NORTHERN COMMODITY TRANSPORTATION CONFERENCE March 11-12, 2020 // Bloomington, MN
Global Marketing Analyst
President of John C. Baize and Associates, an international agricultural trade and policy consulting firm specializing in the oilseeds sector. He has chaired and participated in international conferences on oilseeds and oilseed products in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. His clients include the U.S. Soybean Export Council, state soybean associations. He also is a contributor to the nightly wire to international clients of World Perspectives, Inc.
Baize served for over 10 years as the head of the American Soybean Association's Washington Office. Prior to joining the American Soybean Association, Baize served as a member of the staff of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture.
HJ O'Neil Commodity Consulting
With over 46 years of varied and extensive experience in both domestic and international commodity markets, grain transportation, Domestic and Export Grain Trading, Risk Management, Hedging and Futures Trading expertise derived from trading geographic markets across the nation and the globe.
Daniel R. Elliott III
Past Surface Transportation Board Chair
Daniel R. Elliott was presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed to two terms in 2009 and 2015 on the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB), an independent economic regulator of the freight railroad industry, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate both times. He was designated by the President to be Chairman for both of these terms until January 2017.
Now, Mr. Elliott mainly handles railroad regulatory matters for railroad shippers as an attorney in his own firm. In addition, Mr. Elliott serves as Vice President of Business Development & Special Projects at Excel Rail Management.
Dr. Frayne Olson
Dr. Frayne Olson is the Crop Economist/Marketing Specialist with the North Dakota State University Extension and Director of the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives. Dr. Olson conducts educational programs and research in evaluating crop marketing strategies, crop outlook and price analysis, and the economics of crop contracting. As Director of the Center for Cooperatives, he teaches a senior level course on cooperative business management and coordinates the Center’s research and outreach activities.
MN Wheat Research & Promotion Council
Tim is a fourth generation farmer from Crookston, Minnesota. Tim and his wife Marlene grow Hard Red Spring Wheat and Soybeans on their 1600 acre farm. He serves on the board of the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotional Council as treasurer. He is also on the advisory committee of the University of Minnesota’s Northwest Research and Outreach Center. In the past he has served on the boards of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and Minnesota Ag and Rural Leadership.
ND Corn Council Secretary
Scott German is a fourth-generation farmer from Oakes, N.D. His family farm raises hogs, corn and soybeans. German serves as the secretary of the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council and is a delegate on the U.S. Grains Council.
USSEC chairman, North Dakota Soybean
Monte Peterson is a fourth-generation soybean and corn farmer from Valley City, N.D. Peterson is a director on the board of the American Soybean Association, serving on the Trade Promotion and International Affairs Committee and has served on Membership and Corporate Relations, Finance and Administrative Services and Strategic Planning.
He also serves as Vice-Chair of United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and Chairman of the USSEC Governance Committee.
In his state, Peterson serves as a director on the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association (NDSGA), where he is on the Legislative Committee.
SD Corn Executive Director
Lisa Richardson became executive director of the Corn Utilization Council in 1997 and also took over that position for the Corn Growers Association when the two organizations combined staffs. She was instrumental in bringing the two boards together to combine forces for the betterment of the industry.
Under Lisa’s leadership, South Dakota Corn played a key role in the development of the state’s farmer-owned ethanol plants. South Dakota now processes more than 380 million bushels of corn into ethanol annually. Lisa has served on a number of national, state and industry boards.
The Brookings native is a graduate of South Dakota State University. She and her husband, John, live in Sioux Falls with their two daughters, Suellin and Sarah. When she’s not working, she’s busy with her daughters’ many activities.
USSEC secretary, South Dakota Soybean
Dawn Scheier currently farms full time with her husband Pat in Salem, SD. Scheier Farms is a 4th generation farm where they raise corn and soybeans. Dawn received her education from ISU in animal science and is a graduate of the South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Program. Besides being active on the farm, Dawn has over 23 years of experience working in agriculture businesses outside of the family farm. Some of the positions she has held for agricultural companies include Credit Manager and National Sales Manager. Dawn has become an active and passionate volunteer with CommonGround, which is a consumer outreach group that helps start conversations about farming and food. Dawn is currently the St. Mary’s Church Alter Society VP, SCW Treasurer, a SD Corn Growers Assn. member, and a SD Soybean Assn. member. Some of her experiences include 5 years on the Farm Credit Nominating Committee, and serving on the Salem St. Mary’s Church and School Finance Board. She is a strong supporter in value added agriculture and investing in soybean processing and corn ethanol plants.
National Grain and Feed Association
Randy Gordon is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA).
He has been with NGFA for nearly 42 years, having joined its staff in 1978. He was selected NGFA’s chief staff executive in September 2012, after serving the previous nine months as acting president upon the retirement of his predecessor. Previously, Randy had been NGFA’s vice president for communications and government relations since 1987. In that capacity, he worked on a wide range of legislative and regulatory policy issues, authored the NGFA Newsletter and other publications, and conveyed NGFA’s views to the news media.
Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council
Kim Nill is the Director of Market Development for the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), where he works to expand domestic and overseas markets for Minnesota-origin soybeans and soy products. He has 35 years of experience in marketing and market development of agricultural products while working for MSR&PC, U.S. Soybean Export Council, Moorman Manufacturing Company, and Monsanto Company.
United Grain Corporation
Brentt Roberts is the Senior Merchant of Corn for United Grain Corporation. Brentt joined UGC in 2012 as the company was expanding into the Corn and Soybean business, adding an 80-million-dollar upgrade to participate in the Corn and Soybean export business. Prior to taking over the Senior Merchant position in 2016, Brentt worked on the Central Hedge Desk and then became a Merchandiser for Corn and Soybeans.
Former USDA Foreign Agricultural Service official
Scott Sindelar is CEO of Edgewise Trade Advisers, which provides agricultural trade, policy, and
market development guidance to its business partners. From 1987 until 2017, Mr. Sindelar was
a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service
(FAS). His overseas assignments include China (three tours), Thailand, Taiwan, South Africa,
and India. Mr. Sindelar also held several positions at FAS headquarters in Washington, DC,
including Deputy Administrator. He retired from the Foreign Service at the end of 2017 with the
rank of Career Minister.
Red River Valley & Western Railroad Company
Victor joined Red River Valley & Western Railroad Company (RRVW) in January of 2018 as President. He is responsible for providing leadership and guidance for the company’s strategic long-term plan to ensure the safe, effective and efficient movement of freight rail transportation services to the customers that RRVW serves and the communities in which RRVW operates.
MN Trucking Association
John Hausladen is president and chief executive officer of the Minnesota Trucking Association (MTA) since 1996. He is responsible for the overall management of the organization’s multi-faceted, state-wide advocacy, information and member service programs. His dual passions are improving highway safety and the public image of the trucking industry. John leads the MTA in achieving its mission of serving as the voice for a safe and successful Minnesota trucking industry through advocacy, education, and focused initiatives.
Pacific Northwest Waterways Association
As PNWA’s Executive Director, Kristin Meira leads the association’s work with Congress, federal agencies and regional decision makers on transportation, trade, energy and environmental policies and projects. PNWA's membership includes over 135 public ports, transportation providers, agriculture and forest products producers, public utilities, manufacturers, labor groups and others in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Meira joined the PNWA team in 2002.
Meira moved to Portland in 2000 after spending five years on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, where she worked for U.S. Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley. Her political experience also includes work as a legislative assistant for a N.J. State Assemblyman, briefing aide to N.J. Governor Jim Florio, and work on several campaigns around the nation.
CHS Rail Services Director
Brock Lautenschlager, Rail Services Director at CHS, has ~ 20 years’ experience in rail transportation. Brock is responsible for leading all rail transportation activities in CHS’ Agronomy, Grain Marketing, Processing and Food Ingredients divisions.
Brock and his wife, Melissa, and their three children reside in Blaine, Minnesota.
A North Dakota native, Brock earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from North Dakota State University.
Rob Keller began his career with BNSF Railway in 1994 and is currently the Director of Feed Grains, Oilseeds and Feeds, a position he has held since 2011. During his railroad career, he has held various commercial and support roles in the Agricultural Products and Industrial Products Business Units of BNSF.
Rob holds a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a M.S. in Transportation Management from the University of Denver.
Isaac Crawford was raised on a farm in Southwest Minnesota and graduated the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree. Since 2011, Isaac has worked for POET and most recently holds the position of Vice President of Trading and Portfolio Management. Prior to working for POET, Isaac worked for Ag Processing, Inc.
Maple River Grain & Agronomy
Alex Richard grew up on a farm just south of Fargo, ND. After graduating from NDSU in 2005 he took a position as a farm marketing consultant with Hurley and Associates in Glenwood, MN. In 2008 Alex started at Maple River Grain and Agronomy, LLC as a Grain Merchandiser and eventually Grain Department Manager. Currently Alex is Assistant General Manager at Maple River Grain and Vice President on North Dakota Grain Dealer’s Association Board of Directors.
Dr. Lin Tan
Hopefull Group - China
Dr. Tan works for Hopefull Group, a soybean importing and processing company in China, since 2005. He is responsible for the company's overseas business and new development. He has experience living in China, Canada, Brazil, Argentina. He is now based in Des Moines, Iowa.
Dr Tan grow up in a farming family in Shanxi Province, China. He had a bachelor’s and a master’s degrees of agronomy and PhD. Degree of agricultural economics. Tan spent nine years teaching and conducting research at China Agricultural University. He worked five years for an American consulting company on food and agricultural-research projects for multinational companies and international organizations, such as USDA, Monsanto and Bunge.
Dr Tan works part-time as China Correspondent of DTN, He is an affiliated professor of China Agricultural University, teaching International Trade in Agricultural Products in the MBA program. He is also a research fellow of Institute for Sustainability Leadership at University of Cambridge, a research fellow of Nanjing University of Finance and Economics.
John grew up on a farm in northwest Iowa. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Ag Business and Ag Economics and earned a master’s degree in Agribusiness from Kansas State University in 2005. John started his career in 2002 with DeBruce Grain, Inc. which was later acquired by Gavilon, LLC. His roles included Merchandiser, Location Manager and Area Manager. After spending 17 years working in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and most recently in Illinois, John “came back home” to South Dakota in the fall of 2018 to work for Agtegra Cooperative. As the Soy Product Line Manager, John is currently responsible for managing the soybean, soybean meal, and soyhull positions and logistics for Agtegra Cooperative’s network of 40 elevators, including 11 shuttle loaders located throughout South Dakota and North Dakota. John now resides in Aberdeen with his wife and four kids.
Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture
Thom Petersen was appointed Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture by Governor Tim Walz in January 2019.
Commissioner Petersen is a long-time resident of Royalton Township near Pine City where he lives on a horse farm. Before being appointed Commissioner, Petersen served as the Director of Government Relations for Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) since 2002, working on behalf of MFU’s farmer-members in both Washington, D.C. and St. Paul.
Prior to his work at the Minnesota Farmers Union, Commissioner Petersen spent most of his life working for his family and his own horse and farm business. He has a wide range of experience in state and federal farm policy, and travels to almost every county in Minnesota each year to fully understand how these policies affect farmers’ daily lives. He has served on many boards and committees, including the University of Minnesota Extension Citizens Advisory Committee, Farmers Legal Action Group, Citizens Utility Board, Minnesota Ag in the Classroom, Minnesota State Organic Task Force, Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition, and the Minnesota Fair Plan.
North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture
Doug Goehring has been North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner since 2009.
A third-generation farmer, Commissioner Goehring, along with his son, Dustin, operates a 2,600-acre, no-till farm near Menoken in south central North Dakota, where they raise corn, soybeans, spring wheat, sunflowers, and barley. In the past, the Goehrings have also produced winter wheat, durum, canola, mustard, millet, safflower, alfalfa, lentils and field peas, and have had a feeder cattle operation.
Commissioner Goehring is the current president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. He is also past president of the Food Export Association of the Midwest, a non-profit organization composed of 13 Midwestern state agricultural promotion agencies that use federal, state, and industry resources to help U.S. suppliers increase product sales overseas. He is the former president and chairman of the board of Nodak Mutual Insurance Co. and a former director of American Agricultural Insurance Co.
Legislative Assistant, Office of Senator John Thune - South Dakota/Washington, D.C.
Chance Costello, Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Senator John Thune, Washington, DC
Chance has served as a legislative assistant for Senator John Thune since January 2019, primarily covering transportation issues. Previously, Chance served as a majority Professional Staff Member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, focusing on the Surface Transportation Board, rail and pipeline safety, passenger rail policy, and infrastructure financing.
University of Minnesota
Dr. Seth Naeve is a Soybean Agronomist with the University of Minnesota and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. His effort is split between a soybean production/physiology research project and his soybean extension activities.
Dr. Naeve’s research program focuses on development of novel strategies for the efficient production of high quality soybean. His research effort is split between analyzing genetic, environmental, and cultural effects on soybean seed quality (oil, protein, fatty acid, amino acid, and carbohydrate composition) and researching management strategies to maximize production efficiencies.
U.S. Grains Council
Cary Sifferath serves as the senior director of global programs for the U.S. Grains Council, a non-profit organization that promotes the global use of U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including ethanol and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS). In this capacity, Sifferath is responsible for oversight of the Council's 10 international offices and all worldwide programs.
Kearney Klein applies over two decades’ experience and business acumen to optimizing the agriculture supply chain as Vice President of Indigo Transport. For more transparency, efficiency, and reliability in how grain and other harvests are shipped around the country, Kearney leads the business line to address pain points for a variety of stakeholders – including growers, shippers and carriers.
Eric Wenberg is the executive director of the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA). He retired in 2018 as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, rank of Minister Counselor, after a 28-year career with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, serving in American Embassies in Ottawa, Pretoria, Warsaw, and Moscow. Wenberg was active abroad, assisting U.S. agricultural businesses export, negotiating trade agreements, settling disputes with foreign governments, and speaking and publishing reports on foreign agricultural conditions. On domestic assignments at USDA headquarters, Wenberg served as Assistant Deputy Administrator, Foreign Service Operations, directing 90 offices abroad. Earlier, Wenberg was Director of Cooperator Programs, with responsibility for setting financial management and policy for Farm Bill foreign marketing programs of grants to U.S industry worth $252 million. From 2002-04, Wenberg represented FAS on the governing board of the American Foreign Service Association.
Bill Gordon- Moderator
President, American Soybean Association
Bill Gordon, a farmer from Worthington, Minn., is president of the American Soybean Association (ASA). Gordon previously served as vice president and treasurer and has been on the ASA Board of Directors since 2012. He has served on the Policy, BNSF Advisory and Strategic Planning committees.
Gordon is a fourth-generation farmer. With his father, he grows 50/50 soybeans and corn across 2,000 acres, including 250 acres of buffer strips and wetlands.
Gordon is the owner of Worthington Tax and Business Services, a full service business including farm analysis and planning.