Freddie Barnard is a native of the state of Kentucky where he grew up on a family farm, which he currently owns and manages with his brother and cousin. Dr. Barnard received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1982. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University where he has been a member of the faculty for the past 33 years. He teaches agribusiness management to undergraduate students and works with agricultural producers and lenders in the state of Indiana and across the country. He has served as the director of the Midwest Agricultural Banking School for the past 34 years and teaches at several other agricultural lending schools across the country. He retired in 1998 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, after serving 23 years in the Illinois Army National Guard. He and his wife, Shirley, live in Lafayette IN and have 3 children.
Elizabeth Yeager is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Kansas State University in 2015, she was on the faculty at Purdue University. Dr. Yeager’s research and teaching interests include agricultural finance, farm management, marketing and production. Her research has focused on firm productivity and efficiency, repayment risk, and producer’s views towards risk on their farm.
BILL JOHNSON (Conference Speaker)
Bill Johnson is President and CEO of Farm Credit Mid-America, a $22 billion agricultural cooperative serving over 100,000 farmers, agribusinesses, and rural residents in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He has over 30 years of financial services experience within the Farm Credit System and has held leadership roles in Farm Credit entities across the country including the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and New England.
Johnson came to Farm Credit Mid-America in March 2011 from AgriBank in St. Paul, MN where he served as Executive Vice President-Chief Risk and Information Officer. He grew up on a small farm in Southern Indiana and worked in his family’s farm supply business. Johnson received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Evansville and a Masters of Business Administration from Gonzaga University.
Johnson currently serves as Vice Chair of the Farm Credit System President’s Planning Committee and is a member of the Business Practices Committee. He is a board member of Denver based Farm Credit Council Services and Indianapolis based AgriNovus Indiana. He also serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of Evansville and is active at other universities in speaking and advisory roles.
David Kohl received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. For 25 years, Kohl was Professor of Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia. He was on special leave with the Royal Bank of Canada working on advanced initiatives for two years, and also assisted in the launch of the successful entrepreneurship program at Cornell University. Kohl is Professor Emeritus in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at Virginia Tech.
Kohl has traveled over 8 million miles throughout his professional career! He has conducted more than 6,000 workshops and seminars for agricultural groups such as bankers, Farm Credit, FSA, and regulators, as well as producer and agribusiness groups. He has published four books and over 1,300 articles on financial and business-related topics in journals, extension, and other popular publications. Kohl regularly writes for Corn and Soybean Digest, and other ag lending publications.
He has received 11 major teaching awards while teaching over 10,000 students, and 18 major Extension and Public Service awards from Virginia Tech, Cornell University, and state and national organizations. Kohl is a two-time recipient of the prestigious American Agricultural Economics Association's Outstanding Teaching Award. Kohl is one of only five professors in the nearly 100-year history of the Association to receive the award twice. He received the Governor's award for his distinguished service to Virginia agriculture, the youngest recipient to receive this award.
Kohl has addressed the American Bankers Agricultural Conference for over 30 consecutive years, and has appeared before numerous state bankers' schools and conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the world. He has also been one of the top rated instructors at the LSU and Colorado Graduate Schools of Banking, and is Chancellor of Farm Credit University, which has trained over 700 lenders using an online and face-to-face educational approach.
As facilitator of the United States Farm Financial Standards Task Force and member of the Canadian Agricultural Financial Standards Task Force, Dr. Kohl was one of the leaders in establishing guidelines for the standardized reporting and analysis of agricultural producers' financial information on a national and international basis. The Kohl Agribusiness Centre has been established in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech in honor of his long-term commitment to practical teaching, research, and extension.
Kohl is currently President of AgriVisions, LLC, a knowledge-based consulting business providing cutting-edge programs to leading agricultural organizations worldwide. He is also a business coach and part owner of Homestead Creamery, a value added dairy business in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
On a more personal note, Dave enjoys playing basketball and likes most sports, farms, dogs, and covered bridges; he dislikes lazy students, administrative bureaucracies, and paperwork!
RICHARD BROCK (Conference Speaker)
Richard Brock is owner and president of Brock Associates, an agricultural marketing advisory service and publisher of The Brock Report, a 24 page weekly fundamental and technical newsletter. His firm manages grain sales on over 400,000 acres throughout the U.S. and is an advisor on purchasing strategies for many large poultry, pork, dairy and food companies. Brock is on retainer with several agribusiness firms for his input on strategic planning. He writes a monthly column for two agriculture magazines and speaks at over 50 conventions and conferences per year.
Brock grew up on the family grain and pork farm in central Indiana. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and his Master’s Degree from Cornell University. He lives in Milwaukee, WI and Destin, FL.
Steve Isaacs serves the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture as an Extension Professor in Agricultural Economics, Co-Director of the Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program, and Director of the UK Income Tax Seminar Program.
Steve has been at the University of Kentucky since 1992. He has a BS (’76) and PhD (’92) from the University of Tennessee. He grew up on a hill-side farm in East Tennessee, managed a commercial farming operation for nine years prior to graduate school, and continues to manage a diversified family farm in Nonesuch, Kentucky with his wife, Geri, and son, Ben. He has over 250 print and electronic publications and has conducted over 700 Extension educational programs. He teaches Ag Management Principles and Human Resource Management at UK and has been active in undergraduate curriculum development and student advising.
Steve has received Extension and teaching awards at the state, regional, and national level. He has international farm management experience in Africa, Europe, New Zealand, and South America. He has chaired both the Southern and North Central Farm Management Extension committees and served on the national FFA Farm Business Management committee. He also served as the Assistant Director for Community and Economic Development for UK’s Cooperative Extension Service.
Dr. Thomas Payne is Dean of the College of Business at Tennessee Tech University. As dean, Dr. Payne serves as the senior academic and administrative officer, provides leadership and vision, and sets strategic, operational, and financial direction for the college. The TTU College of Business includes three academic departments serving 1,400 students across nine undergraduate programs and the MBA. Home to sixty faculty and staff, the college includes the Student Success Center, Student-to-Career Center, Small Business Development Center, chairs of excellence in information technology and quality assurance, and the ICube Innovation Center.
Prior to joining TTU, Dr. Payne served as the University of Tennessee at Martin Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking and as chair of the UTM Department of Accounting, Finance, Economics and Political Science. His prior professional experience includes positions at Texas Instruments Incorporated, Rockwell International, and UT Chattanooga.
Dr. Payne's collaborative initiatives include nationally ranked academic programs, the Mid-South School of Advanced Agricultural Lending, and the UTM Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (REED) Center. Dr. Payne serves on the faculty of the Barrett Graduate School of Banking, the Tennessee Bankers Association Southeastern School of Consumer Credit, the Southeastern School of Banking, and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU where he received the 2013 Eugene Spragens president's award for teaching excellence. He served as a visiting professor at the University of Orléans (France) where he taught Financial Analysis and Risk Management. He partnered with Financial Services Volunteer Corporation to assist the Savings Bank of Albania during its privatization and hosted a management program for Russian bank executives with Tennessee community banks. He has published dozens of articles, provided hundreds of presentations to community groups and professional audiences, and partnered with academic, government, and private organizations to secure millions of dollars in grant funding for education and economic development.
Dr. Payne is a member of the 2015 Highlands Emerging Leaders Program and a member of the national 2016 Academy of Higher Education Leadership. Tom has served as the chair of the Martin Industrial Board, member of the Weakley County Economic Development Board, and as a member of the WestStar Leadership Program Board of Trustees. He is a past president of the Southwestern Finance Association. A Rotarian and multiple Paul Harris Fellow, Dr. Payne is a past president of the Martin Rotary Club and current member of the Cookeville Rotary Club. Dr. Payne holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas, an MBA with a Concentration in Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Arkansas. Tom and his wife Amy have two daughters, Rachel and Rebekah, who live and work in the greater Nashville area.
Matt Roberts is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University. Dr. Roberts is a nationally-renowned expert and speaker on the grain and energy markets. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and Forbes, and has been interviewed on CNBC. Roberts received a B.A. in Economics from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Economics from North Carolina State University. Prior to graduate school Roberts worked as a commodity and energy derivatives broker in Vienna, Austria and as a market research consultant to the pharmaceutical industry in North Carolina. Dr. Roberts’ research interests relate to his experience in the commodity markets. Dr. Roberts has published on technical analysis and the use of derivatives for risk management in agricultural production. His extension and outreach activities focus on biofuels markets and the grain market situation and outlook. He has given testimony before the Ohio House Alternative Energy Committee, and assisted state and federal lawmakers on agricultural and energy issues. He is an active speaker, appearing approximately 50 times per year around the nation on grain, petroleum, and biofuels markets, and is also an active consultant to the commodity industry. He has been at The Ohio State University since 2001.
Dr. Roberts lives in Worthington, OH with his wife and four children. They enjoy traveling, hiking, biking and rock-climbing as a family. Dr. Roberts has been an amateur bicycle racer for 19 years, and is currently the youth rock-climbing coach for Vertical Adventures Rock Gym in Columbus, OH.
Bruce Williams received a BBA in Sales Marketing from The University of Memphis in 1977. After graduation, he purchased and rented farmland to start a cotton and grain farming operation in West Tennessee. While growing his farming interest, he served as Fire Chief of the local volunteer fire department and served 8 years as a Gibson County Commissioner. In 2007, he rented out his farmland and was began working for a local grain elevator and farm supply to originate grain and provide crop inputs. He is currently a Senior Account Representative for The Andersons Grain Division, originating grain and helping West Tennessee and Arkansas growers customers manage risk.
Vince Bailey has spent most of his life and career associated with agriculture. He grew up on a cash grain and livestock farm in Central Indiana. After earning his degree from Purdue in 1986, he joined the Farm Credit system. By 1986, the farm financial crisis was beginning to subside, but the following 10 years spent working through troubled accounts provided a broad base of experiences shaped much of his career and lending philosophy. With the financial boom in the recent 5 to 7 years Mr. Bailey has experienced both extremes in the farm financial cycle.
During his career at Farm Credit, he hhas held numerous positions from Special Accounts Officer, Financial Services Officer, Credit Officer, Vice President Credit Agribusiness and now Regional Vice President Agribusiness. Vince currently serves on the FCMA Association Loan Committee, Credit Committee, Business Development Committee and Leadership Team. In the last three years he have been involved in developing the current Agribusiness structure, Leasing Partnership and a new Swap product called AgriHedge that provides an alternative to a traditional hedge.