2022 Trust In Food Symposium: Climate-Smart State of Mind

Our 2022 symposium is over, but have a look below on what we covered and who came to speak!

IN-PERSON SYMPOSIUM (note: all times are Central)

Monday, Feb. 14

Tuesday, Feb. 15

  • 7 to 10 a.m.
    • Symposium registration opens (through 10 a.m. CT)
  • 10 to 10:10 a.m.
    • Welcome: Climate-Smart State of Mind: Advancing Progress Through Partnership
    • Speakers: Amy Skoczlas Cole, Trust In Food (confirmed)
  • 10:10 to 10:35 a.m.
    • KEYNOTE: Advancing Voluntary Conservation Adoption and Racial Equity in Agriculture With A Climate-Smart State of Mind
    • Speakers: Ariel Kagan, Environmental Initiative (confirmed)
  • 10:35 to 11 a.m.
    • Lightning Round: What Climate-Smart Ag Looks Like On My Farm Operation
    • Speakers: Keith Mears, Indiana row-crop farmer (confirmed), Steve McKaskle, Missouri and Arkansas rice and popcorn farmer (confirmed)
  • 11 to 11:30 a.m.
    • Keynote: Transforming Our Climate, Our Communities And Our Health Through Environmental Stewardship
    • Speakers: Beth Hoffman, farmer and author, Bet The Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America (confirmed)
  • 11:30 to noon
    • PANEL: Human Dimensions in Practice: Unveiling the 2022 State of Sustainable Ag in Row Crops Report And Exploring How To Overcome Barriers In Voluntary Conservation Adoption Among Producers
    • Speakers: Drew Slattery, Trust In Food (confirmed); Scott Herndon, Field to Market (confirmed); LaKisha Odom, FFAR (confirmed)
  • Noon to 1:20 p.m. (panel runs 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.)
    • Buffet lunch
    • PANEL: Advancing Dairy Sustainability In Wisconsin And Beyond
    • Speakers: Michelle Rossman, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy (confirmed); Lauren Brey, Farmers for Sustainable Food (confirmed); Jim Winn, Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance (confirmed); Greg Siegenthaler, Grande Cheese (confirmed)
  • 1:20 to 1:30 p.m.
    • Transition back to conference room
  • 1:30 to 1:35 p.m.
    • VIDEO: Preview the new Trust In Beef program
  • 1:35 to 1:50 p.m.
    • LIGHTNING ROUND: How Climate Smart Ag is transforming the cattle industry
    • Speakers: Chad Ellis (facilitator – confirmed); Steve Rhines, Noble Research Institute (confirmed); Debbie Lyons-Blythe, rancher (confirmed); Tony Schwarck, farmer (confirmed)
  • 1:50 to 2:15 p.m.
    • PANEL: Climate Smart Ag Spotlight: Innovation In Action
    • Speakers: Amy O’Shea, Certis Biologicals (confirmed); Bradford Warner, AGI/Farmobile (confirmed); Brent Smith, Nutrien (invited); Curt Blades, AEM (confirmed)
  • 2:15 to 2:45 p.m.
    • KEYNOTE: How Cooperative Extension Is Empowering Climate-Smart Farms and Communities in Tennessee
    • Speaker: Ashley M. Stokes, Dean, University of Tennessee Extension (confirmed)
  • 2:45 to 3:05 p.m.
  • 3:05 to 3:30 p.m.
    • KEYNOTE: Stories of Impact: Scaling Climate-Smart Ag Across Working Lands
    • Speaker: Scott Herndon, Field to Market
  • 3:30 to 3:45 p.m.
    • Snack break
  • 3:45 to 4:05 p.m.
    • PANEL: How We’re Adopting A Climate-Smart State Of Mind At The Enterprise Level
    • Speakers: Kris Johnson, The Nature Conservancy (confirmed); Tricia Beal, Farm Journal Foundation (confirmed); Ben Gordon, Corteva (confirmed); Darren Howie, Trimble (confirmed)
  • 4:05 to 4:35 p.m.
    • KEYNOTE: The Climate-Water Nexus
    • Speaker: Jack Bobo, The Nature Conservancy
  • 4:35 to 5 p.m.
    • PANEL: How We’re Adopting A Climate-Smart State Of Mind At The Grassroots Level
    • Speakers: John Larson, American Farmland Trust (confirmed); Billy Gascoigne, Ducks Unlimited (confirmed); Jason Jimmerson, SIMPAS (invited); Leslie Garcia, Valent USA (confirmed)
  • 5 to 5:30 p.m.
    • CLOSING KEYNOTE: Opportunities For Scaling Climate-Smart Ag With A Farmer-Centered Lens
    • Speaker: Mitchell Hora, Continuum Ag (confirmed)
  • 5:30 to 8 p.m.
    • Break
  • 8 to 10 p.m.
    • Join reception with Top Producer Summit at Ole Red

Wednesday, Feb. 16

  • 8 to 9 a.m.
    • Buffet breakfast
  • 9 to 1 p.m.
    • Working Session: Human Dimensions of Change Community of Practice
    • Note: Boxed lunches will be provided
  • 1 p.m. Symposium adjourns

See speaker bios here

VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM (note: All times are Central)

Tuesday, Feb. 22

  • 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • KEYNOTE WITH Q&A: How Conservation Districts Empower Producers To Achieve Environmental and Economic Success With Climate-Smart Ag
    • Speaker: Michael Crowder, National Association of Conservation Districts (confirmed)
  • 12 to 1 p.m.
    • Break
  • 1 to 2 p.m.
    • PANEL WITH Q&A: Innovative Approaches to Scaling Climate-Smart Ag By Engaging Hearts And Minds
    • Speakers: Linda Prokopy, Purdue, Diverse Corn Belt Project/Purdue University (confirmed); Gabriele Ludwig, Director of Sustainability, Almond Board (confirmed); Gary Adams, CEO, National Cotton Council (confirmed)
  • 2 p.m.
    • Day 1 of Virtual Symposium adjourns

Wednesday, Feb. 23

  • 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • KEYNOTE WITH PANEL DISCUSSION/Q&A: Strategies For Supporting Ranchers On Their Sustainability Journey
    • Speaker: Dr. Sara Place, Elanco & Chair, U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Goals Committee (confirmed)
  • 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.
    • PANEL: Walmart’s Regenerative Agriculture Journey – Opportunities For Ranchers, Consumers, Communities and Beyond
    • Speaker: Mikel Hancock, Senior Director of Sustainable Food and Agriculture, Walmart (confirmed); Tyler Lehr, SVP-GMM Deli Services, Walmart (confirmed)
  • 12:30 to 1 p.m.
    • Break
  • 1 to 2 p.m.
    • PANEL WITH Q&A: How Climate-Smart Ag Can Accelerate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in U.S. Agriculture
    • Speakers: Roylene Comes At Night, USDA-NRCS (confirmed); Alvin Peer, USDA-NRCS (confirmed); Carlos Suarez, USDA-NRCS California State Conservationist (confirmed)
  • 2 p.m.
    • Virtual Symposium adjourns

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Our 2022 Speakers

Adam Putnam

Adam Putnam

Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam is a hunter, angler, and lifelong advocate for conservation and agriculture. In the past year, Ducks Unlimited reached a tremendous milestone – more than 15 million acres conserved across…
Amy OShea

Amy O’Shea

Certis Biologicals

As President & Chief Executive Officer of Certis Biologicals, the world’s leading full-line biological-based agricultural inputs company, Amy leads a global team of manufacturing, distribution, marketing, sales and field development professionals for this division…
Andrew Lentz

Andrew Lentz


As ESMC’s Policy Director, Andrew develops the consortium’s strategic national policy plan to support and align with ESMC’s mission, vision, and national program buildout. Andrew has over a decade of experience in the nation’s…
Ashley Stokes

Ashley M. Stokes

UT Extension

Ashley M. Stokes, who previously served as associate vice president for engagement and extension and deputy director of extension at Colorado State University, has been in her new role as the leader of UT…
Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon

Corteva Agriscience

As Portfolio Leader, Carbon and Ecosystems Services Portfolio at Corteva Agriscience, Ben Gordon is responsible for developing holistic solutions to reward farmers for sustainable outcomes and drive farm profitability. Prior to this leadership role,…
Billy Gascoigne

Billy Gascoigne

Ducks Unlimited

Billy Gascoigne is the Director of Agricultural Sustainability & Strategic Partnerships for Ducks Unlimited (DU).  In that role, Billy helps crosswalk DU’s on-the-ground conservation capacity with industry partners and their respective sustainability objectives. Billy leads…
Carlos Suarez-NRCS CA

Carlos Suarez


Carlos Suarez is California State Conservationist and has worked for USDA-NRCS for 28 years. He has also been State Conservationist in Florida, Deputy State Conservationist in Nebraska and California, Assistant State Conservationist for Field…
Chad Ellis

Chad Ellis

Texas Agricultural Land Trust

Chad Ellis is the Chief Executive Officer for Texas Agricultural Land Trust (TALT) and the founding chair of Trust In Beef. He brings a wealth of land conservation experience, most recently in his work…
chad head

Chaz Holt

American Society of Agronomy

Chaz Holt is a seventh-generation farmer from northern Georgia who is the precision agriculture and conservation specialist in the Southeast for the Quail Forever and Cotton Inc. partnership. He is married and raising his…
Darren Howie

Daren Howie


Darren is Director of Carbon & Sustainability for Trimble Agriculture Enterprise Solutions. He grew up on a mixed cattle and grain farm in Southern Alberta, Canada. As an agronomist and business manager he has…
LaKisha Odom

Dr. LaKisha Odom

Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research

Dr. LaKisha Odom joined the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) in 2016 as a scientific program director to pursue her commitment to promoting the use of innovative science and interdisciplinary thinking to…
Sara Place (002)

Dr. Sara Place


Sara is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Elanco, where she provides technical expertise on sustainability issues to customers and supports Elanco’s Healthy Purpose. Prior to Elanco, she was the senior director for sustainable beef…
Gary Adams

Gary M. Adams

President and Chief Executive Officer National Cotton Council of America

Gary Adams is the National Cotton Council’s president and chief executive officer. In that role, he helps guide the industry’s seven segments to reach consensus on critical policies affecting U.S. cotton, with the mission…
Greg Siegenthaler

Greg Siegenthaler

Grande Cheese Company

Greg is currently in his 31st year at Grande Cheese Company, Dairy Road, Fond du lac, Wisconsin as the Vice President of Milk Marketing and Supply Chain. Within his current role, Greg is responsible…

Jim Winn

Cottonwood Dairy

Jim Winn is a lifelong dairy farmer and co-owns Cottonwood Dairy with two other partners. He was a founding member of Edge, has served on its board of directors since inception and now serves…
Keith Mears

Keith Mears

KMears Farm

Keith Mears is a 5th generation farmer who grows 310 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat near Delphi, IN with his wife, Kristen, and three children ages seven, four, and one.  After growing up…
Kira Valentin

Kira Everhart-Valentin

United Sorghum Checkoff Program

Kira Everhart-Valentin serves the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP), where she is responsible for developing and leading the sorghum industry’s sustainability initiatives. This includes the assessment of opportunities for investment and collaboration to increase…
Michelle Rossman

Michelle Rossman

Dairy Management Inc

As Vice President, Environmental Stewardship for Dairy Management Inc., Michelle Rossman focuses on building programs to provide support for producers as they adopt best practices and technologies to reduce their environmental footprint.  Increasing awareness…
Nathan Fields

Nathan Fields

National Corn Growers Association

Nathan has been with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) since 2004 and currently oversees the Production and Sustainability department for the organization. Prior to his current role, he held roles directing the Biotechnology, Economic Analysis,…
Nick Reinke

Nick Reinke

Land O’Lakes

Nick Reinke is the Soil Health Services Lead at Land O’Lakes – Truterra, where he works closely with a wide array of internal and external partners to drive adoption of regenerative agricultural practices at…
Roylene Comes At Night

Roylene M Comes At Night

USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service

Roylene M Comes At Night, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist (formerly Rides at the Door) is the 5th generation raised on her family’s cattle and horse ranch located on the Blackfeet…
Scott Herndon

Scott Herndon

Field to Market

Scott Herndon serves as the President of Field to Market. Prior to joining Field to Market in 2022, he served as the Vice President and General Counsel of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, focusing…
Steve Rhines

Steven Rhines

Noble Research Institute

Steven Rhines serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Noble Research Institute. The Institute is a nonprofit agricultural research organization focused on regenerative ranching; conducting research and farmer and rancher education to…
Trey Davis

Trey Davis

Davis Family Farms

Trey Davis serves as a Managing Partner of Davis Family Farms located in Doerun, Georgia. The Davis Family operation produces cotton, peanuts, corn, and wheat as well as running purebred Angus and Hereford cattle….

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