2023 Trust In Food Symposium: Climate-Smart State of Mind 3

Our 2023 symposium is over, but have a look below on what we covered and who came to speak!

Monday, January 23

  • Noon
    • Conference Begins (Summit Ballrooms A&B)
  • Noon-1:00
    • Lunch
  • 12:40-12.45
    • Welcome, Trust In Food
  • 12:45-1:00
    • Putting Human Dimensions In the Center Of Climate-Smart Change
    • Speaker: Amy Skoczlas Cole, president, Trust In Food
      • Producers see a litany of barriers and challenges to participating in conservation programs. We’ll go behind the farmgate to detail real and perceived barriers and discuss proven strategies for overcoming them operationally, financially and technically. Get insights on what a change mindset looks like with a glimpse into Trust In Food’s Human Dimensions of Change data and research. Organizations that put these insights to work can help the next tranche of farmers and ranchers on their journey of adopting climate-smart practices, products, services and technology—using individualized approaches markedly different from those that helped early adopters.
  • 1:00-1:40
    • Innovative Finance and Risk Management For Climate-Smart Agriculture
    • Speakers: Cristian Barcan, vice president and sustainability officer, Rabo AgriFinance Sally Flis, senior manager of North America sustainable ag & carbon, Nutrien Ag Solutions Scott Herndon, president, Field to Market
      • Join a discussion on how companies are innovating financing and insurance mechanisms to incentivize the adoption of conservation practices and share the risk of perceived barriers to participation. Learn how pilot projects are shaping the future of financial products that can help farmers and ranchers feel supported in practice change to accelerate participation in climate-smart programs.
      • Moderator: David Frabotta, director of climate-smart content, Trust In Food
  • 1:40-2:20
    • Top Producer Panel Discussion
    • Speakers: Rob Barley, Star Rock Farms, Conestoga, Penn. Chris Adams, Adams Family Farms, Grand Forks, N.D. Matt Splitter, Splitter Farms, Sterling, Kan.
      • Additionality requirements of many climate-smart programs have raised concerns among early adopters, including large farm operations where conservation practices have been in use for decades. Are there changes climate-smart leaders could make to be more inclusive of large-scale farm operations? Hear how large farming operations view climate-smart practices and the insights they have on near-term and longer-term solutions that could help scale climate-smart systems faster on working lands.
    • Moderator: Sara Shafer, editorial director, Top Producer and Top Producer Summit
  • 2:20-3:00
    • Making Carbon Markets Work For Producers
    • Speakers: Chad Ellis, CEO, Texas Agricultural Land Trust; founding chair, Trust In Beef Mitchell Hora, founder and CEO, Continuum Ag Liz Hunt, head of sustainable and responsible business, Syngenta
      • Carbon offsets, regenerative acres, and climate-smart commodities, Oh My! Producers have unbound potential to capitalize on these similar but different opportunities, but they see pain points and need help in navigating the complexities. A vast majority of farmers and ranchers report serious concern about overcoming technical and financial roadblocks to success in carbon markets. To gain traction, markets must respond to the real and perceived barriers inhibiting participation. Join a panel discussion on what’s working in carbon markets and what changes or new features might be needed going forward. As the marketplace matures, ecosystem services will need to embrace farmer-facing insights and share more of the value and risk to bolster interest and participation in one of the most promising climate solutions in agriculture.
    • Moderator: Amy Skoczlas Cole, president, Trust In Food
  • 3:00-3:20
    • Coffee, tea and snacks
  • 3:20-4:00
    • Farmers Out Front: How Producers Are Making Climate-Smart Ag Mainstream
    • Speakers:  Sarah Jones, Tennessee rancher, Red Hill Farms Aaron Kruger, Indiana row crop farmer, ACAM Conservation Steward Richard Lyons, Illinois row crop farmer Kimberly Raikes, Whitelock Community Farm Manager and Community Educator, ACAM Conservation Steward
      • There is no better proving ground for climate-smart management practices than working farms and ranches, and producers value the experiences of other producers when they evaluate new practices in their operations. We’ll explore best practices of peer networking and knowledge transfer for producer-led learning groups, field days, community events and other ways producers are finding the support they need to feel capable of making change and adopting climate-smart practices.
    • Moderator: David Frabotta, director of climate-smart content, Trust In Food
  • 4:00-4:40
    • Farm Policy and Funding Update
    • Speakers:  Bruce Knight, principal and founder, Strategic Conservation Solutions John Larson, senior vice president, American Farmland Trust Randy Russell, president, The Russell Group Amy Saltzman, senior program officer, Walton Family Foundation
      • With unprecedented federal funding percolating through organizations that work to accelerate climate-smart agriculture, we’ll look at the next set of priorities in this Farm Bill preview and consider how they might affect conservation agriculture implementation. Join the discussion on some of the prevailing thoughts on The Hill on how climate-smarts policies will be prioritized, implemented and streamlined into broader programs.
    • Moderator: Jay Vroom, chair of America’s Conservation Ag Movement and advisor to Trust In Food
  • 4:40-5:25
    • Closing Keynote: Reimaging Food Supply Chains Amid Regenerative Agriculture
      • Join EY Agriculture Partner Rob Dongoski as he explores the dynamic influence of consumer trends and demand from food companies and processors for climate-smart products. Learn how food companies are making changes to source sustainable products and how this could change their relationship with producers and influence food production systems.
  • 5:25-5:30
    • Closing remarks and adjournments
  • 5:30-6:30
    • Opening Reception with Top Producer Summit
  • 6:30-8:30
    • Trust In Food Reception and Dinner (Summit Foyer and Summit Ballrooms A&B)
Tuesday, January 24 
  • 7:30-8:30
    • Breakfast
  • 8:15-9:00
    • The Unprecedented Opportunity in Climate-Smart Agriculture
      • Join USDA-NRCS Chief Terry Cosby (confirmed) discuss how the agency is leading its partners and producers in extracting the full economic value of farms and ranches using climate-smart management practices to enable productivity, profitability and maximize local resources and community impact. Learn about priorities for historically underserved populations, climate-smart commodities markets and how legacy farm bill programs will intersect and be administered along with new funding mechanisms.
  • 9:00-11:00
    • Partnerships For Climate-Smart Commodities Lightning Round
      • As the sustainability community collaborates to engineer pilot projects for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities awards and other sustainability programs, there is a pressing need to understand how programs will be implemented, monitored and measured. Take this opportunity to understand the structures, goals and opportunities to cooperate with frameworks that are being developed and implemented during the next three years and beyond. Get a comprehensive view on PCSC grants from grant designs that focus on beef, pork, dairy, row crops, specialty crops, data management and more.
    • National Sorghum Producers Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Project
      • Presenter: Adam York, National Sorghum Producers
    • Scaling Methane Emissions Reductions and Soil Carbon Sequestration — A Value-Added Commodities Approach to United States Dairy
      • Presenter: Hansel New, Dairy Farmers of America
    • National Pork Board’s Advancing U.S. Pork Sustainability and Market Value Project
      • Presenter: Billy Gascoigne, Ducks Unlimited
    • U.S. Climate-Smart Cotton Program
      • Presenter: Andy Jordan, U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
    • A Vibrant Future: Pilot Projects for Climate-Smart Fruit and Vegetable Production, Marketing, and Valuation of Ecosystem Services
      • Presenter: Max Teplitski, International Fresh Produce Assn.
    • Tyson Foods, Inc. Climate-Smart Commodities Project
      • Presenter: Justin Ransom, Tyson Foods, Inc.
    • Climate-Smart Connected Ag Project
      • Presenters: Amy Skoczlas Cole, Trust In Food; Amy O’Shea, Certis Biologicals; Darren Howie, Trimble
  • 11:00
    • Closing remarks and adjournments
  • 11:30-1:30
    • ACAM Board Meeting
  • 1:30
    • Lunch
  • 2:30-4:30
    • Climate-Smart Connected Ag Project workshop (partners only)
  • 4:30-6:00
    • Top Producer of the Year Awards Reception
  • 6:00-8:00
    • Top Producer of the Year Awards Banquet

Our 2023 Speakers

Aaron Krueger

Aaron Kruger

Kruger Farm

Aaron Krueger is a fourth-generation farmer in the southwest corner of Owensville, Indiana, where he manages 870 acres of corn, soybeans and soft red winter wheat with his grandfather. His conservation practices have created…
York Sorghum Headshot

Adam York

National Sorghum Producers

Adam York is the Director of Sustainability with National Sorghum Producers and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. He is responsible for developing and leading the U.S. Sorghum Industry’s sustainability initiatives and continually assessing opportunities…
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…

Amy Saltzman

Walton Family Foundation

Amy is a senior program officer leading the foundation’s Mississippi River initiative, which seeks to support healthy soils, clean water and a restored and resilient Mississippi River system. Before joining the foundation, Amy was…
Dr. Andy Jordan - Headshot

Andrew Jordan

Jordan Associates

Andrew Jordan is owner of Jordan Associates whose business purpose is to aid agricultural organizations in meeting customer expectations for responsibly grown products. Most recently Jordan was on the grant writing team of the…
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…

Bruce Knight

Strategic Conservation Solutions

Bruce Knight is a nationally recognized expert on conservation, agriculture and the environment. With a long track record of bringing strategic workable solutions to complex and controversial issues, he understands the workings of farm…
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…

Christopher Adams

Adams Family Farm

Christopher Adams is partner at Adams Family Farm in Grand Forks, ND., where he grew up. Following high school, he earned a Biology pre-health degree from the University of North Dakota. Upon graduation Christopher…

Cristian Barcan

Rabo AgriFinance

Cristian Barcan is vice president and rural sustainability officer for Rabo AgriFinance. In his role at Rabobank, Cristian leads the rural sustainability and Carbon Bank efforts across the region and works closely with the…
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…

Hansel New

Dairy Farmers of America

Hansel New is Director of Sustainability at Dairy Farmers of America, a farmer-owned cooperative and one the world’s leading dairy food companies. In this role he leads sustainability programs across the co-op and helps…

Jay Vroom

America's Conservation Ag Movement

Jay Vroom chairs the America’s Conservation Ag Movement Board of Advisers, guiding the largest public-private conservation partnership in American agriculture. Jay is a long-trusted voice in agribusiness, having served 30 years as CEO of…
john larson

John Larson

American Farmland Trust

John represents AFT externally and works to establish strategic partnerships that advance mission goals. Before joining AFT, John served as CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts, executive director of the Washington Association of Conservation Districts,…

Justin Ransom

Tyson Foods

Dr. Justin Ransom is the Senior Director of Sustainable Food Strategy at Tyson Foods. He works with subject matter experts, business leaders and external partners to develop and implement sustainability strategies that will have…

Kimberly Raikes

Whitelock Community Farm

Kimberly is an urban farmer, community outreach coordinator and produce-safety educator in Baltimore, Md. Her passion for farming originates from her family’s farm in Fort Mitchell, Virginia. Kimberly developed Whitelock Community Farm from Baltimore’s…
Liz Hunt - web

Liz Hunt


Liz is head of sustainable and responsible business at Syngenta. Liz combines practical know-how and visionary partnerships to make sustainability accessible and real. She is here to work with you to bring insights on…

Matt Splitter

Splitter Farms

Matt was raised on the ancestral home just outside Lorraine, Kansas. In the fall of 2011, Matt and his wife, Janna, seeded their first winter wheat crop. Matt has served on multiple boards, including;…

Max Teplitski

International Fresh Produce Assn.

Max Teplitski is Chief Science Officer for The International Fresh Produce Assn., which serves the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain by seamlessly integrating world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. Max oversees association-wide initiatives, government…
Mitchell Hora-web

Mitchell Hora

Continuum Ag

Mitchell is a 7th-generation Iowa farmer and the Founder/CEO of Continuum Ag, a soil health data intelligence company. Continuum works with enterprise level partners to help them implement regenerative ag practices throughout their supply chain or…
Randy Russell Headshot

Randy Russell

The Russell Group

Randy Russell is President of The Russell Group, Washington’s leading bipartisan government relations firm focused exclusively on food and agriculture public policy. He was born and raised in Virginia. Prior to joining the firm…
richard lyons

Richard Lyons

Farmer, SWCD

Dick, a former agriculture instructor for 32 years at Lincoln Land Community College and IL State University, is a cash grain farmer for 50 years in South Central IL.  He plants a two year rotation…
rob barley web

Rob Barley

Rock Star Farms

Rob is a co-owner in Star Rock Farms., along with his brother Tom and cousin Abe, where they farm over 12,000 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans, milk 1,700 cows, own a 4000-sow farrow…

Rob Dongoski

Ernst & Young LLP

Rob leads EY’s Food & Agribusiness sector and focuses on strategy, innovation and M&A for clients in the food, agribusiness and beverage sectors. As EY’s global leader, he is at the forefront of industry…
Sally Flis - Headshot

Sally Flis

Nutrien Ag Solutions

Sally Flis is the Senior Manager, Sustainability Field with Nutrien Ag Solutions. In this role, Sally is responsible for engagement of Nutrien Ag Solutions retail business with sustainability initiatives across the United States. Sally…
Sarah Jones, Certified Livestock Leader Award

Sarah Jones

Red Hill Farms

Sarah Jones and her husband, Bart, have a 15-year-old son, Ty. Together, they own and operate Red Hill Farms, a 7th-generation family farm located in both south central Kentucky and northern middle Tennessee where…
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…

Terry Cosby


NRCS Chief Terry Cosby leads a premier federal conservation agency known for its 3,000 field-office network that helps farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners nationwide plan and carry out voluntary conservation activities on their…

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