Keynote Speakers

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Kevin Bradley, Ph.D.

Kevin Bradley, Ph.D., is a faculty member at the University of Missouri, and focuses his research on weed management in corn, soybeans, wheat, pastures and forages. He also teaches a graduate level class in herbicide mechanism of action.  Bradley's extension responsibilities include prevention and management of herbicide-resistant weeds, the interaction of herbicides and weeds with other agrochemicals and pests in the agroecosystem, and on the effects of common pasture weeds on forage yield, quality and grazing preference. The largest percentage of Bradley’s efforts are directed toward the development of strategies for the management of glyphosate- and multiple herbicide-resistant weed biotypes. Bradley earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia, and his Ph.D. in plant pathology, physiology and weed science from Virginia Tech University.

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Lowell Catlett, Ph.D.

Lowell Catlett, Ph.D.,  is a retired professor in agricultural economics and agricultural business and extension economics, and Dean and Chief Administrative Officer of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University (NMSU). He is an exciting futurist whose knowledge of technologies and their implications on the way we will live and work are addressed in his presentations. Catlett earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and economics from West Texas State University, his master’s in agricultural economics at NMSU and a doctorate in economics at Iowa State University. He is a recipient of the Henry A. Wallace Award, which honors ISU alumni who have made outstanding contributions to agriculture. He is a consultant to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Defense and Labor and the World Bank. Catlett also serves on the Board of Trustees of the International Food Information Council.

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Sue Martin

Sue Martin is the president of Ag & Investment Services, Inc. with 35 years’ experience in the brokerage business. She is a daily analyst for the University of Illinois radio station WILL in Champagne-Urbana. She is a regular analyst on Market to Market, a weekly syndicated television program on Public Broadcasting stations. She also is a guest analyst for Ag Day and U.S. Farmer Report. Martin offers daily commentary and market analysis for radio station KFRM which covers Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado New Mexico, Arkansas and Missouri. She is a guest analyst on WHO Radio in Des Moines and does commentary for the Linder Farm Network, which covers 34 stations throughout Minnesota.

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S. Elwynn Taylor, Ph.D.

S. Elwynn Taylor, Ph.D.,
is the Extension Climatologist at Iowa State University, and is well known for his analysis of weather influence on the Midwest. He is widely recognized for his straightforward explanations of the complexities of long-term weather variability. Taylor was educated in botany at Utah State University and completed his doctoral studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He started his career as a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Alabama. Taylor has published more than 200 articles on the impacts of weather conditions, and his voice is well known from his regular Midwest radio broadcasts on crop–weather, global warming, ozone depletion and El Niño and how they impact our lives.

Conference Panelists

Ray Gaesser
Farmer from Corning

Ray Gaesser has been a leader for soybeans in Iowa and nationally since 1997. He has served as president of both the Iowa Soybean Association and the American Soybean Association. Gaesser also serves on the National Cover Crop Council and National Climate Smart Agriculture steering committee. The Gaesser farm has a long history of community service, along with early adoption of innovations in agriculture and caring for the land. Gaesser Farms grows corn and soybeans on about 6,000 acres total and use cover crops on all of them.

Moira McDonald
Walton Family Foundation
Sean McMahon
Executive Director, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance

Sean McMahon is executive director of the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA), a clean-water initiative supported by the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers 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, which is focused on strategies to make agriculture more environmentally sustainable through effective advocacy, strategic partnerships and agricultural supply chain initiatives.

Mike Naig
Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

Michael 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, 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.

Rebecca Power
North Central Region Water Network
Dave White
9B Group, former Chief Natural Resources Conservation Service

Conference Speakers

Dan Andersen, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, Agricultural /Biosystems Engineering Department, Iowa State University

Dan Andersen, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department at Iowa State University (ISU). He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural engineering from ISU. Andersen's research interests are in the areas of manure management and water quality, which involve: manure treatment and utilization, nutrient management planning, field- and farm-scale soil and water quality monitoring and modeling, and economic evaluation of agricultural practice alternatives. His extension program focuses on manure treatment, management and utilization.

Dan Anderson
Iowa State University
Joe Colletti, Dr.
Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University
Mark Dorenkamp
Brownfield Ag News
Brian Dougherty
Iowa State University

Brian Dougherty is a graduate student in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department at Iowa State University. He has a B.S. from Oregon State University in ecological engineering with minors in bioenergy and chemistry. Prior to attending OSU, he was the owner/operator of a dairy farm near Waukon, Iowa. Dougherty joined the Ag Water Management research group at ISU in July 2016, where he is pursuing an M.S. in agricultural and biosystems engineering with a focus on soil and water resources.  His research involves working on water quality and soil health projects at the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua.

Suzanne Fey
Data Analyst, Iowa Soybean Association

Suzanne Fey joined ISA in 2010 and became a foundational member of the Analytics team in 2013. She came to ISA after careers in the financial services industry as a management consultant for a Chicago-based firm and then an analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Financial Services. She assists the ISA research team with data wrangling, analysis and visualization, along with data application design and development. Fey is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Coe College in Cedar Rapids.

Jane Frankenberger
Professor in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University

Jane Frankenberger, Ph.D., is a professor in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University. Her research focuses on agricultural management in watersheds, particularly advancing practices to reduce nutrient losses in subsurface drained land. She is responsible for the Purdue Extension program in soil and water engineering and agricultural water management, and has led programs related to watershed management and assessment, wellhead protection, drinking water testing and treatment, and land use impacts on water quality. Currently she leads the nine-state Transforming Drainage project to increase the retention and recycling of drainage water for greater resilience of drained agricultural land.

John Fulton
Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering Department, The Ohio State University

John Fulton, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering Department at the Ohio State University. His research focuses on machinery automation and developing technologies to accurately place and meet site-specific crop and soil needs. His extension efforts have been devoted to ways precision ag technology and data can help improve the farm business and in-season decisions.

Theo Gunther
Resource Management Specialist, Iowa Soybean Association

Theo Gunther provides technical and planning assistance for ISA in the development and application of resource and environmental management systems. He works with farmers to develop conservation and nutrient management plans and assists with collection, review and analysis of farm management data. Gunther also helps develop and implement field research projects to measure and improve conservation cropping systems. He earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science and agronomy and a master's degree in crop production and physiology from Iowa State University.

Chris Hay
Chris Hay, PhD Senior Environmental Scientist , Iowa Soybean Association

Chris Hay, Ph.D., is the senior environmental scientist at ISA. He provides technical assistance to field planning/experimental operations, leads 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, Hay was an associate professor at South Dakota State University, 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 degrees from Colorado State University in agricultural engineering.

Matt Helmers, Ph.D.
Dean's Professor, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State Univ.

Matt Helmers, Ph.D., is the Dean’s Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, where he has been a faculty member since 2003. Helmers’ research areas include studies on the impact of nutrient management, cropping practices, drainage design and management, and strategic placement of buffer systems on nutrient export from agricultural landscapes.  He has a regional extension program working to increase adoption of practices that have the potential to reduce downstream nutrient export. He was the lead on the nitrogen science team in the development of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Matt Hoffman
Regional Agronomist, Iowa Soybean Association

Matt Hoffman is a regional agronomist at ISA. He joined the On-Farm Network team in early 2017 after nine years with Dupont Pioneer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a master’s in professional agriculture from Iowa State University and is a Certified Crop Advisor. Hoffman provides technical and logistical support for all 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.

Kyle Jensen

Kyle Jensen has extensive experience in farming, agronomy and retail agriculture. Hailing from Southwest Iowa, Jensen has been a field agronomist for both Iowa State University and Pioneer. He is especially proficient in all areas of soybean and corn production, as well as soil fertility. Jensen earned a master’s degree in soil fertility at Iowa State University. 

Adam Kiel
Operations Manager, Iowa Soybean Association

Adam Kiel is the operations manager of water resources at ISA. Kiel provides leadership, operational support and staff management for diverse water resources, watershed planning and environmental projects including development of action plans and EPS program development. He manages EPS efforts in watershed planning, assessment and monitoring activities. Kiel works closely with farmer groups in Iowa watersheds 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 watershed improvement.

Steve Killpack
Farmer and founder of Acumen Agronomics in Southwest Iowa
Steve Killpack
Farmer and founder of Acumen Agronomics in Southwest Iowa

Steve Killpack is a farmer and founder of Acumen Agronomics in Southwest Iowa. He has extensive knowledge and experience managing cover crops, reduced tillage, irrigation, soil fertility and precision agriculture. An author of numerous crop management innovation publications, Killpack received ISA’s Production Research Award in 2016.

Peter Kyveryga, Ph.D.
Director of Analytics, Iowa Soybean Association

Peter Kyveryga, Ph.D., is director of Analytics at ISA. He leads collaborative projects focused on collecting and analyzing data from agronomic and environmental studies, predictive modeling and remote sensing. Kyveryga earned his Ph.D. in soil science and soil fertility from Iowa State University. He is a technical editor in precision agriculture for the Agronomy Journal, is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, and a collaborator assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy at ISU.

Anabelle Laurent, Ph.D.
Iowa State University

Anabelle Laurent is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University, studying the application of statistics in agronomy. After getting her master’s degree in 2012, she worked at INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) in France focusing on bioenergy crops. She also is working on analyses of on-farm data with ISA.

Anthony Martin
Regional Agronomist, Iowa Soybean Association

Anthony Martin is a regional agronomist at ISA. He provides technical and logistical support for the ISA 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. Martin joined the On-Farm Network team in 2012 after earning his bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University, and is working on his master’s in agronomy at ISU.

Brett McArtor
Regional Agronomist, Iowa Soybean Association

Brett McArtor is a regional agronomist at ISA, providing technical and logistical support for the ISA 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. He is a Certified Crop Advisor and was recently elected as a director on the state CCA board. 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 a master’s in agronomy at ISU.

Clinton Meyer
Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Simpson College

Clinton Meyer is an associate professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Simpson College, Indianola. He is one of the lead researchers on “The Palmer Project,” at Simpson College.

Fernando Miguez, Ph.D.
Associate professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University

Fernando E. Miguez, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University. His research area is in crop and soil modeling in a wide range of applications, from basic to applied. These applications support and inform advanced cropping system models that are increasingly deployed for in-season management decisions and long-term regional or global predictions of alternative crop and soil management strategy outcomes. These tools are indispensable to extending agronomic knowledge to crop producers, researchers, and policymakers.

Scott Nelson
Director On-Farm Network, Iowa Soybean Association

Scott Nelson is director of the On-Farm Network at ISA. He joined ISA in 2016 and 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 team personnel. Nelson earned his bachelor’s degree 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
Operations Manager, Iowa Soybean Association

Nathan Paul is operations manager of cropping systems for the On-Farm Network at ISA. His responsibilities include utilizing precision agriculture technologies and methodologies for developing and executing on-farm research, especially targeted to soybean and corn cropping systems. He attended Northwest Missouri State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in geography and a master’s in geographic information 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.

John Pauly
Professor, Simpson College

John Pauley, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at Simpson College, Indianola. He is a lead researcher on “The Palmer Project” at Simpson College.

Randall Pearson, Ph.D.
Professor, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

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, he worked as the director of the Center for Spatial Analysis which worked closely with agricultural companies on obtaining EPA acceptance for product use. 

Doug Peterson
Regional Soil Health Specialist for Iowa/Missouri

Doug Peterson has been an NRCS employee for 30 years and is the Regional Soil Health Specialist for Iowa/Missouri, teaching NRCS staff and producers around the Midwest about soil health, how it impacts virtually all natural resource processes, and what type of management it will take to effectively improve soil health, function and productivity. He has been a District Conservationist in both a grassland based county in south Missouri and a large cropland county in north Missouri. He has also been a State Grassland Conservationist and a State Soil Health Specialist. He attended Missouri Western State University, graduating with a B.S. degree in agriculture with an emphasis in agronomy.

Joshua Pritsolas
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Joshua Pritsolas is a graduate student at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, after serving 10 years in the military which included multiple overseas tours. His undergraduate major was geography with an emphasis in remote sensing and GIS. Pritsolas’ research focuses 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.  He is also interested in the application of these technologies to the cultural landscape.

Lisa Schulte Moore, Ph.D.
professor, Department of Natural Resources Ecology and Management at Iowa State University

Lisa Schulte Moore, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Natural Resources Ecology and Management at Iowa State University. She conducts research and teaches in the areas of agriculture, ecology, forestry and human-landscape interactions, and has published more than 90 scientific articles. Her honors include the ISU Early Career Award in Teaching, Teaching Award of Merit from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, Stanford University Leopold Leadership Fellow, and Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow.

Tony Seeman
Environmental Research Coordinator, Iowa Soybean Association

Tony Seeman is an environmental research coordinator at ISA. 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. Seeman earned a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Drake University, Des Moines. Prior to joining ISA, Seeman worked for the Polk County Conservation Board and in the turf grass industry.

Brady Spangenberg, Ph.D.
Business Systems and Analytics Manager for USA Crop, BASF, Research Triangle, North Carolina

Brady Spangenberg, Ph.D., is the Business Systems and Analytics Manager for USA Crop, BASF, Research Triangle, North Carolina. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Purdue University and is assisting in “The Palmer Project” research at Simpson College, Indianola, specifically in predictive analytics.

Dean Sponheim
Farmer from Nora Springs

Dean Sponheim, a farmer near Nora Springs, has always been an experimenter with his cropping operations. Whether with machine modifications or nutrient management, he is always looking to improve efficiency and productivity. Strip-tilling since 1999, the self-described “accidental conservationist” added a new wrinkle to his system in 2008. Utilizing a method known as strip-cropping, Sponheim alternates eight rows of strip-tilled soybeans with eight rows of strip-tilled corn. He broke down the benefits and challenges of a strip-cropping system to include incorporation of cover crops in 2012, fertilizer application and management strategies.

Rich Stessman
Operations Manager, Iowa Soybean Association

Rich Stessman is the operations manager of agronomic research at ISA. He is responsible for implementing and coordinating On-Farm Network agronomic programs, including replicated strip trials and guided stalk nitrate testing. He is responsible for ISA collaboration with Iowa State University and the Iowa Soybean Research Center. Stessman joined the On-Farm Network team as a field research specialist in 2013 and was promoted in 2016 to his current position. Stessman holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Iowa State University and a master’s in management from Bellevue University in Nebraska. 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.

Greg Tylka, Ph.D.
Director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center, Iowa State University

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 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from the California University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Georgia. Tylka joined ISU in February 1990. His research and extension efforts at ISU have focused almost exclusively on the biology and management of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines.

Jason Webster
Lead Commercial Agronomist and Researcher at Precision Planting

Jason Webster is the lead commercial agronomist and researcher at Precision Planting located in Central, Illinois. He is the key researcher and educator for the Precision Planting commercial team, dealers and growers. His experience bolsters on-farm research efforts and the capability to provide solid agronomic education for dealers and growers. Webster is an industry-leading expert in the agronomic and profit impacts of different farming practices. 

Chris Wilkins
GIS Developer/Data Analyst, Iowa Soybean Association

Chris Wilkins is a geospatial analyst and database administrator at ISA. He is involved in spatial data management, interpretation and presentation, as well as assisting in data collection for guided stalk sampling and replicated strip trials. Wilkins provides analytical and geographic support as well as maintains the research database for the ISA teams. Currently, he is working on reflectance analysis of fields to assist in nitrogen-rate management. Wilkins joined the Analytics team in 2016. He earned a bachelor of science degree in biology and a master’s degree in geospatial analysis from Sam Houston State University in Texas.

Wendy Wintersteen, Dr.
Iowa State University President
Brad Wirt
GIS Developer/Data Analyst, Iowa Soybean Association

Brad Wirt is a GIS developer and data analyst at ISA. Originally from the Midwest, but having spent most of his time in Texas, Wirt earned a bachelor of science degree in atmospheric science and meteorology, with a minor in mathematics, from Texas A&M University, and a graduate certificate in GIS from Penn State University. His previous work experience includes working for NASA and in the petroleum industry.