(803) 252-7128 afoa@fatsandoils.org

American fats & Oils association

Meeting Venue for trade relations in the fats & oils industry worldwide
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AFOA Annual Meeting

October 14, 2020

NOON until 4 pm Eastern 


Rendered Product Animal Protein Update Speaker: Ryan Standard

Confirmed Speaker for Oct. 14th

Ryan Standard Director of PRA Ops & Senior Analyst – U.S and Intl Animal Fats & Proteins

Ryan Standard earned a degree in English literature and history from Monmouth College, while maintaining a parallel track in economics. With a background in logistics and sales, he joined The Jacobsen in 2007 as an analyst and the editor of the Animal Fats and Feed Bulletins, and contributor to the Biodiesel Bulletin. He has built a solid, reliable network of sources to inform his industry analysis.




Keynote Speaker: Charlie Cook

Confirmed Keynote Speaker for Oct. 14th
Charlie Cook
Renowned Political Analyst and Publisher of the Cook Political Report

• Called “the man who knows more about politics than anyone else” by Washingtonian and “the Picasso of election analysis” by the Wall Street Journal
• Discusses today’s political and legislative environments in a balanced, non-partisan way
• Hugely popular speaker known for an encyclopedic knowledge and quick wit

Charlie Cook is a political analyst and commentator, the publisher of the Cook Political Report, and a columnist for the National Journal. For more than two decades he has been a trusted and accurate voice on all things political. Once deemed “the Picasso of election analysis” by the Wall Street Journal, Cook’s expertise and encyclopedic knowledge of American politics has been featured on myriad news outlets. Using poll numbers, economic indicators, and historical data, Cook discusses today’s political and legislative environments in a balanced, non-partisan way.

Economic Outlook: Erik Norland

Confirmed Speaker for Oct. 14th

Erik Norland is Executive Director and Senior Economist of CME Group. He is responsible for generating economic analysis on global financial markets by identifying emerging trends, evaluating economic factors and forecasting their impact upon those who trade in its various markets. He is also one of CME Group’s spokespeople on global economic, financial and geopolitical conditions.

Prior to joining CME Group, Norland gained more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry working for investment banks and hedge funds both in the United States and in France working for hedge funds and investment banks.

Norland holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an M.A.in statistics from Columbia University. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

Biofuels Forum Speaker: Paul Nazzaro

Confirmed Speaker for Oct. 14th
Paul Nazzaro became an early adopter of utilizing the latest chemical technologies to enhance fuel quality on behalf of organizations such as Northeast Petroleum, Coastal Corporation, and Global Companies, LLC. Paul has also represented the National Biodiesel Board since 1996 as their petroleum liaison, helping to reduce roadblocks impeding biodiesel’s domestic commercialization.

He serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Finance Committee for the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association and the New England Fuel Institute. His writing has appeared in Fuel Oil News, Biodiesel Magazine, Transport Topics, Commercial Fuel Buyer, Fuel Marketer News, and Indoor Comfort Marketing, among others notable industry publications.

Last year, AFOA looked to the west coast for its perspectives, this year Paul will share initiatives and perspectives from the east coast.


Soy Oil Outlook: Kent Woods

Confirmed Speaker for Oct. 14th

Kent brings a blend of Cash fundamental experience, futures market experience and 39 years of industry experience specifically in the crushing industry. 


In the early 1980’s, Kent was mentored in the execution and trading of the physical product markets of Soybean oil and Soy meal through the selling of US products into the European and Latin American countries. Trading the CIF markets as well as domestic oil and meal. Kent then went to the trading floor of the Chicago Board of Trade working with the Commercial hedger in the execution of Crush and all related components of the crushing industry.

Today, through the venue of CrushTraders, he provides a source for market information and consulting to the Crushing Industry as well as the users of the components of the industry. CrushTraders is committed to being a source of insight with a fundamental bias for bringing value added to trading futures and cash markets by analyzing, identifying patterns and trading relationships in agriculture markets with a focus on Soybeans, Soymeal and Soyoil. 

Follow the Money -- Ron Lawson

Confirmed Speaker for Oct. 14th

A 5th generation Northern Californian, Ron has been involved in agriculture his entire life having grown up on his family’s dairy farm and cattle ranch. With nearly 50 years of experience, Ron has run the ag-gambit – from the garlic fields to the head of a cotton trading desk.

Ron’s experience in the Ag business started shortly after graduating from the University of California Davis in a B.S. in Livestock Production Management, where he was a Field Representative with McCormick Schilling. He eventually left McCormick moving to Gilroy, CA to manage the Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, CA and was one of the founding fathers of the internationally renowned Gilroy Garlic Festival. In 1982, Ron left the Garlic fields for Wall Street, starting in the San Jose office of Merrill Lynch as a Commodities and Futures Specialist and later transferred to the firm’s L.A. office, joining the Cotton trading desk in 1986 and later establishing and managing Merrill Lynch Futures’ Pacific Coast Futures Center eventually overseeing the firm’s 126 Commodity Brokers and Futures trading in the 17 western states. In early 2000, Ron accepted a position as the Head of the Cotton Trading Desk of Prudential Financial who later merged with non-commodity trading bank, Wachovia. The business got bigger than imagined, prompting Ron to establish LOGIC Advisors, a commodity research company, and SFO Commodities, a commodity futures & options trading firm and eventually merging with RCM Ag Services in 2020.

With more than four decades of vertical integration in worldwide agribusiness, from feedlots and furrows in the field, to the Futures trading pits of Wall Street and beyond, Ron has developed a unique understanding of both agricultural business, and the business of agriculture. His varied interests and scope of comprehension in the complexities of the practical, financial, and technological requirements for the process of taking agricultural conception to consumption, has resulted in a participation within a widely differentiated array of activities and investments. Ron’s expertise in the Ag business is nearly unmatched, and is now one of the most sought after cotton experts in the field and regularly puts out research with partner Bill O’Neill, Lawson/O’Neill Global Institutional Commodity Advisors consumed by banks, hedge funds, commodity companies, and large speculative traders around the globe.


Palm Oil Outlook -- John Elliott, Cargill, Inc.

Confirmed Speaker for Oct. 14th

John Elliott is currently a Senior Trader at Cargill, trading Palm and Lauric Oils.

Prior to this role, he traded Corn Oil at Cargill and worked for Conagra Brands in various supply chain and procurement roles. After spending a majority of his career in the vegetable oil industry, he developed a passion for seeing the industry continue to grow and evolve. John recently joined the National Institute of Oilseed Products (NIOP) Membership Committee.

John was born and raised in Omaha, NE, he currently lives in the Twin Cities with his wife. The couple is excitedly awaiting the arrival their first child this December. In his free time, John enjoys watching Missouri Tiger Football, St. Louis Cardinal Baseball, along with training for triathlons and golfing.

2020 AFOA Annual Meeting Sponsors

Sponsors as of September 10

AgriBio Commodities, LLC

Agri Trading Corporation

BNSF Railway

Geo. Pfau’s Sons Co., Inc.

Hero BX

Hudson Tank Terminals Corporation

JTS Global

Kinder Morgan Terminals

Norfolk Oil Transit, Inc.

Renewable Energy Group (REG)


Stolt Tankers

Sunbelt Commodities, Inc.

The Scoular Company

Valley Proteins, Inc. 

More about the American Fats & Oils Association

Advocating for Fats & Oils

Member benefits include access to AFOA Trading Rules, our extensive member list, discounts on annual events and up-to-date information and news in the industry.

The initial membership fee allows your company the option of one primary location and three members. If you would like to add multiple locations or, if you have more than three members that would like to take advantage, AFOA Member Benefits of AFOA membership, you will have the opportunity to attach additional information and contacts.

AFOA Member Benefits

Updating & Informing Our Members of News in the Industry

AFOA Member benefits include access to AFOA Trading Rules, our extensive member list, discounts on annual events and up to date information and news in the industry.

We work to improve trade relations in the fats and oils industry around the world. The initial membership fee allows your company the option of one primary location and three members. If you would like to add multiple locations or if you have more than three members that would like to take advantage of AFOA membership, you will have the opportunity to attach additional information and contacts.

To join and access AFOA Member Benefits, please fill out the Online Registration Form or call (803) 252-7128 and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.


Industry Topics — MEMBERS:  Send us YOUR News

Latest Articles

Tyson Fresh Meats and Jacob Stern & Sons Launch Joint Venture

Vertically integrated venture positioned to meet evolving global demands for fats and oils Dakota Dunes, SD and Houston, TX – February 10, 2020 — TYSON FRESH MEATS, INC., the beef and pork subsidiary of TYSON FOODS, INC. (NYSE: TSN) and Jacob Stern & Sons, Inc....

Welcome New Member: North Star Trucking, Inc.

Welcome new member Nick Singh, CEO of North Star Trucking, Inc.  His company provides transportation of fats and oils, UCO and tallow. He is listed in the online membership directory.


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Leigh Wickersham
Executive Director

PO Box 11035, Columbia SC 29211, USA


803.252.7128 | 803.252.7799