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Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA | June 14 - 17, 2015
Become the Solution: Food Security 2050

Thank you Conference Sponsors!



Become the Solution: Food Security 2050  is a new initiative designed to engage the collective knowledge and experience of conference attendees in order to find strategic solutions to the complex issue of global food security. The overarching challenge facing humanity today is how to prepare ourselves to feed the 9 billion people who will inhabit the earth

in 2050. Under the umbrella of food security, the IFAMA 2015 conference examined three major themes:

People: Flow of Talent in the Food and Agribusiness Sector
Climate: Climate-Smart Food and Agribusiness Systems
Big Data: Better Analytics and Deeper Insight Management

2015 Forum Co-Chairs: Vincent Amanor-Boadu and Michael Boland

      2015 Symposium Scientific Research Papers

Bridge Session
Twenty First Century Careers in Food and Agriculture; No Longer Just Cows and Plows

The food and agriculture sector continues to battle age-old perceptions about what it means to have a career in agriculture. These perceptions remain so deep that food and agriculture careers remain off the radar for many students (and their parents) searching for meaningful, interesting and well-paying careers. This session will help attendees understand why the shortage exists, what is currently in place for addressing it and how we can elevate food and agriculture career options in the minds of parents and teens making important educational and career decisions. Participants will be invited and encouraged to actively participate in the discussion.

Speaker: Mary Kay Delvo, Director of Membership and Development, Minnesota AgriGrowth Council (Presentation)

TUESDAY, JUNE 16 |11:15AM to 12:30PM

Forum Kick-off
Become the Solution: Food Security 2050

Master of Ceremonies: Mary Shelman, Director, Agribusiness Program, Harvard Business School
Welcome: Thad Simons, President, IFAMA
A New Model: Raj Vardan, Vice President, Olam International
Keynote Address: Mary Bohman, Administrator, Economic Research Service, USDA

Climate I: Ensuring Inclusive Market Access for Smallholder Producers

The future of ensuring global food security in the face of changing climate conditions is going to be driven by local production. Smallholder producers will become increasingly the center of attention as resource constraints tighten. And finding innovative approaches to promote linkages of smallholder farmers to local, regional and global agri-food chains will be critical in ensuring success of the 2050 Global Food Security Agenda. The panelists in this Roundtable explore the opportunities and the challenges of ensuring smallholders have effective market access. They will also challenge the audience to discover innovative processes that may be used to ensure market access for smallholder farmer once achieved is profitably sustainable.

Moderator: Eugenia Serova, Director of the Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division, FAO


  • Greg Grothe, Land O’Lakes International Development
  • Nizam Hassan, General Manager, Guyana Marketing Corporation
  • David Tschirley, Dept. of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, MSU
  • Farbod Youssefi, Coordinator, Enabling the Business of Agriculture Program, The World Bank Group

People I: Effective Onboarding Strategies for Sustained Competitiveness

Recruitment and getting new employees onboard quickly has become critical for food economy firms. A low unemployment rate coupled with the ‘LinkedIn” phenomena and retirement of a cohort of employees has made these key issues for competitiveness. This Roundtable brings a number of industry leaders living with these challenges to explore how to develop effective onboarding solutions to ensure sustained competitiveness of organizations. 

Moderator: Michael Boland, Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Minnesota


  • Tina Dorner, Talent Acquisition Specialist, CHS
  • Nick Koewler, Talent Acquisition Manager, Land O’Lakes
  • Aaron Riippa, End To End Optimization Lead, General Mills
  • Matt Stommes, Team Leader, Cargill

Big Data I: Leveraging Big Data in Agriculture Production

From knowing where pests are emerging to how much fertilizer is required for a particular corn plant in the field; agricultural production is being transformed into a data-intense system that demands new knowledge and new skills. This Roundtable brings a panel that is deeply involved in the implementation of big data in agricultural production to explore the embedded opportunities to leverage. READ PANEL BIOS

Moderator: Eric Jackson, President-Ag Services, Conservis (Presentation)


  • Michael Boehlje, Purdue University  (Presentation)

  • Charles Elworthy, Head of Research, Map of Agriculture (Presentation)
  • Charlie Linville, President, Ploughman Analytics (Presentation)
  • Ken Zuckerberg, Executive Director, Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research & Advisory Practice  (Presentation)

Climate II: The World of Standards: Barrier to or Drivers for Food Security 2050?

How can we ensure that the world’s farmers adopt safe and sustainable agricultural practices quickly enough to generate the needed volume of quality food within the earth’s limitations? Existing on-farm standards and assessments differing in requirement, scope, and means of verification result in increased cost, complexity and duplication for farmers. A number of initiatives seek alignment and harmonization, breaking down barriers to broad adoption of good agricultural practices. Discover from a panel of signatories themselves how one such initiative, the Declaration of Abu Dhabi for Global Food Security through Good Agricultural Practices, stands to address these challenges to supporting safe and sustainable agriculture, and also the hurdles, which must be overcome to make a difference in the World of Standards. READ PANEL BIOS

Moderator: Kristian Moeller, CEO of FoodPLUS and President of GLOBALG.A.P. North America Inc. GLOBALG.A.P; and

Gregory Baker, Director, Food & Agribusiness Institute, Santa Clara University


  • Roberta Anderson, Declaration of Abu Dhabi Secretariat, International Trade Centre (ITC)/Sustainable Agriculture Adviser, Global G.A.P.
  • Ronald Guendel, Food Chain Management, Bayer CropScience
  • Manal Saleh, General Manager, Blue Moon Ltd., Egypt
  • Thad Simons, President, IFAMA

TUESDAY, JUNE 16 | 4:00 to 5:00PM

IFAMA 25 Years - Past, Present, and Future

In the 25 years since the International Agribusiness Management Association was founded changes in technology, globalization and climate have significantly impacted academia and industry. An association founded in 1990 operated in a profoundly different world. Today we enjoy connectivity and information that could not have been imagined. Global politics, population trends and economic growth in the developing world are changing the face of agribusiness. And new challenges of data management and climate change are driving the development and adaptation of new technologies. In this session IFAMA takes a brief look back and a long look forward at the organization's unique role as a nexus of industry, academia and young talent in a changing world. This interactive session taps the energy, perspective and curiosity of two bright young minds in agribusiness to lead a conversation with IFAMA's past and future leadership.

Moderator: Will Secor, PhD Student, University of Minnesota


  • Brian Bourquard, PhD Student and Research Assistant, Purdue University and
  • Flavio Valério, MBA Student, University of Sao Paulo
  • Ray Goldberg, Professor of Harvard Business School
  • William Nelson, President, CHS Foundation and CHS Vice President, Corporate Citizenship
  • Johan Van Rooyen, Standard Bank Centre for Agribusiness Leadership & Mentorship Development at Stellenbosch University in South Africa

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17 | 8:30AM to 11:00AM

People II: Talent Management for 21st Century Food & Agribusiness Firms

The focus of this round-table session is on enhancing productivity through effective talent cultivation and management. The session will explore the current state of knowledge around effectiveness in developing the professional workforce (as opposed to labor) to optimize performance and take on increasing levels of responsibility and leadership. Each panelist brings a unique perspective to the discussion that will be highlighted in the session. The session will touch address the topics of performance management, talent development, leadership, succession, etc. READ PANEL BIOS

Moderator: Allan Gray, Land O'Lakes Chair for Food & Agribusiness and Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University; and,

Mike Gunderson Associate Director for Research, Center for Food and Agricultural Business, Purdue University


  • Chris Fischer, Manager of Organizational Effectiveness, Business Development Services, Land O’Lakes
  • Karen Grabow, Talent Management Consultant, former Head of HR at Land O’Lakes and Target Stores
  • Loren Heeringa, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, Land O’Lakes
  • Kari Ziemer, Senior Director, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, The Schwan Food Company

Big Data II: Food Manufacturing & Retail Data for Competitiveness

Business analytics includes the use of data collected in various supply chain activities – from consumers to logistics and distribution to manufacturing and input procurement. The panelists in this Roundtable will use several case studies examples of where such data has been used to improve competitiveness and explore the challenges and opportunities that emerging innovations in this area pose for the food manufacturers and retailers. 

Moderator: Michael Boland, Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Minnesota


  • Wayde Fleener, Senior Manager of Global Consumer Insights, General Mills
  • Dave Jackett, Senior Manager, End to End Optimization, General Mills

Big Data III: Agriculture, Food Security & Big Data: Realistic Expectations

There is a lot of hype about ‘big data’ from media, agricultural industry, and those who seek to sell tools and services. This Roundtable session challenges the unrealistic expectations and develops some sound realistic of how “big data” may enhance our industry’s capability to address the food security 2050 challenge. 

Moderator: Terry Griffin, Kansas State University


  • Minos Athanassiadis, Senior Director, Agrian Inc.
  • Douglas Hackney, President, Enterprise Group

People III: Finding Future Leaders: Fostering a Culture of Interest & Inclusion in STEM Education for Agriculture

The greatest challenge facing this generation will be feeding the 9 billion people that will populate the planet by 2050. The success of the green revolution in the 20th century has led to such improvements in efficiency such that less than 2% of the US population is farmers with a growing percentage of the population with no firsthand knowledge of where their food comes from. Yet more than 15% of the total U.S. workforce produce and process the U.S.’s food and fiber. According to the STEM Food & Ag council, there has been a 28.5% increase in university enrollment of students involved in the 6 major Agricultural STEM disciplines but demand continues to outpace supply. An aging workforce and record retirements of the baby boom generation exacerbate this shortage of agriculture STEM trained employees. The purpose of this roundtable is to engage in a discussion of the potential for public, private and policy maker collaborations to successfully engage and attract the next generation of STEM-educated leaders in agriculture capable of meeting the challenges of feeding the 9 billion. 

Moderator: Chris Knight, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Novus International


  • Melissa Harper, Chief Diversity Officer, Monsanto
  • Ted Wells, VP/Chief Strategy Officer, STEMConnector®

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17 | 11:30PM to 1:00PM

Luncheon Keynote: Michael Patrick, DuPont Pioneer

Michael Patrick is the Human Resources (HR) director for DuPont Pioneer. He joined DuPont in April 2012 as Human Resources director of Global Talent Acquisition and served as a member of senior HR leadership teams. Prior to joining DuPont, Michael was vice president - Staffing at Honeywell International, where he was responsible for leading the design and implementation of a global staffing Center of Excellence. Before that, he was director - Workforce Recruitment and Planning for Northrop Grumman Information Technology.

Michael holds an MBA from George Mason University, a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17 | 1:15PM to 3:45PM

Climate III: Resource-Constrained Smart Production in Africa

Africa’s share of the global population in 2050 is projected to jump to 25% from its 2010 share of 15%. Africa will also experience the highest rate of urbanization. This means, Africa’s agriculture and food sector needs to discover innovative ways to leverage innovation and technology to ensure food security even as land and water resources become scarce in the face of climate change. This Roundtable explores the scientific, policy and education innovations that Africa and the world should be considering if Africa’s food security is going to be achieved by 2050 when it has nearly a billion people to feed.

Organized by: Ajuruchukwu Obi, Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Fort Hare

Moderated by: Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Kansas State University


  • Johan Van Rooyen, Professor in Agricultural Economics, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Raj Vardhan, Sr. Vice President, Olam International Limited, Moscow, Russia

People IV: Agribusiness Curricula for Food Security & Competitiveness

How should we be preparing the next generation of talent that will come into the food and agribusiness sector to ensure its ability to provide the world with the food it needs? This Roundtable session looks at the necessary changes and enhancements in the curricula and the pedagogies in our universities and colleges that would provide the food and agribusiness sector with the talent, skills and competences needed to be effective in feeding 9.2 billion people by 2050. 

Moderator: Mary Shelman, Director, Agribusiness Program, Harvard Business School


  • John Floros, Dean of Agriculture and Director of Extension, Kansas State University
  • Shane Masters, AGR Partners
  • Dave Rock, Manager, Channel Development, John Deere
  • Drew Starbird, Dean, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

Big Data IV: Using Data Analytics to Improve Agribusiness Performance

The focus of this round-table is on improving efficiency, quality, timeliness, and safety through analysis of data. The session will explore the current state of “Big Data” with a focus on the analytics of the data rather than the collecting, storing, and managing aspects of Big Data. The session is less concerned with the amount of data being used and more concerned about how it is being used to improve company performance, supply chain performance, and supplier performance. This session will focus upstream from food manufacturing toward suppliers rather than downstream toward retailers and consumers. Topics will focus on enhancements in operations, logistics, business-to-business relationships, supply chain coordination, etc. 

Moderator: Allan Gray, Land O'Lakes Chair for Food & Agribusiness and Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University


  • Yone Dewberry, Vice President, Logistics and Supply Chain Planning, Land O’Lakes
  • Sabah Kimyon, Director, Automated Fuel Delivery, CHS, Inc.
  • Michael Macrie, Chief Information Officer, Land O’Lakes
  • Brady Spangenberg, Market Intelligence & Research Manager, BASF

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17 | 4:00PM to 5:30PM |Ballroom BCD

Closing General Session

Master of Ceremonies: Raj Vardan, Senior Vice President, Olam International

Transfer of Leadership: Thad Simons to Johan Van Rooyen, President, IFAMA

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