Annual Convention Speakers

sharing their expertise and insight

NARA Opening General Session Keynote Speaker

Jim Wiesemeyer

American Sugar Alliance

Jim will present "2022 Mid Term Elections, Farm Bill, Future Agricultural Policies, Regulations and Trade Trends" during the Wednesday NARA Opening General Session.

From his office near Washington, DC, Jim Wiesemeyer contributes daily to Pro Farmer’s online website at profarmer.com, providing members with the latest information on agricultural policy and trade developments. He also is a participant in Farm Journal’s Agri-Talk radio program, has his weekly Farm Journal podcast each Monday called Signal to Noise, and serves as a Washington analyst for Pro Farmer and Farm Journal.

Since 1978, Mr. Wiesemeyer has frequently reported on and interviewed senior government officials, including presidents, as well as USDA Secretaries since Earl Butz. He has traveled extensively in his assignments and is a frequent speaker on farm policy and trade issues. Wiesemeyer rejoined Pro Farmer in June of 2017, after serving as their Washington consultant for 19 years while at Informa Economics, and before that an employee of Pro Farmer, then owned by Oster Communications. Mr. Wiesemeyer also is one of the writers for the Agriculture Letter, formerly the Kiplinger Ag Letter, now owned by Farm Journal Media

NARA Welcome Luncheon Guest Speaker

Mark Scharenbroich

Worldwide Speakers Group

Mark will present during Wednesday's Welcome Luncheon.

Mix thousands and thousands of black leather, bandana wearing, tattoo bearing Harley-Davidson riders with a 100th Anniversary and one beige rental car and the end result will be the perfect metaphor for connecting with others: “Nice Bike.”

Nice Bike acts as a powerful catalyst to help build stronger, more unified teams. The message inspires audience members to be more engaged and passionate about connecting with others.

Join Emmy award-winning speaker, Mark Scharenbroich as he takes you for a fun ride on how to be effective at making meaningful connections in both your professional and personal life. His Nice Bike principle is supported by three strong actions: Acknowledge, honor and connect.

Mark has spent his career working in both industry and education discovering how some of the best organizations and team leaders build a culture that encourages people to perform at a higher level through greater engagement.

Part motivational speaker, part thought-provoker and pure comedic entertainer – Mark Scharenbroich will inspire, teach and engage you with Nice Bike.

FPRF INNOVATE Conference

Dr. Dominique P. Bureau

University of Guelph

Dominique will present "Digestibility Determinants of Rendered Products for Fish and Animal Nutrition" during Tuesday's FPRF INNOVATE Conference.

Dominique P. Bureau became interested in aquaculture when he was an undergraduate student visiting Thailand on an exchange trip. He saw fish thriving in flooded rice field and became intrigued about the possibility of integrating fish production with agriculture production to improve the productivity of agricultural lands and help provide a good source of nutrition to a rural population. Upon completing his degree, he returned to Thailand to work on a MSc research project on this topic. He soon realized that nutrition and feed formulation were key factor in productivity in fish culture. He decided to make this the focus of his academic career and came to the University of Guelph in 1992 to work with Dr. C. Young Cho, one of the world leading experts in this field.

Over the past 20 years, Dominique developed broad research interests that included studying nutrients requirements and utilization (essential amino acids, phosphorus) by different fish species, the development of cost-effective feed formulation, the evaluation of the nutritive value of economical feedstuffs, the management of environmental impacts of aquaculture operations, and the development of mathematical models of growth and nutrient utilization for fish and shrimp. One of the long-term objectives of his research program is to improve our understanding of nutrients utilization and deposition and, in turn, develop approaches to describe and predict the growth, feed and nutrient requirements, and waste outputs of fish and shrimp.

FPRF INNOVATE Conference

Dr. Craig Coon

Four Rivers Kennel

Craig will present "Measuring the Impact of Oxidation of Ingredients on Dog Health" during Tuesday's FPRF INNOVATE Conference.

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.

The kennel is co-owned and operated by Dr. Craig N. Coon, a world renowned nutritionist. 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.

FPRF INNOVATE Conference

Dr. Rhett C. Smith

Clemson University

Rhett will present "Chemical Engineering of Rendered Products—Possibilities for Sustainable Materials and Recycling Plastics" during Tuesday's FPRF INNOVATE Conference.

Dr. Rhett C. Smith is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Clemson University. Prior to joining the faculty at Clemson in 2006, he attended the University of Toledo, Case Western Reserve University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Dr. Smith’s group works in the broad areas of sustainable building materials. The team is especially interested in valorization of lower-value or waste materials, plastics recycling, and replacing traditional plastics with agriculture-derived alternatives. He holds patents for preparation of plastics and cement products from plant waste and high fatty acid-content feedstocks.

Industry Issues Forum

Kevin Good

Cattlefax

Kevin will present "U.S. Livestock and Protein Markets Situation and Outlook" during Thursday's Industry Issues Forum. Details on this presentation are coming soon.

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.

Industry Issues Forum

Randy Russell

The Russell Group

Randy will present during Thursday's Industry Issues Forum. Details on this presentation are coming soon.

Randy Russell is principal of The Russell Group, NRA’s new lobbying firm. He brings decades of agricultural policy experience in and out of government to rendering, with a strong record of success. Randy served as Chief of Staff for Secretary of Agriculture John R. Block, Deputy USDA Assistant Secretary for Economics, among other positions. He received an undergraduate degree in Public Administration and graduate degree in Economics from George Mason University. Randy was a proud member of GMU’s baseball team where he played catcher.

Randy serves as Chairman of the Board for the World Food Program USA, which raises awareness and funding to fight global hunger. He is also on the Board of Governors of the Bryce Harlow Foundation, encouraging the highest standards for professional lobbying and government affairs. Randy has been actively involved in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program. He and his wife Beth co-founded The Golden Phoenix Foundation which works to address the issue of childhood abandonment around the world. Randy, Beth and their family live in McLean, Virginia, and also have a small farm where they raise alpacas, chickens and turkeys.