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2016 A-State Agribusiness Conference Speakers

Timothy N. Burcham was appointed dean of the ASU College of Agriculture and Technology in July 2013. He previously served two years as interim chair of the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources, and held the Parker Chair of Excellence at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Tim has also held teaching, research and extension positions at the University of Tennessee and Mississippi State University. A registered professional engineer, Tim has worked on livestock waste management, onsite wastewater remediation, water quality and biofuels. He earned B.S and M.S. degrees in agricultural engineering from Mississippi State University and his Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from Clemson University.

Bob Cummings is Chief Operating Officer of the USA Rice Federation, which is America's largest rice association and represents all segments of the U.S. rice industry. Bob is responsible for expanding foreign market access for U.S. rice markets and for developing the industry's activities in biotechnology. Prior to joining the Federation in 1999, Bob served as a senior economist in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. He also served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and in 1994 was a staff member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Bob earned his B.A from Gorge Washington University and his M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Bert Greenwalt is a professor of agricultural economics at Arkansas State University, director of the A-State Agribusiness Conference, and farms with his family at Hazen, Ark. He currently serves on the Arkansas Agricultural Council Board of Directors and recently completed eight years of service on the Agribusiness Council of The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Bert previously served six years on the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Fed. Bert earned his B.S.A. in Agricultural Business and Economics from Arkansas State University, his M.S. from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. from Mississippi State University.

Jason Henderson is director of the Purdue University Extension Service where he leads Purdue's public engagement and research-based education program in agriculture and natural resources. He also serves as associate dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture. Prior to returning to his alma mater in 2013, Jason served as vice president and Omaha Branch executive at The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where his work focused on the rural and agricultural economy. Jason was reared on his family's dairy farm in northeast Iowa and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics at Purdue University.

Tim Hudson was appointed chancellor of A-State in 2012. He previously served as vice chancellor of the Texas Tech University System and earlier as president of the University of Houston–Victoria. Tim received two Fulbright Fellowships to study in Germany and Mexico, and an ITT International Fellowship to study in Colombia, South America. A native of Mississippi, Tim earned his B.A. in history and Latin American studies and an M.A in geography at the University of Southern Mississippi, and his Ph.D. in geography at Clark University in Worchester, Mass.

Jeff Johnson is a cotton merchant with Allenberg Cotton Company in Memphis, Tenn. He has 24 years experience originating and merchandising U.S. cotton for the Louis Dreyfus Group. Jeff is past president of the Southern Cotton Shippers Association, past president of the Memphis Cotton Exchange, and past president of the American Cotton Shippers Association. In 2005, Jeff was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the Advisory Committee of the Universal Cotton Standards Conference. He currently serves as a merchant delegate to the National Cotton Council. Jeff earned his B.S. in marketing management and M.S.A in agriculture from Arkansas State University.

Mark Jordan is director of poultry and eggs at Informa Economics where he heads research of the broiler, turkey, and egg industries. Prior to joining Informa in 2007, Mark was a statistician in the Pennsylvania office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Mark was raised on a cow-calf and contract-broiler operation in Southeast Arkansas and maintains an ownership stake in the family farm. He earned his B.S.A in agribusiness from Arkansas State University and his M.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas.

Donald “Bud” Kennedy is a professor of animal science and associate dean of the Arkansas State University College of Agriculture and Technology. A native of Alvin, Texas, Bud earned his B.S. and M.Ed. in Agricultural Education from Sam Houston State University, and his Ph.D. in Animal Science from Louisiana State University. Bud joined the A-State faculty in 1993.

Stan Miller is a partner in ILP + McChain, Miller and Nissman, an international estate planning law firm based in Little Rock. Stan regularly counsels clients on family owned business matters, including exit and succession planning, governance and the significance of these issues to family relationships. Stan earned his B.A. at Arkansas Polytechnic University, where he was the student body president, and his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School.

John Phipps is a farmer, blogger, magazine columnist and commentator on the U.S. Farm Report – America’s longest-running farm television program. Reared on a five-generation farm in east-central Illinois, John earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Economics from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; then spent five years as a nuclear engineering officer aboard a U.S. Navy fast-attack submarine. John returned to the family farm in 1970 where he was joined by his son Aaron in 2008. John has received numerous awards for his writing, including agricultural writing’s highest award, Writer of the Year, in 2004.

Harrison Pittman is director of the National Agricultural Law Center, a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Harrison received his J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, after attending Mississippi State University and graduating from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He then earned an LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law’s Graduate Program in Agricultural Law. Harrison has taught at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law as part of the Ben J. Altheimer Distinguished Professorship for Agricultural Law, and was the inaugural recipient of the American Agricultural Law Association Excellence in Agricultural Law Award in 2010. A native of Helena, Arkansas, Harrison is a frequent presenter on a range of agricultural topics, including the farm bill, water law, and environmental law.

David Schweikhardt is a professor and Extension Agricultural economist at Michigan State University, where his research and extension program focuses on the economic impact of U.S. commodity and trade policies, legal issues involving wind and natural gas leases, and most recently the economics of health care. David previously served on the agricultural economics faculty of Mississippi State University. A native of Indiana, David earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees at Purdue University and his Ph.D. and J.D. degrees at Michigan State University.

Steve Scott is President of Scott Agri, a commodity marketing advisory firm based in Maumelle, Ark. Founded in 1985, Scott Agri is one of the oldest and largest agricultural marketing consulting firms in the Mid-South. Steve and his staff currently work with clients in seven states. Steve was previously a commodity specialist with Merrill Lynch. He earned his B.S.B.A. in marketing from the University of Arkansas.

Jason Thomas is a CPA with Frost, PLLC where his work focuses on tax planning and compliance for the animal agriculture and food processing industries. Jason earned his B.S.B.A at the University of Arkansas and his J.D. degree at the University of Tulsa. Jason in based in Frost's Little Rock headquarters.

Eric Wailes is a distinguished professor of agricultural economics and holds the L.C. Carter Chair in Rice and Soybean Marketing at the University of Arkansas. His research focuses on domestic and international trade policies with an emphasis on the rice industry. A native of Colorado, Eric was reared on a crop and dairy farm. He earned his B.Sc. in agricultural economics at Cornell University and his Ph.D. at Michigan State University. Eric received the Rice Technical Working Group Outstanding Rice Research and Service Award in 1992 and 1996, and the Spitze Land Grant University Faculty Award for Excellence in 2010.

Wes Ward was named Arkansas' third Secretary of Agriculture in March 2015. He previously served on the staff of U.S. Representative Rick Crawford. A native of Lake City, Wes earned his B.S.A. in agricultural business at Arkansas State University and his J.D. and LL.M. in agricultural and food law at the University of Arkansas. He has served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 15 years and is currently a Captain and Civil Affairs Officer in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Brian Williams is an assistant extension professor of agricultural economics at Mississippi State University where his work focuses on agricultural policy, commodity marketing, farm management and the cattle industry. Brian earned his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University. A native of Nebraska, Brian grew up on a family farm that currently produces corn, soybeans and cattle. Brian recently received the 2015 Gamma Sigma Delta Extension Award, which is presented annually to the top Extension faculty members at Mississippi State University.