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Ed Beaman came to USSEC in 2011 and has over 30 years of private sector development experience, including agribusiness development along various value chains; trade association development; training in excess of 150 associations; USAID Chief of Party experience; and CEO Agribusiness Association of Iowa. Ed has served in numerous positions within USSEC. He was named the Chief Operating Officer in 2016 and assumed overall accountability for the effective and efficient development, implementation, monitoring,
evaluating, and modifying all major USSEC programs as they relate to utilization of the various resources USSEC is entrusted with. In April of 2018, and in response to being able to effectively address markets of very high strategic importance, Ed was named the Senior Director of Basic Market Development and Regional Director of the Asia Subcontinent Region.

Erin Bowers is a western Iowa native working in the area of mycotoxin management in grain and feed. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and doctoral degree in toxicology, both from Iowa State University, and is currently a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State.

Dr. John Foltz is chair of the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, and is co-author of the bi-monthly Feed & Grain magazine column, Manager’s Notebook. Foltz has focused his expertise in agribusiness management and taught courses about agribusiness sales, agricultural cooperatives, agricultural economics and agribusiness management.

Amy Jones has spent the last 20+ years learning and teaching others about the evolution and craft of human development. While many in the industry call it human resources, Amy feels it goes much deeper than that. Since joining Didion as the Leader of Human Development in 2015, Amy’s mission is to help company leaders create an atmosphere that inspires professional and personal excellence and champion a culture that allows all team members to pursue their personal passion while at Didion.

Amy has her master’s degree in management and a Bachelor of Science in communications and public relations. She is on the board of the Cambria Friesland Career Coalition, a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, an HPWP and MBTI-Certified Facilitator, and is well-respected in her global network of human resources professionals. Her
recently published article, “When Culture is Not a Cliché,” has served as an inspiration to many.

Outside of work, Amy and her husband live on a small farm in rural Wisconsin. In her leisure time, Amy enjoys spending time with her husband, son and extended family, as well as being involved in local farm-to-table events and giving back to her local community through volunteering.

Jeff Jones serves as vice president and director of central operations including the management of both rail terminals for MKC. Prior to this role, he served as a senior location manager since October 2011. A graduate of Friends University, Jeff received a bachelor’s degree in business management. Before joining MKC, Jeff was the senior operations manager at Trugreen for 15 years. He is involved with GEAPS International Board of Directors, GEAPS Executive committee 2nd Vice President, Kansas State Grain Science Advisory Board and the Great Plains GEAPS Chapter treasurer.

​Kris Torbert serves as Live Operations Manager for Wayne Farms, LLC, based in Oakwood, GA. Prior to his current role, he has served as Broiler Manager, Hatchery Manager and Broiler Flock Supervisor. Torbert graduated from Auburn University in 1999 with a Bachelors degree in Agribusiness Education.

Nick leads Cargill’s Business Operations team, comprised of plant operations, environmental health and safety (EHS), food safety, quality and regulatory (FSQR), and manufacturing excellence, in alignment with the Business Operations & Supply Chain (BOSC) organization. As Business Operations Director, Nick is responsible for engaging and developing a team

centered around manufacturing safe animal feed products, while keeping his teammates safe, driving productivity and maintaining assets. Nick will talk about the Cargill’s renowned safety culture and share practices to take home.

Leah Wilkinson is the senior vice president of public policy and education for the American Feed Industry Association in Arlington, VA. Wilkinson joined AFIA in 2010. She interacts with state legislatures, feed regulatory agencies in the western U.S., the Association of American Feed Control Officials and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Wilkinson also works with the AFIA Feed Regulatory, Ingredient Approval and Definition and Pet Food committees.

Growing up on a Minnesota swine farm, and as a graduate in swine production from the University of Minnesota, Wilkinson is very familiar with animal agriculture. She has also worked for the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, both in Washington, D.C. Before joining AFIA, Wilkinson was the director of policy and industry relations for ViaGen, Inc. in Austin, TX.

Jim Wyckoff has spent more than three decades involved with the stock, financial and commodity futures markets. He was a financial journalist with FWN for many years. Jim cut his teeth as a reporter on the rough-and-tumble commodity futures trading floors in Chicago and New York, covering every futures market traded in the U.S., at one time or another, and also covered many international markets, as well. Jim specializes in providing technical analysis to give traders an edge.

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