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.
Tim L. Cross, chancellor, previously served as Dean of University of Tennessee Extension. UT Extension is the agricultural, community and economic development, youth, and family and consumer outreach unit of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Appointed as Dean in July 2008, Dr. Cross has served the University of Tennessee as professor of agricultural economics beginning in 1994, developing and delivering educational programs concerning the economics of livestock management, animal waste management, forage production, and sustainable agriculture. Beginning in 2001, he served UT as Assistant Dean and then Associate Dean of Extension.
Dr. Cross has served on the Board on Ag Assembly, Policy Board of Directors of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities, as well as on the Extension Committee on Policy (ECOP) and the ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee. He also served as the ECOP representative to the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research and Outreach Committee. He is a member of the Research, Outreach, and Economic Development Committee of the UT Board of Trustees as well as a member of the UT President’s Strategic Planning committee.
An agricultural economist by training, Dr. Cross received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Oklahoma State University in 1980 and 1982, respectively, and served as an instructor of agricultural economics, marketing and policy at Fort Hayes State University before pursuing his doctoral degree at Oregon State University. After receiving his Ph.D. from Oregon State in 1991, Dr. Cross continued to serve on the faculty of that institution as an Extension Specialist in farm management and information technology until 1994, when he came to the University of Tennessee.
For the last 7 years Eubanks has been assisting farmers in western Tennessee with crop insurance and other risk management decisions. Eubanks has consistently been a top producer for Farm Credit Mid-America’s crop insurance team, and led the organization in sales in 2014. He has a background in grain, cotton and vegetable production and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Mississippi State University.
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.
Eric R. Snodgrass is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also received his master’s degree. Previously, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Geography from Western Illinois University.
Each year, Professor Snodgrass guides more than 1,500 University of Illinois students through the wild side of weather in his popular course Severe and Hazardous Weather. He also teaches General Physical Meteorology, Meteorological Instrumentation, and Economics of Weather, and he advises all undergraduate majors and minors in the department, widely recognized as one of the best meteorology programs in the nation.
Professor Snodgrass’s research initiatives focus on K–12 science education as well as weather forecasting applications in financial markets. He is a cofounder of Global Weather and Climate Logistics, a private company that advises weather-sensitive financial institutions. His company merged with Agrible, a precision farm management and predictive analytics company, where he is also a cofounder and principal atmospheric scientist.
At the University of Illinois, Professor Snodgrass has received the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In addition, his online version of Severe and Hazardous Weather was named the best online course of 2012 by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. His current research deals with weather risk involving landfalling tropical cyclones and global agricultural yield projections.
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.