Great Lakes Crop Summit


Ashley Buehrer, Farm-Direct Michigan, The Andersons, Inc.

Ashley Buehrer is the Farm-Direct lead for Michigan and Ohio. Having grown up in Southcentral Michigan, working on a row crop farm, Ashley holds a homegrown appreciation for Michigan’s farm families. With 10 years of experience in the fertilizer industry, she holds an active interest in helping farmers understand the complexities of the global fertilizer… Continue reading

Brad Bristle, Farmer

Brad farms with his grandfather and brother in Manchester, Michigan. Together, they produce corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, rye, and breeding cattle.

Brook Wilke, Associate Director, Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Agroecosystem Research Program

Dr. Brook Wilke earned a Ph.D. in Agroecology at the Kellogg Biological Station in 2010 and has served KBS in the role of Farm Manager (2013-2020) and Associate Director of the KBS Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) Program (Present). Brook oversees agronomy and science activities for KBS LTAR and conducts research on agronomic innovations that enhance… Continue reading

Chris Neidert, Training & Development Manager, Trelleborg & Mitas AG Tires

Chris Neidert is the North American Training and Development Manager for Trelleborg & Mitas agricultural tires, part of the Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. With over 40 years in the tire industry, Chris possesses in-depth product and application knowledge and has consistently helped customers gain the most value from their tire investment. Based in the Akron,… Continue reading

Cody Ferry, Farmer

Cody Ferry works for Szikszay Family Farms located in Genessee County. The farm is a large cash crop farm producing corn, soybeans, and wheat. Cody started working for Szikszay Farms in 2013 and has been involved in management of that farm. Cody also farms around 65 acres of his own. Along with running his own… Continue reading

Courtney Heller, Director – Export Services, U.S. Meat Export Federation

Courtney Heller, Director of Export Services at the U.S. Meat Export Federation is part of the association’s Technical Services team, responsible for developing and implementing strategies for resolving market access issues and assisting companies with exporting red meat and red meat products around the world. She is a Meat Scientist with a MS in Meat… Continue reading

Dennis Pennington, Wheat Extension Specialist, Michigan State University

Dennis is the wheat systems specialist at MSU. In partnership with the Michigan Wheat Program, Dennis conducts research and extension programming aimed at helping wheat farmers increase yields, manage disease, reduce inputs, improve environmental sustainability, and maximize profits.

Dr. Marty Chilvers, Michigan State University

Martin Chilvers is an Associate Professor at MSU, having earned his Bachelor of Agricultural Science with honors and Ph.D. from the University of Tasmania, Australia, with subsequent post-doctoral training at Washington State University. Dr. Chilvers’ leads a field crops pathology program encompassing both basic and applied research and extension. Dr. Chilvers’ program encompasses root, stem… Continue reading

Dr. Remington Rice, Michigan State University Extension

Remington “Remi” Rice is a dedicated Extension educator leading the Managing Farm Stress program. This initiative offers vital resources, including teletherapy and a free online course, for recognizing stress and suicide warning signs among farmers, farm families, and agricultural professionals. As a fifth-generation farmer from Northern Michigan, Remi’s farming roots run deep in his family… Continue reading

Elliot Alfredson, Agent, Eagle Valley Ag Risk Advisors, LLC

Elliot Alfredson is an agent with Eagle Valley Ag Risk Advisors, LLC and has sold crop insurance for over 40 years.  He has also worked as an Agricultural Lender for 18 years.  Elliot has a Property & Casualty license to manage all forms of farm-owner risk.  He is recognized by the Michigan Nursery and Landscape… Continue reading

Eric Sowatsky, CPA, PFS, Principal and Agribusiness Team Leader, Yeo & Yeo

Eric Sowatsky is a Principal in Yeo & Yeo’s Saginaw office and leads the firm’s Agribusiness Services Group. He assists farm and agribusiness operations with business and tax planning issues, and provides in-depth analysis of farm operations with an eye on transition planning for the next generation. He has written articles about new tax laws… Continue reading

Jeanie Igl, Hawkins Homestead

Jeanie Igl of Hawkins Homestead has seen both sides of succession planning. She and her husband Tony farmed with her parents, Sid and Carol Hawkins since 1991 and took over the reins for the centennial farm in 2021. They are now navigating the transition of the 2500-acre crop farm to their daughter and son-in-law, Amanda… Continue reading

Jeff Andresen, Professor of Meteorology and Climatology, Michigan State University

Jeff Andresen is Professor of meteorology/climatology with Michigan State University’s Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, Extension Specialist with Michigan State University Extension, and the State Climatologist for Michigan. He currently serves as director of Michigan’s Enviro-weather information system which supports agricultural pest and production management related decision-making across the state and as an… Continue reading

Jenelle Jagmin, Director, Michigan Craft Beverage Council

Jenelle Jagmin is director of the Michigan Craft Beverage Council, a program within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). She works to advance a well-connected craft beverage industry at the intersect of agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and community and economic development. Prior to this role, Jenelle served as an economic development specialist at… Continue reading

Jim Zook, Executive Director, Corn Marketing Program of Michigan

Jim Zook is the Executive Director of Michigan Corn, which consists of the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan and the Michigan Corn Growers Association. The groups represent more than 15,000 corn growers in the Great Lakes State. Jim has more than 30 years of well-rounded experience and has been involved in agriculture his entire life…. Continue reading

Joanna Follings, Cereals Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Joanna is the Cereals Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and is passionate about supporting growers with their cereal crop production challenges and opportunities. She is part of the Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) team in Ontario which is one of a global series of YENs that help local… Continue reading

John Burk, Bay City Farmer

John Burk is a 4th generation farmer from Bay City, Michigan where he farms with his father and brother. He owns and operates a 4,000-acre farm where he grows corn, soybeans, white wheat, sugar beets, and malting barley. John began using cover crops on his farm in 2000 and has experience utilizing a variety of… Continue reading

Jon O’Connor, Co-founder and Co-owner, Long Road Distillers

Jon O’Connor is the co-found and co-owner of Long Road Distillers, the first distillery in the history of Grand Rapids, MI. Long Road was founded upon the belief that world class spirits could be crafted by taking advantage of the abundant agricultural resources and diversity found in west Michigan. Jon and his business partner, Kyle,… Continue reading

Juan Cantu, Director of R&D, Rantizo

Juan Cantu serves as the Director of R&D at Rantizo, boasting over 15 years expertise in the sUAS and remote sensing sectors, spanning from agriculture to public safety. In his role at Rantizo, he assesses and tests emerging technologies and innovations with the potential to enhance spray drone capabilities, encompassing diverse facets like imagery, equipment,… Continue reading

Juan Rey, Corteva Agriscience

Originally from a farming background in Argentina, he moved to the United States in 2006 to pursue his graduate studies. He earned a Master of Science in Crop Science from Oregon State University and a PhD in Plant Breeding Genetics and Genomics from the University of Georgia. His professional journey led him to work as… Continue reading

Justin Aeder, Risk Management Advisor, Advance Trading

Born and raised in the heart of Michigan’s agriculturally rich Thumb Area, Justin has been passionate about farming his entire life.  After graduating from SVSU with a business degree in 2007, Justin began his career in Agri-Finance and in late 2020 started with Advance Trading as an Ag Management Risk Advisor in Bad Axe.  He… Continue reading

Krista Swanson, Lead Economist, National Corn Growers Association

Krista Swanson is the Lead Economist for the National Corn Growers Association, where she analyzes industry markets and policy initiatives to provide strategic economic input to the organization.  Before joining NCGA, Krista was a research analyst for the University of Illinois studying farm economics and policy impacts on agriculture, where her work was frequently published… Continue reading

Marc Hasenick, Hasenick Brothers Farm

Marc Hasenick of Hasenick Brothers Farm located in Springport Michigan has incorporated prairie strips to improve the profitability of the farm.  The same data driven decision making that has allowed the farm to become efficient in seed and fertilizer use also allows for conservation practices to be adopted without risk of financial burden.

Max Fisher, Chief Economist, National Grain and Feed Association

Max Fisher has worked for the National Grain and Feed Association for the last 10 years.  Before that he worked for the Senate Agriculture Committee and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Mike Staton, Michigan State University Extension

Mike Staton is a senior educator with Michigan State University Extension. He received his BS and MS degrees from Michigan State University and has worked as an Extension educator for the past 35 years. His current position is jointly funded by MSU Extension and the Michigan soybean checkoff. In this position, Mike leads the Michigan… Continue reading

Mitchell Hora, Founder/CEO, Continuum Ag

Mitchell Hora is a 7th generation Iowa farmer and the Founder/CEO of Continuum Ag, a soil health software company.  The Hora family has used no-till since 1978 and cover crops since 2013 and have realized great profit impact from stabilized yields and reduced input costs. Mitchell started Continuum Ag to take soil health systems and data… Continue reading

Molly Sears, Michigan State University

Dr. Sears is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University. Dr. Sears’s research integrates agricultural and environmental policy, focusing on improving agricultural productivity while preserving soil health and water quality. Dr. Sears’s research agenda is currently comprised of three main components: (1) nutrient management, application, and… Continue reading

Nathan Greuel

Nathan Greuel is the Precision Marketing Director for North America at Case IH.   Nathan grew up on a Farm in West Central Illinois where his family resides today growing corn and soybeans, as well as raising hogs and cattle.   Nathan has a real passion for precision technology and the value it brings to helping farmers… Continue reading

Noelle Nachreiner, Executive Director, Michigan Ag Council

Noelle Nachreiner is the executive director of the Michigan Ag Council. Through the Michigan GROWN, Michigan GREAT brand, Noelle works with the council of farmer organizations and agribusinesses to establish a trusted voice in Michigan for agricultural information between consumers, retail, and farmers themselves. A graduate of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at… Continue reading

Rebecca L. Larson, Ph.D., Chief Scientist & VP of Government Affairs, Western Sugar Cooperative

Rebecca Larson has worked in agriculture for more than 20 years in both the private and public sector. Early in her career she worked as a principal investigator for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service using proteomics to advance the understanding of native plant disease tolerance. She then moved on to Syngenta where she started as Plant… Continue reading

Samantha Wolfe, Michigan State University Extension

Samantha Wolfe serves as the Agricultural Occupational Health educator within the Michigan State University Extension, overseeing the AgrAbility program on a statewide level. Her primary base is the Benzie County office, where she plays a pivotal role in promoting and enhancing occupational health and safety within the agricultural community. With a focus on ensuring the… Continue reading

Shawn P. Conley, Professor of Agronomy and State Soybean and Small Grains Specialist, University of Wisconsin

Dr. Shawn P. Conley is a Professor and the State Soybean and Small Grain Specialist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In this role I lead the UW Soybean Research Program “a.k.a. The UW BeanTeam” and actively collaborate across all disciplines to generate science-based solutions to address real world problems in soybean and small grain… Continue reading

Stephanie Zelinko, National Agronomist, AgroLiquid

Stephanie Zelinko’s passion for agriculture started early. Growing up on a cash crop farm in mid-Michigan, farming has always been part of her life. She attended Michigan State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Crop and Soil Sciences. Upon graduation, she began working as a researcher for AgroLiquid – a role she has expanded… Continue reading

Tim Duckert, Research Agronomist, AgroLiquid

Tim Duckert has never wanted to do anything but work in agriculture. Having been born and raised on a crop and livestock farm, Duckert has a passion for the industry and an appreciation for the hard work and ingenuity ingrained in the industry. He has attained a certificate in Crop Production and a bachelor’s degree… Continue reading

Todd Davis, Agent, Eagle Valley Ag Risk Advisors, LLC

Todd Davis is a well-rounded Crop Insurance Agent with Eagle Valley Ag Risk Advisors, LLC.  He has been an Agent since 2004 and has a wide range of experiences in Michigan Agriculture.  Todd approaches crop insurance with a heart of a teacher.  He is a certified Agriscience Teacher and Certified Crop Advisor.

Vance Crowe

Vance Crowe is the founder of Legacy Interviews, a service that records individuals and couples recording their life stories so that future generation have the opportunity to know their family history. Previously Vance was a communications strategist that has worked for corporations and international organizations around the world. He has spoken before more than 250,000… Continue reading

Veronica Hall, Customer Support Pilot & Technical Support Specialist, Rantizo

Veronica Hall brings a decade of agricultural expertise, with a primary focus on climate and natural resource management from an academic standpoint. Four years ago, she shifted her focus to sUAS operations, specializing in Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) acquisition. Her work in this field led to the creation of Soil Erosion and Sedimentation models… Continue reading

Join us for the Great Lakes Crop Summit

January 24 – 25, 2024

at Soaring Eagle Casino