California Dairy Sustainability Summit explores new ways for dairy farmers to:

  • Promote environmental sustainability
  • Develop new business opportunities
  • Improve operational efficiency
  • Reduce emissions and conserve water
  • Set high standards for animal health
  • Reduce on-farm costs

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California Dairy Sustainability Summit By the Numbers

600+

Registered Attendees

200+

Dairy Farmers

75+

Expert Speakers

2022 Featured Speakers

Brad Anderson

President and CEO, California Dairies, Inc.

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Brad Anderson serves as the president and chief executive officer of California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), the world’s largest manufacturer of non-fat milk powder, the largest producer of butter in the United States, and an exporter of finished dairy products to over 50 countries. To this role, he brings over 29 years of leadership and consumer goods experience, spanning several leading consumer products companies, and a passion for dairy nutrition.

Brad remains committed to CDI’s important and straightforward beliefs – we are stronger together, we do what is right, we take the lead, and we work hard – guide Brad in leading the Cooperative. Since taking the CDI helm in January 2020, Brad has led the Cooperative into growth mode, driven by investments in people, technology, and innovation.

Joining CDI in 2018, Brad served as the chief operating officer, cultivating a cohesive company structure and aligning strategy. Brad joined CDI from Dean Foods, where he worked for over eight years, most recently as senior vice president and chief sales officer. During his time at Dean Foods, Brad was active in the dairy industry, serving on the MilkPEP Board for six years in total and as Chairman of the Board for the last two years.

Brad is the Chairman of the Board of Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. and the DairyAmerica Board President. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the American Dairy Products Institute, U.S. Dairy Export Council, International Dairy Foods Association, and Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
Brad earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia. He resides in Visalia, California, with his wife, Patti, and children, Bailey and Jake.

Kelly Bengston

Senior Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer, Starbucks

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Kelly Bengston is senior vice president, chief procurement officer at Starbucks. Kelly is responsible for enhancing Starbucks enterprise-wide functional strategic planning and sourcing, creating consistent global sourcing processes, developing a planning and sourcing talent management program and building a values-based approach to working with suppliers.

A respected leader inside and outside Starbucks, Kelly has held numerous leadership positions during her 10+ years with Starbucks, including direct and indirect sourcing, store development, commercialization, and supply chain strategy and deployment.  Kelly attributes much of her success over the years to her ability to create flexible, high-functioning, and creative teams that unlock possibilities through shared value relationships, cross-functional collaboration, autonomy, and supply chain management excellence.

Kelly holds a B.S. in Management from Central Washington University.  She also gives back to her alma mater by serving on the university foundation board and board development committee.

Prior to joining Starbucks, Kelly gained broad experience in packaging, product development, manufacturing, and project management at Macy’s, Bensussen Deutsch, Cranium and Hasbro. She enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her family. Her favorite beverage is Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew.

Robert Bonnie

Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, USDA

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Robert Bonnie is the Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation at USDA. Prior to joining USDA, Bonnie was at Duke University first as a Rubenstein Fellow and later as an Executive in Residence at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions working on conservation and environmental issues in rural America. In 2020, Bonnie also worked with the Bipartisan Policy Center on its Farm and Forest Carbon Solutions Initiative. Bonnie was Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at USDA from 2013 to 2017, and a senior advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack from 2009 to 2013. Prior to joining USDA, Robert was vice president for land conservation at Environmental Defense Fund where he focused on developing incentives to reward stewardship on private lands. Robert has master’s degrees from Duke in forestry and environmental management. He lives with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Lilly, in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Karen Ross

Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

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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. Ross has initiated programs to provide greater opportunities for farmers and ranchers to engage in sustainable environmental stewardship practices.

Kimberly Fisk

Global Head of Procurement for Commodities, Nestlé

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Kimberly is the Global Head of Procurement for Commodities in Nestlé, where she is responsible for a global team managing commodity procurement activities. Her previous experience started in the NZ Dairy Industry before moving to the UK and working in supply chain and procurement roles in FMCG companies. She joined Nestle in 2009 where she has focused on global sourcing strategies and risk management across commodities based in UK, Singapore and Switzerland.

Donald Moore

Executive Director, Global Dairy Platform

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Donald is the Executive Director of the Global Dairy Platform (GDP), based in Chicago USA, and serves as Chairman of the Dairy Sustainability Framework, as a leader of the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative, and as a member of the UN Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) Guiding Group. He is the past Chairman of the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) and the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) to the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

GDP is a not-for-profit industry association representing the global dairy sector. GDP membership which includes ~100 leading cooperatives, companies, associations, scientific bodies, and other partners, has operations in more than 150 countries and collectively produces more than one third of all the world’s milk. GDP’s work programme spans Nutritional Security, Sustainability, Dairy Development, Marketing/Communications and engaging on behalf of the dairy sector with the United Nations agenda.

Before joining GDP in 2010, Donald spent 10 years with Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. in a variety of roles including Managing Director, Oceania; Director, Business Development and Director, Ingredients Marketing. While with Fonterra Donald represented the cooperative on the boards of many of its joint venture businesses in Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Europe.

Prior to his involvement in the dairy sector, Donald spent 10 years as Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand’s largest independent business and information management consulting firm where he oversaw its international expansion, opening offices across South East Asia.

Born in Northern Ireland, Donald emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1970’s and then moved to the United States to join Global Dairy Platform in 2010.

Dr. Sara Place

Chief Sustainability Officer, Elanco

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Sara is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Elanco where she provides technical expertise on sustainability issues to customers and supports Elanco’s Healthy Purpose. Prior to Elanco, she was the senior director for sustainable beef production research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and an assistant professor in sustainable beef cattle systems at Oklahoma State University. She received her PhD in Animal Biology from the University of California, Davis, and a BS in Animal Science from Cornell University.

Richard Corey

Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board

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Richard W. 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.

Mr. 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 toxics. 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, he oversees the Board’s administrative services and information technology operations.

Mr. Corey has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Toxicology as well as an MBA from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Judith Bryans

Chief Executive, Dairy UK

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Dr. Judith Bryans is the Chief Executive of Dairy UK. She took over the running of the organisation in October 2013. Prior to that she was Director of The Dairy Council, a position she held from 2006. Judith was elected President of the International Dairy Federation in 2016 and served a four-year term in that role. After completing her term as IDF President, Judith was made an Honorary Member of the IDF and is also the Chair of the IDF Task Force on the UN Food Systems Summit. Judith also served on the Board of the Global Dairy Platform. At a European level, Judith is a member of the Board of the European Dairy Association (EDA). In the UK, Judith is a Board member of a number of organisations including Dairy Energy Savings and the Milk Marketing Forum. Judith has a PhD from King’s College London and is a Registered Nutritionist.

Geoffrey Vanden Heuvel

Director of Regulatory & 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.  His 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.  Geoffrey 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.

Dr. Frank Mitloehner

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

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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 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”.

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 CEO of the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) where he focuses on building awareness and demand for California dairy products across the U.S. and around the world.

Mr. Talbot began his career in sales at Procter & Gamble before joining Pepsi-Cola where he spent 12 years in a variety of brand management and product development roles. His background in consumer products also includes 2 years leading new product development for E&J Gallo Winery and 3 years running global market development for the Almond Board of California.

 

Dr. Stephan Peters

Nutrition Science Manager, Dutch Dairy Organization

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Dr. Stephan Peters is nutrition science manager at the Dutch Dairy Organization (NZO) since 2015. In this function he coordinates and carries out research on healthy and sustainable diets. Before, Dr. Peters worked at the Netherlands Nutrition Center as science and quality manager and participated in the Dutch food dietary guidelines. Dr. Peters also was a product developer in clinical nutrition at Danone Research, the Netherlands, and at TNO Pharma, the Netherlands. Dr. Peters’ PhD was on the topic of nutrition in involuntary weight loss (cancer cachexia).

Hansel New

Director of Sustainability, Dairy Farmers of America

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Hansel is Director of Sustainability at Dairy Farmers of America, a farmer-owned cooperative and one the world’s leading dairy food companies. In this role he leads sustainability efforts across the coop and helps members and DFA business units implement a variety of environmental conservation practices.  Prior to DFA, he held sustainability positions at Whitewave Foods and Danone North America. Hansel’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and an MBA in Sustainable Business. Raised near the banks of the Snake River in Oregon’s Treasure Valley, he grew up with a deep appreciation for the land and the farmers who steward it.

Dr. Gregory Miller

Global Chief Science Officer, National Dairy Council

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Gregory D. Miller, Ph.D., M.A.C.N., Global CSO for National Dairy Council, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois. Dr. Miller is also Nutritional Security Sector Lead for the Global Dairy Platform and is recognized as a leading voice in the global food system. Dr. Miller is currently leading the effort to enhance dairy’s contributions toward a more sustainable food system by examining the intersection between nutrition, health, food insecurity, and environmental impact. Dr. Miller is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and served on the editorial board of many other journals.

Marcus Benedetti

Chairman of the Board, Clover Sonoma

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Marcus Benedetti is Chairman of the Board of family owned and operated Clover Sonoma. He was born and raised in Sonoma County, and he is the grandson of the original founder Gene M. Benedetti. Benedetti became President in 2006, CEO in January 2011 taking the reins from his father Dan Benedetti, and Chairman of the Board in January 2022.

 

Benedetti studied Business Administration at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Upon completion of his studies, he returned to Sonoma County where he started his career at Clover. Over the years, as demand for Clover products grew, he established Clover in new markets including Sacramento, Southern California, as well as the Rockies and Southwest regions. He is now supporting the company’s growth nationally including new product innovations, sustainability initiatives, and Clover Cares corporate philanthropic efforts. As the company expands, Benedetti commits to continue the company’s progress as a certified B Corp, operating as a power for good with integrity and quality at the foundation.

Dr. Ermias Kebreab

Associate Dean of Global Engagement and Director of World Food Center, University of California, Davis

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Ermias Kebreab is Associate Dean of Global Engagement and Director of World Food Center at University of California, Davis. He holds the Sesnon Endowed Chair in Sustainable Agriculture. He conducts research in nutrition modeling and impact of livestock on the environment. He is contributing author to 2019 IPCC update, and chaired the feed additive and methane committees of FAO of the United Nations. He has authored over 250 peer-reviewed articles and received several awards including Excellence in Ruminant Nutrition and International Agriculture from American Society of Animal Science. He is a member of the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the US National Academy of Sciences. He is regularly an invited speaker and gave a TED talk in 2021. His research was in the top 10 of all research conducted at the University of California system in 2021.

Heather Anfang

Senior Vice President, U.S. Dairy Foods, Land O’Lakes, Inc.

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Heather serves as the senior vice president for U.S. Dairy Foods where she oversees strategic and commercial activities in the Dairy Retail and Foodservice businesses, partners to drive overall brand health and encourages the continued engagement and development of team members within the Dairy Foods business. Heather has served Land O’Lakes for 20 years, including many years heading Dairy Foods Marketing and more recently, heading enterprise-wide e-commerce efforts. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam

Professor of Cooperative Extension, Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, University of California, Davis

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Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is a Professor of Cooperative Extension in the field of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis.  She received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and both an MS in Animal Science, and a PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. Her publicly-funded research and outreach program focuses on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems. Her current research projects include the development of genome editing approaches for cattle. She has given over 700 invited presentations to audiences globally, and uses a variety of media to inform general public audiences about science and technology. A passionate advocate of science, Dr. Van Eenennaam was the recipient of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology 2014 Borlaug Communication Award and the American Society of Animal Science 2019 Rockefeller Prentice Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics. Twitter: @BioBeef.

Ashley Rosales, RDN

Nutrition Science Officer , Dairy Council of California

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Ashley Rosales, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, is the Nutrition Science Officer for Dairy Council of California where she oversees programs and strategies that improve the health of children and families through developing lifelong healthy eating habits. Driven by Dr. Bruce Daggy’s quote, “Let’s build wellness rather than treating disease,” Ashley specializes in applying consensus research to amplify the important role of milk and dairy foods in healthy, sustainable eating patterns and addressing nutritional needs across the lifespan to support optimal health. With a professional background in strategic planning, issues management, trends tracking and communications, Ashley leads efforts to empower stakeholders to use evidenced-based nutrition science to ensure communities have access to nutritious foods and to make healthy eating easier. Ashley serves as a steering committee member for the California Local School Wellness Policy Collaborative and carries volunteer leadership roles in the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the California Conference of Local Health Department Nutritionists. Ashley is a media spokesperson for both traditional and social media channels. She received her Bachelor of Sciences degree in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis and completed her dietetic internship program at Napa State Hospital.

Dr. Stephen R. Kaffka

Professor of Extension and Director, California Biomass Collaborative, University of California, Davis

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Dr. Stephen Kaffka is extension agronomist and specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, and Director of the California Biomass Collaborative. Current biomass energy crop research includes winter annual oilseed crops like canola, camelina and castor, sweet sorghum, sugar beets and sugar cane projects. He has also worked on agriculture and water quality projects including the use of salt-affected lands and low quality water supplies for biomass production using salt-tolerant grasses in the San Joaquin Valley of California, and agricultural and water quality issues in the upper Klamath Basin.

Kaffka is an advisor to the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis on bioenergy issues. He advises the California Energy Commission and the California Resources Agency on biomass energy and sustainability issues, and has served as an ex officio member of the stateís Bioenergy Interagency Work Group. He was a technical advisory committee member for the California Energy Commissionís Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Transportation Program.  Dr. Kaffka participated on the California Air Resources Boardís Sustainability Standards and Indirect Land Use Change workgroups.

Kaffka was a member of a National Research Councils committee producing a congressionally mandated report on the Renewable Fuel Standard, Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Fuel Policy. He helped author the new SCOPE report: Bioenergy and Sustainability: Bridging the Gaps. From 2003 to 2007 he was director of the Long Term Research on Agricultural Systems Project at UC Davis, focused on the sustainability of farming systems in California.

Chris Kopman

General Manager, Newtrient

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Chris Kopman is the General Manager at Newtrient. In this role Chris is responsible for all financial matters related to Newtrient, and plays a key role in advancing Business Development initiatives.

Before coming to Newtrient, Chris was Vice President of Business Services for the Kraft Heinz Company with responsibility for the shared services organization managing the transactions related to the $21B of Net Sales in North America. Over a 16-year career at Kraft, he held various finance roles and spent the majority of his career supporting the Cheese & Dairy business. Prior to joining Kraft, Chris worked for Caterpillar, Inc. in Peoria. Chris is an experienced finance and business professional with a proven track record of driving strategic initiatives and delivering business results.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Illinois State University.

Dr. Emma Gregson

Environment Manager, Dairy UK

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Emma is the Environment Manager at Dairy UK, where she is responsible for overseeing the Dairy Roadmap; a cross-industry initiative that brings together participants from the entire dairy supply chain to reduce its environmental footprint. Prior to her current role, Emma spent more than a decade in academia researching sustainable dairy farming and teaching agri-business and animal science. She received a PhD in Agriculture from the University of Nottingham and a BSc from the University of Leeds.

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.

Tammy Anderson-Wise

Chief Executive Officer, Dairy Council of California

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Tammy Anderson-Wise serves as CEO of Dairy Council of California. Guided by a passion for the role milk and milk products play in a healthy diet, Anderson-Wise leads Dairy Council of CA’s cause of elevating elevate the health of children and families through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits. As CEO, Anderson-Wise oversees the strategic direction of Dairy Council of CA and ensures it maximizes opportunities and drives innovation to fulfill its charge as the California dairy industry’s contribution to community health. Under her direction, Dairy Council of CA 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 – that focus on behavior change and teaching individuals to make nutrient-rich food choices from all food groups. She has been instrumental in forging key partnerships with such organizations as the California State PTA, Department of Education and School Boards Association. She served as a visionary for the establishment of a statewide collaborative addressing local school wellness policies, and her commitment to producing scientifically sound and balanced nutrition education curricula has played a key role in securing Dairy Council of CA’s place as a go-to source for student nutrition. In an ongoing effort to reach and educate more children and families, more times and more ways, Ms. Anderson-Wise provides counsel to numerous education, health and dairy industry advisory groups, committees and boards, including: Raley’s Food for Families honorary board; Dairy Management Inc./Innovation Centers Health & Wellness advisory committee; Cal Poly dairy sciences department advisory board; California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division advisory panels; California Society of Association Executives and the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Simon Vander Woude

Owner, Vander Woude Dairy

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Simon Vander Woude and his wife Christine own and operate three dairies in Merced County. Vander Woude Dairy has been utilizing genomic data for strategic breeding decisions since 2012. They have also added Dutch Door Dairy and Grand View Dairy, each operated independently, but working collaboratively on a breeding strategy to maximize genetic gains and minimize heifer raising expenses. Vander Woude Dairy also has had solar since 2014 and has recently added a methane digester. The Vander Woude family believes sustainability must start with an economic benefit to the dairy operation that will be mutually advantageous to the dairy and the environment. Simon currently serves as the chairman of California Dairies, Inc., as well as being a board member of several national dairy organizations and various local organizations.

Michael Boccadoro

Executive Director, Dairy Cares

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Michael Boccadoro has participated in California’s environmental policy arena for more than 30 years. He specializes in public affairs consulting and has distinctive expertise in the areas of environmental, climate, natural resources, and sustainability management. As president of West Coast Advisors, Boccadoro is responsible for overseeing the firm’s climate and sustainability practices. Boccadoro has served as the executive director of Dairy Cares since its inception 20 years ago and is a leading national expert on sustainable dairy production. Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition of dairy farmers, processors, and trade associations that works to help advance sustainable practices on California’s family dairy farms. Additionally, Boccadoro serves as executive director of the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association and the California Creamery Operators Association. Boccadoro received his Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from the University of California, Davis.

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.

Brian Fiscalini

CEO, Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company

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Brian Fiscalini is the CEO of Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company.  Brian grew up on the 4th generation family farm and has great memories of working alongside his father, John, as a youngster.  Before coming home the family business Brian worked as an intern in Northern Indiana and Central Wisconsin for Fair Oaks Dairy Farms.  Brian has worked in many aspects of animal husbandry, dairy cattle nutrition, growing crops, cheese manufacturing, sales and marketing for the family business.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.  Brian is married to wife, Danielle, and they have three children, Mathew, Claire and Thomas.

Bryan Welly

Herd Manager and Staff Veterinarian, Fiscalini Farmstead

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Dr. Bryan Welly grew up in Southern California during grade school and subsequently in Utah throughout middle school and high school. His passion for livestock was cultivated in his early years on his grandparents beef cattle operation. He pursued his B.S. in Animal Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After graduating from Cal Poly, he obtained his Master’s degree in Cattle Genomics at UC Davis, where he assembled the genome for the etiologic agent of foothill abortion and also worked on establishing genomic predictions for a vertically-integrated beef operation with Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam. He then received his DVM from University of California, Davis with a focus in food animal medicine. Dr. Welly worked for HEALTHSUM throughout Veterinary school where he created epidemiologic herd analysis reports for dairy producers.  Dr. Welly joined Mid-Valley Large Animal Service after graduation in the Summer of 2019 as an Associate Veterinarian. He now resides at Fiscalini Farmstead as the Herd Manager and Staff Veterinarian where he started in the Winter of 2020.

Aaron Wickstrom

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

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Aaron is a 4th generation dairy farmer near Hilmar, CA. He is managing partner of Wickstrom Dairies L.P. a 2400 cow Jersey dairy and Valsigna Farms Aaron is a 4th generation dairy farmer near Hilmar, CA. He 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. he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Economics from North Park University, Chicago, IL.

Ashley Boren

Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation

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Ashley has directed the strategy, growth and operations of Sustainable Conservation since 1997. Ashley received a 2007 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for her unwavering commitment to innovative, balanced problem-solving to address a variety of critical environmental problems facing California.

Prior to Sustainable Conservation, Ashley spent eight years at Smith & Hawken, a mail-order and retail gardening company, where she worked in finance, new business development, inventory planning and retail merchandising. She began her career at The Nature Conservancy in program development and fundraising. In addition to her work at Sustainable Conservation, Ashley serves on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and UC California’s President’s Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources. Ashley served on the Board of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation from 2002 to 2011 (the last two years as Chair), on Stanford Business School’s Alumni Consulting Team Board from 1995 to 2002 (the last three years as Chair), and Executive Committee of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute’s External Advisory Board at UC Davis from 2008-2018.

Ashley is a graduate of the Marlborough School in Los Angeles, which awarded her their 2008 Woman of the Year Award, and has a BA in human biology, an MA in applied economics and an MBA from Stanford University.

Caroline Emond

Director General, International Dairy Federation, Brussels

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Caroline Emond was appointed Director General of the International Dairy Federation in February 2018. She is a lawyer, has been a diplomate and has 25 years’ experience in senior executive and public affairs roles in private, public and the not-for-profit sectors. Caroline is an inspiring and motivating leader. She is known for her capacity to influence and bring people together to deliver business objectives and changes.

Caroline studied law at Université de Montréal and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1994. She is a trained mediator and certified in corporate governance. Caroline Emond hails from La Baie, in Quebec’s Saguenay region. She currently lives in Brussels.

Denise Mullinax

Director, California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), Assistant Director, California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP)

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Denise currently serves the California dairy industry as the Director of the California Dairy Research Foundation and as the Assistant Director of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program. She has over 20 years of experience in leading on-farm change and has worked in both academic and private sectors within the dairy industry. Denise has devoted her career to assisting dairy producers and professionals in continued improvement in environmental stewardship, food safety and security, and animal care. She earned a B.S. in animal science and M.S. in agriculture and management from UC Davis.

Denise joined the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program in 2006 as its Assistant Director, a position she still holds today. CDQAP is an industry, academic and regulatory partnership that promotes the health and welfare of dairy livestock, consumers, and the environment through educational outreach, research and 3rd party on-farm evaluation. CDQAP has led the California dairy industry in complying with the toughest air and water quality regulations in the nation in addition to having the highest participation in the National Dairy FARM program of any state in the country.

In 2018, Denise was appointed as the Director of the California Dairy Research Foundation, a non-profit public research management organization primarily funded by dairy producer check-off dollars and focused on supporting the California dairy industry sustainability research and education needs. Founded in 1988, CDRF’s mission is to lead and deliver the most relevant research and science-based education programs, while collaborating and partnering with other dairy industry organizations to support an innovative and sustainable California dairy industry.

Denise and her family live in Turlock, California where they farm almonds, walnuts and sheep.

John Schaap

Director of Engineering , Bennett Environmental, Inc.

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John Schaap is Director of Engineering at Bennett Environmental, Inc. in Visalia, California.  With over 20 years of agricultural and civil engineering experience, Mr. Schaap has consulted on design projects as well as environmental/regulatory compliance projects for agricultural and industrial operations, working with clients, local Counties, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

Mr. Schaap’s broad base of experience includes designing numerous animal and waste management facilities domestically and abroad, and managing the associated projects involved with permitting and ultimately building practical facilities for his clients’ businesses.  Prior to joining Bennett Environmental, he served as a Vice President at a prominent civil engineering firm in the Central Valley.

Mr. Schaap is a licensed agricultural and civil engineer in the state of California.  He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering and earned a master’s degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of California, Davis.  He served as a Kings County Planning Commissioner for four years and is a graduate of Class 39 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

John resides in Visalia with his wife and 4 children.

Mai Ann Healy

Vice President, Sales & Marketing , BioFiltro

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Mai Ann leads sales and marketing for BioFiltro where she works with dairies, food processors, wineries, and rural sanitary clients to design and install worm powered wastewater systems that address their environmental needs. Through BioFiltro’s ability to avoid the formation of GHGs at dairy operations, Mai Ann also works to explore how farmers, CPG companies, cooperatives, and carbon credit entities can collaborate to install more systems across the country while lowering the industry’s carbon footprint.

Before BioFiltro, Mai Ann worked in food processing and then did consulting in developing countries where she focused on zero waste solutions. She has a BA from Middlebury College and a Certificate in Innovation from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Michael McCullough

Professor of Agribusiness, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

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Michael McCullough is a Professor of Agribusiness at California Polytechnic State University. His research and teaching interests deal with California production agriculture, including the regulatory environment currently faced by producers, and the economics and policy of beer and wine. Current research projects span from an assessment of regulatory costs on specialty crops to the effects of climate change and water policy on rural communities.

Peter Williams

Chief Executive Officer, Partner, Advantec Associates Inc./Feedworks, USA Ltd

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After gaining a degree in Animal Science from Newcastle University, England Peter Williams moved to the United States for some farming experience followed by two years with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in New Zealand.  He then spent six years working as a Photo-Journalist around the World, most of his articles concerning Agriculture.

Back in the UK he worked with the Country’s largest Agribusiness (Dalgety Agriculture) in a range of technical and management roles until 1995 when he left to become General Manager of Feed Additives for Akzo Nobel in the UK & Ireland, working on technical and market development of a range of feed additives, in particular essential oils.

In 2002 he transferred to Davis, California to develop opportunities for the business in North America.   Through corporate transfers and acquisitions, he worked for two other large multi-national agribusinesses before starting his own company – Advantec Associates and at the same time becoming a partner in Feedworks USA Ltd. in 2008.  Continuing his long-time relationship with technical experts in the field of essential oils, Advantec and Feedworks USA Ltd. became the exclusive distributor of the Agolin range of essential oils and compounds as well as other well proven feed additives in North America.  They have partnered with Agri-Nutrient Solutions to distribute part of their portfolio in Canada.

Peter continues to live in Davis, California and is married with two grown children.

Rasmus Prehn

Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Denmark

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Mr. Rasmus Prehn was appointed Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries on November 19th 2020. Prior he has served as Minister for International Development, 27. June 2019 – 19. November 2020. Mr. Rasmus Prehn holds a MSc (Social Science) from Aalborg University in Denmark. Minister Prehn is the Danish co-signer of the Memorandum of Understanding between Denmark and California on sustainable dairy production.

David De Groot

Principal Civil Engineer, 4Creeks, Inc.

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David De Groot is a licensed professional civil engineer in the Central Valley of California. For more than eighteen years he has leveraged his skills to assist in the management of water, development of local cities, and assisting private agricultural clients with new projects, permitting, and environmental compliance.  For the past 14 years, he has served many dairy facilities with expansions, wastewater upgrades, and digester design and permitting.  In addition to serving as the dairies in the Central Valley, he manages as the Watermaster of the Tule River Association, manages the Tule Basin Water Quality Coalition for the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program, and most recently is the Tule Subbasin Coordinator to help implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act with the various Groundwater Sustainability Agencies within the Tule Subbasin.

Mr. De Groot is a native to the San Joaquin Valley, having grown up on a dairy farm in Tulare County where he still lives today.  He graduated from Calvin College, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation, he returned to the Central Valley and began his professional career and became a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California.

In June, 2008, Mr. De Groot co-founded 4Creeks, Inc., a Civil Engineering and Land Surveying company based in Visalia, CA. At this time, he refocused his career and his engineering skills on the agricultural community.  By providing innovative and forward-thinking designs coupled with practical solutions for agricultural operations, Mr. De Groot has become one of the leading agricultural engineers in the Central Valley.

David leads an active and engaged family life, enjoying time with his wife and four sons. The young family enjoys traveling and spending time with their large extended family, participating with various youth sports (both coach and players), and helping out in the local community.

Emily Rooney

President, Agricultural Council of California

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Emily Rooney is the President of the Agricultural Council of California.  Founded in 1919, Ag Council is a member-support organization advocating for 15,000 farmers across California, ranging from small, farmer-owned businesses to the world’s best-known brands.  Emily joined Ag Council in 2008.

Prior to her work with Ag Council, Emily served as director of farm policy for the California Farm Bureau and she also has legislative experience from public service in Washington, D.C., where she worked for two Members of Congress.

Emily is also the host of the Capitol Farm Connection podcast, which provides policy updates on environmental, water, labor and other issues impacting California agriculture.  The podcast also features in-depth interviews from member CEOs and elected officials around the state.

Emily comes from an agricultural background in San Joaquin County where her family owns a beef cattle operation just outside of Lodi.  Emily is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, and Class 39 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

 

Joan Salwen

CEO, Blue Ocean Barns

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Joan Salwen is the CEO of Blue Ocean Barns, maker of Brominata, the most effective burp suppressant for cattle. Brominata is a 100% natural digestive aid and source of minerals that helps cows derive more nutritional value, especially energy, from their feed. Grown in Hawaii and California, Brominata is a variety of Asparagopsis, a red seaweed with nothing added and nothing taken away. Joan was a Managing Director at Accenture, a global consulting firm, for 20 years before building a team at Stanford University to explore the efficacy and safety of red seaweed as a feed additive. Joan grew up in rural Iowa in the long shadow of her family farm, which is still farmed by her aunt and first cousins.

Jenny Lester Moffitt

Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, United States Department of Agriculture

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Jennifer Lester Moffitt is the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture, the first female to serve in this position. Prior to joining USDA, she worked for the California Department of Food and Agriculture where she championed the critically important work of farmers and producers in her roles as Undersecretary and Deputy Secretary. Under Secretary Moffitt has deep roots in agriculture and ran her family’s organic walnut farm and processing operation for 10 years, expanding domestic and international markets, and implementing climate smart agricultural practices. As a former farmer and now policymaker, Under Secretary Moffitt believes in the importance of engaging agricultural stakeholders and working collaboratively to sustain our environment, strengthen our rural economies, and build a more reliable, resilient, and equitable food system.

Mark van Nieuwland

VP Bovaer®, DSM Nutritional Products

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Mark, together with his team, aims to further enhance sustainability of ruminant production systems through innovations, such as methane inhibitors. He is based out of Switzerland, but you can find him wherever there are cows. He is a true global citizen that works closely with the dairy and beef sectors around the world to support the successful introduction and commercialization of those innovations.

He is the global program director for 3-NOP, the methane inhibitor which has been extensively tested, and consistently delivered an enteric methane reduction of ~30%. This innovation was featured in 2019 by the World Resources Institute as one of the ten global break-through technologies that can help feed the world sustainably.

Prior to DSM, Mark held positions at McKinsey & Co. and Celesio. He holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from Erasmus University, and a BSc and a BA from Pennsylvania State University.

Stephen Shehadey

Owner, Bar 20 Dairy and Larry Shehadey Farms

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Stephen Shehadey is a third-generation dairy farmer in Fresno County. He and seven other family members own Bar 20 Dairy and Larry Shehadey Farms.  Stephen runs the dairy and farming operations for the family. The dairy supplies milk to another family business, Producers Dairy, which distributes local dairy products throughout central and northern California.  The farming operations grows alfalfa and silage to feed the cows. The family operates two solar projects and a methane digester that produces energy from the dairy waste with a Bloom Fuel Cell. The renewable energy projects produce more energy than the dairy and farms use. The dairy also installed an electric feed mixing station which runs from the renewable electricity produced from the fuel cell.  Stephen is also working with a hydrogen production company to supply power from the fuel cell to produce renewable hydrogen for transportation fuel.

Stephen believes everyone benefits with sustainability. His family has lived in the community since 1950, they and recognize that everyone benefits from cleaner air and energy. The fourth generation is also beginning to become involved in the business.  Doing more with less is the goal. Efficiency is the name of the game.

Stephen serves on the McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency Stakeholder Committee, Tranquility Resource Conservation District Board, Fresno Dairy Herd Improvement Association Board, and Fresno State Agriculture Foundation Board. Stephen received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California in Business Administration-Entrepreneurship in 1991.

 

Thomas Hafner

CEO, Mootral

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Thomas has over 27 years of experience in building businesses, incubating technologies and creating completely new categories and markets from scratch in the field of biotechnology, nutraceuticals, medical devices and animal health. Most recently he has started and built Mootral into a true pioneer in the area of helping to secure safe and sustainable protein from livestock, including creating technologies and the ecosystem necessary to scale solutions to help farmers help the planet by reducing methane emissions from ruminant animals.

Neil Black

President, California Bioenergy

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Neil Black is the president of California Bioenergy and 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 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.

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CA Dairy Summit Speakers:

Brad Anderson, President and CEO, California Dairies, Inc.

Brad Anderson serves as the president and chief executive officer of California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), the world’s largest manufacturer of non-fat milk powder, the largest producer of butter in the United States, and an exporter of finished dairy products to over 50 countries. To this role, he brings over 29 years of leadership and consumer goods experience, spanning several leading consumer products companies, and a passion for dairy nutrition.

Brad remains committed to CDI’s important and straightforward beliefs – we are stronger together, we do what is right, we take the lead, and we work hard – guide Brad in leading the Cooperative. Since taking the CDI helm in January 2020, Brad has led the Cooperative into growth mode, driven by investments in people, technology, and innovation.

Joining CDI in 2018, Brad served as the chief operating officer, cultivating a cohesive company structure and aligning strategy. Brad joined CDI from Dean Foods, where he worked for over eight years, most recently as senior vice president and chief sales officer. During his time at Dean Foods, Brad was active in the dairy industry, serving on the MilkPEP Board for six years in total and as Chairman of the Board for the last two years.

Brad is the Chairman of the Board of Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. and the DairyAmerica Board President. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the American Dairy Products Institute, U.S. Dairy Export Council, International Dairy Foods Association, and Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
Brad earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia. He resides in Visalia, California, with his wife, Patti, and children, Bailey and Jake.

Kelly Bengston, Senior Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer, Starbucks

Kelly Bengston is senior vice president, chief procurement officer at Starbucks. Kelly is responsible for enhancing Starbucks enterprise-wide functional strategic planning and sourcing, creating consistent global sourcing processes, developing a planning and sourcing talent management program and building a values-based approach to working with suppliers.

A respected leader inside and outside Starbucks, Kelly has held numerous leadership positions during her 10+ years with Starbucks, including direct and indirect sourcing, store development, commercialization, and supply chain strategy and deployment.  Kelly attributes much of her success over the years to her ability to create flexible, high-functioning, and creative teams that unlock possibilities through shared value relationships, cross-functional collaboration, autonomy, and supply chain management excellence.

Kelly holds a B.S. in Management from Central Washington University.  She also gives back to her alma mater by serving on the university foundation board and board development committee.

Prior to joining Starbucks, Kelly gained broad experience in packaging, product development, manufacturing, and project management at Macy’s, Bensussen Deutsch, Cranium and Hasbro. She enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her family. Her favorite beverage is Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew.

Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, USDA

Robert Bonnie is the Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation at USDA. Prior to joining USDA, Bonnie was at Duke University first as a Rubenstein Fellow and later as an Executive in Residence at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions working on conservation and environmental issues in rural America. In 2020, Bonnie also worked with the Bipartisan Policy Center on its Farm and Forest Carbon Solutions Initiative. Bonnie was Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at USDA from 2013 to 2017, and a senior advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack from 2009 to 2013. Prior to joining USDA, Robert was vice president for land conservation at Environmental Defense Fund where he focused on developing incentives to reward stewardship on private lands. Robert has master’s degrees from Duke in forestry and environmental management. He lives with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Lilly, in Loudoun County, Virginia.

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. Ross has initiated programs to provide greater opportunities for farmers and ranchers to engage in sustainable environmental stewardship practices.

Kimberly Fisk, Global Head of Procurement for Commodities, Nestlé

Kimberly is the Global Head of Procurement for Commodities in Nestlé, where she is responsible for a global team managing commodity procurement activities. Her previous experience started in the NZ Dairy Industry before moving to the UK and working in supply chain and procurement roles in FMCG companies. She joined Nestle in 2009 where she has focused on global sourcing strategies and risk management across commodities based in UK, Singapore and Switzerland.

Donald Moore, Executive Director, Global Dairy Platform

Donald is the Executive Director of the Global Dairy Platform (GDP), based in Chicago USA, and serves as Chairman of the Dairy Sustainability Framework, as a leader of the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative, and as a member of the UN Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) Guiding Group. He is the past Chairman of the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) and the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) to the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

GDP is a not-for-profit industry association representing the global dairy sector. GDP membership which includes ~100 leading cooperatives, companies, associations, scientific bodies, and other partners, has operations in more than 150 countries and collectively produces more than one third of all the world’s milk. GDP’s work programme spans Nutritional Security, Sustainability, Dairy Development, Marketing/Communications and engaging on behalf of the dairy sector with the United Nations agenda.

Before joining GDP in 2010, Donald spent 10 years with Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. in a variety of roles including Managing Director, Oceania; Director, Business Development and Director, Ingredients Marketing. While with Fonterra Donald represented the cooperative on the boards of many of its joint venture businesses in Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Europe.

Prior to his involvement in the dairy sector, Donald spent 10 years as Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand’s largest independent business and information management consulting firm where he oversaw its international expansion, opening offices across South East Asia.

Born in Northern Ireland, Donald emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1970’s and then moved to the United States to join Global Dairy Platform in 2010.

Dr. Sara Place, Chief Sustainability Officer, Elanco

Sara is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Elanco where she provides technical expertise on sustainability issues to customers and supports Elanco’s Healthy Purpose. Prior to Elanco, she was the senior director for sustainable beef production research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and an assistant professor in sustainable beef cattle systems at Oklahoma State University. She received her PhD in Animal Biology from the University of California, Davis, and a BS in Animal Science from Cornell University.

Richard Corey, Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board

Richard W. 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.

Mr. 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 toxics. 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, he oversees the Board’s administrative services and information technology operations.

Mr. Corey has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Toxicology as well as an MBA from the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Judith Bryans, Chief Executive, Dairy UK

Dr. Judith Bryans is the Chief Executive of Dairy UK. She took over the running of the organisation in October 2013. Prior to that she was Director of The Dairy Council, a position she held from 2006. Judith was elected President of the International Dairy Federation in 2016 and served a four-year term in that role. After completing her term as IDF President, Judith was made an Honorary Member of the IDF and is also the Chair of the IDF Task Force on the UN Food Systems Summit. Judith also served on the Board of the Global Dairy Platform. At a European level, Judith is a member of the Board of the European Dairy Association (EDA). In the UK, Judith is a Board member of a number of organisations including Dairy Energy Savings and the Milk Marketing Forum. Judith has a PhD from King’s College London and is a Registered Nutritionist.

Geoffrey Vanden Heuvel, Director of Regulatory & 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.  His 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.  Geoffrey 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.

Dr. Frank Mitloehner, 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 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”.

John Talbot, CEO, California Milk Advisory Board

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

Mr. Talbot began his career in sales at Procter & Gamble before joining Pepsi-Cola where he spent 12 years in a variety of brand management and product development roles. His background in consumer products also includes 2 years leading new product development for E&J Gallo Winery and 3 years running global market development for the Almond Board of California.

 

Dr. Stephan Peters, Nutrition Science Manager, Dutch Dairy Organization

Dr. Stephan Peters is nutrition science manager at the Dutch Dairy Organization (NZO) since 2015. In this function he coordinates and carries out research on healthy and sustainable diets. Before, Dr. Peters worked at the Netherlands Nutrition Center as science and quality manager and participated in the Dutch food dietary guidelines. Dr. Peters also was a product developer in clinical nutrition at Danone Research, the Netherlands, and at TNO Pharma, the Netherlands. Dr. Peters’ PhD was on the topic of nutrition in involuntary weight loss (cancer cachexia).

Hansel New, Director of Sustainability, Dairy Farmers of America

Hansel is Director of Sustainability at Dairy Farmers of America, a farmer-owned cooperative and one the world’s leading dairy food companies. In this role he leads sustainability efforts across the coop and helps members and DFA business units implement a variety of environmental conservation practices.  Prior to DFA, he held sustainability positions at Whitewave Foods and Danone North America. Hansel’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and an MBA in Sustainable Business. Raised near the banks of the Snake River in Oregon’s Treasure Valley, he grew up with a deep appreciation for the land and the farmers who steward it.

Dr. Gregory Miller, Global Chief Science Officer, National Dairy Council

Gregory D. Miller, Ph.D., M.A.C.N., Global CSO for National Dairy Council, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois. Dr. Miller is also Nutritional Security Sector Lead for the Global Dairy Platform and is recognized as a leading voice in the global food system. Dr. Miller is currently leading the effort to enhance dairy’s contributions toward a more sustainable food system by examining the intersection between nutrition, health, food insecurity, and environmental impact. Dr. Miller is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and served on the editorial board of many other journals.

Marcus Benedetti, Chairman of the Board, Clover Sonoma

Marcus Benedetti is Chairman of the Board of family owned and operated Clover Sonoma. He was born and raised in Sonoma County, and he is the grandson of the original founder Gene M. Benedetti. Benedetti became President in 2006, CEO in January 2011 taking the reins from his father Dan Benedetti, and Chairman of the Board in January 2022.

 

Benedetti studied Business Administration at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Upon completion of his studies, he returned to Sonoma County where he started his career at Clover. Over the years, as demand for Clover products grew, he established Clover in new markets including Sacramento, Southern California, as well as the Rockies and Southwest regions. He is now supporting the company’s growth nationally including new product innovations, sustainability initiatives, and Clover Cares corporate philanthropic efforts. As the company expands, Benedetti commits to continue the company’s progress as a certified B Corp, operating as a power for good with integrity and quality at the foundation.

Dr. Ermias Kebreab, Associate Dean of Global Engagement and Director of World Food Center, University of California, Davis

Ermias Kebreab is Associate Dean of Global Engagement and Director of World Food Center at University of California, Davis. He holds the Sesnon Endowed Chair in Sustainable Agriculture. He conducts research in nutrition modeling and impact of livestock on the environment. He is contributing author to 2019 IPCC update, and chaired the feed additive and methane committees of FAO of the United Nations. He has authored over 250 peer-reviewed articles and received several awards including Excellence in Ruminant Nutrition and International Agriculture from American Society of Animal Science. He is a member of the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the US National Academy of Sciences. He is regularly an invited speaker and gave a TED talk in 2021. His research was in the top 10 of all research conducted at the University of California system in 2021.

Heather Anfang, Senior Vice President, U.S. Dairy Foods, Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Heather serves as the senior vice president for U.S. Dairy Foods where she oversees strategic and commercial activities in the Dairy Retail and Foodservice businesses, partners to drive overall brand health and encourages the continued engagement and development of team members within the Dairy Foods business. Heather has served Land O’Lakes for 20 years, including many years heading Dairy Foods Marketing and more recently, heading enterprise-wide e-commerce efforts. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, Professor of Cooperative Extension, Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, University of California, Davis

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is a Professor of Cooperative Extension in the field of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis.  She received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and both an MS in Animal Science, and a PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. Her publicly-funded research and outreach program focuses on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems. Her current research projects include the development of genome editing approaches for cattle. She has given over 700 invited presentations to audiences globally, and uses a variety of media to inform general public audiences about science and technology. A passionate advocate of science, Dr. Van Eenennaam was the recipient of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology 2014 Borlaug Communication Award and the American Society of Animal Science 2019 Rockefeller Prentice Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics. Twitter: @BioBeef.

Ashley Rosales, RDN, Nutrition Science Officer , Dairy Council of California

Ashley Rosales, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, is the Nutrition Science Officer for Dairy Council of California where she oversees programs and strategies that improve the health of children and families through developing lifelong healthy eating habits. Driven by Dr. Bruce Daggy’s quote, “Let’s build wellness rather than treating disease,” Ashley specializes in applying consensus research to amplify the important role of milk and dairy foods in healthy, sustainable eating patterns and addressing nutritional needs across the lifespan to support optimal health. With a professional background in strategic planning, issues management, trends tracking and communications, Ashley leads efforts to empower stakeholders to use evidenced-based nutrition science to ensure communities have access to nutritious foods and to make healthy eating easier. Ashley serves as a steering committee member for the California Local School Wellness Policy Collaborative and carries volunteer leadership roles in the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the California Conference of Local Health Department Nutritionists. Ashley is a media spokesperson for both traditional and social media channels. She received her Bachelor of Sciences degree in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis and completed her dietetic internship program at Napa State Hospital.

Dr. Stephen R. Kaffka, Professor of Extension and Director, California Biomass Collaborative, University of California, Davis

Dr. Stephen Kaffka is extension agronomist and specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, and Director of the California Biomass Collaborative. Current biomass energy crop research includes winter annual oilseed crops like canola, camelina and castor, sweet sorghum, sugar beets and sugar cane projects. He has also worked on agriculture and water quality projects including the use of salt-affected lands and low quality water supplies for biomass production using salt-tolerant grasses in the San Joaquin Valley of California, and agricultural and water quality issues in the upper Klamath Basin.

Kaffka is an advisor to the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis on bioenergy issues. He advises the California Energy Commission and the California Resources Agency on biomass energy and sustainability issues, and has served as an ex officio member of the stateís Bioenergy Interagency Work Group. He was a technical advisory committee member for the California Energy Commissionís Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Transportation Program.  Dr. Kaffka participated on the California Air Resources Boardís Sustainability Standards and Indirect Land Use Change workgroups.

Kaffka was a member of a National Research Councils committee producing a congressionally mandated report on the Renewable Fuel Standard, Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Fuel Policy. He helped author the new SCOPE report: Bioenergy and Sustainability: Bridging the Gaps. From 2003 to 2007 he was director of the Long Term Research on Agricultural Systems Project at UC Davis, focused on the sustainability of farming systems in California.

Chris Kopman, General Manager, Newtrient

Chris Kopman is the General Manager at Newtrient. In this role Chris is responsible for all financial matters related to Newtrient, and plays a key role in advancing Business Development initiatives.

Before coming to Newtrient, Chris was Vice President of Business Services for the Kraft Heinz Company with responsibility for the shared services organization managing the transactions related to the $21B of Net Sales in North America. Over a 16-year career at Kraft, he held various finance roles and spent the majority of his career supporting the Cheese & Dairy business. Prior to joining Kraft, Chris worked for Caterpillar, Inc. in Peoria. Chris is an experienced finance and business professional with a proven track record of driving strategic initiatives and delivering business results.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Illinois State University.

Dr. Emma Gregson, Environment Manager, Dairy UK

Emma is the Environment Manager at Dairy UK, where she is responsible for overseeing the Dairy Roadmap; a cross-industry initiative that brings together participants from the entire dairy supply chain to reduce its environmental footprint. Prior to her current role, Emma spent more than a decade in academia researching sustainable dairy farming and teaching agri-business and animal science. She received a PhD in Agriculture from the University of Nottingham and a BSc from the University of Leeds.

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.

Tammy Anderson-Wise, Chief Executive Officer, Dairy Council of California

Tammy Anderson-Wise serves as CEO of Dairy Council of California. Guided by a passion for the role milk and milk products play in a healthy diet, Anderson-Wise leads Dairy Council of CA’s cause of elevating elevate the health of children and families through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits. As CEO, Anderson-Wise oversees the strategic direction of Dairy Council of CA and ensures it maximizes opportunities and drives innovation to fulfill its charge as the California dairy industry’s contribution to community health. Under her direction, Dairy Council of CA 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 – that focus on behavior change and teaching individuals to make nutrient-rich food choices from all food groups. She has been instrumental in forging key partnerships with such organizations as the California State PTA, Department of Education and School Boards Association. She served as a visionary for the establishment of a statewide collaborative addressing local school wellness policies, and her commitment to producing scientifically sound and balanced nutrition education curricula has played a key role in securing Dairy Council of CA’s place as a go-to source for student nutrition. In an ongoing effort to reach and educate more children and families, more times and more ways, Ms. Anderson-Wise provides counsel to numerous education, health and dairy industry advisory groups, committees and boards, including: Raley’s Food for Families honorary board; Dairy Management Inc./Innovation Centers Health & Wellness advisory committee; Cal Poly dairy sciences department advisory board; California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division advisory panels; California Society of Association Executives and the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Simon Vander Woude, Owner, Vander Woude Dairy

Simon Vander Woude and his wife Christine own and operate three dairies in Merced County. Vander Woude Dairy has been utilizing genomic data for strategic breeding decisions since 2012. They have also added Dutch Door Dairy and Grand View Dairy, each operated independently, but working collaboratively on a breeding strategy to maximize genetic gains and minimize heifer raising expenses. Vander Woude Dairy also has had solar since 2014 and has recently added a methane digester. The Vander Woude family believes sustainability must start with an economic benefit to the dairy operation that will be mutually advantageous to the dairy and the environment. Simon currently serves as the chairman of California Dairies, Inc., as well as being a board member of several national dairy organizations and various local organizations.

Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares

Michael Boccadoro has participated in California’s environmental policy arena for more than 30 years. He specializes in public affairs consulting and has distinctive expertise in the areas of environmental, climate, natural resources, and sustainability management. As president of West Coast Advisors, Boccadoro is responsible for overseeing the firm’s climate and sustainability practices. Boccadoro has served as the executive director of Dairy Cares since its inception 20 years ago and is a leading national expert on sustainable dairy production. Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition of dairy farmers, processors, and trade associations that works to help advance sustainable practices on California’s family dairy farms. Additionally, Boccadoro serves as executive director of the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association and the California Creamery Operators Association. Boccadoro received his Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from the University of California, Davis.

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.

Brian Fiscalini, CEO, Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company

Brian Fiscalini is the CEO of Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company.  Brian grew up on the 4th generation family farm and has great memories of working alongside his father, John, as a youngster.  Before coming home the family business Brian worked as an intern in Northern Indiana and Central Wisconsin for Fair Oaks Dairy Farms.  Brian has worked in many aspects of animal husbandry, dairy cattle nutrition, growing crops, cheese manufacturing, sales and marketing for the family business.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.  Brian is married to wife, Danielle, and they have three children, Mathew, Claire and Thomas.

Bryan Welly, Herd Manager and Staff Veterinarian, Fiscalini Farmstead

Dr. Bryan Welly grew up in Southern California during grade school and subsequently in Utah throughout middle school and high school. His passion for livestock was cultivated in his early years on his grandparents beef cattle operation. He pursued his B.S. in Animal Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After graduating from Cal Poly, he obtained his Master’s degree in Cattle Genomics at UC Davis, where he assembled the genome for the etiologic agent of foothill abortion and also worked on establishing genomic predictions for a vertically-integrated beef operation with Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam. He then received his DVM from University of California, Davis with a focus in food animal medicine. Dr. Welly worked for HEALTHSUM throughout Veterinary school where he created epidemiologic herd analysis reports for dairy producers.  Dr. Welly joined Mid-Valley Large Animal Service after graduation in the Summer of 2019 as an Associate Veterinarian. He now resides at Fiscalini Farmstead as the Herd Manager and Staff Veterinarian where he started in the Winter of 2020.

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

Aaron is a 4th generation dairy farmer near Hilmar, CA. He is managing partner of Wickstrom Dairies L.P. a 2400 cow Jersey dairy and Valsigna Farms Aaron is a 4th generation dairy farmer near Hilmar, CA. He 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. he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Economics from North Park University, Chicago, IL.

Ashley Boren, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation

Ashley has directed the strategy, growth and operations of Sustainable Conservation since 1997. Ashley received a 2007 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for her unwavering commitment to innovative, balanced problem-solving to address a variety of critical environmental problems facing California.

Prior to Sustainable Conservation, Ashley spent eight years at Smith & Hawken, a mail-order and retail gardening company, where she worked in finance, new business development, inventory planning and retail merchandising. She began her career at The Nature Conservancy in program development and fundraising. In addition to her work at Sustainable Conservation, Ashley serves on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and UC California’s President’s Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources. Ashley served on the Board of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation from 2002 to 2011 (the last two years as Chair), on Stanford Business School’s Alumni Consulting Team Board from 1995 to 2002 (the last three years as Chair), and Executive Committee of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute’s External Advisory Board at UC Davis from 2008-2018.

Ashley is a graduate of the Marlborough School in Los Angeles, which awarded her their 2008 Woman of the Year Award, and has a BA in human biology, an MA in applied economics and an MBA from Stanford University.

Caroline Emond, Director General, International Dairy Federation, Brussels

Caroline Emond was appointed Director General of the International Dairy Federation in February 2018. She is a lawyer, has been a diplomate and has 25 years’ experience in senior executive and public affairs roles in private, public and the not-for-profit sectors. Caroline is an inspiring and motivating leader. She is known for her capacity to influence and bring people together to deliver business objectives and changes.

Caroline studied law at Université de Montréal and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1994. She is a trained mediator and certified in corporate governance. Caroline Emond hails from La Baie, in Quebec’s Saguenay region. She currently lives in Brussels.

Denise Mullinax, Director, California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), Assistant Director, California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP)

Denise currently serves the California dairy industry as the Director of the California Dairy Research Foundation and as the Assistant Director of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program. She has over 20 years of experience in leading on-farm change and has worked in both academic and private sectors within the dairy industry. Denise has devoted her career to assisting dairy producers and professionals in continued improvement in environmental stewardship, food safety and security, and animal care. She earned a B.S. in animal science and M.S. in agriculture and management from UC Davis.

Denise joined the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program in 2006 as its Assistant Director, a position she still holds today. CDQAP is an industry, academic and regulatory partnership that promotes the health and welfare of dairy livestock, consumers, and the environment through educational outreach, research and 3rd party on-farm evaluation. CDQAP has led the California dairy industry in complying with the toughest air and water quality regulations in the nation in addition to having the highest participation in the National Dairy FARM program of any state in the country.

In 2018, Denise was appointed as the Director of the California Dairy Research Foundation, a non-profit public research management organization primarily funded by dairy producer check-off dollars and focused on supporting the California dairy industry sustainability research and education needs. Founded in 1988, CDRF’s mission is to lead and deliver the most relevant research and science-based education programs, while collaborating and partnering with other dairy industry organizations to support an innovative and sustainable California dairy industry.

Denise and her family live in Turlock, California where they farm almonds, walnuts and sheep.

John Schaap, Director of Engineering , Bennett Environmental, Inc.

John Schaap is Director of Engineering at Bennett Environmental, Inc. in Visalia, California.  With over 20 years of agricultural and civil engineering experience, Mr. Schaap has consulted on design projects as well as environmental/regulatory compliance projects for agricultural and industrial operations, working with clients, local Counties, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

Mr. Schaap’s broad base of experience includes designing numerous animal and waste management facilities domestically and abroad, and managing the associated projects involved with permitting and ultimately building practical facilities for his clients’ businesses.  Prior to joining Bennett Environmental, he served as a Vice President at a prominent civil engineering firm in the Central Valley.

Mr. Schaap is a licensed agricultural and civil engineer in the state of California.  He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering and earned a master’s degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of California, Davis.  He served as a Kings County Planning Commissioner for four years and is a graduate of Class 39 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

John resides in Visalia with his wife and 4 children.

Mai Ann Healy, Vice President, Sales & Marketing , BioFiltro

Mai Ann leads sales and marketing for BioFiltro where she works with dairies, food processors, wineries, and rural sanitary clients to design and install worm powered wastewater systems that address their environmental needs. Through BioFiltro’s ability to avoid the formation of GHGs at dairy operations, Mai Ann also works to explore how farmers, CPG companies, cooperatives, and carbon credit entities can collaborate to install more systems across the country while lowering the industry’s carbon footprint.

Before BioFiltro, Mai Ann worked in food processing and then did consulting in developing countries where she focused on zero waste solutions. She has a BA from Middlebury College and a Certificate in Innovation from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Michael McCullough, Professor of Agribusiness, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Michael McCullough is a Professor of Agribusiness at California Polytechnic State University. His research and teaching interests deal with California production agriculture, including the regulatory environment currently faced by producers, and the economics and policy of beer and wine. Current research projects span from an assessment of regulatory costs on specialty crops to the effects of climate change and water policy on rural communities.

Peter Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Partner, Advantec Associates Inc./Feedworks, USA Ltd

After gaining a degree in Animal Science from Newcastle University, England Peter Williams moved to the United States for some farming experience followed by two years with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in New Zealand.  He then spent six years working as a Photo-Journalist around the World, most of his articles concerning Agriculture.

Back in the UK he worked with the Country’s largest Agribusiness (Dalgety Agriculture) in a range of technical and management roles until 1995 when he left to become General Manager of Feed Additives for Akzo Nobel in the UK & Ireland, working on technical and market development of a range of feed additives, in particular essential oils.

In 2002 he transferred to Davis, California to develop opportunities for the business in North America.   Through corporate transfers and acquisitions, he worked for two other large multi-national agribusinesses before starting his own company – Advantec Associates and at the same time becoming a partner in Feedworks USA Ltd. in 2008.  Continuing his long-time relationship with technical experts in the field of essential oils, Advantec and Feedworks USA Ltd. became the exclusive distributor of the Agolin range of essential oils and compounds as well as other well proven feed additives in North America.  They have partnered with Agri-Nutrient Solutions to distribute part of their portfolio in Canada.

Peter continues to live in Davis, California and is married with two grown children.

Rasmus Prehn, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Denmark

Mr. Rasmus Prehn was appointed Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries on November 19th 2020. Prior he has served as Minister for International Development, 27. June 2019 – 19. November 2020. Mr. Rasmus Prehn holds a MSc (Social Science) from Aalborg University in Denmark. Minister Prehn is the Danish co-signer of the Memorandum of Understanding between Denmark and California on sustainable dairy production.

David De Groot, Principal Civil Engineer, 4Creeks, Inc.

David De Groot is a licensed professional civil engineer in the Central Valley of California. For more than eighteen years he has leveraged his skills to assist in the management of water, development of local cities, and assisting private agricultural clients with new projects, permitting, and environmental compliance.  For the past 14 years, he has served many dairy facilities with expansions, wastewater upgrades, and digester design and permitting.  In addition to serving as the dairies in the Central Valley, he manages as the Watermaster of the Tule River Association, manages the Tule Basin Water Quality Coalition for the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program, and most recently is the Tule Subbasin Coordinator to help implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act with the various Groundwater Sustainability Agencies within the Tule Subbasin.

Mr. De Groot is a native to the San Joaquin Valley, having grown up on a dairy farm in Tulare County where he still lives today.  He graduated from Calvin College, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation, he returned to the Central Valley and began his professional career and became a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California.

In June, 2008, Mr. De Groot co-founded 4Creeks, Inc., a Civil Engineering and Land Surveying company based in Visalia, CA. At this time, he refocused his career and his engineering skills on the agricultural community.  By providing innovative and forward-thinking designs coupled with practical solutions for agricultural operations, Mr. De Groot has become one of the leading agricultural engineers in the Central Valley.

David leads an active and engaged family life, enjoying time with his wife and four sons. The young family enjoys traveling and spending time with their large extended family, participating with various youth sports (both coach and players), and helping out in the local community.

Emily Rooney, President, Agricultural Council of California

Emily Rooney is the President of the Agricultural Council of California.  Founded in 1919, Ag Council is a member-support organization advocating for 15,000 farmers across California, ranging from small, farmer-owned businesses to the world’s best-known brands.  Emily joined Ag Council in 2008.

Prior to her work with Ag Council, Emily served as director of farm policy for the California Farm Bureau and she also has legislative experience from public service in Washington, D.C., where she worked for two Members of Congress.

Emily is also the host of the Capitol Farm Connection podcast, which provides policy updates on environmental, water, labor and other issues impacting California agriculture.  The podcast also features in-depth interviews from member CEOs and elected officials around the state.

Emily comes from an agricultural background in San Joaquin County where her family owns a beef cattle operation just outside of Lodi.  Emily is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, and Class 39 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

 

Joan Salwen, CEO, Blue Ocean Barns

Joan Salwen is the CEO of Blue Ocean Barns, maker of Brominata, the most effective burp suppressant for cattle. Brominata is a 100% natural digestive aid and source of minerals that helps cows derive more nutritional value, especially energy, from their feed. Grown in Hawaii and California, Brominata is a variety of Asparagopsis, a red seaweed with nothing added and nothing taken away. Joan was a Managing Director at Accenture, a global consulting firm, for 20 years before building a team at Stanford University to explore the efficacy and safety of red seaweed as a feed additive. Joan grew up in rural Iowa in the long shadow of her family farm, which is still farmed by her aunt and first cousins.

Jenny Lester Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, United States Department of Agriculture

Jennifer Lester Moffitt is the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture, the first female to serve in this position. Prior to joining USDA, she worked for the California Department of Food and Agriculture where she championed the critically important work of farmers and producers in her roles as Undersecretary and Deputy Secretary. Under Secretary Moffitt has deep roots in agriculture and ran her family’s organic walnut farm and processing operation for 10 years, expanding domestic and international markets, and implementing climate smart agricultural practices. As a former farmer and now policymaker, Under Secretary Moffitt believes in the importance of engaging agricultural stakeholders and working collaboratively to sustain our environment, strengthen our rural economies, and build a more reliable, resilient, and equitable food system.

Mark van Nieuwland, VP Bovaer®, DSM Nutritional Products

Mark, together with his team, aims to further enhance sustainability of ruminant production systems through innovations, such as methane inhibitors. He is based out of Switzerland, but you can find him wherever there are cows. He is a true global citizen that works closely with the dairy and beef sectors around the world to support the successful introduction and commercialization of those innovations.

He is the global program director for 3-NOP, the methane inhibitor which has been extensively tested, and consistently delivered an enteric methane reduction of ~30%. This innovation was featured in 2019 by the World Resources Institute as one of the ten global break-through technologies that can help feed the world sustainably.

Prior to DSM, Mark held positions at McKinsey & Co. and Celesio. He holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from Erasmus University, and a BSc and a BA from Pennsylvania State University.

Stephen Shehadey, Owner, Bar 20 Dairy and Larry Shehadey Farms

Stephen Shehadey is a third-generation dairy farmer in Fresno County. He and seven other family members own Bar 20 Dairy and Larry Shehadey Farms.  Stephen runs the dairy and farming operations for the family. The dairy supplies milk to another family business, Producers Dairy, which distributes local dairy products throughout central and northern California.  The farming operations grows alfalfa and silage to feed the cows. The family operates two solar projects and a methane digester that produces energy from the dairy waste with a Bloom Fuel Cell. The renewable energy projects produce more energy than the dairy and farms use. The dairy also installed an electric feed mixing station which runs from the renewable electricity produced from the fuel cell.  Stephen is also working with a hydrogen production company to supply power from the fuel cell to produce renewable hydrogen for transportation fuel.

Stephen believes everyone benefits with sustainability. His family has lived in the community since 1950, they and recognize that everyone benefits from cleaner air and energy. The fourth generation is also beginning to become involved in the business.  Doing more with less is the goal. Efficiency is the name of the game.

Stephen serves on the McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency Stakeholder Committee, Tranquility Resource Conservation District Board, Fresno Dairy Herd Improvement Association Board, and Fresno State Agriculture Foundation Board. Stephen received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California in Business Administration-Entrepreneurship in 1991.

 

Thomas Hafner, CEO, Mootral

Thomas has over 27 years of experience in building businesses, incubating technologies and creating completely new categories and markets from scratch in the field of biotechnology, nutraceuticals, medical devices and animal health. Most recently he has started and built Mootral into a true pioneer in the area of helping to secure safe and sustainable protein from livestock, including creating technologies and the ecosystem necessary to scale solutions to help farmers help the planet by reducing methane emissions from ruminant animals.

Neil Black, President, California Bioenergy

Neil Black is the president of California Bioenergy and 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 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.

Stay Tuned for More Announcements

2022 Agenda (Subject to change)

TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2022

9:30 AM

Opening Session: Welcome to Planet-Smart Dairy

 

Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares

9:50 AM

Dairy Leads the Way: Global Partnerships Solving Global Challenges

 
  • Donald Moore, Executive Director, Global Dairy Platform
  • Dr. Judith Bryans, Chief Executive, Dairy UK
  • Moderator: Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

10:50 AM

Farm to Market: How the Dairy Supply Chain is Partnering on Sustainable Solutions

 
  • Kimberly Fisk, Global Head of Procurement– Commodities, Nestlé
  • Kelly Bengston, Senior Vice President/Chief Procurement Officer, Starbucks
  • Brad Anderson, CEO, California Dairies, Inc.
  • Moderator: John Talbot, CEO, California Milk Advisory Board

11:40 AM

Achieving Climate Neutrality

 
  • Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Professor and Air Quality Specialist, University of California, Davis
  • Dr. Sara Place, Chief Sustainability Officer, Elanco
  • Moderator: Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares
 

Sponsored by:

12:10 PM

Break

1:00 PM

Policies for Promoting Planet-Smart Dairy

 
  • Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Richard Corey, Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board
  • Moderator: Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares

1:45 PM

Dairy’s Next Gen

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2022

9:30 AM

Global Collaboration: How Denmark and California Are Partnering

 

Rasmus Prehn, Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries

9:35 AM

The New Frontier: Sustainability Values Drive Innovation

 
  • Marcus Benedetti, Chairman of the Board, Clover Sonoma
  • Heather Anfang, Senior Vice President, U.S. Dairy Foods, Land O’Lakes, Inc.
  • Hansel New, Director of Sustainability Programs, Dairy Farmers of America
  • Moderator: Tammy Anderson-Wise, Chief Executive Officer, Dairy Council of California

10:25 AM

Global Sustainability & Dietary Frameworks: Advancing Dairy’s Contributions to Healthy, Sustainable Food Systems

 
  • Dr. Greg Miller, Global Chief Science Officer, National Dairy Council
  • Dr. Emma Gregson, Environment Manager, Dairy UK
  • Dr. Stephan Peters, Manager Nutrition and Sustainability, The Dutch Dairy Association, NZO (NL)
  • Moderator: Ashley Rosales, Nutrition Science Officer, Dairy Council of California

11:15 AM

Planet-Smart Dairy Showcase

 
  • Steve Shehadey, Owner, Bar 20 Dairy Farm
  • Ashley Boren, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation
  • Emily Rooney, President, Agricultural Council of California
  • Moderator: Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares

11:55 AM

Break

12:25 PM

Addressing Water Scarcity

 
  • David De Groot, Principal Civil Engineer, 4Creeks, Inc.
  • Dr. Michael McCollough, Professor of Agribusiness, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
  • Moderator: Geoffrey Vanden Heuvel, Director of Regulatory & Economic Affairs, Milk Producers Council

1:20 PM

Solving the Nutrient Surplus and Ensuring Water Quality

 
  • Chris Kopman, General Manager, Newtrient
  • Aaron Wickstron, Managing Partner, Wickstrom Dairies L.P. and Valsigna Farms
  • Stephen Kaffka, Professor of Extension and Director, California Biomass Collaborative, University of California, Davis
  • Ryan Flaherty, Director of Business Partnerships, Sustainable Conservation
  • Moderator: J.P. Cativiela, Administrator, Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Prgm., Regulatory Director, Dairy Cares

1:55 PM

Global Perspective on Dairy Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals and Sustainable Food Systems

 

Caroline Edmund, Director General, International Dairy Federation, Brussels

THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2022

9:30 AM

Day 3 Welcome

9:35 AM

Technology Showcase: Methane and Water Quality

 
  • Neil Black, President, California Bioenergy
  • Mai Ann Healy, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, BioFiltro
  • John Schaap, Director of Engineering, Bennett Environmental
  • Moderator: Michael Boccadoro, Executive Director, Dairy Cares

10:25 AM

Reducing Enteric Emissions: Solutions on the Way

 
  • Dr. Ermias Kebreab, Associate Dean for Global Engagement, Director, Professor and Sesnon Endowed Chair; University of California, Davis
  •  Joan Salwen, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Ocean Barns
  • Peter Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Partner, Advantec Associates Inc./Feedworks, USA Ltd
  • Moderator: Denise Mullinax, Executive Director, California Dairy Research Foundation

11:15 AM

California Dairy Sustainability Awards

11:30 AM

Break

12:00 PM

Genetic Strategies for Sustainability

 
  • Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, Professor of Cooperative Extension, Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, University of California, Davis
  • Simon Vander Woude, Owner, Vander Woude Dairy
  • Brian Fiscalini, Chief Executive Officer, Fiscalini Farmstead and Cheese Company
  • Moderator: Dr. Bryan Welly, Herd Manager and Staff Veterinarian, Fiscalini Farmstead
 

Sponsored by:

12:50 PM

Manure Handling and Use + Cow Feeding (Research Poster Q&A Session)

   

Moderator: Denise Mullinax, Executive Director, California Dairy Research Foundation

 

Hosted by:

1:20 PM

Methane Reduction, Capability Building, and Cow Care (Research Poster Q&A Session)

 

Moderator: Kevin Comerford, Chief Science Officer, California Dairy Research Foundation

 

Hosted by:

1:50 PM

Closing Remarks

 
 

Download the 2022 Summit Agenda

2022 Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Partners

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

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Gold Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

California Dairy Industry Supporters

Online Registration Sponsor

Session Sponsors

Event Partner Organizations

Media Partners

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.

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