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Master of Agribusiness

Leading through Change Sessions and Speakers

Today’s Agribusiness Climate

Dr. Allen Featherstone, KSU Agricultural Economics Department Head, MAB Program Director
The Agricultural Economics department’s graduate program has experienced strong growth under the direction of Dr. Featherstone. He guided the development of the Master in Agribusiness degree. His research program has resulted in more than 100 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. As a leading agriculture finance scholar, Dr. Featherstone has assisted the industry on mergers, loan loss severity, the influence of taxes on farm land, and alternative federal tax systems. Dr. Featherstone uses his expertise in finance to aid students in understanding the tools of finance and applying them to the firm. He has lectured globally and has experience addressing financial issues under various political and economic systems. He has received the American Agricultural Economics Association’s most prestigious graduate teaching award.

Enter, Shift, Control: Data Risk and Leadership

Jarrod Benson, Koch

#Marketing in a Digital Age

Neil Caskey, Executive Vice President, Osborne & Barr
Connecting with clients and colleagues comes naturally to Neil, making his role as the head of account teams an ideal fit. In this position, Neil is responsible for growing client relationships and business partnerships.

In his more than 20 years of strategic communications experience, Neil has helped countless Fortune 500 companies and government agencies connect with their target audiences through meaningful and thoughtful campaigns that drive results.

Mergers and Acquisitions: Guiding Your Company Through Change 

Paul Casady, Executive in Residence, Professor of Practice, Kansas State University Olathe
Paul’s career in the Animal Health Industry covers over 30 years. Over 20 years were involved in the international area, which included living overseas for over 10 years.

His career started as a sales representative and held increasing roles of responsibility, scope, and cultural diversity throughout his career. Primarily a sales and marketing background, his roles evolved to senior leadership positions as a Vice President for North America, Latin America, Asia, Oceania, at various times.

He has worked for some the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world including Johnson and Johnson(Pitman Moore), American Cyanamid, Akzo Nobel(Intervet), Schering Plough, Merck, and Sanofi(Merial).

His education includes a BSc from Kansas State University in Animal Sciences, Executive education at Cornell University, University of Virginia- Darden School of Business, and attended the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France and is an Alumnus of INSEAD.

He recently joined the faculty at Kansas State University Olathe Campus as Executive in Residence/Professor of Practice, focusing on the Animal Health Industry. In this new role he will work on developing education and training programs to support professionals involved in animal health.

Sky is the Limit: Leveraging Unmanned Aerial Systems  

Robert Boyd, FAA Designed Airworthiness Representative, Xwindaero Consultants
Robert Boyd grew up in a military family stationed around the globe. He entered the Amry in 1968 and was selected for Warrant Officer Flight Training, graduating in November 1969 as a helicopter pilot. His first assignment was the 5th Infantry Division, Quang Tri, Republic of South Vietnam, serving one year as a helicopter pilot, flying over one thousand hours in combat, earning multiple decorations for valor. He returned to the US and selected to instruct at the US Army flight school in Georgia and committed to an Army Officer career.  Served in postings across the US, Korea, Germany, including Fort Riley, flying and instructing in helicopter and fixed wing aircraft accumulating thousands of flight hours and rising to the rank of CW4. Boyd retired from the military in 1988, and his family chose to relocate to Manhattan, Kansas.

He was hired by Northwest Airlines in March 1989 as an airline pilot based in Detroit, Minneapolis and Memphis flying and instructing on Boeing 727, 747 and DC 9 aircraft, amassing thousands of hours flying passengers across the globe including Beijing, Tokyo, Guam, Alaska, Hawaii, London, Amsterdam, Mumbai and all principle cities in the Continental US. The family continued to reside and prosper in Manhattan.

In 2016, Boyd was appointed to the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee, developing policies and procedures for drone inclusion into the National Airspace System.

Boyd also owns and operates Dry Clean City in Manhattan, as well as serving on numerous local and regional organizations.

Kurt Carraway, Executive Director, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program, Kansas State University
Air Force, retired Colonel Kurt J. Carraway is the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Executive Director of the Applied Aviation Research Center (AARC) at Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus. In this capacity, Carraway provides strategic leadership in advancing Kansas State University’s UAS program goals. He directs the execution of research activities involving UAS through the AARC. Carraway also directs flight operations development and maturation of the UAS training program through direct supervision of the Flight Operations staff. He manages highly skilled UAS professionals that perform hundreds of UAS flights per year in civil airspace. He sets policies and procedures for unmanned flight operations. He serves as Principal Investigator (PI) on UAS activities through the AARC and is the University PI representative to ASSURE, the FAA’s UAS Center of Excellence. In that role, he also serves as the UAS training focal point lead.

Russ Plaschka, Career and Workforce Development Specialist, Kansas Dept of Agriculture
Russell Plaschka grew up on a small diversified farm in Eastern Kansas, attended Kansas State University, receiving a degree in Agriculture Education. Having spent 25 years teaching agriculture education and advising FFA members, he understands the need to involve young people early in industry to enhance their career exploration experience. In his current role with the Kansas Department of Agriculture as the Workforce Development Specialist, he helps to connect business and industry with local secondary and post-secondary institutions to create true partnerships.

KC Ag Business Council Luncheon

Richard B. Myers, President, Kansas State University
Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers has returned to his home state and alma mater to serve as Kansas State University President. He graduated from the university in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and joined the Air Force through K-State's ROTC program.

The native Kansan from Merriam loyally served his country and retired as a four-star general. From 2001-2005, he served as the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was the principal military adviser to the U.S. president, secretary of defense, and the National Security Council. 

As a command pilot, Myers logged more than 4,100 flying hours, including 600 combat hours. His significant commands included North American Aerospace Defense Command; U.S. Space Command and Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado; Pacific Air Forces at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; and the 5th Air Force at Yokota Air Base, Japan. He was appointed Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President Clinton in 2000. He has received numerous awards and decorations for his service, which include Legion of Merit, French Legion of Honor, and Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Myers also is a Kansas State University Foundation professor of military history and leadership. He received a master's degree in business administration from Auburn University in 1977. He also graduated from Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in 1977, U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in 1981, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he completed a program for Senior Executives in National and International Security in 1991.

Leading through Change Workshop

Bruce Tulgan, Founder, RainmakerThinking
Bruce Tulgan is internationally recognized as the leading expert on young people in the workplace and one of the leading experts on leadership and management. Bruce is a best-selling author, an adviser to business leaders all over the world, and a sought-after keynote speaker and management trainer.

Since 1995, Bruce has worked with tens of thousands of leaders and managers in hundreds of organizations ranging from Aetna to Wal-Mart; from the Army to the YMCA.  In recent years, Bruce was named by Management Today as one of the few contemporary figures to stand out as a “management guru” and he was named to the 2009 Thinkers 50 rising star list. On August 13, 2009, Bruce was honored to accept Toastmasters International’s most prestigious honor, the Golden Gavel. This honor is annually presented to a single person who represents excellence in the fields of communication and leadership. Past winners have included Stephen Covey, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard, Tom Peters, Art Linkletter, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Walter Cronkite.

Bruce’s most recent books include the updated and expanded edition of Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage the Millennials (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2016) and Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2015). He is also the author of The 27 Challenges Managers Face (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2014), and the best-selling It’s Okay to Be the Boss (HarperCollins, Revised & Updated, 2014), and Managing Generation X (W.W. Norton, 2000). Bruce’s other books include Winning the Talent Wars (W.W. Norton, 2001), which received widespread acclaim from Fortune 500 CEOs and business journalists; the best-seller Fast Feedback (HRD Press,1998); Managing the Generation Mix (HRD Press, 2006) and It’s Okay to Manage Your Boss (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Many of Bruce’s works have been published around the world in foreign editions.

Telling our Story in Times of Change

JJ Jones, Co-Founder, Roots & Legacies, Consulting, Inc.
While northwest Kansas will always be home, J.J. lives in and works from Kansas City. He has continued to enhance his agricultural and leadership skills from the strong foundation that was built growing up in a diversified agribusiness family and being an active member of both 4-H and FFA. Earning degrees from Kansas State University in Animal Science and Industry as well as International Agriculture, J.J. is a strong leader in association management, communicating with various agriculture and food industry stakeholders and putting his passion for international agriculture to use in developing global markets for Roots & Legacies’ clients.

J.J. has worked with and in over 30 countries on behalf of farmers, ranchers and agribusiness during his career and is a frequent presenter on consumer attitudes and trends regarding agriculture and food as well as global agriculture. J.J. works with Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership, Inc., The Center for Food Integrity and Kansas Corn in addition to numerous client projects and speaking engagements.

J.J. is a board member of the Agribusiness Council of Kansas City, an advisory team member for Sheffield Place an elder at Country Club Christian Church and a Governor for the American Royal. J.J. and his partner, Kevin, enjoy all things food and wine!

Policy Outlook for Leaders

Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh, Professor, Kansas State University
Dr. Flinchbaugh represents the agricultural community through his active participation in the development of U.S. agricultural policy over the last 50 years. His service on numerous national task forces, boards of directors, and advisory groups has allowed him to provide input on domestic food and agriculture policy. He served as Chairman of the Commission on 21st Century Production Agriculture authorized in the 1996 FAIR ACT.

Dr. Mark Edelman, Professor, Iowa State University
Dr. Mark A. Edelman is Professor of Economics at Iowa State University and Director of the Community Vitality Center (CVC), a federally-funded center with a board of 30 leaders representing diverse community interests from across Iowa.

Edelman has been a faculty member in the College of Agriculture and an ISU Extension Economist since 1986. He was a faculty member and Extension Economist at South Dakota State University from 1981 to 1985. Mark is a native of Sabetha, Kansas and received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University. He received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics & Policy from Purdue University in 1981.

Edelman has received several state and national awards during his professional career, including the American Ag Econ Association Distinguished Extension Award in 1992 and the Iowa Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence in 2001. He has taught the Ag Policy course at ISU and has co-written a column series for national farm magazines, including Farm Journal and Farm Progress Publications.

In the 1980s, Edelman served five years on the Board of Directors for Land O’ Lakes, Inc., a regional agribusiness cooperative and Fortune 500 food company. In the 1990s, Edelman served five years on the City Council of Boone, Iowa, a community with 12,500 people. In 1996 Mark and his wife, Nancy, co-founded a family-business that owns middle-income housing developments in two Iowa communities. Edelman is a co-founder and director of two renewable energy companies: NEK-SEN Energy, LLC of Sabetha, KS and Amaizing Energy Holding Company, LLC of Denison, IA.

Legal Considerations for Leadership 

Mark Anstoetter, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon
Mark is Chair of Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Toxic Tort Practice and Co-Chair of Shook’s Food, Beverage, and Agribusiness Practice.  Mark has more than 28 years of experience establishing legal strategies that help companies anticipate and defend agribusiness/food safety, environmental, toxic tort and crisis-related claims.  

Relying on his engineering and science background, Mark represents clients in class actions, multiparty cases and individual actions involving personal injury, property damage and medical monitoring claims. He also defends against citizen and government enforcement actions under federal and state environmental statutes, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA and RCRA. He has litigated and resolved environmental private party lawsuits in state and federal court, as well as with the EPA, Department of Justice and state agencies.

Mark received his law degree from the University of Denver and his engineering degree from Iowa State University.

Bridget Halbur, Associate, Shook, Hardy & Bacon
Bridget’s practice focuses on commercial, product liability and toxic tort litigation, as well as regulatory counseling. She defends clients in the agriculture, energy and healthcare industries in state and federal courts nationwide. As part of her regulatory practice, Bridget advises clients on compliance, enforcement, and policy issues involving EPA, FDA and USDA matters. She helps clients stay competitive in the marketplace while complying with regulatory requirements, preserving brand image and maintaining consumer goodwill. 

Before joining the firm, Bridget served in chambers for the Hon. Stephen R. Bough of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Outside the courtroom, her corporate and agribusiness internships at Ernst & Young LLP, Archer Daniels Midland and Bayer CropScience gave her a unique perspective into her clients’ needs. Bridget received her J.D. with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law, and a bachelor’s in accounting cum laude from Iowa State University.

Her connection to agriculture began on her family farm in Iowa, where she helped manage the production of 55,000 hogs annually until sale of the system to focus on diversified grain production.

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