2016 Annual Meeting Recap

Speaker Biography Information Below: 

Render Products Forum (Animal Protein/Tallow Combined)

Charles SSpeaker: Dr. Charles Starkey
, Auburn University

Topic: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Dr. Charles Starkey received his BS and MS degrees from Arkansas State University; and his PhD in Animal Nutrition from Kansas State University.  He began his career as a New Business Development Manager for DSM Nutritional Products and has also worked as a nutrition and production management consultant. More recently, Dr. Starkey was the Director of Technical Services with American Proteins, Inc. where he was responsible for quality assurance, quality control, regulatory, analytical services, and customer support and compliance. Dr. Starkey also served as the Director of Monogastric Technical Services for Balchem Corporation just prior to joining the faculty at Auburn University’s Poultry Science Department in May 2016.


ryan-standardSpeaker: Ryan Standard, The Jacobsen Publishing

Topic: Current Market Conditions for Animal Proteins and Fats

Ryan Standard has been with The Jacobsen since 2007 where he worked closely with Bill Dieterichs before taking over the domestic and international animal fats and protein reports. He also is a frequent contributor to the biodiesel bulletin. Ryan graduated from Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL in 2003 where he studied literature, history and economics.



Luncheon Meeting – Keynote Speakers, Sara Fagen & Doug Sosnik

Staff-sFagenSpeaker: Sara Fagen, 

An entrepreneur with a keen eye for integrating data and technology, Sara Fagen is one of the nation’s leading political and issue strategists. Sara offers considerable insight and expertise to some of the world’s most influential brands.

Sara served as a senior aide and White House Political Director to President George W. Bush. She also played a key role in the President’s 2004 re-election campaign, where she served as a senior strategist. The Wall Street Journal called her a “data whiz,” saying, “As a top strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election efforts, Fagen helped perfect political micro-targeting.”

Sara became a Partner at DDC in 2011 after the firm acquired BlueFront Strategies, an issue advocacy firm she founded in 2008. Sara now creates customized strategies for DDC’s clients, integrating cutting-edge targeting and other data-driven approaches to help them achieve their public policy objectives.

In 2008, Sara co-founded Resonate Insights, a leading big data online analytics and media firm. In 2013, she co-founded Deep Root Analytics, a media analytics company that helps clients use big data to make smarter television ad-buying decisions.

Sara’s commentary can be seen on CNBC, where she is a regular contributor.


doug sosnikSpeaker: Doug Sosnik

Few people know their way around the West Wing as well as Douglas Sosnik. He served for six years as senior advisor to President William Jefferson Clinton, and played a key role in policy, strategy, and communications decisions. A consummate Washington insider and represented exclusively by Leading Authorities, Sosnik draws on his years in the political arena to take audiences inside the White House, and offers numerous practical examples of how leaders earn the loyalty and support of people.

In times of crisis, he knows the play-by-play. His vast experience and leadership has taken Sosnik to new and varied heights. He currently advises prominent U.S. Fortune 100 corporations, the National Basketball Association, as well as U.S. Senators and Governors, in crisis management and strategic planning. His expertise has made him an MVP in his field.

Putting his experiences into practical lessons, Sosnik is the coauthor of the New York Times best-selling book Applebee’s America: What Political, Business, and Religious Leaders Can Learn from Each Other. He teamed up with senior George W. Bush strategist Matthew Dowd and award-winning Associated Press political reporter Ron Fournier to write a tome that explains how politicians, business leaders, and religious leaders must adapt in order to succeed in this era of immense change.


Outlook Seminar


Speaker: Kurt Barth, The Brock Report

Kurt, Chief Financial Officer, uses his 25-plus years of experience in the financial markets and business acumen to design individualized plans for clients that integrate market outlook, cash flow needs, on-farm storage analysis, debt loads and other factors. He is a botanist by education, earning his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1979. When he’s not crunching numbers and talking with clients, Kurt likes to be out-of-doors chopping wood, hiking, kayaking or skiing.

LeonVegetable Oils Forum

 Speaker: Leon Bruner, DVM, PHD, Grocery Manufacturer’s Association 

Leon Bruner, DVM, Ph.D., is the Executive Vice President for Scientific and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Science Officer at the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Dr. Bruner is a twenty-three year veteran of the consumer products industry. He has served in a variety of positions at The Procter & Gamble Company and The Gillette Company. Most recently, he served as director, environment, health and safety within Procter & Gamble’s Gillette organization. He previously served as vice president, Gillette environment, health and safety from 2000 to 2007.

During his professional career, Dr. Bruner has developed a strong reputation as an innovator who is able to apply strategic vision, critical thinking and first-class execution in pursuit of business goals. He is an internationally-recognized expert in the development and application of non-animal toxicity product testing methods, and is also an expert in product safety and regulatory compliance. He has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and several book chapters on those subjects.

Dr. Bruner holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a Ph.D. in pharmacology, both earned at Michigan State University. He also received his bachelor’s degree at Michigan State.

Biofuels Forum

Graham NoyesPanelists: Graham Noyes
, Noyes Law Corporation

Topic: low Carbon Fuel Standard in CA (LCFS)

Graham Noyes is the managing attorney of Noyes Law Corporation with offices in Nevada City and Sacramento, California. Graham is nationally recognized for his work before EPA and CARB on fuel and carbon regulations including the Renewable Fuel Standard, Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and California’s climate policies and incentive programs.  Graham’s practice includes rule makings, compliance counseling, regulatory analysis, enforcement defense, compliance counseling, legislative and executive branch advocacy, fuel and energy contracts, and project development work.  Graham is the author of The Carbon Rush:  America’s Path to Fire and Gold, a book examining America’s energy history.  He is licensed to practice in California, and Washington D.C.  Prior to establishing his biofuel and bioenergy practice, Graham was a leading executive in the biofuel industry and Secretary of the National Biodiesel Board.  Graham also serves as Executive Director of the Low Carbon Fuels Coalition, a technology neutral trade association dedicated to supporting and expanding low carbon fuel policies.


Panelists: John Cusick, RBF

Topic: Biodiesel World Trade Patterns

John Cusick represents RBF Port Neches TX the US’s largest biodiesel production facility. With a team of colleagues brought together from past trading teams they are presently working on developing the US domestic market for RBF, providing RFS2 compliance solutions to Major Oil Companies. Previously, John ran the renewables fuels trading activity for Glencore LTD, one of the largest global commodities companies in the world. Prior to this post he was a Vice President at Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. responsible for global biodiesel trading and business development for the commodity-trading desk in New York. In addition he worked as the North American Biodiesel Trader for Trafigura AG.  John started his career with 10 years of tanker chartering and operations experience gained at Tankship International. Initially entering the space with Biodiesel Trade and Transport, a consulting group working with emerging biodiesel companies on site development, logistics and feedstock risk management John has provided his expertise to many of the present biodiesel companies in the space. Including previous roles as Director of Trade Management overseeing trading, chartering and logistics for both Imperium Renewables and RBF Port Neches the two largest Biodiesel production facilities in the US.


Panelists: Larry Schafer, National Biodiesel Board

Topic: Biodiesel Update

Throughout his career, Schafer has represented the National Biodiesel Board, Green Carbon, Inc,; Covanta; Gavilon, Genscape, Ocean Connect, Biourja, Petro Diamond, Center Oil, Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P., POET, Buckeye Partners, LP and others to provide technical resources on issues related to advanced biofuels including biodiesel and other renewable fuels, energy, agriculture and tax issues.

He has a strong background in renewable fuels, both legislative and regulatory, having served as one of the main architects of the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for Biomass-based Diesel, the original RFS program and the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) for the ethanol industry. He is also technically sound on fuels policy in the marketplace having served as the coordinator for the ethanol industry at ASTM International for more than five years.

Historically, Mr. Schafer served as the Vice President for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), which he joined in October 2001, where he coordinated the RFA’s “Technical Committee,” “Fuel Cell Task Force,” and “Safety Committee.”

Prior to joining the RFA, Mr. Schafer served as Vice President of Legal, Tax & Accounting (LTA) Policy with the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC), where he was the policy director on legal, tax, and accounting issues.

Mr. Schafer started his career in Washington, D.C. by serving as Legislative Counsel to Congressman Earl Pomeroy from North Dakota. Congressman Pomeroy served on both the powerful Ways and Means Committee and the Agriculture Committee in the House of Representatives. He received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law, and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Valley City State University in North Dakota.

Specialties:Since beginning The Diamond Group, Mr. Schafer successfully engineered the passage of the new Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS-2) contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which created a new national requirement to use biodiesel . Mr. Schafer specializes in tax, agriculture and trade issues and is currently working with Magellen Midstream Partners on creating a federal loan guarantee for a dedicated ethanol pipeline.


Industry Panel Discussion                                              Moderator: Liam Rogers  

Dan McLaughlin

Panelists: Dan McLaughlin, Grain & Grain Products

Topic: State of the Railroads

Dan McLaughlin was appointed assistant vice president-Grain and Grain Products in October 2015. In this position, Dan is responsible for leading both the marketing and sales functions for grain and processed grain products.

Dan joined Union Pacific in 2001 as a corporate auditor and then worked in the Strategic Planning department. Since 2007, he has held a variety of roles in the Marketing and Sales organization with increasing responsibility in Industrial Products, Union Pacific Distribution Services and Intermodal. Most recently, Dan served as senior director-Customer Communications and Resource Planning where he led the department’s customer communications function and supported executive communications.

Dan received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Creighton University in 2001. He is a member of the board of the Transportation, Elevator, and Grain Merchants Association (TEGMA) and a member of the Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC) to the Surface Transportation Board (STB). He and his wife, Carrie, reside in Omaha with their three sons.



Panelists: Bob Collette, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils

Topic: Food Safety and Modernization Act

In November 2007, Bob became the President and Secretary of the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, a national trade association representing the refiners of edible fats and oils in the U.S. As ISEO’s President, he holds primary responsibility for formulating and advancing ISEO’s advocacy positions and acting as liaison to key government agencies. In this capacity, Bob facilitates and implements ISEO policy on issues pertaining to technical matters, the environment, transportation, occupational health and safety, energy and government regulations. Prior to joining ISEO, Bob spent the previous 23 years with the National Fisheries Institute, a national trade association representing seafood businesses. He served as the Fisheries Institute’s V.P. of Science and Technology for last nine years of his tenure and was responsible for planning and coordinating the Institute’s regulatory and technical programs. He has a Master of Science Degree in Food Science from the University of Rhode Island and is a member of several professional societies and organizations, including the American Oil Chemists Society, Association of Food and Drug Officials and the Institute of Food Technologists.


james-k-connorPanelists: Jimmy Connor, RJ O’Brien & Associates LLC

Topic: Risk Management

From 1996 to present Connor has been with RJ O’Brien & Associates LLC, Associated futures broker soliciting commercial grain hedge business via the thorough analyses of cash, transportation and supply & demand market influences; specializing in spread risk management. Harvest States Cooperatives (1992 to 1996) Managed the entire commercial risk of teams trading the physical corn,sorghum, soybean and minor oilseed domestic and export marketplaces. Responsibilities focused on hedge, spread, options, futures/options conversions for cash activity, plants and asset allocation management, including the successful merger of US Pacific Northwest export as well as New Orleans, LA, export elevator acquisition.  Continental Grain Company (1983 to 1992) Extensive North American procurement functions, domestic and export risk trading experiences, culminating with direct profit & loss responsibilities for a global cash feedgrains deck, including the successful application of futures, options, futures/options conversions and spreads as vehicles to appropriately hedge substantial multinational style feedgrains physical risk. Special attention extended to domestic rail, barge as well as ocean freight transportation risk management. Connors education background is from, American Graduate School of Int’l ManagementGlendale, Arizona 1983 Master’s of International Management St. John’s University Collegeville, MN and 1980 Bachelor’s of Arts in German Literature.



img_7214 img_7224 img_7223 img_7222 img_7221 img_7220 img_7217 img_7216 img_7215 img_7231 img_7230 img_7229 img_7228 img_7227 img_7226 img_7225 img_7307 img_7306 img_7305 img_7304 img_7303 img_7302 img_7301 img_7300 img_7299 img_7298 img_7297 img_7296 img_7295 img_7294 img_7293 img_7292 img_7291 img_7290 img_7289 img_7288 img_7287 img_7286 img_7285 img_7284 img_7283 img_7282 img_7281 img_7280 img_7279 img_7278 img_7277 img_7276 img_7275 img_7274 img_7273 img_7272 img_7271 img_7270 img_7269 img_7268 img_7267 img_7266 img_7265 img_7264 img_7263 img_7262 img_7261 img_7260 img_7259 img_7258 img_7257 img_7256 img_7255 img_7254 img_7253 img_7252 img_7251 img_7250 img_7249 img_7248 img_7247 img_7246 img_7245 img_7244 img_7243 img_7242 img_7241 img_7240 img_7239 img_7238 img_7237 img_7236 img_7235 img_7234 img_7233 img_7232 img_7531 img_7530 img_7529 img_7528 img_7527 img_7526 img_7525 img_7524 img_7523 img_7522 img_7521 img_7520 img_7519 img_7518 img_7517 img_7516 img_7515 img_7514 img_7513 img_7512 img_7511 img_7510 img_7509 img_7508 img_7507 img_7506 img_7505 img_7504 img_7503 img_7502 img_7501 img_7500 img_7499 img_7498 img_7497 img_7496 img_7495 img_7494 img_7493 img_7492 img_7490 img_7489 img_7488 img_7487 img_7486 img_7485 img_7484 img_7483 img_7482 img_7481 img_7480 img_7479 img_7478 img_7477 img_7476 img_7475 img_7474 img_7473 img_7472 img_7471 img_7470 img_7469 img_7468 img_7467 img_7466 img_7465 img_7464 img_7463 img_7461 img_7460 img_7459 img_7458 img_7457 img_7456 img_7455 img_7454 img_7453 img_7452 img_7451 img_7450 img_7449 img_7448 img_7447 img_7446 img_7445 img_7444 img_7443 img_7442 img_7441 img_7440 img_7439 img_7438 img_7437 img_7436 img_7435 img_7433 img_7432 img_7431 img_7430 img_7429 img_7428 img_7427 img_7426 img_7425 img_7424 img_7423 img_7422 img_7421 img_7420 img_7419 img_7418 img_7417 img_7415 img_7414 img_7413 img_7412 img_7411 img_7410 img_7409 img_7408 img_7407 img_7406 img_7405 img_7404 img_7403 img_7402 img_7401 img_7400 img_7399 img_7398 img_7397 img_7396 img_7395 img_7394 img_7393 img_7392 img_7391 img_7390 img_7389 img_7388 img_7387 img_7386 img_7385 img_7384 img_7383 img_7382 img_7381 img_7380 img_7379 img_7378 img_7377 img_7376 img_7375 img_7374 img_7373 img_7372 img_7371 img_7370 img_7369 img_7368 img_7367 img_7366 img_7365 img_7364 img_7362 img_7361 img_7360 img_7359 img_7357 img_7356 img_7355 img_7354 img_7353 img_7352 img_7351 img_7350 img_7349 img_7348 img_7347 img_7346 img_7345 img_7344 img_7343 img_7342 img_7341 img_7340 img_7339 img_7338 img_7337 img_7336 img_7335 img_7334 img_7333 img_7332 img_7331 img_7330 img_7329 img_7328 img_7327 img_7326 img_7325 img_7324 img_7323 img_7322 img_7321 img_7320 img_7319 img_7318 img_7317 img_7316 img_7315 img_7314 img_7312 img_7311 img_7310 img_7309 img_7308

Phone: 1-803-252-7128