and previously was an Extension field agronomist.

Clare Lindahl

Clare Lindahl is the executive director for Conservation Districts of Iowa. She supports and represents the 500 elected soil and water conservation district commissioners in the state. Lindahl graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s in landscape architecture in 2007 and received her Post Baccalaureate Certificate in environmental geographic systems from Western Illinois University in 2009. After college, Lindahl became the natural resources program manager with River Action, a not for profit organization dedicated to the environmental, economic and cultural vitality of the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Quad Cities.

Sam Markell, Ph.D.

Sam Markell, Ph.D., is an associate professor and Extension plant pathologist at North Dakota State University in Fargo. His responsibilities include the development and delivery of disease management recommendations on eight broadleaf crops grown in North Dakota including: canola, chickpeas, dry edible beans, flax, lentils, field peas, soybeans and sunflowers. Markell is one of the leaders of the 2nd SCN Coalition, a national effort designed to manage SCN as the pathogen overcomes the available resistance U.S. soybeans.

Anthony Martin

Anthony Martin is a regional agronomist at the Iowa Soybean Association. Martin joined the On-Farm Network team in 2012 after earning his bachelor’s in agricultural business from Iowa State University. He provides technical and logistical support for all of the Iowa-based agronomic programs. Martin is involved in data collection, organization and analysis of the replicated strip trials as well as assisting with the guided stalk sampling program. He is responsible for coordination and communication with growers and service providers.

Brett McArtor

Brett McArtor is a regional agronomist at the Iowa Soybean Association. McArtor joined the On-Farm Network team as a field research specialist in 2013. He earned his bachelor’s in ag systems technology from Iowa State University in 2012, and is currently working on his master’s in agronomy at ISU. McArtor provides technical and logistical support for all of the Iowa-based agronomic programs. He is involved in data collection, organization and analysis of the replicated strip trials as well as assisting with the guided stalk sampling program. He is responsible for coordination and communication with growers and service providers.

Jim McDermott

Jim McDermott is a technical agronomist/distinguished field scientist at Monsanto. McDermott has been with Monsanto representing DEKALB and Asgrow for 21 years. He provides dealer and employee training in the areas of agronomics, product expertise and sales support. He earned his bachelor’s in agronomy and seed science from Iowa State University in 1987. McDermott is a Certified Professional Agronomist, a Certified Crop Adviser and past chair of the Iowa Certified Crop Adviser Board.

Sean McMahon

Sean McMahon is executive director of the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, a clean-water initiative supported by the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Pork Producers Association. He works to help increase the pace and scale of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy by encouraging Iowa farmers to adopt voluntary conservation practices aimed at reducing nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways. Previously, McMahon was North America agriculture program director of The Nature Conservancy focused on strategies to make agriculture more environmentally sustainable including through more effective advocacy, strategic partnerships and engaging in agricultural supply chain initiatives.

Kraig McPeek

Kraig McPeek is supervisor of the Illinois/Iowa Ecological Services Field Office for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). McPeek grew up working and playing on a small dairy farm in northwest Illinois. A graduate of Augustana College and Western Illinois University, he holds a bachelor’s and master’s in biology and environmental sciences. In his professional career, he strives to implement common sense and practical solutions he learned on the farm to integrate conservation into the working agricultural landscape of the Midwest. He has worked for the USFWS for nearly 15 years and much of his career has been focused on private-land habitat restoration throughout Illinois, Iowa and Ohio.

Kelly Nelson

Kelly Nelson, Ph.D., is a research agronomist and professor at the University of Missouri-Greenley Research Center. Nelson is originally from northwest Missouri. He has been with the University of Missouri for over 15 years. Nelson has a research and Extension appointment in agronomic cropping systems. His applied research program is focused on integrated crop and water management systems. Nelson’s program evaluates cropping systems that enhance the efficiency of producers with an emphasis on increased crop production and profitability. His Extension program is focused on water capture and/or reuse systems that utilize new technology to enhance crop productivity and reduce the loss of agrochemicals.

Scott Nelson

Director of the On-Farm Network, Iowa Soybean Association.

Scott Nelson is director of the On-Farm Network at the Iowa Soybean Association. Nelson joined ISA in 2016. In his role, Nelson leads the association’s efforts in production research planning and execution across Iowa. He also plays a major part in partner contract research efforts and manages On-Farm Network team personnel. Nelson earned his bachelor’s in agronomy and plant genetics from the University of Arizona and his master’s in crop physiology and production from Iowa State University. Prior to joining ISA, Nelson worked at Beck’s Hybrids and DuPont Pioneer where he was a research scientist for more than 20 years.

Nathan Paul

Nathan Paul is operations manager of cropping systems for the On-Farm Network at the Iowa Soybean Association. Paul grew up on a row-crop and livestock farm near Hastings in southwest Iowa. He attended Northwest Missouri State University and earned a bachelor’s in geography and a master’s in geographic information systems. Currently, Paul’s responsibilities include utilizing precision agriculture technologies and On-Farm Network methodologies for developing and executing on-farm research, especially targeted to soybean and corn cropping systems. Prior to joining ISA in 2014, Paul spent six years working at DuPont Pioneer focusing on precision agriculture systems, software training, development and marketing.

Randall Pearson

Randall Pearson, Ph.D., has been a professor at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville for over 20 years. While he teaches a variety of earth related courses — soils, geomorphology and earth science — he specializes in the applications of remote sensing in agriculture. Pearson began his career with NASA’s Space Remote Sensing Center where he was senior scientist over all remote sensing applications. Following his time with the Space Remote Sensing Center, Pearson entered private industry where he worked as the director of the Center for Spatial Analysis which worked closely with agricultural companies on obtaining EPA acceptance for product use.  

Dan Poston

Dan Poston, Ph.D., is an agronomy research manager at DuPont Pioneer. He coordinates agronomy research projects that generate information to support the DuPont Pioneer product line and customer information needs. Poston joined DuPont Pioneer in 2008 as an area agronomist in Mississippi and transitioned to the agronomy research manager role in 2010 supporting all or parts of 13 southeastern states. He is especially passionate about high-yield soybean production and the factors that drive high yields. He interacts with high-yield producers and researchers across the U.S. and regularly delivers crop production talks to grower groups.

John Pritsolas

Josh Pritsolas is a second-year graduate student at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Pritsolas started at SIUE after 10 years in the military which included multiple oversees tours. His undergraduate major was geography with an emphasis in remote sensing and GIS. Pritsolas’s recent research has focused on the use of remote sensing systems in agriculture — more specifically, the importance of image calibration and its utility in the generation of various vegetation indices. While his recent research has centered on the application of geographic technologies to the physical landscape, he also is interested in the application of these technologies to the cultural landscape.

Alison Robertson, Ph.D.

Alison Robertson, Ph.D., is an associate professor and Extension field crops pathologist in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Iowa State University. A focus of her research program is soybean seedling diseases caused by oomycetes such as Pythium and Phytophthora species. She is particularly interested in understanding what factors play a role in seedling disease development and the role of seed treatments in protecting stands.

Rolland Schnell

Board President, Iowa Soybean Association

Rolland Schnell is president of the Iowa Soybean Association. Schnell has been farming for 40 years and currently raises soybeans and corn near Newton. Schnell has been recognized as a leader in conservation and environmental efforts. He received the 2012 Iowa Farm Environmental Award and was honored with the Outstanding Conservation Farm Award from the Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District. After farming for four decades, Schnell feels that the challenges and opportunities facing farmers have never been greater. In order for farmers to prosper, he supports protecting existing markets and developing new ones and advancing policies that strengthen U.S. soybean farmers’ ability to be the world’s most reliable supplier.

Anthony Seeman

Anthony Seeman is an environmental research coordinator at the Iowa Soybean Association. Seeman implements and maintains water monitoring project work and helps manage the ISA water quality lab. His responsibilities include overseeing field work, coordination of personnel, site selection and operation of water quality lab and field equipment. Seeman also maintains the water quality and research database. Prior to joining ISA, Seeman worked for the Polk County Conservation Board and in the turf grass industry. Seeman grew up on an acreage near Woodward, Iowa. He often helped farmers during the summer bale hay and spray soybeans.

Mauricio Serrano, Ph.D.

Mauricio Serrano, is a Ph.D. student currently working at Alison Robertson’s lab in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Iowa State University. His research is focused on damping-off caused by Pythium spp. and the role of cold stress in the development of the disease. Part of his research is funded by Iowa Soybean Association to investigate the efficacy of commercial seed treatments and to collaborate with strip trials from On-Farm Network.

Danny Singh, Ph.D.

Danny Singh, Ph.D., is a soybean breeder at Iowa State University. He leads an interdisciplinary team that develops genetic solutions for soybean farmers. Singh obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in corn breeding and worked at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as a wheat breeder prior to joining ISU.

Rich Stessman

Rich Stessman is the operations manager of agronomic research at the Iowa Soybean Association. Stessman joined the On-Farm Network team as a field research specialist in 2013. He was promoted to his current position in the fall of 2016. Stessman is responsible for implementing and coordinating On-Farm Network agronomic programs in Iowa, including replicated strip trials and guided stalk nitrate testing. He also is responsible for ISA collaboration with Iowa State University and the Iowa Soybean Research Center. He brings more than 25 years of experience in crop breeding and seed production research to the job having worked with Golden Harvest, Monsanto and BASF at locations across the western Corn Belt.

Mark Storr

Mark Storr is a senior technical service representative at BASF in Iowa. His primary focus is in corn and soybean production. From 2000-2003, he was the technical marketing manager for BASF corn products at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and prior to that Storr was a technical service representative covering Minnesota and South Dakota for American Cyanamid. His experience also includes five years of teaching high school agriculture and eight years with the Iowa State University Extension Service. He holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s from Iowa State University.

Jeff Strock, Ph.D.

Jeff Strock, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Minnesota and directs a field-based research program aimed at developing integrated water and nutrient management solutions for crop and livestock producers that reduces off-site nutrient mobility and improves water and nutrient use efficiency and crop yield. His research is intended to provide producers, action agencies, local communities, and resource advisors with increased knowledge and the management solutions they need to improve agricultural production, soil and water conservation and water and nutrient use efficiency in agriculture, protect agriculture from droughts and floods and enhance water quality.

Paul Sweeney

Paul Sweeney is director of conservation planning at Ecosystem Services Exchange. He brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to ESE that adds value to the products and services ESE offers to producers and others. Sweeney is a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) certified Technical Service Provider for development of Drainage Water Management Conservation Activity Plans for producers. He applies his knowledge of conservation planning in developing other types of plans for producers with many land uses and resource concerns. Sweeney joined ESE in July of 2015 after retiring from the USDA NRCS concluding a 39-year career in natural resources conservation.

Dennis Todey, Ph.D.

Dennis Todey, Ph.D., is director of the USDA Midwest Climate Hub, a job he has held since July 2016. Previously he was the state climatologist for South Dakota at South Dakota State University. Todey is a native Iowan. He is known regionally and nationally speaking on various ag climate issues. Much of his research has been around the impacts of climate on agriculture and water and how to improve decision-making using climate information.   

Greg Tylka, Ph.D.

Greg Tylka, Ph.D., is director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center at Iowa State University. He was born and raised in southwestern Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in biology from California University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Georgia. Tylka joined ISU in February 1990. At ISU, he has research and Extension responsibilities. Tylka’s research and Extension efforts at ISU have focused almost exclusively on the biology and management of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines.

Scott Wohltman

Scott Wohltman is the agronomist and cover crop lead for La Crosse Seed. He started his career working for Effingham Equity, an ag retailer in Illinois, for 10 years. Wohltman was employed by Land O’Lakes for seven years, mainly as forage and cover crop agronomist, working primarily with input suppliers across Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa and Ohio. He has worked alongside dealers and growers in Iowa and 20 other states in the Midwest. Wohltman graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1997 with bachelor’s in agribusiness economics and currently resides outside Effingham, Illinois, where his family operates a corn, soy and livestock operation.

Roger Wolf

Director, Environmental Programs & Services (EPS), Iowa Soybean Association

Roger Wolf is the director of Environmental Programs and Services at the Iowa Soybean Association and executive director of Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance. He is responsible for leading the creation, development and oversight of programs and services designed to advance agricultural leadership in achieving data-driven environmental performance at the farm and watershed scale, while improving agronomic and economic performance. A primary goal of these programs is to provide tools and systems that enable farmers to provide environmental solutions and services. Wolf provides agricultural leadership in such organizations as the U.S. Water Alliance Board of Directors, 25x25 Climate Adaptation Working group, and Fishers and Farmers Partnership Steering Committee.

Wayne Fredericks

Wayne Fredericks and his wife Ruth raise corn and soybeans in Mitchell County, Iowa, just southwest of Osage. Farming for more than 40 years, Fredericks has been a long time user of no-till and strip-till. He has a passion for conservation in order to build healthy, productive soil. Along with conservation, another top priority for Fredericks is increasing soybean profitability through enhancing yield, developing new uses and markets for soybeans and maintaining a political and social environment favorable to farmer competitiveness. Fredericks has been on the Iowa Soybean Association board of directors for nine years and is the organization’s immediate past-president.