Advisory Committee

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Advisory Committee

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About Us

AGree Staff

Executive Director
Research Director
Senior Partner, Meridian Institute
EcoFriendly Farms
Bev Eggleston is the founder of EcoFriendly Foods. With his wife, he produces “grass-grown” animal products for consumers directly at farmers' markets and home buying clubs in the Washington, D.C., Va., Md., and N.C. areas, as well as restaurants in Washington, D.C., and New York City.
Independent Consultant
Connie Veillette is an independent consultant on aid, development, and food security issues. She formerly was the Director of the Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Program at the Center for Global Development.
Environmental Working Group
Craig Cox is Senior Vice President of the Environmental Working Group, directing the organization’s research and advocacy work in agriculture, renewable energy and climate change. He also directs the Environmental Working Group’s Midwest Office in Ames, Iowa. Prior to joining EWG, Craig served as Executive Director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
National 4-H Council
Jeremy P. Embalabala is a member of the Board of Trustees of National 4-H Council. Jeremy’s Kenyan heritage has led to his active participation in the development of Global 4-H initiatives in Africa and around the world. Jeremy is also currently President and CEO of TechOctane, Inc., an IT solutions and support company.
National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Association
As President and CEO of the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Association, Rudy Arredondo represents the interests of small Latino farmers and ranchers in Washington, D.C., dealing with policy, legislation and regulatory issues. He edits and publishes the National Hispanic Political Reporter, and is a past member of the Hispanic Lobbyist Association.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, is Professor of Epidemiology in the Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and in the Nutrition Section of the Dept. of Pediatrics, and Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. She is founder and chair of the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN), vice chair of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020 and chairs the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Obesity Prevention in Children and Youth.
International Food Policy Research Institute
Dr. Ousmane Badiane is the Africa Director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). In this role, he coordinates IFPRI’s work program in the areas of food policy research, capacity strengthening, and policy communications in Africa.
Iowa Environmental Council
Susan is the Water Program Director for the Iowa Environmental Council, a nonprofit coalition of 65 environmental and conservation related organizations in Iowa. Susan joined the Council in 1996 and has provided technical leadership for the Council on agricultural nonpoint source pollution, livestock manure management, water quality monitoring, water quality standards, and restoration of impaired waters.
Show Me Energy Cooperative
Steve Flick is currently Chairman of the Board of Show Me Energy Cooperative, a cellulosic biomass facility owned by 612 farmers. The $10 million project develops and processes energy crops and agricultural residues into biomass engineered fiber fuel. This fuel pellet for co-firing is used at a local utility and for heating residents’ homes and poultry houses.
Visiting Scholar, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
Dr. Robert L. Thompson retired recently from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he held the Gardner Endowed Chair in Agricultural Policy. In August 2011 he will be a Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and serves on the USDA-USTR Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade and the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council.
Paul Guenette, the Executive Vice President for Communications and Outreach for ACDI/VOCA, is an economic development manager with expertise in agribusiness and trade. Paul provides leadership to corporate planning, relationships with external corporations, and public-private partnerships. He has designed and managed large, integrated sustainable development programs in a career spanning 35 years and 59 countries.
Rancher, Ladder Livestock
Patrick O’Toole is a rancher and farmer at Ladder Livestock, a six-generation family operation on the Little Snake River along the Wyoming-Colorado border. Patrick was a Kellogg LEAD fellow, served in the Wyoming House of Representatives, and on the Western Water Policy Commission. He is President of the Family Farm Alliance, which represents irrigators in seventeen Western states.
West Central Initiative
Nancy Straw has been President and CEO of the West Central Initiative (WCI) since 1999 and originally joined in 1996. WCI is a hybrid community foundation headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minn., that serves nine counties of west central Minnesota. WCI is a cross between a community foundation, a community development corporation, and a regional planning organization with $50 million in assets, and serves as one of just two nongovernmental organizations in the U.S. that is federally certified as an Economic Development (planning) District.
Mississippi State University
Dr. Mark Everett Keenum is the President of Mississippi State University where he previously served as an assistant professor/economist. Prior to being named president of Mississippi State in November 2008, Dr. Keenum served as Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for two years, where he provided leadership and oversight for the Farm Service Agency, the Risk Management Agency and the Foreign Agricultural Service. From 1996-2006, he served as Chief of Staff for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
Duncanson Growers
Kristin Weeks Duncanson is owner and partner of Duncanson Growers, a diversified family farm in Southern Minnesota. The operation includes corn, soybeans, vegetables, cattle and hog production. Currently, she is the Chair of the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council. She is past President of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and a former director of the American Soybean Growers Association.
Full Belly Farm
Judith Redmond has farmed in northern California since 1989 as one of four owners of Full Belly Farm where a diverse assortment of fruits, nuts, vegetables, flowers and herbs are grown. Judith focuses on marketing, maintaining border strips of native plant hedgerows, and managing a 1,300-member Community Supported Agriculture project. Judith is on the Advisory Committee of the University of California Agricultural Sustainability Institute; Executive Committee of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers; and Advisory Board of California Climate and Agriculture Network.
Johanna Nesseth is the Manager of Development and Public Policy at Chevron. She was previously Vice President for Strategic Planning at CSIS, where she led the Center’s relationships with corporate and foundation partners. She also directed the CSIS Global Food Security Project, which put forward policy approaches that can effectively enhance global food security. She authored the project’s task force report, <i>Cultivating Global Food Security: A Strategy for U.S. Leadership on Productivity</i>, <i>Agricultural Research, and Trade</i> (CSIS, April 2010), and co directed the task force that produced "A Call for a Strategic U.S. Approach to the Global Food Crisis</i> (CSIS, July 2008).
Sustainable Food Lab
Hal Hamilton founded and co-directs the global Sustainable Food Lab, which aims to mainstream sustainability in global food supply. Its projects are all aimed at practical supply chain tools and shared learning among peers. Hal’s career began as a commercial dairy farmer in Kentucky.
Farmer, NCGA Future Structure of Agriculture Implementation Task Force
Fred Yoder is a fourth generation farmer who has lived and farmed near Plain City, Ohio, for more than 38 years. Along with his wife, Debbie, and his two children, he grows corn, soybeans and wheat on his farm of 1,500 acres. Fred has served as President of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), which has over 35,000 dues-paying members, and also represents more than 300,000 corn farmers in the U.S.
Feeding America
Elaine Waxman, Ph.D., is Vice President of Research and Nutrition at Feeding America, where she also previously served as Director of Social Policy Research and Analysis.
President of Environmental Defense Action Fund and Director of Governmental Affairs (DC)
Elizabeth Thompson, newly appointed President of Environmental Defense Action Fund and Director of Governmental Affairs, previously served as Legislative Director for the Environmental Defense Fund for 10 years, supervising all of Environmental Defense Fund’s legislative and administrative work. She has policy and legislative background in climate change, energy, the Clean Air Act, transportation appropriations and fisheries. While working at the Meridian Institute as a Senior Mediator and Program Director, Elizabeth was instrumental in the startup of AGree.
FoodCorps and Harvest Sun Farm
Debra Eschmeyer is Co-Founder and Vice President of External Affairs for FoodCorps and an organic farmer. Working from her farm, Harvest Sun, in Ohio, Debra oversees the program development, policy and partnerships of FoodCorps, a new nonprofit national service organization that seeks to reverse childhood obesity by increasing vulnerable children's knowledge of, engagement with, and access to healthy food.
Columbia University
Claire Wang, MD, is Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management, Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Dr Wang’s research applies computer modeling to integrate evidence and to inform policy and practice guidelines, focusing on the obesity epidemic in adults and in children. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson foundation (RWJF), she is building a model of environmental determinants of energy balance to evaluate various population-wide programs and policies designed to fight childhood obesity.
Washington State University
Dr. Charles Benbrook is the Program Leader, Measure to Manage (M2M) Program: Advanced Food and Farm Diagnostics for Sustainability and Health, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University. Previously he was Chief Scientist at the Organic Center. Dr. Benbrook has also worked in Washington, D.C., serving as the agricultural staff expert on the Council for Environmental Quality in the Carter Administration, the Executive Director of the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture with jurisdiction over pesticide regulation, research, trade and foreign agricultural issues, and the Executive Director, Board on Agriculture of the National Academy of Sciences.
Wheat Farmer
For the past five years Carl Mattson, a wheat producer, has worked for the Montana Grain Growers Association as their Conservation and Farm Program Associate. While in this position he worked on aspects of both Title I and Title II of the 2008 Farm Bill. Currently Carl is on staff with the Montana Stockgrowers Association where he addresses conservation, sustainability, and farm program issues for Montana Beef Producers.
Strawberry Farmer
Arthur Gen “A.G.” Kawamura is the former California Secretary of Agriculture. He is a third generation fruit and vegetable grower and shipper from Orange County and is the co-chair of Solutions From the Land, a project supported by UN Foundation, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and the Farm Foundation, that is developing a sustainable roadmap for 21st century agricultural systems. He serves as a new Board Member of the American Farmland Trust and is a national steering committee member of “25x25,” a renewable energy coalition.
Cargill Ag Horizons
Dave was appointed to serve as Business Unit Leader and President of Cargill AgHorizons U.S. in March of 2011 to lead the farmer facing grain and crop input business. Dave joined Cargill after receiving his degree in Agricultural Business at Iowa State University in 1986.
Jim Borel is executive vice president and a member of the company's Office of the Chief Executive. He also has responsibilities for DuPont agriculture and nutrition businesses. Mr. Borel joined DuPont in 1978 in Findlay, Ohio, as a sales representative.
Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners
Shonda Warner founded Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners in 2006. She has thirty years of experience in managing various forms of financial and agricultural assets.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Tres Bailey is the Director of Agriculture and Food in the Federal Government Relations department of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Clinton Health Matters Initiative at the William J. Clinton Foundation
Rain Henderson is the Deputy Director of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative at the William J. Clinton Foundation. In her role, Rain builds relationships across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to advance the mission of improving the health and well-being of all United States citizens with meaningful and scalable solutions.
Real Food Generation
Anim Steel became the Executive Director of Real Food Generation after co-founding the Real Food Challenge, a campaign to re-direct $1 billion of college food purchases towards local, fair, and sustainable sources within 10 years.
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Greg Watson was sworn in as the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources 19th Commissioner on April 2, 2012. Commissioner Watson has a long connection to and appreciation of agriculture starting in his childhood where his grandmother tended a vegetable garden and fruit trees, and visiting his uncle's working farm in Tennessee.