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Master of Agribusiness

Advisory Board

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.

Barry BrantBarry Brant
Manager of Fertilizer Sales

Barry is the Manager of Fertilizer Sales for DASCO, Inc. based in Englewood, CO. He has a B.S. in Agribusiness and Master of Agribusiness (MAB) both from Kansas State University.

DASCO distributes crop nutrients, feed ingredients, industrial chemicals, and diesel exhaust fluid. For more than 20 years, DASCO has been providing agriculture and industrial customers with fertilizer based products.

Steven BrodySteven D. Brody
Global Director, Regulatory Affairs
Genus plc

Steve joined Genus plc in June 2017 where he is accountable for leading the development and implementation of global regulatory strategies for products which will revolutionize animal genetic improvement.

Steve was previously at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, where he worked in a number of roles ranging from strategic and operational planning, sales & marketing operations and corporate and public affairs. Prior to Pioneer, Steve served in the 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 during the Clinton Administration. He was also on staff for two former Members of Congress from Iowa, and a former Iowa Lieutenant Governor.

Steve is a graduate 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 member of the US Meat Export Federation, Biotechnology Innovation Organization Animal Policy Committee, Kansas State Masters of Agribusiness Industry Advisory Board, Habitat for Humanity of Iowa Board of Directors, and Secretary/Treasurer for the Agribusiness Coalition for Foreign Market Development.

Dana BrooksDana Brooks
Senior Director of Government Relations, State Affairs
Land O’Lakes

As Senior Director of Government Relations for Land O'Lakes Dana focuses on state affairs and industry relations.  Prior to Land O’Lakes, Dana was employed by Elanco Animal Health as director of Government Affairs in October 2013.  Dana has been in Washington, D.C., nearly 15 years representing agricultural interests. 

Dana has had the privilege of working for two great former Members of Congress- Marion Berry, a farmer and blue dog Democrat from Arkansas, and JoAnn Emerson, a champion for agriculture and republican from Missouri.  She has directed government affairs efforts for agriculture policy at American Farm Bureau Federation, Florida Farm Bureau, National Milk Producers Federation, Elanco and now Land O’Lakes. 

She earned degrees in agriculture from the University of Arkansas- Monticello and a Masters of Agribusiness from Kansas State University.

Dana’s passions include scuba diving, boating, horseback riding, skeet shooting and hosting Women in Agriculture events.  She is from rural southeast Arkansas but calls Florida her second home where her husband and step-daughter reside.

Ray CescaRaymond M. Cesca
Glenray Farms

Raymond Cesca is currently Chairman of Glenray Farms, a world class value chain organization that promotes the use of modern western farming technologies in swine production and processing. Mr. Cesca is also Founder, President, and CEO of GAEÁ, an agricultural based market development, trade, and strategic planning organization that promotes economic development in emerging economies. 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 oaf 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.

Brandon GarrettBrandon Garrett
Area Business Manager - Cattle/Equine Division

Brandon Garrett is an Area Business Manager for the Zoetis Cattle/Equine division, and manages a team of sixteen territory managers and specialists in Wisconsin. Growing up on a grain and swine farm in east/central Illinois, Brandon is passionate about agricultural and has worked in multiple segments of the industry. He has a BS in Animal Science from Texas A&M University and a Master of Agribusiness from Kansas State University. He has been with Zoetis since 2008, and has worked in multiple segments of the business including equine, small animal, and now dairy and beef.

Based in Florham Park, NJ, Zoetis is a leading global animal health company that is a leader and innovator of animal pharmaceuticals, vaccines, genomics, diagnostics, and animal management tools. Zoetis has a history in the industry dating back to the 1950’s, and has a presence in over one hundred countries globally. Specifically to Brandon and his Wisconsin team, they work directly with local dairy and beef veterinarians and producers to drive their share of Zoetis sales. Because of the dynamics of the market, and the number of key stakeholders within each dairy and beef operation, they also work alongside local and regional lenders, AI companies, nutrition, and industry advocacy groups to educate and support the local dairy and beef market. While their primary role is to sell the broad line of Zoetis products, they secondarily work directly with customers to identify opportunities, challenges and bottlenecks on the various operations they support, and create strategies depending on the need of the customers.

Terry GarvertTerry J. Garvert
Grain and Oilseed Supply Chain NA
Cargill, Incorporated

Terry Garvert retired from Cargill in June of 2016. Terry spent more than 39 years working with Cargill in various futures and options trading positions, customer risk management and cash grain trading positions. He also served an extended position in foodgrains and specialty grains market development. 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 has 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 HarrisKeith D. Harris
Assistant Professor
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.

Jeana HinesJeana Hines
Vice President Sales & Marketing
Imperial Sugar Company, a division of Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Jeana Hines is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Imperial Sugar Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Company. She is responsible for the sales and marketing strategies of all channels including their consumer brands - Imperial Sugar, Dixie Crystals and Holly labels, along with managing the sales organization to include their retail, food service and industrial channels in the US. 

Hines is a 1986 graduate of Kansas State University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Prior to her joining Imperial Sugar Company, she spent 18 years with S. C. Johnson & Son Inc. a global consumer products company headquartered in Racine Wisconsin. There she held various positions during her tenure. She began in sales as an area manager and progressed in various roles to Corporate Account Business Manger heading a national sales team. Her final role was in their consumer analytics department.    

In 2006, Jeana joined Imperial Sugar Company as Regional Sales Manager with the focus of brand management. She moved into various roles within the organization and was promoted in 2011 to Vice President Sales & Marketing. In 2012, Imperial Sugar Company was purchased by Louis Dreyfus.

Outside of her role within Imperial Sugar, she enjoys reading, running and gardening and working with local food pantries and Habitat for Humanity. Jeana is married with six children ranging from 31 to 20. 

Bill HelmingBill Helming
Founder, Chairman & CEO
Rolling Plains Companies

Upon completing his BS and MS degrees in Ag Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) during 1961-1965, BillHelming became the first chief economist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and then founder and first general manager of CattleFax (Denver, Colorado) within the years of 1965-1971. Since 1972 Bill has been self-employed. He has successfully owned and operated Bill Helming Consulting Services for the past 43 years. Bill is a nationally known and highly respected economist, agribusiness consultant, author and speaker with a very good forecasting track record over the last 43 years. He has clients and subscribers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

For the 14 years of 1977-1991, Bill Helming created and produced a popular and successful syndicated radio program (known as the Helming Report) for 355 farm and Ag radio stations in the U.S., running three times a day, five days a week. This program was broadcast to five to six million people per day. The program content consisted of the U.S. economic and Ag sector commodity market outlook.

In 1988, the UNR Board of Regents honored and presented to Bill Helming the Centennial Alumnus Award. Bill gave the commencement address in May of 1988 at UNR. In October of 2014, Bill Helming received the UNR College of Agriculture Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2014.

Bill crafted (with the excellent input of many others) a full replacement to the present U.S. Federal Government income tax code designed to significantly improve economic growth, new job creation, wages and family incomes. On October 26, 2005, this tax plan proposal (bill S.1921) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Jim De Mint and Lindsay Graham from South Carolina.

In January of 2010, Bill self-published a 210-page book on the U.S. economy titled What Goes Up Eventually Comes Down. It turned out to be a positive and rewarding project and success.

Bill Helming is the founder, chairman and CEO of the Rolling Plains Companies and a soon to be launched (in the last half of 2017) startup and large-scale, privately owned and vertically integrated, sustainable and cost plus farming, cattle feeding, beef packing, chicken production and processing, hamburger and chicken restaurant food merchandizing and a solar, wind and renewable energy company. This project, dream and vision represents a culmination of Bill’s life work since graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dave RockDave Rock
Retired - Manager, Channel Development
John Deere Company

Dave is a graduate of Kansas State University with degrees in Agricultural Mechanization (1980) and Master of Agribusiness (MAB - 2003). Dave's 37+ year career with John Deere Company spanned a variety of locations and positions of increased responsibility in product support, marketing, sales, business planning, dealer development, and region operations. Dave continues active and engaged, working to give back and contribute, leveraging and sharing his knowledge and experiences. At K-State, in addition to the MAB Advisory Board, he is a member of the Ag Dean's Advisory Council. In the Olathe, KS community Dave is on the Olathe Public Schools Foundation Board of Directors, he is active with his church's foundation, Partner Church Program, campus advisory council and is a mission and project volunteer.

Marsha WebsterMarsha Webster
Chief Financial Officer
J.D. Heiskell

Marsha Webster is the CFO for the Gold Office of J.D. Heiskell & Company located in Ankeny, IA. J.D. Heiskell is a 127-year-old grain and commodity trading business that also operates livestock feed manufacturing and trans-loading facilities in eight western states, three eastern states and exports grains and commodities to Mexico, the Pacific Rim and the Far East. The Gold office markets and exports Distillers Grains as well as operates 4 livestock feed manufacturing facilities in the Northeast US. 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.

Larry WhippleLarry Whipple
U.S. Pricing and Formulation Manager
Cargill Feed and Nutrition

Larry Whipple is the U.S. Pricing and Formulation Manager for Cargill Feed and Nutrition (CFN). Larry has worked for Cargill for 24 years and oversees the pricing and formulation activities for 52 feed mills across the country.

After graduating from Kansas State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Economics, Larry joined Cargill as an Administrative Management Trainee in Sioux City, IA. Larry worked as an Administrative Manager  overseeing all office related functions including merchandising, pricing, formulation and accounting in McPherson, KS; Memphis, TN; and Big Lake, MN. From there, he moved to Minneapolis as World Wide Merchandising Manager for Cargill’s global animal nutrition business. Larry then moved to Sterling, CO as Assistant General Manager before becoming the District General Manager in Mentone, IN. In 2007, he moved to Kansas City, to become the Regional Business Manager for the Southeast Region before assuming his current role in 2013.

Larry has been recognized as a Cargill Animal Nutrition President’s Club award winner, is a member of CFN’s Retail Leadership Team, and currently serves as Co-Leader of the Integration Management Office where he leads a team in integrating seven feed mills and 300 employees from Southern States Cooperative’s feed business. He is a member of Cargill’s Higher Education Initiative with Kansas State University and lead’s Cargill Animal Nutrition’s recruiting activities at K-State. He resides in Lenexa, KS with his wife Laura and 15 year old son Alex.

Sara WyantSara Wyant
Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Sara Wyant is President of Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc., a communications firm with offices in Washington, D.C., 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 website, Agri-Pulse, includes the latest updates on farm policy, commodity and conservation programs, trade, food safety, rural development, and environmental and regulatory programs.

In addition, Wyant publishes an early morning preview of top agricultural issues, Daybreak, and a news summary or major headlines, the Daily Harvest, providing busy readers with a quick overview of the latest farm, food and rural policy news each weekday. She frequently speaks at farm and commodity associations around the country.

Wyant served as an at-large representative on the 2014 National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees. She formerly served as chairwoman of the Farm Foundation's board of trustees and as past president of the American Agricultural Editor's Association.

In 2015, Wyant was named to the annual Folio: “Top Women in Media” recognition in the Entrepreneurs category. She has been awarded a producer communications award from the United Soybean Board, an Oscar in Agriculture award for excellence in agricultural reporting from the American Agricultural Editor's Association and a leadership award from Agriculture Future of America. In 2013, Wyant was recognized for outstanding service to agriculture by the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Wyant gained first-hand knowledge of crop and livestock production while growing up on a farm near Marengo, Iowa. She and husband Allan Johnson, parents of sons Jason and Jordan, also own the farm where her husband's family originally established a homestead near Almont, N.D.

"Serving on the Master of Agribusiness Advisory Board is a rewarding experience. It allows me to stay connected to Kansas State University and the MAB program, providing input that contributes to it continued success in developing agribusiness professionals. In addition, it is an opportunity for me to network with faculty and board members that are agribusiness leaders, adding to my knowledge and awareness of issues in our industry."

Dave Rock
Manager, Channel Development
John Deere Company
Olathe, Kansas