Annual Convention Speakers sharing their expertise and insight

NARA Opening General Session Keynote Speaker

Ken Gronbach

KGC Direct, LLC

Ken Gronbach will present "Demography is Destiny: Post-COVID Strategies" during our Opening General Session on Wednesday. Ken will share his predictions about business, culture, and generational thinking that will shape the future. In a humorous and entertaining manner, Ken forecasts social, business, economic, cultural, and political change with uncanny accuracy.  Ken spoke at NARA’s 2017 Convention and his memorable predictions ring true today.

Ken is a futurist, generational marketing expert, and demographer.  His marketing experience and common-sense demography, based on over twenty years of proprietary study, have led him to speak about people and populations that drive opportunities in the world we live in.  Ken’s steadfast position - that the United States is the best nation on earth and his firm belief that the country’s best days are ahead - season his presentations with an unmistakable enthusiasm.

As president of KGC Direct, LLC, Ken speaks widely and is the author of four books about business opportunities driven by demographic change.  He graduated from California State University at Long Beach and lives in Florida with his wife.

NARA Welcome Luncheon Guest Speaker

Jeff Havens

Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Founder, The Jeff Havens Company

Jeff Havens will be our guest speaker during our Welcome Luncheon on Wednesday. Jeff is not your typical business growth expert. His uncanny ability to provide actionable answers to today’s business challenges in an undeniably entertaining and impactful way has put him in front of over 1,000 eager audiences across North America and Asia.

Delivering well-researched and relevant business insight is something a lot of keynote speakers do, but combining that with the entertainment value of a comedy show is not. Engaging, charismatic, and full of energy, Jeff is the only business growth expert who provides serious solutions in a seriously funny way.

But even more than that, Jeff makes things easy. All of us are constantly being asked to do more with less, so the last thing you need is someone to tell you how difficult your challenges are. Jeff has a unique ability to simplify seemingly complex problems in a way that provide a fresh perspective, one that runs counter to the conventional wisdom of the business world. He’ll show you that we’re not actually creating a completely new type of person every 15 years, that being innovative is not something only a few special people know how to do, and that both exceptional leadership and exceptional customer experiences are built on surprisingly slender foundations. You will leave Jeff’s keynotes refreshed, relaxed, happy, and more confident than ever that you are prepared for the road ahead.

NARA Industry Issues Forum

Kevin Good


Kevin Good will present “Livestock, Protein, and Rendering Market Opportunities" during Thursday's Industry Issues Forum.

Kevin is Vice President of Industry Relations & Analysis at CattleFax, an organization focused on helping member cattle producers make more profitable marketing and management decisions. Kevin joined CattleFax in 1982 and works with agricultural companies to explain changes taking place in farm commodities, with an emphasis on animal proteins. He analyzes interactions between supply, demand, production trends, weather and other factors affecting markets. 

Kevin grew up on a purebred cow/calf operation and graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. At Kansas State, he was a member of the meats and the livestock judging teams. Kevin and his wife have three grown children.

NARA Industry Issues Forum

Tod Morgan

Pet Food Institute

Tod Morgan will present “Pet Food: Today’s Landscape & Looking to the Future” during Thursday's Industry Issues Forum.

Tod Morgan is the Board Chairman of the Pet Food Institute, the national trade association for U.S. pet food and treat makers headquartered in Washington, D.C. He also serves as the Executive Chairman of Alphia Pet, one of the largest contract manufacturers of pet foods and treats in the United States. Alphia launched in 2020 following the merger of C.J. Foods, LANI Pet, and American Nutrition.

Tod has been involved with C.J. Foods for more than 25 years. He joined in a sales role and eventually served as its President and CEO from 2011 to 2018. During his career, he has been associated with some of the largest pet food companies and new growth brands in the market. Tod lives in Lincoln, Nebraska when it’s warm, heads to southwest Florida for the winter, and hopes to never shovel snow again. He enjoys spending time with his wife of more than 40 years, his three children, and six grandchildren.

NARA Industry Issues Form

Sara Place, PhD

Elanco Animal Health Inc.

Dr. Sara Place will present “Opportunities for Animal Agriculture to be Part of the Climate Solution” during Thursday's Industry Issues Forum.

“We already have solar powered plant-based meat, it’s called beef,” says Sara. She is Chief Sustainability Officer at Elanco and provides technical expertise on sustainability issues to customers. Sara also supports Elanco’s Healthy Purpose that focuses on advancing the well-being of animals, people and the planet .

Prior to Elanco, Sara was the senior director for sustainable beef production research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and an assistant professor in sustainable beef cattle systems at Oklahoma State University.

Sara received her PhD in Animal Biology from the University of California, Davis, where she worked under Dr. Frank Mitloehner. Sara also earned a BS in Animal Science from Cornell University and an AAS in Agriculture Business from Morrisville State College.

NARA Industry Issues Forum

Tyson Redpath

The Russell Group

Tyson Redpath will present "Sustainable Policymaking Amid Changing Politics: What Should Renderers Expect?” during Thursday's Industry Issues Forum.

Tyson Redpath advocates before Congress and the Biden Administration on behalf of NARA and other clients of The Russell Group, the association’s political consultants. Tyson specializes in issues before the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Trade Representative, and Environmental Protection Agency. Tyson is a frequent media contributor through on and off-the-record interviews with print, web and television media.

After graduating from Indiana University with a Public Affairs degree, Tyson worked for his local congressman, Representative John Boehner (R-OH). Tyson advised Congressman Boehner on agriculture, financial services, trade, and tax policy. He also served on several political campaigns, including a 2000 congressional election in Arkansas and for President Bush at the New York City GOP Convention and in Ohio during the 2004 campaign.

Tyson is from Oxford, Ohio and grew up working at his family-owned John Deere dealerships. He is an avid fan of Ohio State Buckeyes (even though he went to IU), the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Washington Capitals. He and his wife Renee have three children and live in the Washington, D.C. area.


Merlin Lindemann, PhD

University of Kentucky

Dr. Merlin Lindemann will present "Animal Co-Products in Swine Nutrition" during Tuesday's FPRF INNOVATE Conference.

Dr. Lindemann received his BS and PhD degrees at the University of Minnesota. He led the swine research program at Virginia Tech’s Tidewater Station for 13 years before joining the Animal Sciences faculty at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Lindemann has a distinguished career. His research in minerals has involved determining the nutrient needs of pigs, defining the bioavailabilities of minerals from various sources, and determining the impact of mineral usage on waste application. His work has involved multi-state and international projects. He has examined the impact of fiber, water source, enzymes, and antibiotics on mineral availability. His notable work with Cr resulted in its clearance for use in feeds. He is active in the Society and other professional organizations. He served as an Associate Editor for the Journal. Dr. Lindemann’s scholarly achievements in research and his dedicated service to the animal and feed industries make him a worthy recipient of this award.


Annel Greene, PhD

Clemson University

Dr. Annel Greene will present "Pentobarbital Testing and the Latest from the Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center (ACREC)" during Tuesday's FPRF INNOVATE Conference.

Annel is a Professor in the Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences at Clemson University, where she also serves as Center Director for the Animal Co-Products Research & Education Center (ACREC). She conducts research in rendered animal co-products, food microbiology and environmental remediation and teaches animal product-related coursework.


Thu Dinh, PhD

Mississippi State University

Dr. Thu Dinh will present "Destruction of Antibiotic Residues in the Rendering Process" during Tuesday's FPRF INNOVATE Conference.

Dr. Dinh is an Associate Professor of Meat Science in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University. He directs a nationally recognized program on meat quality and safety. His education background includes a bachelor’s degree in food engineering at HCMC University of Technology and a Master of Science degree in Food Technology and a doctorate degree in Animal Science, both with an emphasis in Meat Science at Texas Tech University. He is also a self-trained analytical chemist specializing in Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry.

He has published 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, 6 book chapters, and 50 scientific abstracts. He also develops the “Ask the Meat Man” program to educate Mississippi stakeholders on various issues of meat production and consumption. Dinh is proud to call himself a meat man and an educated butcher. Dr. Dinh recently received the 2021 American Meat Science Association Achievement Award designed to recognize and foster young professional AMSA members who have demonstrated significant skills and contribution to the animal products industry.


Craig Coon, PhD

Four Rivers Kennel

Dr. Craig Coon will present "Challenges in Measuring and Assessing Oxidation in Animal Co-Products—Do Dogs Even Care?" during Tuesday's FPRF INNOVATE Conference.

Dr. Coon established Four Rivers Kennel in 2011 for the purpose of performing canine nutrition and performance studies. Dr. Coon received his B.S. degree in Animal Science, M.S. in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Texas A&M University. Dr. Coon has been a faculty member involved in research, teaching, and extension at the University of Maryland, Washington State University, University of Minnesota, and University of Arkansas. Dr. Coon’s main focus has been poultry nutrition but he is now applying his extensive knowledge to canine nutrition, specifically in large breed working dogs.

Four Rivers Kennel was founded as a facility designed for investigating canine nutrition and performance. Four Rivers Kennel offers a variety of nutritional feeding and research services for the pet food industry. Our goal is to provide the pet food industry with accurate and precise nutrition information. The objective of the kennel is to provide pet food companies and the allied pet food industry with a USDA approved facility for developing canine nutrition information and AAFCO adequacy testing for complete foods, treats and ingredients for dogs.

Environment & Legislative Action Committee Meetings

Terry N. Wigglesworth

The Wigglesworth Company

Terry Wigglesworth will address how the social justice movement is creating environmental issues for the rendering industry at Wednesday's Environment Committee Meeting and the subsequent Legislative Action Committee Meeting.

Terry Wigglesworth serves as a consultant for Baker Commodities, Inc. Before starting with Baker in 2003, she worked for Griffin Industries, Inc. and the National Renderers Association.  Terry is the principal of The Wigglesworth Company (TWC), a public affairs and management consulting firm that has served over 70 companies.  TWC specializes in federal and state advocacy, market development, facilitating groups to develop strategic plans, and emergency preparedness planning for terrorist attacks and natural disasters.  Terry is also a chemical engineer and technical consultant with over 40 years of experience.

Terry speaks at conferences with a focus on motivating people and helping them succeed in business, personal relationships, and leading a balanced life. She sings frequently at the Hilton Head Island Jazz Corner with the Dixieland Alligator Band. Terry is also president of the Republican Women of Southern Beaufort County, SC, and she and her husband Tom volunteer in South Carolina Department of Corrections. They live on Hilton Head Island, SC, and have three adult children and six grandchildren.

Biofuels Committee Meeting

Ryan Standard


During Thursday's Biofuels Committee Meeting, Ryan Standard will present “Fats & Fuel Outlook:  Future of Rendered Products in a Low Carbon Economy.”

Ryan Standard is currently the managing editor for Fastmarkets Agriculture & Energy Team in North America.  His team covers markets for animal fats, animal proteins, grain, vegetable oils, hide and leather, biofuels, organic/non-GMO, and hemp.

Ryan has a degree in English literature and History from Monmouth College with a parallel track in economics, graduating in 2003. With a background in logistics and sales, he joined The Jacobsen in 2007 as an analyst and editor of Animal Fats and Feed Bulletins and a contributor to Biodiesel Bulletin.

Fastmarkets is a global cross-commodity Price Reporting Agency (PRA) that is part of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC – a FTSE-250 listed company on the London Stock Exchange. Fastmarkets, which incorporates the businesses formerly known as Metal Bulletin, AMM and RISI, Agri/Energy Census, and The Jacobsen, is headquartered in London with over 400 employees in 14 global offices, including Boston, New York & Chicago.