|SONNY PERDUE, SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Sonny Perdue came by his knowledge of agriculture the old fashioned way: he was born into a farming family in Bonaire, Georgia.
Perdue served his country in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of Captain. After earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia, he put that training to use in private practice in North Carolina. As a member of the Georgia State Senate for eleven years, he eventually ascended to the position of President Pro Tempore as elected by his senate colleagues. As a two-term governor of Georgia, he was credited with transforming a budget deficit into a surplus, dramatically increasing the student performance in public schools, and fostering an economic environment that allowed employers to flourish and manufacturers and agricultural producers to achieve record levels of exports. He followed these accomplishments with a successful career in agribusiness, where he focused on commodities and transportation in enterprises that have spanned the southeastern United States. Uniquely qualified as a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia, he became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture on April 25, 2017.
Monday March 19 • General Session
|JAMES C. COLLINS, JR., CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER FOR THE AGRICULTURE DIVISION, DOWDUPONT
Mr. Collins joined DuPont as an engineer in 1984 and began his career in DuPont Manufacturing. In 1993, he joined the Agriculture Sales & Marketing Group as a sales representative and product manager. From 2004 to 2010, he was responsible for DuPont Crop Protection first as vice president and general manager, and then president.
In January 2011, Mr. Collins was appointed vice president for Acquisition & Integration of Danisco, and was named president of the newly formed DuPont Industrial Biosciences in May of that year. Beginning in September 2013, he assumed responsibility for the Performance Materials segment and additional corporate functional responsibilities as senior vice president. He was named to the position of executive vice president in December 2014, and in July 2015 added responsibility for the Electronics & Communications segment. He was named Ag Segment leader in January 2016.
Mr. Collins received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Christian Brothers College in Memphis, Tennessee,. He also received his MBA from the University of Delaware in Marketing with a focus on International Business.
Tuesday March 20 • General Session • VIEW PRESENTATION
|JOHN HECK, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SCOULAR, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, NGFA
Mr. John Heck serves as a Senior Vice President at The Scoular Company. Mr. Heck has been at Scoular since 1981 when he joined Scoular, as a grain merchandiser. Mr. Heck served as a Senior Vice President of Asset Resource & Risk Management Omaha, Nebraska of The Scoular Company. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in economics from The University of Iowa in 1977.
Tuesday March 20 • General Session • PRESENTATION TRANSCRIPT
|DEREK LEATHERS, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WERNER ENTERPRISES
Derek J. Leathers is the president and chief executive officer of Werner Enterprises. Leathers has 25 years of experience in the transportation and logistics industry and more than 17 years of leadership experience with Werner. Throughout his tenure at Werner, he has held integral executive management roles leading multiple organizational service offerings, including the establishment and development of Werner’s Mexico cross-border operations, oversight for the asset operating groups and leading the launch of Werner Global Logistics, which encompasses transportation management and freight movement within intermodal, ocean, air and brokerage. Prior to joining Werner in 1999, Leathers was one of the first foreign members of Mexico’s trucking association (CANACAR) and was based out of Mexico City for several years. Leathers holds an economics degree from Princeton University.
Sunday March 18 • Transportation Open Forum • VIEW PRESENTATION
|JAYSON LUSK, DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR AND HEAD OF THE AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT, PURDUE UNIVERSITY
After earning a B.S. in Food Technology from Texas Tech University in 1997, Jayson Lusk received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University in 2000. His first job out of graduate school was as an assistant professor at Mississippi State University, where he stayed for three years before moving to Purdue University as an Associate Professor. In 2005, Lusk moved to Oklahoma State University where he served as Regents Professor and held the Willard Sparks Endowed Chair. In 2011, Lusk and his family lived in Paris while he served as a visiting researcher at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and worked on a research fellowship awarded by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Monday March 19 • General Session • REQUEST PRESENTATION
|VICE CHAIRMAN DEB MILLER, MEMBER, SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD
Commissioner Miller, a Democrat from Kansas, is the Board’s 12th Member since the agency’s inception in 1996. Ms. Miller most recently served as a Senior Consultant with Cambridge Systematics, Inc., a firm specializing in transportation planning and policy, primarily for public-sector clients. From 2003 to 2011, she was the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation (Kansas DOT), a term of office marked by her distinguished service for three successive Governors of Kansas. She has the distinction of being the longest-serving Secretary of Transportation in Kansas history.
Prior to serving as Secretary of the Kansas DOT, Ms. Miller was a consultant at HNTB, a national architecture, engineering, and planning firm. She also has served as the Director of the Kansas DOT’s Division of Planning and Development, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation, and as a Policy Assistant to the Governor of Kansas.
Ms. Miller graduated magna cum laude from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Sociology.
Sunday March 18 • Transportation Open Forum
|PAUL NEIFFER, PRINCIPAL, CliftonLarsonAllen
Paul Neiffer is a certified public accountant and business advisor specializing in income taxation, accounting services, and succession planning for farmers and agribusiness processors. Paul is a partner with CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) in Yakima, Washington, as well as a regular speaker at national conferences and contributor at agweb.com.
Paul regularly publishes timely content on CLA’s agribusiness blog, Farm CPA Today. He covers topics, including taxation, accounting, succession planning, new laws, major agribusiness events, and other issues that are unique to farmers and agribusiness processors.
Raised on a farm in central Washington, Paul has been immersed in the ag industry his entire life, including the last 30 years professionally. In fact, Paul drives combine each summer for his cousins and that is what he considers a vacation. In addition, he is the previous owner of a 1031 exchange company.
Sunday March 18 • Tax Open Forum • VIEW PRESENTATION
|MICHAEL RUTHERFORD, VICE PRESIDENT OF MERCHANDISE SALES & MARKETING, CSX
Mr. Rutherford is Vice President of Merchandise Sales & Marketing. In this role, he leads all sales and marketing activities for the industrial products, automotive, and agricultural and mineral portfolios.
Mr. Rutherford was appointed to lead the Merchandise business unit in December 2017. Previously, he was Vice President of Industrial Products, managing a portfolio that included metals, forest products, and chemical products. He joined CSX in 2008 with extensive sales and marketing experience at global consumer products companies like Johnson & Johnson and Adidas. He has since held various leadership positions at CSX, including in Intermodal and Market Intelligence & Strategy.
Mr. Rutherford holds a bachelor’s degree in international finance and commerce from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in international economics and management from SDA Boccioni in Milan, Italy. He also completed CSX’s Executive Development Program (EDP) at Harvard Business School in 2013.
Sunday March 18 • Transportation Open Forum • VIEW PRESENTATION
|SOREN SCHRODER, CEO, BUNGE LIMITED
Soren Schroder took up his current post in June 2013 and serves on the company’s board as a director.From 2010 to 2013 he was CEO, Bunge North America.
Since joining Bunge in 2000, he has held a variety of agribusiness leadership roles in the US and Europe. Before joining Bunge, he worked for more than 15 years at Continental Grain and Cargill. He is a member of Rabobank International’s North American Agribusiness Advisory Board and has a BA in economics from Connecticut College.
Monday March 19 • General Session • VIEW PRESENTATION
|DR. DEREK M. SCISSORS, RESIDENT SCHOLAR, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE
Derek M. Scissors is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on the Chinese and Indian economies and on US economic relations with Asia. He is concurrently chief economist of the China Beige Book.
Dr. Scissors is the author of the China Global Investment Tracker. In late 2008, he authored a series of papers that chronicled the end of pro-market Chinese reform and predicted economic stagnation in China as a result. He has also written multiple papers on the best course for Indian economic development.
Before joining AEI, Dr. Scissors was a senior research fellow in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation and an adjunct professor of economics at George Washington University. He has worked for London-based Intelligence Research Ltd., taught economics at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, and served as an action officer in international economics and energy for the US Department of Defense.
Dr. Scissors has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate from Stanford University.
Tuesday March 20 • General Session