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Through robust panels and engaging discussions, attendees at the Inaugural California Dairy Sustainability Summit explored new ways for dairy farmers to continue improving environmental sustainability, develop new business opportunities, and reduce on-farm costs. The theme at the summit was clear—California’s dairy families have demonstrated incredible progress in improving operational efficiency, reducing emissions, conserving water, setting high standards for animal health, and promoting sustainable business practices. Dairy farmers are faced with many challenges, so we must continue to work collaboratively to find cost-effective solutions that are good for the environment and can help sustain our family farms.

2018 By the Numbers

662

Registered Attendees

201

Dairy Farmers

75

Expert Speakers

View the 2018 Speaker Presentations and Event Photos

Registered attendees received an email with the presentation password on November 30.
Need assistance accessing the slides? Please contact registration@gladstein.org.

View Post-Event Material

2018 Agenda

Dairy’s Role in Advancing California’s Sustainability Objectives

9:00 AM

Opening Session

California dairy farmers are true pioneers—using innovation and cutting-edge research to redefine dairy farming for
the world.

Speakers

  • Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Frank Mitloehner, PhD, PhD, Professor and Air Quality Specialist, UC Davis Department of Animal Science

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Panel 1 - Consumption with a Conscience: The New Playing Field for Food Brands

Dive into dairy consumption trends and retail markets, including a discussion on increased consumer interest in the environmental impacts of food choices—from farm to table.

Speakers

  • Moderator: John Talbot, Chief Executive Officer, California Milk Advisory Board
  • Linda Eatherton, Partner, Managing Director, Global Food & Beverage, Ketchum
  • Bob Langert, President, Mainstreaming Sustainability Editor at Large, GreenBiz Group, Retired McDonald’s VP of Sustainability
  • David Ahelm, Chief Executive Officer, Hilmar Cheese Company
  • Alex Palczek, Director of Marketing – Shopper COE, Nestlé

11:00 AM - 11:10 AM

Refreshment and Networking Break

Recharge and network during a brief coffee, tea and water break.

Sponsored by:
Refreahment Sponsor

Refreahment Sponsor

11:10 AM - 12:10 PM

Panel 2 - Dairy’s Role in a Healthy and Sustainable Diet

Explore nutrition in the context of sustainable food production, green eating (including the concept of plant-based eating), and the appropriate balance between the nutrition needs of people and the stewardship of our planet’s resources.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Tammy Anderson-Wise, Chief Executive Officer, Dairy Council of California
  • Katie Brown, EdD, RDN, Senior Vice President Sustainable Nutrition, National Dairy Council
  • Cindy Schweitzer, PhD, Principal, Schweitzer Consulting LLC
  • Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RDN, LD, FADA, FAND, Founder and Principal, The AgriNutrition Edge
  • Lynn Giacomini Stray, Co-Owner, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.

12:10 PM

Lunch

Enjoy a buffet lunch and time to network with dairy sustainability leaders.

1:00 PM

Dairy 2.0 - The Journey From Sustainable to Relevant

Speaker

  • Linda Eatherton, Partner, Managing Director, Global Food & Beverage, Ketchum

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Panel 3 - Planet-Smart Dairy: California Leading the World

California dairy farmers are world leaders in sustainable farming practices. Discover how dairy farmers are partnering to enhance water supply/quality, improve air quality, and protect our climate, while continually working to ensure the best possible animal care.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares
  • Frank Mitloehner, PhD, Professor and Air Quality Specialist, UC Davis Department of Animal Science
  • Annette Jones, DVM, Director and State Veterinarian, California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Tyler Bennett, President, Bennett Environmental, Inc. & Bennett Water Systems
  • Steve Maddox Sr., Managing Partner, Maddox Dairy
  • Sahar Kamali, Director, Business Development, Clean Energy Renewables

2:30 PM - 2:40 PM

Refreshment and Networking Break

Recharge and network during a brief coffee, tea and water break.

Sponsored by:
Refreahment Sponsor

Refreahment Sponsor

2:40 PM - 3:45 PM

Panel 4 - Encouraging Sustainable Food Production: A Workable Regulatory Approach

Using past achievements as a guide, panelists will discuss the appropriate role of regulatory versus voluntary, incentive-based actions to improve sustainability. Looking ahead, regulatory and dairy industry leaders will strategize about how to ensure the sustainability of California’s dairy farms, while advancing environmental protections.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Richard Matteis, Administrator, California Farm Bureau Federation
  • Jenny Lester Moffitt, Undersecretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Ashley Boren, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation
  • Samir Sheikh, Executive Director, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
  • Richard Corey, Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board
  • Patrick Pulupa, Executive Officer, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Purpose Led, Performance Driven - Sustainability

The California dairy industry continues to make considerable investments in the development of strategies, technologies, and programs to improve operational efficiency, boost sustainability, create new economic opportunities, and cement dairy’s place as a vital part of the Golden State’s 21st Century sustainable economy and the global food system.

Speaker

  • David Blakemore, President, Animal Nutrition & Health, DSM

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Expo Hall Opening Reception

Join us for refreshments, including Real California Cheese. Network with dairy farmers and industry leaders. Connect with technology and service suppliers that can help the dairy industry continue to address environmental challenges with cost-effective solutions.

Sponsored by:
Lunch Sponsor

Strategies and Tools to Advance Sustainability, Improve Efficiency, and Reduce Costs

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Breakfast in the Expo Hall

Start your morning with some tasty treats and a walk around expo hall while networking with dairy farmers and industry leaders.

Sponsored by:
Lunch Sponsor

8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Welcome Remarks

  • Felicia Marcus, Chair, State Water Resources Control Board

8:45 AM- 9:15 AM

Opening Session - Achieving True Sustainability: Perspectives from the Major Dairy Cooperatives

Speakers

  • Matt Carstens, Senior Vice President, Land O’Lakes, Inc.
  • Rob Vandenheuvel, Vice President of Industry and Member Relations, California Dairies Inc.
  • Francis Pacheco, Vice President of Membership and Public Affairs, Dairy Farmers of America

9:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Breakout Sessions

The Next Generation of Digesters: Electricity, Transportation Fuel, and Beyond

Find out how development companies, state agencies, dairy farmers, and utilities are working collaboratively to voluntarily meet the state’s manure methane reduction target, while boosting economic sustainability, and helping achieve California’s increasingly ambitious clean energy goals.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Cliff Gladstein, President, Gladstein, Neandross & Associates
  • Neil Black, President, California Bioenergy
  • Daryl Maas, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Maas Energy Works
  • Kevin Dobson, Vice President, Business Development, DTE Biomass Energy
  • Tyler Henn, Vice President & General Manager, Clean Energy Renewables

Automation on the Farm: Robotic Systems and Increasing Efficiency

Two California dairy farmers, a nutritionist, and a veterinarian will share their experience implementing robotic milking systems and how these investments are benefiting animal well-being and farm economics.

Speakers

  • Moderator: William Ray, Vice President/ Senior Relationship Manager, Yosemite Farm Credit
  • Jonathon Postma, Managing Partner, Pete Postma and Sons Dairy, GP
  • Halley Fobes, Consulting Veterinarian, Lander Veterinary Clinic
  • Rick Jones, Partner, Jones Family Farm
  • Steve Riesenbeck, Consultant, Dairy Works

Money from manure? How do we get there?

A diverse panel of experts from the private sector, NGOs, and the research community will discuss opportunities to transform surplus manure into environmental and economic benefits.

Speakers

  • Moderator: J.P. Cativiela, Regulatory Director, Dairy Cares, Executive Director, CVDRMP
  • Mark Stoermann, Chief Operating Officer, Newtrient LLC
  • Ryan Flaherty, Director of Business Partnerships, Sustainable Conservation
  • Denise Mullinax, Interim Director, California Dairy Research Foundation, Assistant Director, CDQAP
  • Ruihong Zhang, PhD, Professor, UC Davis Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

10:30 AM - 11:20 AM

Breakout Sessions

Take Control of Your Energy Destiny: Manage Rising Costs through Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Representatives from major utilities and renewable technology providers will highlight opportunities for dairy farmers to combat rising energy costs through energy efficiency and on-site energy technologies.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares, Agricultural Energy Consumers Association
  • Justin Witte, Senior, Customer Relationship Manager, AG/Food Processing, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • Traeger Cotten, Field Engineer, Southern California Edison
  • Dean Swanson, Director, Business Development, Sunworks Solar Power

Water-Smart Dairy: Strategies to Survive Increasing Water Scarcity

A diverse panel of experts will discuss what’s being done to address water scarcity challenges, including the development and expansion of drip irrigation to increase water-use-efficiency and improve yields.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Ryan Flaherty, Director of Business Partnerships, Sustainable Conservation
  • Tyler Bennett, President, Bennett Environmental Inc. & Bennett Water Systems Inc.
  • John Cardoza, Project Manager, Sustainable Conservation
  • Geoffrey Vanden Heuvel, Director of Regulatory and Economic Affair, Milk Producers Council

Feed Additives: Can they Reduce Methane and Improve Your Bottom Line?

Panelists will discuss research efforts, feed additives, and other ways to reduce enteric emissions, and how these efforts might impact feed efficiency, milk production, and animal health.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Michael FitzGibbon, Research Division’s Climate, Atmospheric Science, & Economic Studies Branch Chief, California Air Resources Board
  • Ermias Kebreab, PhD, Professor and Sesnon Endowed Chair, Sustainable Animal Agriculture Department of Animal Science, UC Davis
  • Thomas Hafner, Chief Executive Officer, Mootral
  • Todd Armstrong, Head, North American Ruminant Operations and Strategy, DSM

11:30 AM - 12:10 PM

Breakout Sessions

Managing Employment Trends, Retention, and Costs

Learn about dairy labor trends, challenges, and opportunities, and hear from dairy farmers as they discuss hiring, training, and retaining employees and providing valuable career opportunities.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Anja Raudabaugh, Chief Executive Officer, Western United Dairymen
  • Frank Cardoza, Consultant, Dairy Works, Farm Manager, Phillip Verwey Farms
  • Aaron Wickstrom, Managing Partner, Wickstrom Dairies L.P. and Valsigna Farms
  • Landon Fernandes, General Manager, Fernjo Farms

Increasing Nutrient Use Efficiency for Survival and Profit

Dairy producers and experts will talk about practical, innovative solutions for gaining more value from manure applications, improving water and nutrient distribution, and streamlining record keeping for daily decision making.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Deanne Meyer, PhD, Livestock Waste Management Specialist, Department of Animal Science, UC Davis & UC ANR
  • Bob Hutmacher, PhD, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist and Center Director, West Side Research and Extension Center
  • Blake Alexandre, Owner, Alexandre Family Farm
  • Michelle Tacherra, Environmental Manager, Morning Star Dairy, Inc.
  • Simon Vander Woude, Owner, Vander Woude Dairy

Genetic Opportunities: Setting Your Strategy for Long-Term Success

Dairy farmers will discuss tools and strategies for continuing to advance environmental and economic sustainability through genetic progress—further increasing milk production and improving animal health.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Stanley Henderson, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
  • Brian Fiscalini, Chief Executive Officer, Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company
  • Frank Denis, Herd Manager, Charles Ahlem Ranch
  • Wayne Glaeser, Member Owner, Glaz-Way Enterprices, LLC

12:10 PM - 1:40 PM

Lunch on the Expo Hall

Enjoy a buffet lunch and time to network with dairy sustainability leaders.

Sponsored by:
Lunch Sponsor

1:40 PM - 2:30 PM

Breakout Sessions

Water Quality: What’s Coming Next, and How to Prepare for the Challenges and Opportunities

Legal, regulatory, and technical experts will discuss what California dairies can expect with the changes in water quality regulations coming next year, as well as potential strategies to help navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Justin Gioletti, Vice President, Robert Gioletti & Sons Dairy
  • Doug Patteson, Confined Animal Facilities Program Manager, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • J.P. Cativiela, Regulatory Director, Dairy Cares, Executive Director, CVDRMP
  • Theresa “Tess” Dunham, Managing Shareholder, Somach Simmons & Dunn
  • Till Angermann, Hydrogeologist and Technical Program Manager, Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program

Funding Incentives to Boost Economic and Environmental Sustainability

Learn about significant funding incentives available from regional, state, and federal agencies and how these can help dairy farmers invest in environmental and economic sustainability projects on their farms.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Paul Sousa, Director of Environmental Services and Regulatory Affairs, Western United Dairymen
  • Amrith Gunasekara, PhD, Science Advisor, California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Kevin Abernathy, General Manager, Milk Producers Council
  • Todd DeYoung, Manager, Strategies and Incentives, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District

Optimizing Cow Health and Comfort: Emerging Technologies and Strategies

Panelists will discuss milestones to date, and new developments both within and beyond the FARM program, including the use of cow monitoring devices, tools for employee training, and other strategies to further improve animal health and comfort.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Michael Payne, DVM, PhD, Program Director, California Dairy Quality Assurance Program, Dairy Program Coordinator, Western Institute of Food Safety & Security (WIFSS)
  • Frank Cardoza, Consultant, Dairy Works, Farm Manager, Phillip Verwey Farms
  • Dr. Robert Hagevoort, Associate Professor & Extension Dairy Specialist, New Mexico State University
  • Nicole Ayache, Director, FARM Environmental Stewardship and Workforce Development, National Milk Producers Federation

2:40 PM - 3:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Speaker

  • Marcus Benedetti, Chairman and CEO, Clover Sonoma

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Expo Hall Reception

Join us for refreshments and networking with dairy farmers and industry leaders. Connect with technology and service suppliers that can help the dairy industry continue to address environmental challenges with cost-effective solutions.

Print 2018 Symposium Agenda

2018 Featured Speakers

Karen Ross

Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

see full bio

Karen Ross was appointed secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on January 12, 2011, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Secretary Ross has deep leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and here in California. During Secretary Ross’ tenure, the Department has focused on core functions to protect and promote California agriculture in a time of significant budget reductions, and it has emphasized change-management to position the agency to more effectively and efficiently serve its stakeholders in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.

Secretary Ross has strengthened partnerships across government, academia and the non-profit sector in the drive to maintain and improve environmental stewardship and to develop adaptation strategies for the specific impacts of climate change. She has initiated programs to provide greater opportunities for farmers and ranchers to engage in sustainable environmental stewardship practices through water conservation, energy efficiency, nutrient management and ecosystem services.

The Secretary has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is a graduate of the Nebraska Ag Leadership Program.

Frank Mitloehner, PhD

Professor and Air Quality Specialist, Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis

see full bio

Frank Mitloehner is a professor and air quality specialist for Cooperative Extension in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Mitloehner received a Master’s of Science degree in animal science and agricultural engineering from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and a PhD in animal science from Texas Technical University. Dr. Mitloehner is an expert for agricultural air quality, livestock housing and husbandry.

Dr. Mitloehner has served as chairman of a global United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) partnership project to benchmark the environmental footprint of livestock production. Dr. Mitloehner serves as the North American scientific lead for the Global Feed LCA Institute. Dr. Mitloehner is workgroup member on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and member on the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee on “A Framework for Assessing the Health, Environmental, and Social Effects of the Food System”.

Linda Eatherton

Partner, Managing Director Global Food & Beverage, Ketchum

see full bio

Linda Eatherton is an award winning global food marketing and communications expert who has spent over thirty years in her career working in on the front line of the food industry. Eatherton learned the business first-hand while working at Kraft in corporate communications and then later leading industry relations, issues management and marketing communications for the national dairy industry at Dairy Management Inc.

As global director of one of the world’s top marketing agencies’ most formidable Food Practice, Eatherton counseled Fortune 500 corporations, industry groups and channel suppliers around the world. Eartherton’s nose for news formed early at the University of Missouri where she received her Bachelor’s degree in journalism. Serving as president of the Society for Nutrition Education Foundation’s (SNEF) board of trustees, most recently was recently inducted into Les Dames de Escoffier as Eatherton blends real-world business practicality with the dynamic influences of perception, nutrition and culinary trends.

Stephen Maddox Sr

Managing Partner, Maddox Dairy

see full bio

Stephen Maddox Sr. is native of California and a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Maddox currently serves as managing partner of Maddox Dairy and partner in RuAnn Holsteins. Maddox has provided tremendous leadership within the dairy landscape, in addition to his management responsibilities with the family dairies. Maddox was on the California Dairies Inc., Board of Directors for a decade, serving as secretary and has participated in Dairy Cares since 2004.

Maddox is an appointee to the National Dairy Board, and currently serves on the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy sustainability Council (since 2009). Maddox is passionate that his cows are well cared for and produce a highly nutritious product for today’s conscientious consumer.

Bob Langert

President, Mainstreaming Sustainability, Editor at Large, GreenBiz Group, Retired McDonald’s VP of Sustainability

see full bio

Bob Langert joined McDonald’s in 1983 with a management position in logistics, packaging and purchasing. Later, Langert was appointed McDonald’s first vice sustainability to lead sustainability in 2006. Langert led the development of McDonald’s 2020 Sustainability Vision and Framework, including McDonald’s commitment to the environment, supply chain sustainability, and balanced menu choices.

Langert retired from McDonald’s, March, 2015 and joined the GreenBiz Group, writing a regular column, The Inside View; and helping with the Green Biz Executive Network. Langert is president of mainstream sustainability, advising companies on sustainability strategies, and a nationally recognized speaker. Langert has a Master’s Degree in business from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a Bachelor’s of Art from Lewis University, Romeoville, IL.

Felicia Marcus

Chair, Water Resources Control Board for the State of California

see full bio

Felicia Marcus was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) for the State of California in 2012, and designated by the Governor as Chair in April of 2013. Before her appointment to the Water Board, Marcus served in positions in government, the non-profit world, and the private sector. In government, Marcus served as the regional administrator of the U.S EPA Region IX in the Clinton Administration. While at U.S. EPA, Marcus worked extensively on the range of environmental issues under EPA’s jurisdiction, most heavily in air quality, Bay-Delta water, tribal, and US-Mexico border issues.

Prior to that, Marcus headed the Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works and garnered national awards for environmental excellence. Marcus came to Public Works after extensive experience as a public interest lawyer and community organizer in Los Angeles, including being a co-founder and general counsel for Heal the Bay. In the non-profit world, Marcus was the western director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Prior to joining NRDC, Marcus was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Trust for Public Land (TPL).

Marcus currently serves or has served in the past on many non-profit boards and Advisory Councils including the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Leadership Council, Sustainable Conservation, USC-Kesten Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, and the Center for Diversity and the Environment.

Blake Alexandre

Owner, Alexandre Family Farm

see full bio

Blake Alexandre grew up on a small dairy in Ferndale, California. As 4th generation dairy farmers, the family now operates four grass-based organic dairies in Northern California. Found with his hands deep in the soil, Alexandre recognizes that knowing how and when to correctly manage soil is ultimately what a regenerative grass-based farmer must know. As soil gains nutrition, so will the grass, the cows, the milk, and the consumer.

Till Angermann

Hydrogeologist and Technical Program Manager, Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program

see full bio

Till Angermann is a principal hydrogeologist at Luhdorff and Scalmanini Consulting Engineers. Angermann is a key contributor to the conceptualization and development of a representative groundwater monitoring approach as an alternative to site-by-site monitoring of all regulated dairies (estimated at 1,600 at that time) set forth in the 2007 Dairy General Order. Angermann has been serving as the technical program manager of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP) since its inception in 2010. In 2014, Angermann served on the Agricultural Expert Panel, convened by the State Water Resources Control Board in the context of Senate Bill SBX2 1 as the sole hydrogeologist along seven other experts.

Angermann graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in geology from Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany, and a Master’s of Science in hydrologic sciences from UC Davis.

Frank Dinis

Herd Manager, Himlar Jerseys

see full bio

Frank Dinis is the herd manager for Hilmar Jerseys and Double Cross Dairies. Dinis has been with Hilmar Jerseys for 14 years. Preceding Hilmar Jerseys, Dinis was at Ahlem Farms for 6 years. Dinis is on the Board of Directors of Jerseyland sires and was just accepted in the Farm National Program Producers Advisory Council.

Dinis also participated with the Low Energy Animal Handling (L.E.A.H) Program to train dairy employees with animal handling skills, the L.E.A.H program was created by Elanco Animal Health. Hilmar Jerseys was recognized with the Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year in 2015 for the outreach to local dairies for the animal welfare employee training program.

Thomas Hafner

Chief Executive Officer, Mootral

see full bio

Thomas Hafner has 25 years of experience of building businesses, incubating technologies and creating completely new categories and markets from scratch in the field of biotechnology, nutraceuticals, medical devices and animal health. Hafner’s unwavering passion and visionary thought leadership in the space of strategic value creation for all stakeholders in the market makes Mootral an ideal challenge for someone that dreams as big and lateral as Hafner.

Jonathon Postma

Managing Partner, Pete Postma and Sons Dairy, GP

see full bio

Jonathon Postma is a third generation dairyman from Modesto, California. Postma attended Fresno State University for 2 years then began his own dairy farm in the summer of 2002. Now, Pete Postma and Sons Dairy, GP milk 1900 head Jersey cows and Holstein cows using the first large scale robotic dairy in California to milk 600 of its cow.

Sahar Kamali

Director, Business Development, Clean Energy Renewables

see full bio

Sahar Kamali is the director of business development for Clean Energy Renewables. Kamali focuses on procurement of renewable natural gas (RNG) as a sustainable fueling solution for transit, municipal and fleet customers, as well as the generation and sale of LCFS credits and RINs that are created as a result of renewable natural gas fuel sales. Kamali works with RNG producers in the evaluation, development and procurement of renewable natural gas production projects that expand Clean Energy’s branded RNG vehicle fuel, Redeem. Kamali assists fleet operators in developing the tools and resources to effectively evaluate the GHG emissions impact of their operations as well as the economic impact of adopting renewable natural gas in their fleets. In 2017, Clean Energy sold 79 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) of Redeem.

Gregory Morse

Senior Director of Product Management , NG Advantage

see full bio

Gregory Morse is director of product management with NG Advantage. As director of product management, Morse has strategic oversight for portfolio development, industrial energy products and is responsible for commodity procurement, pricing risk mitigation, contract negotiation, and key account retention.

With over a decade of experience in the energy field, Morse possesses specific expertise in energy market trading and risk management. Prior to joining the NG Advantage team as a gas supply contract manager in 2015, Morse was assistant director of power supply and transmission with Vermont Public Power Supply Authority and had oversight for power portfolio optimization and trading in environmental attributes. Early in his career, Morse served as Energy Product Control Analyst with J.P. Morgan in New York City where he was accountable for product control for the energy trading desk focused on oil and natural gas.

Morse holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Wagner College in New York and successfully completed a product management program at the University of California’s Haas School of Business. Morse is a Certified Energy Risk Professional and a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals.

William Ray

Vice President / Senior Relationship Manager, Yosemite Farm Credit

see full bio

William Ray is a vice president, senior relationship manager at Yosemite Farm Credit. Ray began his Farm Credit career after graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1981 with a degree in animal science. Ray has worked in Salinas, Sacramento, King City and Merced, acquiring a diverse level of experience in financing production agriculture.

Having relocated to the Merced area in 1992, Ray began developing relationships with many of the area’s largest and most successful dairy operations. Ray has maintained those relationships through three generations which has included financing upgrades to facilities, land acquisition and expansion. Most recently, Ray has financed projects to improve energy and operational efficiency such as solar and robotic systems. Ray is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

Ashley Boren

Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation

see full bio

Ashley Boren is Executive Director of Sustainable Conservation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air and water. Sustainable Conservation brings together business, landowners, government and other stakeholders to steward the resources that we all depend on in ways that make economic sense.

Sustainable Conservation has partnered with California’s dairy industry for over 15 years, identifying, testing, and scaling practices and technologies that help dairies protect water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas and air emissions. Current initiatives include assessing non-digester practices to reduce methane and other emissions; identifying economically viable options for exporting excess nutrients; and demonstrating how liquid manure can be used with subsurface drip irrigation to improve crop yields, save water, reduce greenhouse gases, and cut nitrogen leaching.

Ashley serves on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and the UC California President’s Advisory Commission for the Division Agriculture and Natural Resources. She earned a BA in human biology, MA in applied economics, and MBA from Stanford University.

Matt Tolbirt

Chief Executive Officer, BioFiltro

see full bio

Matt Tolbirt joined BioFiltro after leading product development for Pacific Gas & Electric where he focused on commercialization of technologies for PG&E’s customer base, including those in agricultural and heavy industry. Tolbirt holds an undergraduate degree from UC Merced in economics and political science and graduate degrees from Babson College and EMLYON Business School in France.

Brian Fiscalini

CEO, Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company

see full bio

Brian Fiscalini is the chief executive officer of Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company. Before returning to the family business, Fiscalini worked as an intern in Northern Indiana and Central Wisconsin for Fair Oaks Dairy Farms. Fiscalini has worked in many aspects of animal husbandry, dairy cattle nutrition, growing crops, cheese manufacturing, sales and marketing for the family business. Fiscalini holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a Master’s of business administration from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Frank Cardoza

Consultant and Farm Manager, Dairy Works and Phillip Verwey Farms

see full bio

Frank Cardoza is a dairy consultant for DairyWorks, an on-farm management company that helps dairymen and their employees overcome some of the day-to-day challenges. DairyWorks believes that technology will create jobs and give dairymen the tools they need to make better business decisions. Cardoza manages Philp Verwey Farms where he analyzes and improves efficiency on the dairy farm. Everyday Cardoza works to improve job creation, animal wellness, water conservation, and air quality.

Samir Sheikh

Executive Director, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District

see full bio

Samir Sheikh is the executive director and air pollution control officer for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Sheikh has nearly twenty years of experience in directing, developing, applying and administering air quality improvement programs. Sheikh was recently appointed to lead the largest air district in the state of California with some of the toughest air quality challenges in the nation.

Serving a region facing a variety of economic and public health challenges, Sheikh has led the development and implementation of some of the toughest and most innovative air pollution control strategies in the nation while working cooperatively with the regulated community to reduce administrative costs and achieve environmental and economic balance. Sheikh has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to form a variety of successful coalitions to bring significant resources to the Valley for incentive-based emission reduction programs.

Through these efforts, the San Joaquin Valley now has access to over $300 million per year in local, state and federal funds for clean air projects that expedite air quality improvement. To date, Mr. Sheikh has overseen the expenditure of over $1 billion in public/private investment in the San Joaquin Valley’s clean air efforts through voluntary programs.

Lynn Giacomini Stray

COO and Co-Owner, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheeses Co.

see full bio

Lynn Giacomini Stray is chief operating officer and co-owner of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheeses Co. Giacomini Stray began her career in sales and marketing in the wine industry in the early 90’s. In 1999, Giacomini Stray assisted the family operation in transitioning a conventional dairy into an artisan farmstead cheese operation. Giacomini Stray now manages the operations and sales for the company.

In August of 2000, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company made their first batch of Original Blue, California’s first classic style Blue Cheese. The farmstead line has grown to include Pt. Reyes Toma, Bay Blue, fresh Mozzarella, and aged Gouda. The Fork at Point Reyes, a Culinary and Educational Center, opened in 2010 offering educational and private venue event space emphasizing education and entertainment around the brand. Giacomini Stray is involved in local and sustainable agriculture organizations in the community, to preserve land and farming in Marin county, including the Marin agricultural Land Trust and the Agricultural institute of Marin.

Aaron Wickstrom

Managing Partner, Wickstrom Dairies L.P. and Valsigna Farms

see full bio

Aaron Wickstrom is a 4th generation dairy farmer near Hilmar, CA. Wickstrom is managing partner of Wickstrom Dairies L.P. a 2400 cow Jersey dairy and Valsigna Farms, a 1,000 acre row cropping operation that provides feed for the dairy operations. Prior to joining Wickstrom Dairies L.P., Wickstrom received his Bachelor’s Degree in finance and economics from North Park University, Chicago, IL.

Stan Henderson, PhD

Professor, California Polytechnic State University

see full bio

Dr. Stan Henderson grew up on a small dairy in Northeast Iowa, where he started milking cows at age ten. Dr. Henderson earned his Bachelor’s degree in agriculture dducation in 1973 and taught high school agriculture in 1973-74. Dr. Henderson went on to earn his Master’s degree, while teaching cattle evaluation courses and coaching the national winning dairy judging team for two years.

Dr. Henderson has taught at the junior college and university level, and has also worked as a researcher, consultant, and university dairy farm manager. Dr. Henderson was recognized as the outstanding faculty member at Utah State University, prior to completing his PhD in 1990, for his teaching and accomplishments in coordinating the Dairy Herdsman program. Dr. Henderson was a dairy professor at California Polytechnic State University from 1990-2016, where he taught numerous classes including Dairy Genetics and Breeding, Advanced Herd Management, and Dairy Farm Consultation.

Halley Fobes

Consulting Veterinarian, Lander Veterinary Clinic

see full bio

Dr. Halley Fobes is a graduate of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Originally from the Sacramento area, Dr. Fobes returned to the Central Valley after veterinary school to work at Lander Veterinary Clinic in Turlock, CA. Dr. Fobes’ practice primarily consists of dairy clients and has developed interests in milk quality and animal welfare and consults with clients to optimize the health of their animals throughout their lives. Jones Farms, the first DeLaval VMS herd in California, is among Dr. Fobes’ clients and has received additional training from DeLaval in order to best serve them.

Paul Sousa

Director of Regulatory & Environmental Affairs, Western United Dairymen

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Paul Sousa is the director of regulatory and environmental affairs with Western United Dairymen. Sousa is a graduate of UC Davis, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in environmental resource science. Sousa has worked with UC Cooperative Extension in Stanislaus County to reduce irrigation induced erosion and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board assessing compliance of confined animal facilities with state and federal water quality regulations. Sousa is a certified crop advisor with the American Society of Agronomy. Sousa has recently worked with his members to access funding for methane reductions from the Alternative Manure Management Program at California Department of Food and Agriculture

David Blakemore

President, Animal Nutrition & Health, DSM

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David Blakemore is the president of animal nutrition and health at DSM. Blakemore holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Blakemore joined DSM in his current position in May 2016, following a twenty-nine year career at The Dow Chemical Company. Blakemore has held several senior leadership positions, both global business and geographic regions, for Dow and Dow AgroSciences.

Blakemore was the president for Dow AgroSciences – Brasil, the president and general manager of Dow’s North Region of Latin America, Dow AgroSciences vice president of international business and Dow’s business president for the Specialty Chemicals division. In 2014, Blakemore assumed the responsibilities of vice president of global marketing and sales for Dow. Blakemore is a business leader with over thirty one years of experience in driving a strong focus on customers and markets with a disciplined approach to business and innovation.

Annette Jones, D.V.M.

Director and State Veterinarian, Animal Health and Food Safety Division, CDFA

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Dr. Annette Jones is the director and state veterinarian for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Dr. Jones graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis with a degree in economics. Dr. Jones later attended the U.C. Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. After practicing as a private veterinarian for three years, Dr. Jones joined the California Department of Food and Agriculture in 2001. On July 1, 2004, Dr. Jones was appointed director of the Animal Health and Food Safety Services. In this capacity, Dr. Jones oversees an annual budget of $45.5 million and 222 employees engaged in programs for animal health, milk and dairy food safety, meat and poultry inspection, and livestock identification.

Dr. Jones also works closely with the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, which is operated by U.C. Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, under a contract with her division. In September of 2010, besides continuing to perform as director, Dr. Jones was appointed state veterinarian, the position ultimately responsible for the State’s veterinary authority on animal health and food safety related to livestock and poultry.

Tyler Bennett

President, Bennett Environmental, Inc. and Bennett Water Systems

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Tyler Bennett has a proven executive management track record for driving growth in the agricultural water conservation and treatment industry. For the past 10 years, Bennet has been the chairman and chief executive officer of Bennett Water Systems Inc., a family business that he has grown exponentially and one that has been implementing innovative precision irrigation and pump solutions throughout the Western USA for over 88 years. Bennett’s passions are water conservation, sustainability and helping people in developing agricultural communities. Prior to taking over Bennett Water Systems, Bennett spent 11 years in Corporate Finance in both the Construction and Healthcare sectors. Bennett has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from UC, Santa Barbara as well as a Master’s of business administration from Cal Poly, SLO.

David Ahlem

CEO, Hilmar Cheese Company

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David Ahlem is the chief executive officer and president for Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. Ahlem’s expertise includes dairy policy, strategic management, and customer relations. Prior to working for Hilmar Cheese Company, Ahlem was a business manager for Cargill Animal Nutrition.

Ahlem currently serves as chair of the National Cheese Institute, and is a board member of the International Dairy Foods Association, the Innovation Center for US Dairy and the Dairy Institute of California. Ahlem also actively participates in several other industry-related groups.

Ahlem attended Westmont College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and later earned an M.B.A from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Ermias Kebreab, PhD

Professor and Sesnon Endowed Chair, Sustainable Animal Agriculture Department of Animal Science, UC Davis

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Dr. Ermias Kebreab is a professor of Animal Science and holds the Sesnon Endowed Chair in Sustainable Animal Agriculture at the Department of Animal Science, UC Davis. Dr. Kebreab was appointed associate vice provost at UC Davis Global Affairs in 2016 to advance the university’s engagement in international education. Dr. Kebreab also serves as the deputy director of Agricultural Sustainability Institute. Dr. Kebreab conducts research on reducing the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, including the sustainable use of feed additives.

Dr. Kebreab has served in several national and international committees including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Kebreab has mentored or hosted over 30 scholars in his laboratory and authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles, 34 book chapters, and edited 5 books.

Dr Kebreab received several awards including International Agriculture Award and AFIA Ruminant Nutrition Award from American Society of Animal Science. Dr. Kebreab received his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Asmara, Eritrea, Master of Science and Ph.D. from University of Reading, United Kingdom.

Jenny Lester Moffitt

Undersecretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

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Jenny Lester Moffitt is a 5th generation California farmer and undersecretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, also serving as Deputy Secretary from January 2015 – February 2018. Appointed to these positions by Governor Jerry Brown, Lester Moffitt works to engage stakeholders on issues that affect ranchers and farmers, including climate change, land use, water policy, and food security.

Prior to joining CDFA, Lester Moffitt spent 10 years as managing director at Dixon Ridge Farms, her family’s organic walnut farm and processing operation. As a farmer and policymaker, Lester Moffitt believes that agriculture is critically important to sustaining our environment, rural communities and economy.

J.P. Cativiela

Regulatory Director, Dairy Cares

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J.P. Cativiela has served as director of environmental regulatory affairs for the Dairy Cares coalition since 2001. Cativiela also serves as administrator of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP), a not-for-profit organization of more than 1,100 Central Valley dairy families assembled to conduct monitoring and develop recommendations for groundwater protection. Cativiela is a principal of Cogent Consulting and Communications, Inc., based in Sacramento.

Neil Black

President, California Bioenergy

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Neil Black is the president of California Bioenergy. Black has over twenty-five years of senior management experience and plays a key role in the operations, development and financing of CalBio projects. Black has also played an ongoing role in the state programs, incentives and legislation to lead to successful manure-methane capture projects. CalBio works closely with Dairy Cares, AECA, and other agricultural groups.

Black was also a founding member of the Bioenergy Association of California, and Neil was its first chairman. Working in partnership with the dairy industry, Black was involved in the development of the BioMAT and is now focused on creating effective revenue programs for vehicle fuels. Prior to joining CalBio, Black was managing principal at GreenOrder, a leading sustainability firm, which worked with GE, GM and other large companies. Black was also the chief executive officer of two technology start-ups and president of The Nation magazine. Black is also an advisor to the Broadscale Group. Black earned a Master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School.

Daryl Maas

Founder and CEO, Maas Energy Works

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Daryl Maas is the founder and chief executive officer of Maas Energy Works, California’s largest dairy digester developer. The company has completed 10 California digesters, including a project on California’s largest dairy, and the State’s only operational dairy digester pipeline cluster, producing low carbon vehicle fuel.

Maas attended the Air Force Academy and served on various overseas deployments. Maas returned home in 2007 and found a new kind of career in agriculture. Now with eleven years of constant expansion in three states, Mass and his team of over 35 full time digester experts are thrilled to see California producers gaining value from dairy energy. The team provides digester development, 24/7 operations, and financing, while also being the only company in the market to build projects that are 100% owned by dairy families.

Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RDN, LD, FADA, FAND

Founder and Principal, The AgriNutrition Edge

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Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RDN, LD, FADA, FAND is a senior associate with The Context Network. Smith Edge is also the founder and principal of The AgriNutrition Edge, a consultancy committed to assisting food, health and agriculture organizations better navigate the changing consumer environment. Smith Edge is a recognized nutrition and sustainability thought leader.

Since 2008, Smith Edge has worked with commodity groups and the food industry on positioning sustainability and the relationship to diet and health, including involvement with Dairy Management, Inc and its initial Dairy Sustainability Summit. Smith Edge holds a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from the University of Kentucky also formerly serving as a member of the Board of Trustees. Smith Edge has a Master’s degree in public health-nutrition from Western Kentucky University and earned a certification in appreciative inquiry from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.

Landon Fernandes

General Manager, Fernjo Farms

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Landon Fernandes is a 4th generation dairy farmer and general manager of Fernjo Farms in Tulare, CA. Fernjo Farms is family owned and operated and is comprised of three dairy facilities milking a total of 2,300 jersey and holstein cows. Fernandes returned to the family operation in 2016 after working for three years in ag finance at Farm Credit West. Fernandes previously attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he majored in dairy science and minored in agri—business.

Robert Hagevoort

Associate Professor & Extension Dairy Specialist, New Mexico State University

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Dr. Robert Hagevoort is an associate professor and extension dairy specialist at New Mexico State University. Dr. Hagevoort earned his Bachelor’s degree in tropical animal production from the College for Tropical Agriculture in Deventer, The Netherlands. Dr. Hagevoort received a Master of Science. and a Ph.D. both from Texas A&M University.

Prior to joining New Mexico State University as an extension dairy specialist, Dr. Hagevoort served as an independent dairy consultant primarily in the Southwestern U.S. as an extension specialist. Dr. Hagevoort has been working closely with the dairy Industry focusing regulatory and environmental issues, and initiated an effort to rebuild a dairy program at NMSU through the formation of the U.S. Dairy Education & Training Consortium. A key component of his current extension program is the development and implementation of a comprehensive dairy workforce training and safety program.

Anja Raudabaugh

CEO, Western United Dairymen

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Anja Raudabaugh is the chief executive officer of Western United Dairymen (WUD). Raudabaugh came to WUD from the Madera County Farm Bureau serving as the executive director for four years. Prior to this role at the Farm Bureau, Raudabaugh worked as a project manager for a Fortune 500 Company, and as the senior legislative assistant for Congressman Doug Ose, representing California’s 3rd District in Washington D.C. Previously, Raudabaugh was the marketing director for the California Asparagus Commission and district representative for State Senator Dick Monteith. Raudabaugh’s extensive experience in the political environment adds tremendous value to the organization. Raudabaugh’s time in Sacramento working as a project manager and technical adviser handling CEQA and NEPA requirements as they applied to state and federal agencies, has lent her a skill set adept with navigating complex issues.

Cliff Gladstein

President, Gladstein, Neandross & Associates

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Mr. Cliff Gladstein is the founder and president of Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA). For over twenty-two years, he has been local, state, and national leader in the effort to develop cost-effective policies, programs, and products to reduce pollution from transportation, relieve the nation’s dependence on petroleum, and create innovative public-private partnerships to pursue market-based solutions for environmental problems.

Mr. Gladstein is the founder of the Interstate Clean Transportation Corridor (ICTC), the nation’s first and most successful public-private partnership to accelerate the commercialization of clean alternative fuel vehicles in the interstate movement of goods. He has used his knowledge and experience to develop and implement clean transportation and power generation technology deployment programs and incentive programs.

Mr. Gladstein is on the board of the Bioenergy Association of California, Chairs the Education Fund of the California League of Conservation Voters, and teaches air quality policy at the UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability. He has been an advisor to the University of Southern California’s Sustainable Cities Program and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. He is a graduate of Duke University and holds three graduate degrees from the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Katie Brown, Ed.D., RDN

Senior Vice President Sustainable Nutrition, National Dairy Council

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Katie Brown, Ed.D., RDN joined National Dairy Council (NDC) in June 2017 as senior vice president of sustainable nutrition. Brown has a passion for connecting agriculture, food, nutrition and health to elevate sustainable nutrition as relevant, meaningful and actionable. Brown leads thought leadership and education efforts to educate people on the benefit of dairy to health and sustainable food systems across the lifespan. Brown is a registered dietitian nutritionist and has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in dietetics and nutrition and a Doctorate degree in education.

Prior to joining NDC, Brown served as the chief global nutrition strategy officer and national education director for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. In these roles, Brown led the planning for a new vision and strategic direction for the profession, as it reached its hundredth year centennial in 2017. Brown was also responsible for the Academy Foundation’s Future of Food and Kids Eat Right public education and community-based nutrition research initiatives.

Jack Broadbent

Chief Executive Officer, Bay Area Air Quality Management District

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Jack Broadbent serves as the chief executive officer/air pollution control officer for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Under Mr. Broadbent’s direction, the Air District strives to provide a healthy breathing environment for every resident in the nine county San Francisco Bay Area region.

Mr. Broadbent joined the Air District after serving as Air Division director at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), Region IX. In that position, Mr. Broadbent was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Clean Air Act as well as indoor air quality and radiation programs for the Pacific Southwest region of the United States. Before serving at the U.S. EPA, Mr. Broadbent served as the deputy executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District as well as the director of planning and other senior management positions. While at the South Coast Air District, Mr. Broadbent directed the development of a number of landmark programs that contributed to significant improvements in air quality in the Los Angeles region.

In the 1980s, Mr. Broadbent served as corporate environmental programs manager for the largest private employer in California: Hughes Aircraft Company. Mr. Broadbent holds a Master’s degree in environmental administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science—both from the University of California, Riverside.

Cindy Schweitzer, PhD

Principal, Schweitzer Consulting LLC

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Cindy Schweitzer founded Schweitzer Consulting LLC to provide nutrition and food science expertise for the food industry, including insights about complex diet-health relationships, translating scientific evidence and identifying research priorities. Schweitzer’s global technical expertise spans for more than thirty years in non-profit, ingredient and food service organizations.

Most recently, Schweitzer was technical director for Global Dairy Platform facilitating world-wide collaborative efforts on dairy nutrition and health issues and research initiatives to promote dairy foods as nutritious components of healthy sustainable diets. Schweitzer previously worked for McDonald’s Corporation driving their worldwide nutrition strategy on regulatory guidelines and labeling standards. As senior scientist with Cognis Corporation (formerly Henkel), Schweitzer led research and regulatory efforts, similar to prior work directing the nutrition research program for the National Livestock and Meat Board. Schweitzer’s career started in dairy food manufacturing as a technical sales representative for Marschall Products Division of Miles Laboratories. Schweitzer obtained a PhD in human nutrition at Utah State University and a Bachelor of Science in food science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Justin Gioletti

Owner and Operator, Robert Gioletti & sons Dairy

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Justin Gioletti is a fourth-generation dairy farmer from Turlock, California. Gioletti and his family own and operate Robert Gioletti & Sons Dairy, Inc. Gioletti also serves as a board member of California Dairies, Inc., and is the chairman of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program.

Tammy Anderson-Wise

CEO, Dairy Council of California

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Tammy Anderson-Wise serves as chief executive officer of Dairy Council of California (DCC). Guided by a passion for the role milk and dairy foods play in a healthy diet, Anderson-Wise leads DCC’s cause of elevating the health of children and parents through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits.

As chief executive officer, Anderson-Wise oversees the strategic direction of DCC and ensures it maximizes opportunities and drives innovation to fulfill its charge as the California dairy farming families and processors contribution to community health. Under Anderson-Wise’s direction, DCC implements a variety of nutrition education initiatives, including the development of materials, resources and lesson plans for educators, health and wellness providers and community leaders, focusing on behavior change and teaching individuals to make and have access to nutrient-rich food choices from all food groups.

Richard Matteis

Administrator, California Farm Bureau

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Richard Matteis was named administrator of the California Farm Bureau Federation in August 2007. Previously, Matteis served as chief executive officer of the California Grain and Feed Association, which also provided management services and legislative advocacy for two-dozen other agricultural associations. Before joining the Grain and Feed Association, Matteis served concurrently as executive secretary of the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau and the Alameda County Farm Bureau, and as a field representative for the California Farm Bureau. Matteis earned a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a Master’s degree in business administration from California State University, Sacramento.

Michael Boccadoro

Executive Director, Dairy Cares

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Michael Boccadoro, executive director of Dairy Cares and president of West Coast Advisors, has worked for more than 30 years in the public affairs arena. As president of West Coast Advisors, Boccadoro is responsible for overseeing the firm’s public affairs and government relations practices. Boccadoro also serves as executive director of the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association.

Boccadoro also specializes in public affairs consulting and media relations holding a distinctive expertise in the areas of environmental regulation and sustainability, developing positive working relationships with key regulatory officials, staff, and media representatives involved in these arenas.
Boccadoro has been involved with the California dairy industry for more than 20 years on issues ranging from milk pricing, air and water quality and overall sustainability issues.

Boccadoro received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from the University of California, Davis.

Ruihong Zang

Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis

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Dr. Ruihong Zhang is a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at University of California, Davis and a leading expert in the fields of waste treatment and management, biogas and bioenergy and agricultural air quality. Dr. Zhang received an Achievement Award from California Bioresources Alliance in 2013 and was elected to Fellow of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in 2016.

Richard Corey

Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board

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Richard Corey has over 30 years of professional experience in the air pollution field. Prior to his appointment as executive officer, he served as deputy executive officer and chief of the Stationary Source Division.

Corey’s team of over 1,400 professional managers and staff are responsible for a broad range of programs including those concerning fuels, climate, incentives, and air toxins. Some of the key programs that his team is responsible for implementing include the low-carbon fuel standard, cap-and-trade regulation, measures and incentives to reduce emissions from a variety of goods movement sources, including port trucking, transport refrigeration units, cargo handling operations, maritime operations, rail-related goods movement, and measures to reduce emissions from stationary and portable diesel engines, as well as several strategies to reduce toxic air contaminants from a wide variety of sources. In addition, Corey oversees the Board’s administrative services and information technology operations.

Corey has an undergraduate degree in environmental toxicology as well as a Master’s of business administration from the University of California, Davis.

Matt Carstens

Senior Vice President, Land O'Lakes, Inc.

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Matt Carstens joined Land O’Lakes, Inc. in 2015 with the merger of the United Suppliers and Land O’Lakes crop inputs businesses. Carstens serves as senior vice president of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, a business unit formed in 2016, and provides leadership in aligning environmental sustainability efforts across the enterprise.

With 21 years in the agriculture industry, Carstens’ experience spans retail, wholesale and manufacturing functions in the crop inputs business. Carstens was responsible for developing the sustainability business while at United Suppliers. Prior to joining United Suppliers, Carstens held various sales, marketing and management positions at American Cyanamid, BASF, Rosen’s Inc. and Helena Chemical Company. Carstens graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University. His passion for agriculture developed on his family’s farm and has only deepened after spending years in the industry.

Francis Pacheco

Vice President, Membership and Public Affairs, Western Area of Dairy Farmers of America

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Francis Pacheco is vice president, membership and public affairs for the Western Area of Dairy Farmers of America, where he has worked for the past 18 years. Pacheco is primarily responsible for managing members, field staff and industry issues in California and Nevada.

Pacheco has a lifetime of experience in the dairy industry. Pacheco earned a Bachelor’s degree in mechanized agriculture from Texas Tech University. He was the first California Dairy Campaign general manager, a pacific regional director for a national collective bargaining organization, National Farmers Organization before joining Dairy Farmers of America as an area manager.

Pacheco’s career has been focused on serving dairy farmers on a variety of issues including California milk pricing, milk marketing, dairy environmental sciences, and animal welfare standards. He currently serves as Vice Chairman, Dairy Cares, Director of California Dairy Environmental Justice Fund, Board member of Agricultural Council of California, Board member of Dairy Council of California.

John Talbot

CEO, California Milk Advisory Board

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John Talbot brings more than 25 years of marketing and brand management experience to his role as chief executive officer of the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) where he focuses on building awareness and demand for California milk and dairy products across the U.S. and around the world.

Talbot began his career in sales at Procter & Gamble before joining PepsiCo in 1985 where he spent 12 years leading brand management and product development.. His extensive background in growing consumer brands also includes 2 years leading new product development for E&J Gallo Winery and running corporate marketing for technology-related businesses in communications and Internet services. In his most recent role as vice president of global market development for the Almond Board of California, Mr. Talbot managed the continued growth of the global almond industry with a focus on market access, trade stewardship and consumer marketing.

Talbot holds an Master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois.

Rick Jones

Partner, Jones Family Farm

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Rick Jones is a second generation farmer and first generation dairyman. Jones built the dairy from the ground up, and started with all first-calf heifers over 24 years ago. Today, the dairy milks more than 800 Holstein cows, and farms over 600 acres. In January 2018, Jones retrofitted a 100-cow freestall barn with two DeLaval milking robots for a trial. Jones was so pleased with the outcome, Phase 2 and 3 are already in the works. Within 3 years, the dairy will be completely robotic.

Todd Armstrong

Head, North American Ruminant Operations and Strategy, DSM

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Todd Armstrong leads the commercial operations and strategy for the North American cattle business at DSM. Prior to joining DSM, Armstrong spent 17 years at Elanco in numerous senior leadership roles across commercial, research and development, and regulatory functions. Armstrong received a Bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University, and received a Master’s and Doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University in physiology and nutrition, respectively. In addition, Armstrong earned a Master’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University and a Master’s degree in business administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Armstrong is the current president for the American Society of Animal Science, serves as an adjunct professor of animal science at North Carolina State University, and is actively involved in the EDGE mentoring program.

Kevin Dobson

Vice President, Business Development, DTE Biogas Energy

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Kevin Dobson is vice president of business development and has been with DTE Biomass Energy since 2007. Dobson leads all acquisition and greenfield development with responsibilities that include identifying prospects, evaluating economic and technical feasibility, proposal development, contract negotiations, and scheduling and implementation activities. Prior to DTE, Dobson worked in Ford Motor Company’s Corporate Business Development group focused on mergers and acquisitions. Dobson received his Masters of business administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Tyler Henn

Vice President and General Manager, Clean Energy Renewables

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Tyler Henn serves as vice president and general manager of Clean Energy’s subsidiary Clean Energy Renewables. In this role, Henn is responsible for the operations, marketing and distribution of Clean Energy’s Redeem™ brand of renewable natural gas. Prior to this role, Henn served as the vice president of finance and commodities for Clean Energy Renewables where he provided financial oversight and worked on financing transactions to support the growth of Redeem. Henn began his career working for Deloitte and Touche, LLP. Henn received a Bachelor’s of Arts in accounting from the University of La Verne.

Kevin Abernathy

General Manager, Milk Producers Council

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Kevin Abernathy serves as the general manager for the Milk Producers Council. Abernathy’s approach has been to foster an atmosphere of collaboration, mutual education and cooperation between the dairy industry, environmental organizations, researchers, the USDA, and local and state regulatory agencies in California. Abernathy has lead industry efforts to identify and demonstrate conservation and renewable energy production approaches that can improve both the environment and the farm’s bottom line.

Abernathy serves as a vice chairman for Dairy Cares, as a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Air Quality Task Force, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Dairy Producer Advisory Group, the Central California Ozone Policy Committee, and the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association. Abernathy was awarded a Bachelor of Science in animal husbandry from Fresno State, and has completed numerous educational courses on air pollution in the Central Valley offered by the air district and Fresno State, as well as completing the Certification of Air Permitting Professional program for the purpose of providing assistance to producers on site-specific regulatory requirements.

Marcus Benedetti

Chairman and CEO, Clover Sonoma

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Marcus Benedetti is chairman and chief executive officer of family owned and operated Clover Sonoma. Benedetti became president in 2006, chief executive officer in January 2011 taking the reins from his father Dan Benedetti, and became chairman in July 2015.

Benedetti studied in business administration at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Upon completion of his studies, Benedetti returned to Petaluma where he started his career at Clover. Benedetti started working in the warehouse in 2000, moved on to delivering milk to schools, and then later products to restaurants in the Sonoma area. As a Clover sales representative, Benedetti called on accounts in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties; and as demand for Clover products grew, he helped get Clover established in new markets like Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Benedetti stays current with the changes to the industry and the marketplace by sitting on the board of the Associated Independent Dairies of America, Dairy Institute of California, UC Davis Agriculture Sustainability Institute, Social Advocates for Youth, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, and Boys and Girls Club of Marin & Southern Sonoma Counties.

Traeger Cotten

Field Engineer, Southern California Edison

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Traeger Cotten is a field engineer with Southern California Edison. Cotten consults with large business customers on ways to reduce energy costs, performs energy audits, recommends upgrades, quantifies cost savings, and connects projects with SCE’s incentive programs. Additionally, Cotten performs distributed energy resource and transportation electrification analyses. Cotten graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering and is a registered control systems engineer and a certified energy manager.

Wayne Glaeser

Member Owner, Glaz-Way Enterprises, LLC

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Wayne W. Glaeser is a member owner for Glaz-Way Enterprises. Glaeser has been self-employed in the Registered Holstein sales and service business since 1976. Glaeser graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in dairy science and meat animal science. Glaeser has worked as an animal nutritionist with Land ‘O Lakes, a sire analyst for ABS Global, a marketing director for Sikkema-Star Holsteins, and the director of United States Genetic Programs for Semex Canada.

In 2000, Wayne started Glaz-Way Enterprises, LLC, a young sire development company based in Oakdale, California. Glaeser is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Animal Breeders and has served the industry in a number of leadership roles, including as past president of the Holstein Association in California. In 2005, Glaeser was inducted into the National Dairy Shrine.

Michael Payne

Program Director, Dairy Program Coordinator, California Dairy Quality Assurance Program, Western Institute of Food Safety & Security

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Dr. Michael Payne is a dairy outreach coordinator at University of California School of Veterinary Medicine in Davis. Holding degrees as both a Doctor of veterinary medicine and a PhD in comparative pathology, Dr. Payne has served the dairy industry in private practice, as an extension veterinarian and as a dairy researcher. For the last two decades Dr. Payne has been director of California Dairy Quality Assurance Program.

Alex Placzek

Director of Marketing - Shopper COE, Nestle

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Alex Placzek is director of marketing for Nestle USA and has over 20 years of experience in several locations across the western USA in sales and marketing across various business units from Purina Pet Care to Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. Currently, Placzek leads a team across Nestle USA’s $10 billion food business linking brand marketing and customer selling teams in shopper marketing efforts. Placzek has a passion for marketing and sustainability in the food and agriculture industry.

Most recently his team completed the establishment and planting of the largest permanent hedgerow habitat project for Pollinator Sustainability (Honey Bees) on a commercial farm in the USA. Placzek received his Bachelor of Arts in business administration with a minor in industrial technology from Colorado State University.

Nicole Ayache

Director, FARM Environmental Stewardship and Workforce Development, National Milk Producers Federation

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Nicole Ayache serves as director of sustainability initiatives at National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), where she leads the FARM Environmental Stewardship and FARM Workforce Development programs. Before joining NMPF, Ayache worked as a consultant for the FARM program, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and a variety of other clients in the food and agriculture sector. Ayache developed sustainability programs and reports, created procurement policies, and conducted research for dairy cooperatives, environmental NGOs, and protein processors.

Ayache’s past experience spans multiple industries and disciplines, giving her a broad perspective on sustainability. Ayache holds a Master of Science degree in agriculture, food and environment from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Yale University.

Steve Riesenbeck

Consultant, Dairy Works and Phillip Verwey Farms

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Steve Riesenbeck works as a nutritionist for Pine Creek Nutrition Services and as a consultant for Dairy Works. Riesenbeck is a highly effective communicator, with a background in dairy management, and has a proven record of maximizing on-farm profitability. Riesenbeck’s dairy experience began in a vast array of positions on local dairies and he continued to flourish as a student manager of the dairy facilities at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Reisenbeck has Bachelor of Science Degrees in dairy science and agricultural business from California Polytechnic State University. Reisenbeck is a graduate of the Western United Dairymen, Dairy Leadership program class II.

Geoffrey Vanden Heuvel

Director of Regulatory and Economic Affairs, Milk Producers Council

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Geoffrey Vanden Heuvel started his work with Milk Producers Council as the director of regulatory and economic affairs after retiring from a 39-year career as a dairy farmer in Southern California. Vanden Heuvel’s specific responsibilities include being the dairy industry’s eyes, ears and advocate as the various Ground Water Sustainability Agencies begin to implement the Groundwater Sustainability Management Act in California.

Vanden Heuvel developed expertise in groundwater management and California water issues through is nearly three decades of experience serving on the boards of the Chino Basin Watermaster, The Chino Basin Water Conservation District as well as the Southern California Water Coalition where he continues to serve on the Executive Committee.

Simon Vander Woude

Owner, Vander Woude Dairy

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Simon Vander Woude is the owner of Vander Woude Dairy and has been in a partnership with his father and brother since 2005. Vander Woude Dairy began in San Marcos, CA with 150 milking cows and has grown to 3200 cows on a 2100 acre farm. The Vander Woude Dairy has also invested in a solar array (1.1MW), and heavy investment in genomics and genetics creating more efficient sustainable cows for their dairy operation. Vander Woude serves on the board of California Dairies, Inc.

Deanne Meyer, PhD

Livestock Waste Management Specialist, UC Davis, Department of Animal Science

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Deanne Meyer livestock waste management specialist at UC Davis. Meyer helps dairy farmers improve their environmental footprint by conducting research related to nutrient flow and management on dairy farms. She translates her findings and those of other scientists to dairy operators to inform innovative transformations. Also, Meyer provides current scientific information to policy makers. Meyer earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science, her master’s degree in dairy science with a minor in food and resource economics, and her PhD in animal science with minors farming systems and agricultural and extension education.

Rob Vandenheuvel

Vice President of Industry and Member Relations, California Dairies, Inc.

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Rob Vandenheuvel has been the senior vice president, member and industry relations for California Dairies, Inc. (CDI) since January 2017. CDI is the largest dairy farmer-owned cooperative in California, whose members produce 42 percent of the State’s milk supply. CDI’s members have also invested in five large-scale dairy product manufacturing facilities operating throughout California.

Prior to coming to CDI, Vandenheuvel was the general manager at Milk Producers Council (MPC) for about ten years (2007-2017). Prior to coming to MPC, Vandenheuvel worked for five years in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, with his last two years as press secretary for the Committee on Ways and Means, under the Chairmanship of Congressman Bill Thomas.

Dean Swanson

Director, Business Development, Sunworks Solar Power

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Dean Swanson is director of business development for Sunworks Solar Power. Swanson works closely with potential customers to understand their goals and priorities to achieve the highest return possible and helps them make informed decisions when selecting a solar solution. Swanson performs the due diligence necessary to gather data about the customer’s business and determines the appropriate solutions for matters that the business must consider. Swanson uses an in-depth, consultative approach to explore every site with an open mind and applies solutions that take every factor into account.

Michael FitzGibbon, P.E.

Research Division’s Climate, Atmospheric Science, & Economic Studies Branch Chief, California Air Resources Board

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Mike FitzGibbon is a branch chief in the Research Division of the California Air Resources Board with more than 30 years of experience. FitzGibbon is a liaison with the agricultural community on research-related topics and serves as co-chair for the Dairy Working Group Subgroup 3 on Research that is developing a comprehensive dairy research program to support meeting California’s emission reduction targets from SB 1383 and the Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Plan.

FitzGibbon is a registered Professional Chemical Engineer, with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of California at Davis and a Masters of business administration from the Claremont Graduate School.

Ryan Flaherty

Director of Business Partnerships, Sustainable Conservation

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Ryan Flaherty is the director of business partnerships at Sustainable Conservation. In this position, Flaherty leads a team to identify and test manure management solutions that reduce the environmental impact of California’s dairy industry while keeping it economically viable. Current initiatives include assessing non-digester practices to reduce methane and other emissions; identifying economically viable options for exporting excess nutrients; and demonstrating how liquid manure can be used with subsurface drip irrigation to improve crop yields, save water, reduce greenhouse gases, and cut nitrogen leaching.

Prior to Sustainable Conservation, Flaherty worked with food and beverage companies across the globe to develop sustainable agriculture and water stewardship strategies. Flaherty holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University and an International Master of Business Administration from Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina.

John Cardoza

Project Manager, Sustainable Conservation

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Working out of Sustainable Conservation’s Modesto office, John Cardoza leads the organization’s effort around dairy nutrient management. In this role, Cardoza partners with dairy producers to test out and demonstrate different practices/technologies that improve nutrient/water use efficiency while achieving optimal yields and increasing the bottom line. Cardoza has also worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, where he served as a county program technician working closely in all facets of agriculture in San Luis Obispo County.

Cardoza also worked at Farm Credit West, specializing in vineyards, wineries, and vegetable farms from Paso Robles to Santa Barbra. Cardoza holds a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and is a Certified Crop Advisor.

Bob Hutmacher, PhD

UC Cooperative Extension Specialist and Center Director, West Side Research and Extension Center

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Bob Hutmacher, a UC Cooperative Extension cotton specialist at the forefront of disease management and water efficiency issues for California growers. Hutmacher is a faculty member in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, is also the director of the University of California West Side Research and Extension Center, operated by UC ANR. Hutmacher earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy at the University of California, Davis, a Master of Science degree in soil physics from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in crop physiology from Texas Tech University.

Theresa “Tess” Dunham

Managing Shareholder, Somach Simmons & Dunn

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Tess Dunham is Somach Simmons & Dunn’s managing shareholder. Somach’s legal skills are combined with a unique background outside of law, allowing her to help clients more strategically. Now an accomplished advisor on water quality issues, Dunham is called upon by growers and ranchers to help with situations they face. Dunham policy experience, gained from working for the Governor’s Office, the Department of Conservation, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and as a lobbyist, leaves her with not only an inside perspective of working with the public agencies that govern water quality, but with relationships that can mean the difference between reaching productive resolutions to problems.

Justin Witte

Senior, Customer Relationship Manager, AG/Food Processing, Pacific Gas & Electric Company

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Justin Witte is a customer relationship manager with Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Witte is part of a specialized group of Agriculture and Food Processing subject matter experts. Witte holds a Bachelor of Science in public administration from California State University, Fresno, a Master of business administration and a project management certificate from the University of Pacific. Witte is well versed in energy efficiency technology for the Agriculture and Food Processing industries.

Witte is involved in many customer outreach efforts for PG&E, which include World Ag Expo event lead, serving on the Water Conference Committee with other investor owned utilities in California, and serving on a California Energy Commission grant technical advisory committee aimed at developing technologies and tools for time-of-use energy rates.

Denise Mullinax

Interim Director, California Dairy Research Foundation, Assistant Director, CDQAP

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Denise Mullinax is the assistant director of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) for the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF). As assistant director, Mullinax develops and delivers curriculum, conducts needs assessments and creates and leverages partnerships to extend producer funding to administer CDQAP modules in Environmental Stewardship, Johne’s Disease Control, Farm Security and Animal Welfare. Mullinax came to the CDRF from Hilmar Cheese Company where she worked on environmental issues, biosecurity, milk quality and risk management. Mullinax received her Bachelor’s degree in animal science and a Master’s of agriculture management from UC Davis.

Patrick Pulupa

Executive Officer, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

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Patrick Pulupa is the executive officer of the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board. For over a decade, Pulupa worked with the State Water Resources Control Board’s Office of Chief Counsel, primarily representing the Central Valley Water Board. As lead attorney for the Regional Board, Pulupa worked to find equitable solutions for the diverse water quality issues facing the Central Valley. Prior experience includes work for the Sierra Club, the City and County of San Francisco, and the UC Davis Prison Law Clinic. Pulupa has a Bachelor of Arts in government and politics from the University of Maryland, and received his J.D. from the UC Davis School of Law (King Hall). Pulupa is a member of the State Bar of California.

Amrith Gunasekara, PhD

Science Advisor, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)

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Dr. Amrith Gunasekara is science advisor to Secretary Ross at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Dr.Gunasekara works on agricultural issues as they relate to the environment and seeks to find proactive, creative, flexible and practical solutions. His focus areas include plant nutrient management, climate change and environmental stewardship. Dr. Gunasekara is the CDFA liaison to the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel which is looking at highlighting the many benefits afforded by agriculture beyond food, fiber, and economic benefits. Dr. Gunasekara received his undergraduate and Master degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and completed his PhD from the University of California, Davis, in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry.

Michelle Davis

Environmental Manager, Morning Star Dairy, Inc.

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Michelle Davis is a native to Riverdale, CA and a 3rd generation dairy farmer. Davis grew up on the family dairy and having helped with many areas around the dairy, her expertise in organization skills became very important with her current role at the dairy. Davis manages all environmental regulations for the dairy and helps with Nutrient Management decisions.

Doug Patteson

Confined Animal Facilities Program Manager, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

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Doug Patteson supervises a section of the Central Valley Water Board’s Fresno office that regulates a variety of sources, including agriculture and dairies. Patteson is the Central Valley Water Board’s Dairy Program manager. Patteson and his staff develop permits, conduct outreach, oversee monitoring efforts, and ensure compliance with federal and state water quality regulations. Pattesonis a registered professional engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Fresno State University.

Todd DeYoung

Manager, Strategies and Incentives, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District

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Todd DeYoung has over 19 years of experience administering federal, state and local incentive programs at the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District and became the incentives program manager in 2009. DeYoung has been involved in all aspects of incentive program administration, including grant writing, program development, processing, contract negotiation, implementation and auditing.

Additionally, DeYoung serves on several statewide incentive program related committees including the California Air Resources Board Incentive Program Implementation Committee and recently served as the Chair of the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association Mobile Sources and Incentives Subcommittee. DeYoung holds a Bachelor’s degree in environmental geography from California State University Fresno.

Mark Stoermann

Chief Operating Officer, Newtrient LLC

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Mark Stoermann is the chief operating officer for Newtrient. Stoermann came to this position as an outgrowth of his experience with developing and building CNG stations, anaerobic digesters, and the biogas upgrading system at Fair Oaks Farms.

Before coming to Newtrient, Stoermann was the chief operating officer for STAR BioEnergy LLC, the anaerobic digestion division of STAR Energy LLC, a company committed to the development of sustainable, renewable energy projects across the country. Stoermann was previously the director of operations for AMP Americas, a company committed to building out CNG infrastructure along the U.S. highway system. As the project manager for Fair Oaks Dairy Farms and Select Milk Producers, Stoermann was responsible for the construction of three anaerobic digesters that processed sand laden dairy manure. These projects included electrical generation, gas cleaning, rCNG as transportation fuel, and nutrient recovery projects.

View Full 2018 Speakers List

CA Dairy Summit 2018 Speakers:

Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Karen Ross was appointed secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on January 12, 2011, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Secretary Ross has deep leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and here in California. During Secretary Ross’ tenure, the Department has focused on core functions to protect and promote California agriculture in a time of significant budget reductions, and it has emphasized change-management to position the agency to more effectively and efficiently serve its stakeholders in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.

Secretary Ross has strengthened partnerships across government, academia and the non-profit sector in the drive to maintain and improve environmental stewardship and to develop adaptation strategies for the specific impacts of climate change. She has initiated programs to provide greater opportunities for farmers and ranchers to engage in sustainable environmental stewardship practices through water conservation, energy efficiency, nutrient management and ecosystem services.

The Secretary has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is a graduate of the Nebraska Ag Leadership Program.

Frank Mitloehner, PhD, Professor and Air Quality Specialist, Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis

Frank Mitloehner is a professor and air quality specialist for Cooperative Extension in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Mitloehner received a Master’s of Science degree in animal science and agricultural engineering from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and a PhD in animal science from Texas Technical University. Dr. Mitloehner is an expert for agricultural air quality, livestock housing and husbandry.

Dr. Mitloehner has served as chairman of a global United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) partnership project to benchmark the environmental footprint of livestock production. Dr. Mitloehner serves as the North American scientific lead for the Global Feed LCA Institute. Dr. Mitloehner is workgroup member on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and member on the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee on “A Framework for Assessing the Health, Environmental, and Social Effects of the Food System”.

Linda Eatherton, Partner, Managing Director Global Food & Beverage, Ketchum

Linda Eatherton is an award winning global food marketing and communications expert who has spent over thirty years in her career working in on the front line of the food industry. Eatherton learned the business first-hand while working at Kraft in corporate communications and then later leading industry relations, issues management and marketing communications for the national dairy industry at Dairy Management Inc.

As global director of one of the world’s top marketing agencies’ most formidable Food Practice, Eatherton counseled Fortune 500 corporations, industry groups and channel suppliers around the world. Eartherton’s nose for news formed early at the University of Missouri where she received her Bachelor’s degree in journalism. Serving as president of the Society for Nutrition Education Foundation’s (SNEF) board of trustees, most recently was recently inducted into Les Dames de Escoffier as Eatherton blends real-world business practicality with the dynamic influences of perception, nutrition and culinary trends.

Stephen Maddox Sr, Managing Partner, Maddox Dairy

Stephen Maddox Sr. is native of California and a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Maddox currently serves as managing partner of Maddox Dairy and partner in RuAnn Holsteins. Maddox has provided tremendous leadership within the dairy landscape, in addition to his management responsibilities with the family dairies. Maddox was on the California Dairies Inc., Board of Directors for a decade, serving as secretary and has participated in Dairy Cares since 2004.

Maddox is an appointee to the National Dairy Board, and currently serves on the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy sustainability Council (since 2009). Maddox is passionate that his cows are well cared for and produce a highly nutritious product for today’s conscientious consumer.

Bob Langert, President, Mainstreaming Sustainability, Editor at Large, GreenBiz Group, Retired McDonald’s VP of Sustainability

Bob Langert joined McDonald’s in 1983 with a management position in logistics, packaging and purchasing. Later, Langert was appointed McDonald’s first vice sustainability to lead sustainability in 2006. Langert led the development of McDonald’s 2020 Sustainability Vision and Framework, including McDonald’s commitment to the environment, supply chain sustainability, and balanced menu choices.

Langert retired from McDonald’s, March, 2015 and joined the GreenBiz Group, writing a regular column, The Inside View; and helping with the Green Biz Executive Network. Langert is president of mainstream sustainability, advising companies on sustainability strategies, and a nationally recognized speaker. Langert has a Master’s Degree in business from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a Bachelor’s of Art from Lewis University, Romeoville, IL.

Felicia Marcus, Chair, Water Resources Control Board for the State of California

Felicia Marcus was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) for the State of California in 2012, and designated by the Governor as Chair in April of 2013. Before her appointment to the Water Board, Marcus served in positions in government, the non-profit world, and the private sector. In government, Marcus served as the regional administrator of the U.S EPA Region IX in the Clinton Administration. While at U.S. EPA, Marcus worked extensively on the range of environmental issues under EPA’s jurisdiction, most heavily in air quality, Bay-Delta water, tribal, and US-Mexico border issues.

Prior to that, Marcus headed the Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works and garnered national awards for environmental excellence. Marcus came to Public Works after extensive experience as a public interest lawyer and community organizer in Los Angeles, including being a co-founder and general counsel for Heal the Bay. In the non-profit world, Marcus was the western director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Prior to joining NRDC, Marcus was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Trust for Public Land (TPL).

Marcus currently serves or has served in the past on many non-profit boards and Advisory Councils including the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Leadership Council, Sustainable Conservation, USC-Kesten Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, and the Center for Diversity and the Environment.

Blake Alexandre, Owner, Alexandre Family Farm

Blake Alexandre grew up on a small dairy in Ferndale, California. As 4th generation dairy farmers, the family now operates four grass-based organic dairies in Northern California. Found with his hands deep in the soil, Alexandre recognizes that knowing how and when to correctly manage soil is ultimately what a regenerative grass-based farmer must know. As soil gains nutrition, so will the grass, the cows, the milk, and the consumer.

Till Angermann, Hydrogeologist and Technical Program Manager, Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program

Till Angermann is a principal hydrogeologist at Luhdorff and Scalmanini Consulting Engineers. Angermann is a key contributor to the conceptualization and development of a representative groundwater monitoring approach as an alternative to site-by-site monitoring of all regulated dairies (estimated at 1,600 at that time) set forth in the 2007 Dairy General Order. Angermann has been serving as the technical program manager of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP) since its inception in 2010. In 2014, Angermann served on the Agricultural Expert Panel, convened by the State Water Resources Control Board in the context of Senate Bill SBX2 1 as the sole hydrogeologist along seven other experts.

Angermann graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in geology from Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany, and a Master’s of Science in hydrologic sciences from UC Davis.

Frank Dinis, Herd Manager, Himlar Jerseys

Frank Dinis is the herd manager for Hilmar Jerseys and Double Cross Dairies. Dinis has been with Hilmar Jerseys for 14 years. Preceding Hilmar Jerseys, Dinis was at Ahlem Farms for 6 years. Dinis is on the Board of Directors of Jerseyland sires and was just accepted in the Farm National Program Producers Advisory Council.

Dinis also participated with the Low Energy Animal Handling (L.E.A.H) Program to train dairy employees with animal handling skills, the L.E.A.H program was created by Elanco Animal Health. Hilmar Jerseys was recognized with the Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year in 2015 for the outreach to local dairies for the animal welfare employee training program.

Thomas Hafner, Chief Executive Officer, Mootral

Thomas Hafner has 25 years of experience of building businesses, incubating technologies and creating completely new categories and markets from scratch in the field of biotechnology, nutraceuticals, medical devices and animal health. Hafner’s unwavering passion and visionary thought leadership in the space of strategic value creation for all stakeholders in the market makes Mootral an ideal challenge for someone that dreams as big and lateral as Hafner.

Jonathon Postma, Managing Partner, Pete Postma and Sons Dairy, GP

Jonathon Postma is a third generation dairyman from Modesto, California. Postma attended Fresno State University for 2 years then began his own dairy farm in the summer of 2002. Now, Pete Postma and Sons Dairy, GP milk 1900 head Jersey cows and Holstein cows using the first large scale robotic dairy in California to milk 600 of its cow.

Sahar Kamali, Director, Business Development, Clean Energy Renewables

Sahar Kamali is the director of business development for Clean Energy Renewables. Kamali focuses on procurement of renewable natural gas (RNG) as a sustainable fueling solution for transit, municipal and fleet customers, as well as the generation and sale of LCFS credits and RINs that are created as a result of renewable natural gas fuel sales. Kamali works with RNG producers in the evaluation, development and procurement of renewable natural gas production projects that expand Clean Energy’s branded RNG vehicle fuel, Redeem. Kamali assists fleet operators in developing the tools and resources to effectively evaluate the GHG emissions impact of their operations as well as the economic impact of adopting renewable natural gas in their fleets. In 2017, Clean Energy sold 79 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) of Redeem.

Gregory Morse, Senior Director of Product Management , NG Advantage

Gregory Morse is director of product management with NG Advantage. As director of product management, Morse has strategic oversight for portfolio development, industrial energy products and is responsible for commodity procurement, pricing risk mitigation, contract negotiation, and key account retention.

With over a decade of experience in the energy field, Morse possesses specific expertise in energy market trading and risk management. Prior to joining the NG Advantage team as a gas supply contract manager in 2015, Morse was assistant director of power supply and transmission with Vermont Public Power Supply Authority and had oversight for power portfolio optimization and trading in environmental attributes. Early in his career, Morse served as Energy Product Control Analyst with J.P. Morgan in New York City where he was accountable for product control for the energy trading desk focused on oil and natural gas.

Morse holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Wagner College in New York and successfully completed a product management program at the University of California’s Haas School of Business. Morse is a Certified Energy Risk Professional and a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals.

William Ray, Vice President / Senior Relationship Manager, Yosemite Farm Credit

William Ray is a vice president, senior relationship manager at Yosemite Farm Credit. Ray began his Farm Credit career after graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1981 with a degree in animal science. Ray has worked in Salinas, Sacramento, King City and Merced, acquiring a diverse level of experience in financing production agriculture.

Having relocated to the Merced area in 1992, Ray began developing relationships with many of the area’s largest and most successful dairy operations. Ray has maintained those relationships through three generations which has included financing upgrades to facilities, land acquisition and expansion. Most recently, Ray has financed projects to improve energy and operational efficiency such as solar and robotic systems. Ray is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

Ashley Boren, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation

Ashley Boren is Executive Director of Sustainable Conservation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air and water. Sustainable Conservation brings together business, landowners, government and other stakeholders to steward the resources that we all depend on in ways that make economic sense.

Sustainable Conservation has partnered with California’s dairy industry for over 15 years, identifying, testing, and scaling practices and technologies that help dairies protect water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas and air emissions. Current initiatives include assessing non-digester practices to reduce methane and other emissions; identifying economically viable options for exporting excess nutrients; and demonstrating how liquid manure can be used with subsurface drip irrigation to improve crop yields, save water, reduce greenhouse gases, and cut nitrogen leaching.

Ashley serves on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and the UC California President’s Advisory Commission for the Division Agriculture and Natural Resources. She earned a BA in human biology, MA in applied economics, and MBA from Stanford University.

Matt Tolbirt, Chief Executive Officer, BioFiltro

Matt Tolbirt joined BioFiltro after leading product development for Pacific Gas & Electric where he focused on commercialization of technologies for PG&E’s customer base, including those in agricultural and heavy industry. Tolbirt holds an undergraduate degree from UC Merced in economics and political science and graduate degrees from Babson College and EMLYON Business School in France.

Brian Fiscalini, CEO, Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company

Brian Fiscalini is the chief executive officer of Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company. Before returning to the family business, Fiscalini worked as an intern in Northern Indiana and Central Wisconsin for Fair Oaks Dairy Farms. Fiscalini has worked in many aspects of animal husbandry, dairy cattle nutrition, growing crops, cheese manufacturing, sales and marketing for the family business. Fiscalini holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a Master’s of business administration from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Frank Cardoza, Consultant and Farm Manager, Dairy Works and Phillip Verwey Farms

Frank Cardoza is a dairy consultant for DairyWorks, an on-farm management company that helps dairymen and their employees overcome some of the day-to-day challenges. DairyWorks believes that technology will create jobs and give dairymen the tools they need to make better business decisions. Cardoza manages Philp Verwey Farms where he analyzes and improves efficiency on the dairy farm. Everyday Cardoza works to improve job creation, animal wellness, water conservation, and air quality.

Samir Sheikh, Executive Director, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District

Samir Sheikh is the executive director and air pollution control officer for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Sheikh has nearly twenty years of experience in directing, developing, applying and administering air quality improvement programs. Sheikh was recently appointed to lead the largest air district in the state of California with some of the toughest air quality challenges in the nation.

Serving a region facing a variety of economic and public health challenges, Sheikh has led the development and implementation of some of the toughest and most innovative air pollution control strategies in the nation while working cooperatively with the regulated community to reduce administrative costs and achieve environmental and economic balance. Sheikh has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to form a variety of successful coalitions to bring significant resources to the Valley for incentive-based emission reduction programs.

Through these efforts, the San Joaquin Valley now has access to over $300 million per year in local, state and federal funds for clean air projects that expedite air quality improvement. To date, Mr. Sheikh has overseen the expenditure of over $1 billion in public/private investment in the San Joaquin Valley’s clean air efforts through voluntary programs.

Lynn Giacomini Stray, COO and Co-Owner, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheeses Co.

Lynn Giacomini Stray is chief operating officer and co-owner of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheeses Co. Giacomini Stray began her career in sales and marketing in the wine industry in the early 90’s. In 1999, Giacomini Stray assisted the family operation in transitioning a conventional dairy into an artisan farmstead cheese operation. Giacomini Stray now manages the operations and sales for the company.

In August of 2000, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company made their first batch of Original Blue, California’s first classic style Blue Cheese. The farmstead line has grown to include Pt. Reyes Toma, Bay Blue, fresh Mozzarella, and aged Gouda. The Fork at Point Reyes, a Culinary and Educational Center, opened in 2010 offering educational and private venue event space emphasizing education and entertainment around the brand. Giacomini Stray is involved in local and sustainable agriculture organizations in the community, to preserve land and farming in Marin county, including the Marin agricultural Land Trust and the Agricultural institute of Marin.

Aaron Wickstrom, Managing Partner, Wickstrom Dairies L.P. and Valsigna Farms

Aaron Wickstrom is a 4th generation dairy farmer near Hilmar, CA. Wickstrom is managing partner of Wickstrom Dairies L.P. a 2400 cow Jersey dairy and Valsigna Farms, a 1,000 acre row cropping operation that provides feed for the dairy operations. Prior to joining Wickstrom Dairies L.P., Wickstrom received his Bachelor’s Degree in finance and economics from North Park University, Chicago, IL.

Stan Henderson, PhD, Professor, California Polytechnic State University

Dr. Stan Henderson grew up on a small dairy in Northeast Iowa, where he started milking cows at age ten. Dr. Henderson earned his Bachelor’s degree in agriculture dducation in 1973 and taught high school agriculture in 1973-74. Dr. Henderson went on to earn his Master’s degree, while teaching cattle evaluation courses and coaching the national winning dairy judging team for two years.

Dr. Henderson has taught at the junior college and university level, and has also worked as a researcher, consultant, and university dairy farm manager. Dr. Henderson was recognized as the outstanding faculty member at Utah State University, prior to completing his PhD in 1990, for his teaching and accomplishments in coordinating the Dairy Herdsman program. Dr. Henderson was a dairy professor at California Polytechnic State University from 1990-2016, where he taught numerous classes including Dairy Genetics and Breeding, Advanced Herd Management, and Dairy Farm Consultation.

Halley Fobes, Consulting Veterinarian, Lander Veterinary Clinic

Dr. Halley Fobes is a graduate of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Originally from the Sacramento area, Dr. Fobes returned to the Central Valley after veterinary school to work at Lander Veterinary Clinic in Turlock, CA. Dr. Fobes’ practice primarily consists of dairy clients and has developed interests in milk quality and animal welfare and consults with clients to optimize the health of their animals throughout their lives. Jones Farms, the first DeLaval VMS herd in California, is among Dr. Fobes’ clients and has received additional training from DeLaval in order to best serve them.

Paul Sousa, Director of Regulatory & Environmental Affairs, Western United Dairymen

Paul Sousa is the director of regulatory and environmental affairs with Western United Dairymen. Sousa is a graduate of UC Davis, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in environmental resource science. Sousa has worked with UC Cooperative Extension in Stanislaus County to reduce irrigation induced erosion and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board assessing compliance of confined animal facilities with state and federal water quality regulations. Sousa is a certified crop advisor with the American Society of Agronomy. Sousa has recently worked with his members to access funding for methane reductions from the Alternative Manure Management Program at California Department of Food and Agriculture

David Blakemore, President, Animal Nutrition & Health, DSM

David Blakemore is the president of animal nutrition and health at DSM. Blakemore holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Blakemore joined DSM in his current position in May 2016, following a twenty-nine year career at The Dow Chemical Company. Blakemore has held several senior leadership positions, both global business and geographic regions, for Dow and Dow AgroSciences.

Blakemore was the president for Dow AgroSciences – Brasil, the president and general manager of Dow’s North Region of Latin America, Dow AgroSciences vice president of international business and Dow’s business president for the Specialty Chemicals division. In 2014, Blakemore assumed the responsibilities of vice president of global marketing and sales for Dow. Blakemore is a business leader with over thirty one years of experience in driving a strong focus on customers and markets with a disciplined approach to business and innovation.

Annette Jones, D.V.M., Director and State Veterinarian, Animal Health and Food Safety Division, CDFA

Dr. Annette Jones is the director and state veterinarian for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Dr. Jones graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis with a degree in economics. Dr. Jones later attended the U.C. Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. After practicing as a private veterinarian for three years, Dr. Jones joined the California Department of Food and Agriculture in 2001. On July 1, 2004, Dr. Jones was appointed director of the Animal Health and Food Safety Services. In this capacity, Dr. Jones oversees an annual budget of $45.5 million and 222 employees engaged in programs for animal health, milk and dairy food safety, meat and poultry inspection, and livestock identification.

Dr. Jones also works closely with the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, which is operated by U.C. Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, under a contract with her division. In September of 2010, besides continuing to perform as director, Dr. Jones was appointed state veterinarian, the position ultimately responsible for the State’s veterinary authority on animal health and food safety related to livestock and poultry.

Tyler Bennett, President, Bennett Environmental, Inc. and Bennett Water Systems

Tyler Bennett has a proven executive management track record for driving growth in the agricultural water conservation and treatment industry. For the past 10 years, Bennet has been the chairman and chief executive officer of Bennett Water Systems Inc., a family business that he has grown exponentially and one that has been implementing innovative precision irrigation and pump solutions throughout the Western USA for over 88 years. Bennett’s passions are water conservation, sustainability and helping people in developing agricultural communities. Prior to taking over Bennett Water Systems, Bennett spent 11 years in Corporate Finance in both the Construction and Healthcare sectors. Bennett has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from UC, Santa Barbara as well as a Master’s of business administration from Cal Poly, SLO.

David Ahlem, CEO, Hilmar Cheese Company

David Ahlem is the chief executive officer and president for Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. Ahlem’s expertise includes dairy policy, strategic management, and customer relations. Prior to working for Hilmar Cheese Company, Ahlem was a business manager for Cargill Animal Nutrition.

Ahlem currently serves as chair of the National Cheese Institute, and is a board member of the International Dairy Foods Association, the Innovation Center for US Dairy and the Dairy Institute of California. Ahlem also actively participates in several other industry-related groups.

Ahlem attended Westmont College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and later earned an M.B.A from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Ermias Kebreab, PhD, Professor and Sesnon Endowed Chair, Sustainable Animal Agriculture Department of Animal Science, UC Davis

Dr. Ermias Kebreab is a professor of Animal Science and holds the Sesnon Endowed Chair in Sustainable Animal Agriculture at the Department of Animal Science, UC Davis. Dr. Kebreab was appointed associate vice provost at UC Davis Global Affairs in 2016 to advance the university’s engagement in international education. Dr. Kebreab also serves as the deputy director of Agricultural Sustainability Institute. Dr. Kebreab conducts research on reducing the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, including the sustainable use of feed additives.

Dr. Kebreab has served in several national and international committees including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Kebreab has mentored or hosted over 30 scholars in his laboratory and authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles, 34 book chapters, and edited 5 books.

Dr Kebreab received several awards including International Agriculture Award and AFIA Ruminant Nutrition Award from American Society of Animal Science. Dr. Kebreab received his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Asmara, Eritrea, Master of Science and Ph.D. from University of Reading, United Kingdom.

Jenny Lester Moffitt, Undersecretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Jenny Lester Moffitt is a 5th generation California farmer and undersecretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, also serving as Deputy Secretary from January 2015 – February 2018. Appointed to these positions by Governor Jerry Brown, Lester Moffitt works to engage stakeholders on issues that affect ranchers and farmers, including climate change, land use, water policy, and food security.

Prior to joining CDFA, Lester Moffitt spent 10 years as managing director at Dixon Ridge Farms, her family’s organic walnut farm and processing operation. As a farmer and policymaker, Lester Moffitt believes that agriculture is critically important to sustaining our environment, rural communities and economy.

J.P. Cativiela, Regulatory Director, Dairy Cares

J.P. Cativiela has served as director of environmental regulatory affairs for the Dairy Cares coalition since 2001. Cativiela also serves as administrator of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP), a not-for-profit organization of more than 1,100 Central Valley dairy families assembled to conduct monitoring and develop recommendations for groundwater protection. Cativiela is a principal of Cogent Consulting and Communications, Inc., based in Sacramento.

Neil Black, President, California Bioenergy

Neil Black is the president of California Bioenergy. Black has over twenty-five years of senior management experience and plays a key role in the operations, development and financing of CalBio projects. Black has also played an ongoing role in the state programs, incentives and legislation to lead to successful manure-methane capture projects. CalBio works closely with Dairy Cares, AECA, and other agricultural groups.

Black was also a founding member of the Bioenergy Association of California, and Neil was its first chairman. Working in partnership with the dairy industry, Black was involved in the development of the BioMAT and is now focused on creating effective revenue programs for vehicle fuels. Prior to joining CalBio, Black was managing principal at GreenOrder, a leading sustainability firm, which worked with GE, GM and other large companies. Black was also the chief executive officer of two technology start-ups and president of The Nation magazine. Black is also an advisor to the Broadscale Group. Black earned a Master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School.

Daryl Maas, Founder and CEO, Maas Energy Works

Daryl Maas is the founder and chief executive officer of Maas Energy Works, California’s largest dairy digester developer. The company has completed 10 California digesters, including a project on California’s largest dairy, and the State’s only operational dairy digester pipeline cluster, producing low carbon vehicle fuel.

Maas attended the Air Force Academy and served on various overseas deployments. Maas returned home in 2007 and found a new kind of career in agriculture. Now with eleven years of constant expansion in three states, Mass and his team of over 35 full time digester experts are thrilled to see California producers gaining value from dairy energy. The team provides digester development, 24/7 operations, and financing, while also being the only company in the market to build projects that are 100% owned by dairy families.

Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RDN, LD, FADA, FAND, Founder and Principal, The AgriNutrition Edge

Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RDN, LD, FADA, FAND is a senior associate with The Context Network. Smith Edge is also the founder and principal of The AgriNutrition Edge, a consultancy committed to assisting food, health and agriculture organizations better navigate the changing consumer environment. Smith Edge is a recognized nutrition and sustainability thought leader.

Since 2008, Smith Edge has worked with commodity groups and the food industry on positioning sustainability and the relationship to diet and health, including involvement with Dairy Management, Inc and its initial Dairy Sustainability Summit. Smith Edge holds a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from the University of Kentucky also formerly serving as a member of the Board of Trustees. Smith Edge has a Master’s degree in public health-nutrition from Western Kentucky University and earned a certification in appreciative inquiry from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.

Landon Fernandes, General Manager, Fernjo Farms

Landon Fernandes is a 4th generation dairy farmer and general manager of Fernjo Farms in Tulare, CA. Fernjo Farms is family owned and operated and is comprised of three dairy facilities milking a total of 2,300 jersey and holstein cows. Fernandes returned to the family operation in 2016 after working for three years in ag finance at Farm Credit West. Fernandes previously attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he majored in dairy science and minored in agri—business.

Robert Hagevoort, Associate Professor & Extension Dairy Specialist, New Mexico State University

Dr. Robert Hagevoort is an associate professor and extension dairy specialist at New Mexico State University. Dr. Hagevoort earned his Bachelor’s degree in tropical animal production from the College for Tropical Agriculture in Deventer, The Netherlands. Dr. Hagevoort received a Master of Science. and a Ph.D. both from Texas A&M University.

Prior to joining New Mexico State University as an extension dairy specialist, Dr. Hagevoort served as an independent dairy consultant primarily in the Southwestern U.S. as an extension specialist. Dr. Hagevoort has been working closely with the dairy Industry focusing regulatory and environmental issues, and initiated an effort to rebuild a dairy program at NMSU through the formation of the U.S. Dairy Education & Training Consortium. A key component of his current extension program is the development and implementation of a comprehensive dairy workforce training and safety program.

Anja Raudabaugh, CEO, Western United Dairymen

Anja Raudabaugh is the chief executive officer of Western United Dairymen (WUD). Raudabaugh came to WUD from the Madera County Farm Bureau serving as the executive director for four years. Prior to this role at the Farm Bureau, Raudabaugh worked as a project manager for a Fortune 500 Company, and as the senior legislative assistant for Congressman Doug Ose, representing California’s 3rd District in Washington D.C. Previously, Raudabaugh was the marketing director for the California Asparagus Commission and district representative for State Senator Dick Monteith. Raudabaugh’s extensive experience in the political environment adds tremendous value to the organization. Raudabaugh’s time in Sacramento working as a project manager and technical adviser handling CEQA and NEPA requirements as they applied to state and federal agencies, has lent her a skill set adept with navigating complex issues.

Cliff Gladstein, President, Gladstein, Neandross & Associates

Mr. Cliff Gladstein is the founder and president of Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA). For over twenty-two years, he has been local, state, and national leader in the effort to develop cost-effective policies, programs, and products to reduce pollution from transportation, relieve the nation’s dependence on petroleum, and create innovative public-private partnerships to pursue market-based solutions for environmental problems.

Mr. Gladstein is the founder of the Interstate Clean Transportation Corridor (ICTC), the nation’s first and most successful public-private partnership to accelerate the commercialization of clean alternative fuel vehicles in the interstate movement of goods. He has used his knowledge and experience to develop and implement clean transportation and power generation technology deployment programs and incentive programs.

Mr. Gladstein is on the board of the Bioenergy Association of California, Chairs the Education Fund of the California League of Conservation Voters, and teaches air quality policy at the UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability. He has been an advisor to the University of Southern California’s Sustainable Cities Program and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. He is a graduate of Duke University and holds three graduate degrees from the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Katie Brown, Ed.D., RDN, Senior Vice President Sustainable Nutrition, National Dairy Council

Katie Brown, Ed.D., RDN joined National Dairy Council (NDC) in June 2017 as senior vice president of sustainable nutrition. Brown has a passion for connecting agriculture, food, nutrition and health to elevate sustainable nutrition as relevant, meaningful and actionable. Brown leads thought leadership and education efforts to educate people on the benefit of dairy to health and sustainable food systems across the lifespan. Brown is a registered dietitian nutritionist and has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in dietetics and nutrition and a Doctorate degree in education.

Prior to joining NDC, Brown served as the chief global nutrition strategy officer and national education director for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. In these roles, Brown led the planning for a new vision and strategic direction for the profession, as it reached its hundredth year centennial in 2017. Brown was also responsible for the Academy Foundation’s Future of Food and Kids Eat Right public education and community-based nutrition research initiatives.

Jack Broadbent, Chief Executive Officer, Bay Area Air Quality Management District

Jack Broadbent serves as the chief executive officer/air pollution control officer for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Under Mr. Broadbent’s direction, the Air District strives to provide a healthy breathing environment for every resident in the nine county San Francisco Bay Area region.

Mr. Broadbent joined the Air District after serving as Air Division director at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), Region IX. In that position, Mr. Broadbent was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Clean Air Act as well as indoor air quality and radiation programs for the Pacific Southwest region of the United States. Before serving at the U.S. EPA, Mr. Broadbent served as the deputy executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District as well as the director of planning and other senior management positions. While at the South Coast Air District, Mr. Broadbent directed the development of a number of landmark programs that contributed to significant improvements in air quality in the Los Angeles region.

In the 1980s, Mr. Broadbent served as corporate environmental programs manager for the largest private employer in California: Hughes Aircraft Company. Mr. Broadbent holds a Master’s degree in environmental administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science—both from the University of California, Riverside.

Cindy Schweitzer, PhD, Principal, Schweitzer Consulting LLC

Cindy Schweitzer founded Schweitzer Consulting LLC to provide nutrition and food science expertise for the food industry, including insights about complex diet-health relationships, translating scientific evidence and identifying research priorities. Schweitzer’s global technical expertise spans for more than thirty years in non-profit, ingredient and food service organizations.

Most recently, Schweitzer was technical director for Global Dairy Platform facilitating world-wide collaborative efforts on dairy nutrition and health issues and research initiatives to promote dairy foods as nutritious components of healthy sustainable diets. Schweitzer previously worked for McDonald’s Corporation driving their worldwide nutrition strategy on regulatory guidelines and labeling standards. As senior scientist with Cognis Corporation (formerly Henkel), Schweitzer led research and regulatory efforts, similar to prior work directing the nutrition research program for the National Livestock and Meat Board. Schweitzer’s career started in dairy food manufacturing as a technical sales representative for Marschall Products Division of Miles Laboratories. Schweitzer obtained a PhD in human nutrition at Utah State University and a Bachelor of Science in food science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Justin Gioletti, Owner and Operator, Robert Gioletti & sons Dairy

Justin Gioletti is a fourth-generation dairy farmer from Turlock, California. Gioletti and his family own and operate Robert Gioletti & Sons Dairy, Inc. Gioletti also serves as a board member of California Dairies, Inc., and is the chairman of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program.

Tammy Anderson-Wise, CEO, Dairy Council of California

Tammy Anderson-Wise serves as chief executive officer of Dairy Council of California (DCC). Guided by a passion for the role milk and dairy foods play in a healthy diet, Anderson-Wise leads DCC’s cause of elevating the health of children and parents through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits.

As chief executive officer, Anderson-Wise oversees the strategic direction of DCC and ensures it maximizes opportunities and drives innovation to fulfill its charge as the California dairy farming families and processors contribution to community health. Under Anderson-Wise’s direction, DCC implements a variety of nutrition education initiatives, including the development of materials, resources and lesson plans for educators, health and wellness providers and community leaders, focusing on behavior change and teaching individuals to make and have access to nutrient-rich food choices from all food groups.

Richard Matteis, Administrator, California Farm Bureau

Richard Matteis was named administrator of the California Farm Bureau Federation in August 2007. Previously, Matteis served as chief executive officer of the California Grain and Feed Association, which also provided management services and legislative advocacy for two-dozen other agricultural associations. Before joining the Grain and Feed Association, Matteis served concurrently as executive secretary of the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau and the Alameda County Farm Bureau, and as a field representative for the California Farm Bureau. Matteis earned a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a Master’s degree in business administration from California State University, Sacramento.

Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares

Michael Boccadoro, executive director of Dairy Cares and president of West Coast Advisors, has worked for more than 30 years in the public affairs arena. As president of West Coast Advisors, Boccadoro is responsible for overseeing the firm’s public affairs and government relations practices. Boccadoro also serves as executive director of the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association.

Boccadoro also specializes in public affairs consulting and media relations holding a distinctive expertise in the areas of environmental regulation and sustainability, developing positive working relationships with key regulatory officials, staff, and media representatives involved in these arenas.
Boccadoro has been involved with the California dairy industry for more than 20 years on issues ranging from milk pricing, air and water quality and overall sustainability issues.

Boccadoro received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from the University of California, Davis.

Ruihong Zang, Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis

Dr. Ruihong Zhang is a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at University of California, Davis and a leading expert in the fields of waste treatment and management, biogas and bioenergy and agricultural air quality. Dr. Zhang received an Achievement Award from California Bioresources Alliance in 2013 and was elected to Fellow of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in 2016.

Richard Corey, Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board

Richard Corey has over 30 years of professional experience in the air pollution field. Prior to his appointment as executive officer, he served as deputy executive officer and chief of the Stationary Source Division.

Corey’s team of over 1,400 professional managers and staff are responsible for a broad range of programs including those concerning fuels, climate, incentives, and air toxins. Some of the key programs that his team is responsible for implementing include the low-carbon fuel standard, cap-and-trade regulation, measures and incentives to reduce emissions from a variety of goods movement sources, including port trucking, transport refrigeration units, cargo handling operations, maritime operations, rail-related goods movement, and measures to reduce emissions from stationary and portable diesel engines, as well as several strategies to reduce toxic air contaminants from a wide variety of sources. In addition, Corey oversees the Board’s administrative services and information technology operations.

Corey has an undergraduate degree in environmental toxicology as well as a Master’s of business administration from the University of California, Davis.

Matt Carstens, Senior Vice President, Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Matt Carstens joined Land O’Lakes, Inc. in 2015 with the merger of the United Suppliers and Land O’Lakes crop inputs businesses. Carstens serves as senior vice president of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, a business unit formed in 2016, and provides leadership in aligning environmental sustainability efforts across the enterprise.

With 21 years in the agriculture industry, Carstens’ experience spans retail, wholesale and manufacturing functions in the crop inputs business. Carstens was responsible for developing the sustainability business while at United Suppliers. Prior to joining United Suppliers, Carstens held various sales, marketing and management positions at American Cyanamid, BASF, Rosen’s Inc. and Helena Chemical Company. Carstens graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University. His passion for agriculture developed on his family’s farm and has only deepened after spending years in the industry.

Francis Pacheco, Vice President, Membership and Public Affairs, Western Area of Dairy Farmers of America

Francis Pacheco is vice president, membership and public affairs for the Western Area of Dairy Farmers of America, where he has worked for the past 18 years. Pacheco is primarily responsible for managing members, field staff and industry issues in California and Nevada.

Pacheco has a lifetime of experience in the dairy industry. Pacheco earned a Bachelor’s degree in mechanized agriculture from Texas Tech University. He was the first California Dairy Campaign general manager, a pacific regional director for a national collective bargaining organization, National Farmers Organization before joining Dairy Farmers of America as an area manager.

Pacheco’s career has been focused on serving dairy farmers on a variety of issues including California milk pricing, milk marketing, dairy environmental sciences, and animal welfare standards. He currently serves as Vice Chairman, Dairy Cares, Director of California Dairy Environmental Justice Fund, Board member of Agricultural Council of California, Board member of Dairy Council of California.

John Talbot, CEO, California Milk Advisory Board

John Talbot brings more than 25 years of marketing and brand management experience to his role as chief executive officer of the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) where he focuses on building awareness and demand for California milk and dairy products across the U.S. and around the world.

Talbot began his career in sales at Procter & Gamble before joining PepsiCo in 1985 where he spent 12 years leading brand management and product development.. His extensive background in growing consumer brands also includes 2 years leading new product development for E&J Gallo Winery and running corporate marketing for technology-related businesses in communications and Internet services. In his most recent role as vice president of global market development for the Almond Board of California, Mr. Talbot managed the continued growth of the global almond industry with a focus on market access, trade stewardship and consumer marketing.

Talbot holds an Master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois.

Rick Jones, Partner, Jones Family Farm

Rick Jones is a second generation farmer and first generation dairyman. Jones built the dairy from the ground up, and started with all first-calf heifers over 24 years ago. Today, the dairy milks more than 800 Holstein cows, and farms over 600 acres. In January 2018, Jones retrofitted a 100-cow freestall barn with two DeLaval milking robots for a trial. Jones was so pleased with the outcome, Phase 2 and 3 are already in the works. Within 3 years, the dairy will be completely robotic.

Todd Armstrong, Head, North American Ruminant Operations and Strategy, DSM

Todd Armstrong leads the commercial operations and strategy for the North American cattle business at DSM. Prior to joining DSM, Armstrong spent 17 years at Elanco in numerous senior leadership roles across commercial, research and development, and regulatory functions. Armstrong received a Bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University, and received a Master’s and Doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University in physiology and nutrition, respectively. In addition, Armstrong earned a Master’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University and a Master’s degree in business administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Armstrong is the current president for the American Society of Animal Science, serves as an adjunct professor of animal science at North Carolina State University, and is actively involved in the EDGE mentoring program.

Kevin Dobson, Vice President, Business Development, DTE Biogas Energy

Kevin Dobson is vice president of business development and has been with DTE Biomass Energy since 2007. Dobson leads all acquisition and greenfield development with responsibilities that include identifying prospects, evaluating economic and technical feasibility, proposal development, contract negotiations, and scheduling and implementation activities. Prior to DTE, Dobson worked in Ford Motor Company’s Corporate Business Development group focused on mergers and acquisitions. Dobson received his Masters of business administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Tyler Henn, Vice President and General Manager, Clean Energy Renewables

Tyler Henn serves as vice president and general manager of Clean Energy’s subsidiary Clean Energy Renewables. In this role, Henn is responsible for the operations, marketing and distribution of Clean Energy’s Redeem™ brand of renewable natural gas. Prior to this role, Henn served as the vice president of finance and commodities for Clean Energy Renewables where he provided financial oversight and worked on financing transactions to support the growth of Redeem. Henn began his career working for Deloitte and Touche, LLP. Henn received a Bachelor’s of Arts in accounting from the University of La Verne.

Kevin Abernathy, General Manager, Milk Producers Council

Kevin Abernathy serves as the general manager for the Milk Producers Council. Abernathy’s approach has been to foster an atmosphere of collaboration, mutual education and cooperation between the dairy industry, environmental organizations, researchers, the USDA, and local and state regulatory agencies in California. Abernathy has lead industry efforts to identify and demonstrate conservation and renewable energy production approaches that can improve both the environment and the farm’s bottom line.

Abernathy serves as a vice chairman for Dairy Cares, as a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Air Quality Task Force, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Dairy Producer Advisory Group, the Central California Ozone Policy Committee, and the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association. Abernathy was awarded a Bachelor of Science in animal husbandry from Fresno State, and has completed numerous educational courses on air pollution in the Central Valley offered by the air district and Fresno State, as well as completing the Certification of Air Permitting Professional program for the purpose of providing assistance to producers on site-specific regulatory requirements.

Marcus Benedetti, Chairman and CEO, Clover Sonoma

Marcus Benedetti is chairman and chief executive officer of family owned and operated Clover Sonoma. Benedetti became president in 2006, chief executive officer in January 2011 taking the reins from his father Dan Benedetti, and became chairman in July 2015.

Benedetti studied in business administration at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Upon completion of his studies, Benedetti returned to Petaluma where he started his career at Clover. Benedetti started working in the warehouse in 2000, moved on to delivering milk to schools, and then later products to restaurants in the Sonoma area. As a Clover sales representative, Benedetti called on accounts in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties; and as demand for Clover products grew, he helped get Clover established in new markets like Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Benedetti stays current with the changes to the industry and the marketplace by sitting on the board of the Associated Independent Dairies of America, Dairy Institute of California, UC Davis Agriculture Sustainability Institute, Social Advocates for Youth, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, and Boys and Girls Club of Marin & Southern Sonoma Counties.

Traeger Cotten, Field Engineer, Southern California Edison

Traeger Cotten is a field engineer with Southern California Edison. Cotten consults with large business customers on ways to reduce energy costs, performs energy audits, recommends upgrades, quantifies cost savings, and connects projects with SCE’s incentive programs. Additionally, Cotten performs distributed energy resource and transportation electrification analyses. Cotten graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering and is a registered control systems engineer and a certified energy manager.

Wayne Glaeser, Member Owner, Glaz-Way Enterprises, LLC

Wayne W. Glaeser is a member owner for Glaz-Way Enterprises. Glaeser has been self-employed in the Registered Holstein sales and service business since 1976. Glaeser graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in dairy science and meat animal science. Glaeser has worked as an animal nutritionist with Land ‘O Lakes, a sire analyst for ABS Global, a marketing director for Sikkema-Star Holsteins, and the director of United States Genetic Programs for Semex Canada.

In 2000, Wayne started Glaz-Way Enterprises, LLC, a young sire development company based in Oakdale, California. Glaeser is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Animal Breeders and has served the industry in a number of leadership roles, including as past president of the Holstein Association in California. In 2005, Glaeser was inducted into the National Dairy Shrine.

Michael Payne, Program Director, Dairy Program Coordinator, California Dairy Quality Assurance Program, Western Institute of Food Safety & Security

Dr. Michael Payne is a dairy outreach coordinator at University of California School of Veterinary Medicine in Davis. Holding degrees as both a Doctor of veterinary medicine and a PhD in comparative pathology, Dr. Payne has served the dairy industry in private practice, as an extension veterinarian and as a dairy researcher. For the last two decades Dr. Payne has been director of California Dairy Quality Assurance Program.

Alex Placzek, Director of Marketing - Shopper COE, Nestle

Alex Placzek is director of marketing for Nestle USA and has over 20 years of experience in several locations across the western USA in sales and marketing across various business units from Purina Pet Care to Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. Currently, Placzek leads a team across Nestle USA’s $10 billion food business linking brand marketing and customer selling teams in shopper marketing efforts. Placzek has a passion for marketing and sustainability in the food and agriculture industry.

Most recently his team completed the establishment and planting of the largest permanent hedgerow habitat project for Pollinator Sustainability (Honey Bees) on a commercial farm in the USA. Placzek received his Bachelor of Arts in business administration with a minor in industrial technology from Colorado State University.

Nicole Ayache, Director, FARM Environmental Stewardship and Workforce Development, National Milk Producers Federation

Nicole Ayache serves as director of sustainability initiatives at National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), where she leads the FARM Environmental Stewardship and FARM Workforce Development programs. Before joining NMPF, Ayache worked as a consultant for the FARM program, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and a variety of other clients in the food and agriculture sector. Ayache developed sustainability programs and reports, created procurement policies, and conducted research for dairy cooperatives, environmental NGOs, and protein processors.

Ayache’s past experience spans multiple industries and disciplines, giving her a broad perspective on sustainability. Ayache holds a Master of Science degree in agriculture, food and environment from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Yale University.

Steve Riesenbeck, Consultant, Dairy Works and Phillip Verwey Farms

Steve Riesenbeck works as a nutritionist for Pine Creek Nutrition Services and as a consultant for Dairy Works. Riesenbeck is a highly effective communicator, with a background in dairy management, and has a proven record of maximizing on-farm profitability. Riesenbeck’s dairy experience began in a vast array of positions on local dairies and he continued to flourish as a student manager of the dairy facilities at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Reisenbeck has Bachelor of Science Degrees in dairy science and agricultural business from California Polytechnic State University. Reisenbeck is a graduate of the Western United Dairymen, Dairy Leadership program class II.

Geoffrey Vanden Heuvel, Director of Regulatory and Economic Affairs, Milk Producers Council

Geoffrey Vanden Heuvel started his work with Milk Producers Council as the director of regulatory and economic affairs after retiring from a 39-year career as a dairy farmer in Southern California. Vanden Heuvel’s specific responsibilities include being the dairy industry’s eyes, ears and advocate as the various Ground Water Sustainability Agencies begin to implement the Groundwater Sustainability Management Act in California.

Vanden Heuvel developed expertise in groundwater management and California water issues through is nearly three decades of experience serving on the boards of the Chino Basin Watermaster, The Chino Basin Water Conservation District as well as the Southern California Water Coalition where he continues to serve on the Executive Committee.

Simon Vander Woude, Owner, Vander Woude Dairy

Simon Vander Woude is the owner of Vander Woude Dairy and has been in a partnership with his father and brother since 2005. Vander Woude Dairy began in San Marcos, CA with 150 milking cows and has grown to 3200 cows on a 2100 acre farm. The Vander Woude Dairy has also invested in a solar array (1.1MW), and heavy investment in genomics and genetics creating more efficient sustainable cows for their dairy operation. Vander Woude serves on the board of California Dairies, Inc.

Deanne Meyer, PhD, Livestock Waste Management Specialist, UC Davis, Department of Animal Science

Deanne Meyer livestock waste management specialist at UC Davis. Meyer helps dairy farmers improve their environmental footprint by conducting research related to nutrient flow and management on dairy farms. She translates her findings and those of other scientists to dairy operators to inform innovative transformations. Also, Meyer provides current scientific information to policy makers. Meyer earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science, her master’s degree in dairy science with a minor in food and resource economics, and her PhD in animal science with minors farming systems and agricultural and extension education.

Rob Vandenheuvel, Vice President of Industry and Member Relations, California Dairies, Inc.

Rob Vandenheuvel has been the senior vice president, member and industry relations for California Dairies, Inc. (CDI) since January 2017. CDI is the largest dairy farmer-owned cooperative in California, whose members produce 42 percent of the State’s milk supply. CDI’s members have also invested in five large-scale dairy product manufacturing facilities operating throughout California.

Prior to coming to CDI, Vandenheuvel was the general manager at Milk Producers Council (MPC) for about ten years (2007-2017). Prior to coming to MPC, Vandenheuvel worked for five years in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, with his last two years as press secretary for the Committee on Ways and Means, under the Chairmanship of Congressman Bill Thomas.

Dean Swanson, Director, Business Development, Sunworks Solar Power

Dean Swanson is director of business development for Sunworks Solar Power. Swanson works closely with potential customers to understand their goals and priorities to achieve the highest return possible and helps them make informed decisions when selecting a solar solution. Swanson performs the due diligence necessary to gather data about the customer’s business and determines the appropriate solutions for matters that the business must consider. Swanson uses an in-depth, consultative approach to explore every site with an open mind and applies solutions that take every factor into account.

Michael FitzGibbon, P.E., Research Division’s Climate, Atmospheric Science, & Economic Studies Branch Chief, California Air Resources Board

Mike FitzGibbon is a branch chief in the Research Division of the California Air Resources Board with more than 30 years of experience. FitzGibbon is a liaison with the agricultural community on research-related topics and serves as co-chair for the Dairy Working Group Subgroup 3 on Research that is developing a comprehensive dairy research program to support meeting California’s emission reduction targets from SB 1383 and the Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Plan.

FitzGibbon is a registered Professional Chemical Engineer, with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of California at Davis and a Masters of business administration from the Claremont Graduate School.

Ryan Flaherty, Director of Business Partnerships, Sustainable Conservation

Ryan Flaherty is the director of business partnerships at Sustainable Conservation. In this position, Flaherty leads a team to identify and test manure management solutions that reduce the environmental impact of California’s dairy industry while keeping it economically viable. Current initiatives include assessing non-digester practices to reduce methane and other emissions; identifying economically viable options for exporting excess nutrients; and demonstrating how liquid manure can be used with subsurface drip irrigation to improve crop yields, save water, reduce greenhouse gases, and cut nitrogen leaching.

Prior to Sustainable Conservation, Flaherty worked with food and beverage companies across the globe to develop sustainable agriculture and water stewardship strategies. Flaherty holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University and an International Master of Business Administration from Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina.

John Cardoza, Project Manager, Sustainable Conservation

Working out of Sustainable Conservation’s Modesto office, John Cardoza leads the organization’s effort around dairy nutrient management. In this role, Cardoza partners with dairy producers to test out and demonstrate different practices/technologies that improve nutrient/water use efficiency while achieving optimal yields and increasing the bottom line. Cardoza has also worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, where he served as a county program technician working closely in all facets of agriculture in San Luis Obispo County.

Cardoza also worked at Farm Credit West, specializing in vineyards, wineries, and vegetable farms from Paso Robles to Santa Barbra. Cardoza holds a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and is a Certified Crop Advisor.

Bob Hutmacher, PhD, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist and Center Director, West Side Research and Extension Center

Bob Hutmacher, a UC Cooperative Extension cotton specialist at the forefront of disease management and water efficiency issues for California growers. Hutmacher is a faculty member in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, is also the director of the University of California West Side Research and Extension Center, operated by UC ANR. Hutmacher earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy at the University of California, Davis, a Master of Science degree in soil physics from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in crop physiology from Texas Tech University.

Theresa “Tess” Dunham, Managing Shareholder, Somach Simmons & Dunn

Tess Dunham is Somach Simmons & Dunn’s managing shareholder. Somach’s legal skills are combined with a unique background outside of law, allowing her to help clients more strategically. Now an accomplished advisor on water quality issues, Dunham is called upon by growers and ranchers to help with situations they face. Dunham policy experience, gained from working for the Governor’s Office, the Department of Conservation, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and as a lobbyist, leaves her with not only an inside perspective of working with the public agencies that govern water quality, but with relationships that can mean the difference between reaching productive resolutions to problems.

Justin Witte, Senior, Customer Relationship Manager, AG/Food Processing, Pacific Gas & Electric Company

Justin Witte is a customer relationship manager with Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Witte is part of a specialized group of Agriculture and Food Processing subject matter experts. Witte holds a Bachelor of Science in public administration from California State University, Fresno, a Master of business administration and a project management certificate from the University of Pacific. Witte is well versed in energy efficiency technology for the Agriculture and Food Processing industries.

Witte is involved in many customer outreach efforts for PG&E, which include World Ag Expo event lead, serving on the Water Conference Committee with other investor owned utilities in California, and serving on a California Energy Commission grant technical advisory committee aimed at developing technologies and tools for time-of-use energy rates.

Denise Mullinax, Interim Director, California Dairy Research Foundation, Assistant Director, CDQAP

Denise Mullinax is the assistant director of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) for the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF). As assistant director, Mullinax develops and delivers curriculum, conducts needs assessments and creates and leverages partnerships to extend producer funding to administer CDQAP modules in Environmental Stewardship, Johne’s Disease Control, Farm Security and Animal Welfare. Mullinax came to the CDRF from Hilmar Cheese Company where she worked on environmental issues, biosecurity, milk quality and risk management. Mullinax received her Bachelor’s degree in animal science and a Master’s of agriculture management from UC Davis.

Patrick Pulupa, Executive Officer, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

Patrick Pulupa is the executive officer of the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board. For over a decade, Pulupa worked with the State Water Resources Control Board’s Office of Chief Counsel, primarily representing the Central Valley Water Board. As lead attorney for the Regional Board, Pulupa worked to find equitable solutions for the diverse water quality issues facing the Central Valley. Prior experience includes work for the Sierra Club, the City and County of San Francisco, and the UC Davis Prison Law Clinic. Pulupa has a Bachelor of Arts in government and politics from the University of Maryland, and received his J.D. from the UC Davis School of Law (King Hall). Pulupa is a member of the State Bar of California.

Amrith Gunasekara, PhD, Science Advisor, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)

Dr. Amrith Gunasekara is science advisor to Secretary Ross at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Dr.Gunasekara works on agricultural issues as they relate to the environment and seeks to find proactive, creative, flexible and practical solutions. His focus areas include plant nutrient management, climate change and environmental stewardship. Dr. Gunasekara is the CDFA liaison to the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel which is looking at highlighting the many benefits afforded by agriculture beyond food, fiber, and economic benefits. Dr. Gunasekara received his undergraduate and Master degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and completed his PhD from the University of California, Davis, in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry.

Michelle Davis, Environmental Manager, Morning Star Dairy, Inc.

Michelle Davis is a native to Riverdale, CA and a 3rd generation dairy farmer. Davis grew up on the family dairy and having helped with many areas around the dairy, her expertise in organization skills became very important with her current role at the dairy. Davis manages all environmental regulations for the dairy and helps with Nutrient Management decisions.

Doug Patteson, Confined Animal Facilities Program Manager, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

Doug Patteson supervises a section of the Central Valley Water Board’s Fresno office that regulates a variety of sources, including agriculture and dairies. Patteson is the Central Valley Water Board’s Dairy Program manager. Patteson and his staff develop permits, conduct outreach, oversee monitoring efforts, and ensure compliance with federal and state water quality regulations. Pattesonis a registered professional engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Fresno State University.

Todd DeYoung, Manager, Strategies and Incentives, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District

Todd DeYoung has over 19 years of experience administering federal, state and local incentive programs at the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District and became the incentives program manager in 2009. DeYoung has been involved in all aspects of incentive program administration, including grant writing, program development, processing, contract negotiation, implementation and auditing.

Additionally, DeYoung serves on several statewide incentive program related committees including the California Air Resources Board Incentive Program Implementation Committee and recently served as the Chair of the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association Mobile Sources and Incentives Subcommittee. DeYoung holds a Bachelor’s degree in environmental geography from California State University Fresno.

Mark Stoermann, Chief Operating Officer, Newtrient LLC

Mark Stoermann is the chief operating officer for Newtrient. Stoermann came to this position as an outgrowth of his experience with developing and building CNG stations, anaerobic digesters, and the biogas upgrading system at Fair Oaks Farms.

Before coming to Newtrient, Stoermann was the chief operating officer for STAR BioEnergy LLC, the anaerobic digestion division of STAR Energy LLC, a company committed to the development of sustainable, renewable energy projects across the country. Stoermann was previously the director of operations for AMP Americas, a company committed to building out CNG infrastructure along the U.S. highway system. As the project manager for Fair Oaks Dairy Farms and Select Milk Producers, Stoermann was responsible for the construction of three anaerobic digesters that processed sand laden dairy manure. These projects included electrical generation, gas cleaning, rCNG as transportation fuel, and nutrient recovery projects.

2018 Sponsors

Platinum, Gold, and Silver Sponsors

2018 Event Partners

2018 Endorsing Organizations

The California Dairy Sustainability Summit would not be possible without the tremendous support, collaboration, and assistance from the following organizations

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Exhibitors

Dairy Industry Supporter Sponsors

Student Registration Sponsor

Lanyard Sponsor

Name Badge Sponsor

Expo Hall Opening Reception Sponsor

Breakfast Sponsor

Refreshment Sponsor

Tote Bag Sponsor

Tote Bag Insert Sponsors

Pen Sponsor

Event Partners

Endorsing Organizations

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Support from California’s Dairy Leaders

California dairy farmers are united in this effort to improve environmental and economic sustainability, while ensuring nutritious and affordable foods for generations to come.

Exhibitors

The California Dairy Sustainability Summit is dedicated to promoting widespread investment and adoption of technologies that address environmental, financial, and energy challenges, along with cow health and comfort for California dairy operators. The Summit will provide an opportunity for farmers to see cutting-edge technology that can help them comply with methane emission challenges, fast approaching water regulations, and rising labor and energy costs. The Summit will connect solution providers, dairy operators and California regulators and stakeholders to help address environmental and economic challenges that lie ahead.

Reduce Greenhouse Gases – California dairy farmers are working with state agencies, researchers, and private partners to reduce methane emissions through the development of dairy digesters and a variety of alternative manure management technologies. They are also exploring potentially cost-effective means for reducing enteric methane emissions.

Protect Water Resources – The dairy community is working in an organized and collaborative manner to chart a path toward improvements to the protection of groundwater resources. This includes plans to work with academic institutions, private industry innovators, and other partners to minimize the costs of enhancing water protection on dairies, and to maximize the value of manure and manure-based products.

Promote Energy Conservation and Clean Energy – Dairies are increasingly turning to energy-use-efficiency, conservation, and clean-energy technologies. Farmers are partnering with their local utility providers and private companies to invest in these strategies—decreasing reliance on fossil fuels and reducing costs.

Improve Air Quality – A growing number of dairy farms are working with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to convert diesel-powered feed mixers to electric. These individual conversions can save up to 20 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) per year. Additionally, dairy farmers are partnering with state agencies and private companies to turn dairy biogas (captured via digesters) into electricity and carbon-negative renewable transportation fuel.

Find Cost-Effective Solutions to Sustain Family Farms – For dairy farmers, “sustainability” means making choices that will serve the animals, the environment, and their family and community well into the future. It’s about finding cost-effective solutions that will optimize cow health and comfort, improve farm efficiency, and reduce costs. Ultimately, these technological advances will allow them to continue their way of life, while improving the environment, and providing nutritious and affordable foods for generations to come.

The expo hall will provide an opportunity for dairy farmers and operators to connect with technology and service suppliers that can help improve efficiency and sustainability. Confirmed exhibitors include:

  • Alforex Seeds
  • Baghouse & Industrial Sheet Metal
  • California Bioenergy
  • Clean Energy Renewables
  • CleanFix
  • DSM
  • Farm Service Agency
  • Lely North America
  • Maas Energy
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Risk Management Agency
  • Sunworks Solar Power
  • Trillium
  • USDA Rural Development
  • United States Department of Agriculture

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