Conference Presenters

Image: Jason Henderson

Jason Henderson

Jason R. Henderson is Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture and Director of Purdue Extension. In this role, Jason leads the statewide public engagement and research-based education in Agricultural and Natural Resources, 4-H Youth Development, Health and Human Sciences, and Economic and Community Development. As Assistant Vice President for Engagement, Jason provides leadership in university-wide initiatives designed to connect Purdue expertise and resources to statewide needs and forming effective partnerships to grow the state economy and improve the quality of life for Indiana’s residents.

Prior to being named Director of Extension, Jason served as Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In that role, he served as the Bank’s regional economist and representative in the state of Nebraska, recruited and worked closely with the Branch's board of directors, and briefed the Kansas City Fed's president—a member of the Federal Open Market Committee—on economic and business activity in the state. In addition, Jason led several Federal Reserve efforts to track agricultural and rural economies, including the quarterly publication of the Tenth District Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions and the Federal Reserve System’s Agricultural Finance Databook. He also managed the Main Street Economist, a bi-monthly publication covering economic issues affecting rural areas, and the Nebraska Economist, a quarterly publication providing insights into the Nebraska economy. Previously, he served as economist and senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Jason is a nationally recognized expert in agricultural and rural issues. He has published more than 60 research articles in academic and Federal Reserve publications on topics such as land values, entrepreneurship, demographics, the growth of knowledge-based activity in rural America, the use of electronic commerce in agricultural industries, and the growth of value-added food manufacturing activity. Jason speaks frequently to a wide range of business, financial and policy audiences across the United States and internationally. His research on the agricultural and rural economy has been quoted by policy officials, researchers, and leading media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times and USA Today. In addition, Jason has been interviewed on CNBC and Fox Business and provided testimony on agricultural credit conditions to congressional subcommittees.

He holds masters and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Central College in Pella, Iowa. Jason was raised on a family dairy farm in Northeast Iowa.

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Image: John R. Baker

John R. Baker

John R. Baker is the Staff Attorney for the Iowa Concern Hotline, an information and referral service of Iowa State University Extension Service.

In 1991 he created the Ag Link project which links farmers and landowners with beginning farmers. He is a founding member of the National Farm Transition Network and serves as its President. In 1993 he drafted the legislation that created the Beginning Farmer Center and serves as its Administrator. In 1994 he initiated the Returning to the Farm seminar for those returning to the farm family business. In 1995 he created the Farm Savvy manual that contains material on the transition of a farm business to the next generation and is widely used throughout the nation. In 1999 Baker and Professor Andrew Errington founded the Farm Transfers international research project and serves as a co-director. This research has been conducted in numerous European countries, Canada, Australia and Japan. In 2004 he proposed the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit that was adopted by the Iowa Legislature. In 2012 he created the Certified Farm Business Succession Coordinator course that has certified individuals throughout the US, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, a Masters of Business Administration and a Juris Doctorate from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Image: Tina Barrett

Tina Barrett

Tina was born and raised in a small town in Central Nebraska on a small corn/soybeans farm, still operated today by her parents. She attended the University of Nebraska where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural Economics with an emphasis on Farm & Ranch Management. After graduation in 1999, she became a Farm Financial Consultant with Nebraska Farm Business and took over as Director in 2003.

Nebraska Farm Business’s mission is to help Nebraska farms and ranches improve their profitability through financial management. They do this through improved record keeping, financial analysis and better tax management. They currently work with over 600 producers in Nebraska in some aspect of their financial management from just preparing a tax return to much more intensive cash flow management.

Together with her husband Anthony, Tina provides the day-to-day management at NFBI and also works one-on-one with producers all across the state. Tina and Anthony have four daughters ranging in age from 8 to 15 and live in Lincoln,NE.

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Image: Doug Berven

Doug Berven

Doug Berven joined POET in March 2003 and has served the organization in several roles since then. In his current role as Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Berven promotes the corporate objectives of POET, the importance of agriculture, and the benefits of ethanol domestically and internationally.

Berven sits on several of POET’s ethanol plant Boards of Directors, BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section of Governing Board, and serves on the Board of ACORE. Berven also manages strategic corporate relations for POET, promotes state, regional and national policy objectives for the industry, and is a recognized authority on ethanol, renewable energy and agriculture.

Prior to joining POET, Berven held various roles in banking, real estate development and medical consulting. Berven received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he currently resides with his wife and two children.

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Image: Jack B. Davis

Jack B. Davis

Jack Davis has worked with SDSU Extension for 22 years. He currently serves as the Crops Business Management Field Specialist from the Mitchell Regional office. His responsibilities include Developing & delivering educational programs on business matters facing producers. Jack works with team members on publications and programing including land market survey, Farm Financial Trends of South Dakota Farms, crop planning cost of production budgets, SDSU Extension Ag Profit Team, Ag CEOs Lenders Conference, South Dakota Farm Economic Summit, and Sustaining the Legacy estate planning.

Jack also serves as the academic Vice President for American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

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Image: Mark Dikeman

Mark Dikeman

Mark Dikeman works as Coordinator of Professional Development and Training with the Kansas Farm Management Association. Before moving to this position, he worked as an Extension Ag Economist in the Holton KFMA office. Mark received a B.S. degree in Animal Sciences and Industry and a M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University. He married Shelli in 2013 and they have 4 children and 2 grandchildren.

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Image: Nate Franzen

Nate Franzen

Nate grew up on a diversified family dairy, grain, and beef cattle farming operation near Langford, SD. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree at Northern State University with majors in Management and Marketing, obtained his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of South Dakota and obtained a degree from the American Banker’s Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking held at Georgetown University.

Nate began his banking career in January of 1994 at Dacotah Bank. He joined First Dakota National Bank in October of 1998 and is currently the President of the Agri-Business Division, overseeing all aspects of agricultural banking for the Company. In this capacity he is a member of their Executive Management team. First Dakota National Bank has total assets exceeding $1.3 billion and is one of the largest Ag Banks in the country with total Ag loans under management in excess of $850 million.

In 2011, Nate was appointed to the American Bankers Association’s Agriculture and Rural Bankers Committee and served as Chairman in 2015. Nate is a graduate of Class I of the South Dakota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (SDARL) Program where he is a past President of their Alumni Association, joined their Board of Directors in 2013, and is currently Chairman of the Board. He is a past Chairman of the South Dakota Banker’s Association’s Agricultural/Commercial Lenders Committee, and a past President of the Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Nate married his wife Michelle in 1992 and has two children, Bailey - 19, and Kellen - 16. In his free time Nate enjoys Hunting, Golf, reading and spending time with family and friends.

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Image: Heather Gessner

Heather Gessner

Heather Gessner, has worked for SDSUS Extension since 2001 and is currently the Livestock Business Management Field Specialist, based out of the Sioux Falls Regional Extension Center.

She has been part of the extension economics staff that provides enterprise analysis, livestock budgets, financial worksheet creation and analysis, marketing education and implementation as well as estate and transition planning education and assistance.

1997 B.S. Animal Science, SDSU
2016 M.S. Economics, SDSU

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Image: Alan Hojer

Alan Hojer

Alan Hojer is Manager and Legacy Consultant of “Keep Farmers Farming”, a division completely focused on Estate Planning and Legacy Transition of Farmers and Ranchers across SD and bordering states. Most recently, Alan was certified as a “Certified Estate Planner.”

After graduation from SDSU in 1981, Alan joined Land O’ Lakes as a Sales Manager for Milk Procurement for SD, NW Iowa and SW Minnesota until his chance to come back to the Family Farm presented itself in 1989. In 1994, a decision was made by Alan and his wife Pam to start Hojer Gelbvieh Ranch. Starting with 10 cows and $25,000, they have survived the tests of Mother Nature, a Catastrophic Fire and many other similar challenges that all first-generation family operations experience.

Today, Hojer Ranch LLC consists of 500 Registered Gelbvieh, Balancer and Angus Females, a 900 head feedlot with base operations at Lake Preston, DeSmet and Miller, SD. The operation is run by Blake and Christian Hojer, Alan and Pam’s sons. Other family include their daughter Nikki who is married to Michael Kroupa from Kimball and Blake’s wife Jennifer. They are also blessed with four grandsons, Jace, Jaden, Daniel and Liam.

Alan contributes their first-generation success not just to hard work but to “Thinking Non Traditionally” when times were tough to find solutions. As a result, Alan has been employed for the last 14 years in the Agribusiness Sector as part of a strategy to allow their sons to have carreer opportunities on the Ranch.

Alan is a proud Alumni of SDARL Class VII but relishes in the day that he and Pam will get to work day by day next to their children and grandchildren at their family operation.

Some of his hobbies are hunting, being actively involved in the local community and most of all, spending time with his family, planning how to continue the Legacy that started with just 10 cows in 1994.

Alan joined First Dakota National Bank in April of 2014 and was given the opportunity to work extensivily with Farm/Ranch Estate Planning and Transition. This has been the most challenging and rewarding experience, but he feels blessed to be part of this great effort. You can expect the information today, to be thought provoking and moving.

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Image: John D. Lawrence

John D. Lawrence

John serves as the Associate Dean, Extension Programs and Outreach in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Director, Agriculture & Natural Resources Extension at Iowa State University. In this position he leads the extension and outreach programs to farmers, agribusiness and natural resource managers in the state of Iowa.

John has written extensively for professional and trade journals, extension publications, and given over 700 formal presentations in 24 states and 5 Canadian provinces, Mexico, Korea, The Netherlands, and Australia. In 2009 he was named by Iowa Farmer Today magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in Iowa Agriculture over the past 25 years, 1984-2009.

He was raised on a crop/livestock farm Iowa and operated this farm in the late 1970s before attending Iowa State University. His formal education includes:

  • B.S. in Animal Science (1984), Iowa State University
  • M.S. in Economics (1986), Iowa State University
  • Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, (1989) University of Missouri

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Image: Dr. Ray Massey

Dr. Ray Massey

Dr. Ray Massey is an agricultural economist with University of Missouri Extension. As an extension faculty member, he focuses most of his educational programs toward active farmers, agricultural organizations and government agency personnel.

Dr. Massey’s economic specialty is risk management with an emphasis of on the impact of production agriculture on the environment. He has worked on reducing atrazine in water, management of manure, and using weather information to manage land decisions. Innovative programs include:

  1. The Ag Site Assessment website that allows farmers to get extensive information on the physical and environmental sensitivities of particular fields
  2. “Useful to Usable”, a website that helps farmers incorporate climate information into cropping decisions
  3. Horizon Point that sends site specific weather information that has been processed through research models to give management advice

He holds a B.S. in Animal Science and M. Ag. in Agricultural Economics from New Mexico State University and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University. He was on the faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1990 to 1995. In 1995 he came to the University of Missouri.

Ray is married with 3 daughters. He enjoys woodworking and bicycling, and is active in the Compass Church of Columbia.

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Image: Ted Matthews

Ted Matthews

Ted Matthews is a counselor and the director of Rural Mental Health for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. His credentials include experience in crisis intervention, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), family mediation, individual, family and group therapy, outreach training, administration, public speaking, domestic abuse and compulsive gambling.

He has served as chief trainer for several natural disasters. He has been featured in several newspapers, radio, magazines and television programs advocating the importance of mental health awareness.

Matthews works with groups and individuals to help address mental health issues that may be affecting their personal well-being as well as the operation of their business. His focus is first, and foremost, that of a therapist working with marriage counseling, domestic abuse, families and individuals.

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Image: Scott Miller

Scott Miller

Attorney Scott P. Miller is the founder and managing attorney of Miller Legal Strategic Planning Centers, P.A. Scott began his practice in 1996 in Anoka, MN and then moved his family and practice to Tyler, MN in 1999.

Attorney Miller is a graduate of Cleveland Marshall College of Law and is licensed to practice law in the state of Minnesota. Miller received his B.S.B. from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.

He is a Graduate of the Esperti Peterson Advanced Studies Institute, Teton Institute, and Business Enterprises Institute. Miller has presented at the Teton Institute and taught many Continued Education Courses for Financial Advisors, Insurance Professionals, Accountants, Farm Business Managers and Nursing Home Social Workers. Attorney Miller was a keynote speaker at the 2012 National Farm Business Management Association conference, 2014 and 2016 MN Buffalo Association annual conference. He has been featured in the book Wealth Management Teams, The Dairy Star, a monthly publication for the Dairy Industry, and in the “The Land” magazine. In addition, Miller Legal has a monthly column entitled, “Farm and Family” in Minnesota’s premiere farm publication, “The Farmer”.

Publications authored by Attorney Miller include the Medical Assistance Reference Manual. Miller is a member of Wealth Counsel, Minnesota State Bar Association Probate and Trust Law Sections, and the Hennepin County Medical Assistance Committee.

Miller established Miller Law Offices in 1996, with a name change to Miller Legal Strategic Planning Centers, P.A. in 2004 to more accurately reflect the nature of the firm’s business and focus. Miller Legal currently has offices throughout Minnesota, including Tyler, Dawson, Rochester and Rosemount, as well as a network of Farm Business Managers, Ag Lenders, CPAs, and Financial Advisors of which our firm works to offer clients the best service possible

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Image: Dwight Raab

Dwight Raab

Originally from south Texas and raised in small-town rural central Indiana, I have the privilege of assisting with the oversight of the farm management associations in Illinois. My undergrad years were spent at Purdue University. After a short tour of duty in retail seed sales I began my career with Illinois FBFM in 1987. I had the opportunity to serve cooperators in the Eastern FBFM Association from 1987 to 1993. My first post in the State FBFM Office was from 1993 to 2008 as the Farm Business Analyst. I served as the State Coordinator for Illinois FBFM from 2008 to 2015 and have served as the Chief Executive Officer since 2015.

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Image: Rave Web Screenshot

Raven Industries

Raven was founded in Sioux Falls, SD, in 1956 as a manufacturer of high-altitude research balloons for the American space program to help solve a great challenge in space exploration. From that single product line, we grew into a successful publicly traded corporation. Raven solves great challenges by giving rise to new technology that improves lives. Today, we are focused on these Great Challenges: feeding a growing population, protecting our natural resources, and protecting and connecting the world. Utilizing our strength in engineering, manufacturing, and technological innovation, Raven is a leader in precision agriculture, high performance specialty films, and situational awareness markets. Visit for more information.

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Image: Dr. Dennis Todey

Dr. Dennis Todey

Dr. Dennis Todey has been the state climatologist for South Dakota since 2003. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering at South Dakota State University. He conducts research on long term climate trends and their impact on and interaction with agriculture and water and develops tools for utilizing data in ag and water decision-making. He is a frequent speaker on long range outlooks, climate trends and general climate, variability and change information.

Degrees Awarded:
BS 1988 Iowa State University Meteorology; MS 1990 South Dakota School Mines & Technology Meteorology; PhD 1995 Iowa State University Agricultural Meteorology

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Image: Jim Woster

Jim Woster

Jim Woster was raised on a cow/calf farm in Lyman County, South Dakota. He graduated from South Dakota State University with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science in 1962.

As a person passionate about all aspects of agriculture, Jim has spent a great deal of time promoting products through speaking engagements. Jim soon became recognized for his ability to give humorous speeches and play his guitar. This launched a national effort of speaking engagements at many county and state pork association events both in and outside South Dakota.

Like most people who call South Dakota home, community involvement, fund-raising and volunteering are three aspects of life that make Jim's life complete. Besides all of his 'Ag-related' involvement, Jim manages to volunteer for numerous other organizations: he has served as (Minnehaha) County Chairman of the American Cancer Society for the past 12 years; has assisted with the Arthritis Foundation for five years and has served on the Board of Trustees for the 4-H Foundation for three years.

Jim's efforts and involvement have been recognized through awards he has received: Honorary State FFA Degree in 1980, Honorary Master Pork Producer in 1982, and Honorary American Farmer National FFA in 1983. Jim was named Agri-businessman of the Year by the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce in 1988, Agri-businessman of the Year by the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association in 2000, and most recently, Agriculturalist of the Year by South Dakota State University, Little International in 2001.

Jim and his wife, Penny, have three children and five grandchildren.

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Last Update: 6/13/16