The Master of Agribusiness Industry Advisory Board meets regularly to counsel the Department on the ongoing development of the program. The board provides valuable input on focusing the program strategically, and stays abreast of emerging issues that should be addressed in the program. The broad industry representation of the board ensures that the program appeals to a wide range of food and agribusiness professionals.
Strategic Planning and Business Development
Koch Fertilizer, LLC
Marty is Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development for Koch Fertilizer where he has been employed since 1996. Marty holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University. He was raised on a diversified livestock and crop farm in northeast Kansas where he maintains an interest in the cropping operation. Koch Fertilizer and its affiliates own or have interests in nitrogen fertilizer plants in North America, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. The company's fertilizer interests have the capability to manufacture, market and distribute more than 10 million metric tons of fertilizer products annually. Based in Wichita, Kan., Koch Industries consists of a group of companies in refining and chemicals; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; minerals and fertilizers; fibers and polymers; commodity and financial trading and services; and forest and consumer products. Koch companies have a presence in nearly 60 countries and employ about 70,000 people.
Senior Director, Biotech Affairs and Product Registration for the Americas
a DuPont company
Steve Brody is Senior Director, Biotech Affairs and Product Registration for the Americas, where he has accountability for cultivation and import approvals for Pioneer products in North and South America, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Steve and his team are responsible for planning and implementing engagement approaches and programs with key government, regulatory agencies, regional trade associations and other critical stakeholders to achieve regulatory and DuPont Pioneer business objectives.
Prior to this role, Steve had global responsibility for planning and directing the implementation of government and industry relations programs and activities. His responsibilities also include monitoring and advising on trends in global agriculture policy and serving as a senior corporate spokesperson on policy matters. Previously, he was Sr. Manager for North America Sales Operations and Six Sigma Champion where he led Pioneer’s North America Customer and Sales Services group and Business Improvement team. He joined Pioneer in 1995 as a Government Relations Manager with responsibility for federal policy.
Steve joined Pioneer from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., where he was a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture and USDA's Farm Service Agency. He has served on staff for two former Members of Congress from Iowa, and a former Iowa Lieutenant Governor.
He graduated with honors from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and has a Master's of Arts degree from the University of Iowa and a Master’s of Agribusiness degree from Kansas State University.
He is a board member of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and Secretary of the Board for Habitat for Humanity of Iowa. He is also on the Kansas State Masters of Agribusiness Industry Advisory Board, and is a founding member of the Dallas County (Iowa) Foundation, where he is past President. He was appointed to the State of Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission, and is Vice Chair of the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Commission representing Clive, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights. Brody is a member of the Clive City Council and currently Mayor Pro Tem.
President and CEO
Raymond Cesca is Founder, President, and CEO of GAEÁ, an agricultural based market development, trade, and strategic planning organization that promotes economic development in emerging economies. Mr. Cesca is launching a new venture called the Alternative Crops Initiative in partnership with FAO and the United Nations. From 2006 to 2008, Cesca served as President of the World Agricultural Forum which promoted resolutions to critical issues facing global agriculture. Prior to that he served as the Managing Director for World Trade at McDonald’s Corporation. He was responsible for reducing or eliminating barriers to trade among the 118 countries in which McDonald’s operated. At McDonald's he held the position of Global Purchasing from 1992 to 1995 and was Director of International Purchasing Atlantic from 1987 to 1992. Mr. Cesca also spent 15 years with CPC International, an international consumer products organization. He provided leadership to a number of boards and councils, including the Food and Agriculture Committee of the National Policy Association, the Food Products Committee for the Pacific Basin Economic Council, the agricultural policy-working group of the United States Council for International Business, the Turkish American Business Council, the Advisory Board of FyBx, an international fiber company, and as an advisor to RiseLink, an Asia development organization. He was the chairman of the Food and Agricultural Committee of the U.S. ASEAN Business Council, and co-chairman of the Advisory Council of the World Agricultural Forum. He also was the recipient of the Corporate Conservation Leadership Award. Cesca has a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University, an MBA from Columbia University, and attended the University of Southern California’s School of Food Management and Stanford University’s Decision Theory Forum.
Customer Risk Manager YC/SBM
Grain and Oilseed Supply Chain NA
Terry Garvert is the current Corn and SBM Customer Risk Manager. He started this position in 2007 and is responsible for Customer risk management for GOSCNA Key clients utilizing corn and Soybean meal. Terry has spent 35 years working with Cargill. Prior to his current position, Garvert was the Foodgrains Market Development Leader for the wheat product line. In essence, Garvert was a wheat generalist, having worked with export customers to improve the quality or price competitiveness of their flour or milling operations in the past. He has also spent 17 years as a cash merchant of wheat and has traded all six classes of wheat and all export ranges. Terry has served as the Goertzen Seed Research Project Director where he oversaw Cargill's wheat breeding business. Garvert has worked at the KSU Cereal Science Lab, KSU experiment station, and been a past Director at the Kansas City Board of Trade. Garvert earned a bachelor’s in Feed Science and Chemistry from Kansas State University, graduating in 1977.
Keith D. Harris C.P.M.
Kansas State University
Keith is an Assistant Professor Agribusiness Management at Kansas State University. Dr. Harris earned a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, an MAB from Kansas State University, and a B.S. from Lincoln University. His research interests include organizational economics and social network theory to explain and predict the emergence of bioscience networks in the food and agriculture industries. Dr. Harris teaches courses in Agribusiness Management Strategy and Managerial Economics. Prior to an academic career, Keith worked in commodity risk management, international procurement, and supply chain management strategy for General Mills, Sara Lee Foods, and Farmland Foods. Keith is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer. He served as an Agribusiness Advisor to the Honduran Ministry of Natural Resources where he helped develop agribusiness opportunities from tropical agriculture.
Founder, Chairman & CEO
Rolling Plains Companies
The Rolling Plains Companies are schedule to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2012. Rolling Plains will become a large-scale farming, multiple feedlot, cattle feeding, beef packing, and renewable energy (manure, wind and solar) enterprise located primarily in Southwestern Kansas. Corporate headquarters are in Olathe, Kansas.
Bill Helming began his agribusiness consulting business in 1972 (Bill Helming Consulting Services). His business has been based in Olathe, Kansas for 40 years and continues today. His primary focus is on the U.S. and global economic outlook, and the key supply, demand and price outlook conditions for beef cattle and grain, feedyard values, total investment requirements, bank financing, cost structure, profit margins and other key beef production and cattle feeding business, financial and operational metrics. He has clients and subscribers all over the U.S. and Canada, and frequently speaks on the U.S. and world economy and on the U.S. beef and cattle feeding industry supply, demand and price outlook and dynamics. He writes and publishes a Quarterly AS I SEE IT Economic and Ag Sector Outlook Update Reports and a good many Special Reports each year. Bill is the author of the self-published book, What Goes Up Eventually Comes Down.
He graduated with BS and MS degrees in Agriculture Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno. He received the Ag College outstanding student award twice and was honored by the University Board of Regents with the Centennial Alumnus Award in 1988. Bill and his wife Kathleen have two sons and one daughter.
Greg Reno began his Farm Credit career as a summer intern in 1987, working for Farm Credit of Central Kansas in Wichita. Greg spent five years serving local cooperatives in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado as an Account Officer with CoBank. In 1993, Greg joined the Credit Department of the Farm Credit Bank of Wichita, now known as US AgBank. In his previous role as Vice President / Manager – Correspondent Lending, Greg oversaw AgBank’s Correspondent Lending function which buys and sells loans and related instruments used in the financing of large, highly-rated agribusiness firms. Greg is now Vice President of American AgCredit in Wichita.
Greg has served as a member of U.S. AgBank’s Economic Capital Project team, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Farm Credit System’s Economic Capital Workgroup. The workgroup is charged with the implementation of a consistent Economic Capital model framework across the entire Farm Credit System, and the development of a System-wide economic capital disclosure. Greg works with Boards and management teams of Farm Credit institutions across the country on a variety of credit-related issues. In addition to his involvement with the family farming operation, Greg serves as Vice Chairman of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Association in Garden Plain, KS and has previously served on the Kingman County Extension Council Board and the K-State Ag Alumni Board. Greg received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from Kansas State University in 1988.
Manager, Dealer Development
John Deere Company
Dave Rock is a 1980 Cum Laude graduate of Kansas State University where he earned his BS in Agricultural Mechanization. In 2003, he graduated from K-State’s Master of Agribusiness program. Dave has been with John Deere Company over 30 years and has held a variety of positions of increased responsibility in product support, marketing, sales and dealer development. In his current position as Manager, Channel Development, Dave is responsible for managing and executing the channel strategy in the U.S. and Canada. He is also responsible for managing dealer optimization strategies along with “Pay for Performance” programs.
Chief Financial Officer
Hawkeye Gold, LLC
Marsha Webster is the CFO for Hawkeye Gold, LLC located in Ames, IA. Hawkeye Gold markets the products Denatured Fuel Ethanol and Distillers Grains co-products manufactured by plants located strategically throughout the Midwest. She was previously the Group Controller – Fresh Meats Division of Tyson, Inc. in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota. Tyson Fresh Meats is the largest Beef Processor and the second largest Pork Processor in the U.S. Prior to her position with Tyson she worked as the CFO of MD Instruments, 1stAg, Inc. and Premium Standard Farms. Marsha was one of the original members of the team that built Premium Standard Farms, a closed-system vertically integrated swine operations that over a 6-year period built a live swine operation from zero to 120,000 sows, an 8,000/day packing plant, and 2 feed mills to support the production. Marsha received her MBA and undergraduate degrees from Western Illinois University.
Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
Sara Wyant is President of Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc., a diversified communications firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Little Rock, Arkansas, and Camdenton, Missouri. As a veteran farm policy reporter, she is well recognized on Capitol Hill as well as with farm and commodity associations across the country. Her newsletter and web site, Agri-Pulse, includes the latest updates on farm policy, commodity and conservation programs, trade, food safety, rural development, and environmental and regulatory programs. She served as 2007/2008 Chairman of the Farm Foundation’s Board of Trustees, is a member of the Steering Committee for the 25 x '25 Renewable Energy Group, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center at Iowa State. Wyant is a past president of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association. In 2000, she received an Oscar in Agriculture for excellence in agricultural reporting and in 1996, received the United Soybean Board's producer communications award. She is an honorary member of Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE).
Sara gained first-hand knowledge of crop and livestock production while growing up on a farm near Marengo, Iowa, and is still involved with her family’s farming operation. She and her husband also own the farm where his grandparents’ originally homesteaded near Almont, North Dakota, and where his brothers still farm, raise cattle and produce honey. Sara and her husband, Allan Johnson, have two sons: Jason and Jordan.