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2011 North American Ag HR Roundtable

August 01, 2011 - August 03, 2011
West Lafayette, Indiana,
Presented By

This 2-day conference is open to all human resource professionals, career services staff and relevant association representatives within the agriculture, food science, natural resources and biotechnology industries and is an excellent networking opportunity. Plan to attend this informative meeting addressing topics and areas of high interest that you’ll find nowhere else. 

This program has been approved for 8.75 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at

Sponsored By
ADM     CHS    

Organizing Committee
Who Should Attend
Current Registrants
Past Registrants



A Focus on Human Capital Development in Agriculture    
Dean Jay Akridge and Dr. Allan Gray, Purdue University  

Dean Jay Akridge, Purdue University

Dr. Jay Akridge was appointed Dean of Agriculture in January 2009. As dean he is responsible for administering academic programs in the College of Agriculture, the Indiana Agricultural Experiment Station, the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and a number of state regulatory services, including the State Chemist’s Office and the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
Dr. Akridge was the James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics and served as director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and the MS-MBA in food and agribusiness management (a partnership with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University).  He served as interim vice provost for engagement at Purdue in 2007–08.
Dr. Akridge was named a University Faculty Scholar in 2000. In 1996, he received the Charles Murphy Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching — Purdue’s highest teaching award. He was added to the Purdue University Book of Great Teachers in 2003 and was also awarded the USDA Food and Ag Science Excellence in Teaching Award that year.
His research has examined the buying behavior of commercial agricultural producers, innovations in marketing strategies by agribusiness firms, and adoption of new technology by agribusiness. He has worked with agribusiness managers in the areas of strategy and marketing in more than 20 countries including Lithuania, Hungary, Australia, Argentina, Cameroon, and China.
Dr. Akridge received his doctorate in agricultural economics in 1986 from Purdue University specializing in marketing and finance. His master’s degree in agricultural economics with an emphasis in agribusiness management and finance is also from Purdue. Dr. Akridge earned his bachelor’s degree — a double major in agriculture and business administration — in 1982 from Murray State University in Murray, KY.
A native Kentuckian, his family owns and operates a third-generation retail farm supply business in Fredonia, Ky. 

Dr. Allan Gray, Purdue University
Allan Gray serves as director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and the MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management. He joined the agricultural economics faculty at Purdue University in August 1998.  

As director, Allan provides strategic direction for the center and MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management, a dual-degree, distance-delivered program offered in partnership by Purdue and Indiana University. He works with food and agribusiness managers in the center’s professional development programs, while also continuing to teach statistics for decision making at the master’s level, strategic agribusiness management at the doctorate level and quantitative analysis in the MS-MBA program.


Allan’s research interests are agribusiness management, strategic planning, decision making in uncertain environments and simulation. He’s also the lead researcher for the Large Commercial Producer Survey, conducted every five years by the center, that explores the attitudes and buying behaviors of large commercial producers. Allan has also researched the impacts of alternative farm policy proposals and the management implications of real options thinking.


Allan has won numerous awards, including the American Agricultural Economics Association’s Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program Award, the Purdue University Dean’s Team Award and the United States Distance Learning Association’s Excellence in Distance Teaching Award.


A native Texan, Allan and his wife, Stephanie, have two daughters and a son.


The 'Buzz' of Ag and Its Impact on Human Resources
Jane Pierce, ADM
Jane joined ADM in 2008 as director, Performance Management and later assumed learning and development responsibilities. In 2009, she was promoted to vice president, Talent and Organizational Development and assumed responsibilities for attracting, retaining and developing talent. Responsibilities within her teams include college relations, global learning and development and executive talent development and succession.   

Jane received a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational behavior and leadership from the University of San Francisco in San Francisco, California.


Raising the Bar -- Student Recruitment into the Agriculture Industry
Dan Rice, Alltech
Dan Rice is a Strategic Analyst at Alltech, based in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Having been employed with Alltech since 2003, Dan has held several positions in Quality Assurance and Applications Research before assuming his current role in 2009. His duties include global sales support, competitive intelligence, and contribution to corporate sustainability strategy.  As Latin America Quality Assurance Manager, Dan worked in Sao Pedro, Brazil for three years at Alltech’s largest yeast production facility ensuring finished products met and exceeded global quality standards for export. 

Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Purdue University, a Master of Business Administration from Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, and is in the final stages of completion of a Master of Science in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland.


Panel Discussion: Understanding Recruitment Philosophy                                                                                

Catherine McGinnis - Penn State University          
Cathy McGinnis is the Assistant Director, Career Services for the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University.  Cathy is new to Ag Sciences, but has over 15 years of progressively responsible experience in the areas of career counseling, job search skills, training, program design, delivery, evaluation, employer relationships, career assessment tool interpretation and group presentations.  Cathy's previous employers include Keuka College, Bucknell University and Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne. Cathy has an MS degree in Higher Education Counseling from the University of Rochester and BA degrees in Anthropology and Sociology from SUNY Geneseo. She is a National Certified Career Counselor and a Master Career Counselor. Cathy is a qualified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) and has Strong Interest Inventory® Certification. She has expertise in establishing and maintaining relationships with diverse populations including; nontraditional and traditional college students, individuals with disabilities, dislocated workers, refugees and immigrants, corporate managers and ex-offenders.

Stephanie Shampine, ADM
Stephanie Shampine serves as manager, College Relations. In this role, she leads the College Relations team in a variety of areas, including aligning with and providing support to ADM leaders as they fill their internship and full-time positions and building relationships with the campuses where we recruit.  

Stephanie joined ADM in 2001 and most recently served as team lead, College Relations.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in management and organizational leadership from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.


Special Session: Influencing the Development of Talent

Pat Crawford, Michigan State University
Dr. Pat Crawford is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture in the School of Planning, Design, and Construction (SPDC), in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  She is also Senior Director of the Bailey Scholars Program, a multidisciplinary undergraduate specialization in connected learning.  Research includes public participation in design and planning and the scholarship of teaching and learning.  She holds a Ph.D in Environmental Design and Planning from Arizona State University, a Master of Landscape Architecture from Kansas State University, and a BS in Horticulture from the University of Missouri.

Suzanne Lang, Michigan State University
Dr. Suzanne Lang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR).  She is also Director of Faculty Development in CANR.  Research includes evaluating teaching excellence and transformative learning.  She holds a Ph.D in Horticulture from North Carolina State University, an MS in Horticulture from Clemson University, and a BS in Horticulture from Michigan State University.

Rob Dalton, Michigan State University
Rob Dalton is a graduate student in Environmental Design and a Bailey Scholars Grad Fellow at Michigan State University.  He holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from MSU.   He enjoys researching, designing, and working in the realms of Urban and Land Use Planning.

Laura Fielitz, Michigan State University
Laura Fielitz is an undergraduate studying Landscape Architecture at Michigan State University.  She participates in  undergraduate research through the Honors College Professorial Assistant program.  In her free time, Laura plays piano, takes photographs and is a member of the Spartan Marching Band.




Human Resources Management Track -- Effective Performance Management Strategies
Rob Burn, AAIM Employers Association 

Rob is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). He brings over 20 years of experience in management and human resources from the service and industrial sectors.  He earned his Masters’ Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Morris Graduate School of Management, Peoria Campus, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Illinois State University in Normal, IL.  He joined AAIM Employers’ Association in 2010 where he oversees the Human Resources consulting practice which includes: HR Outsourcing, Strategic Planning, Surveys, AAPs, HR Assessments, Compensation, Executive Coaching, and aligning HR departments with the overall objectives of the organization.  He specializes in helping companies utilize their Human Resource capabilities to solve complex problems in a practical manner.   

Recruiting Track - Best Practices in On-Boarding Programs                                                                     
Mark Berry, ConAgra Foods Inc.  
Mark Berry is a Senior Director, Human Resources, supporting ConAgra Foods’ Commercial Food Ingredients businesses.  As senior HR leader of ConAgra Mills, Spicetec Flavors and Seasonings, and JM Swank, he owns end-to-end human resource support for more than 1200 employees in more than 30 plants and distribution centers throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico.  In addition to his role as a HR generalist, Mark leads the enterprise HR organization’s Human Capital Analytics/Reporting (HCA/R) initiative, one of five key strategic initiatives focused on providing data-driven technologies in a self-service environment to support strategic decision-making.  He also leads the enterprise’s Information Privacy initiative, working with a cross-functional team from Legal, Information Technology, Finance, and Research, Quality & Innovation to ensure that ConAgra Foods’ intellectual properties are protected.

Mark holds a B.A. degree in Psychology (Eastern Illinois University), a M.A. degree in Psychology (Eastern Illinois University), and a M.B.A. with a concentration in Operations Management (Indiana State University) and is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).  He has more than 15 years of human resources experience in food ingredients, paper, and chemical industries.  Prior to his work in Human Resources, Mark was a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP), providing services to individuals & families in an outpatient setting.

Mark resides in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife, Carolyn, and daughters, Hannah and Grace.  In his free time, you’ll find him participating in ultra-endurance running events, including several 50- and 100-mile races each year.

University Track - Preparing Students for a Total Compensation Package                                           
Tom Drake, Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business 
As director of Total Rewards, Tom is accountable for all elements of the compensation, benefits and preventative health and wellness aspects of the Human Resources department at Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business.

Tom joined Pioneer Hi-Bred in April of 2004 after spending the prior 14 years with H.B. Fuller Company in St. Paul, Minn., where he held several positions, including director of compensation and benefits, compensation design manager, and HR division manager. His experience with strategizing, developing and executing cutting-edge compensation programs on a global basis has been an asset to Pioneer.

Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Management at Indiana University and a Master of Arts in food and agribusiness from Purdue University.


Social Media in the Workplace                                   
Eve Mayer Orsburn, Social Media Delivered
Eve Mayer Orsburn is the CEO of Social Media Delivered, one of the largest social media optimization companies serving clients worldwide with consulting, training and outsourced social media needs. Ranked by Fast Company Magazine as one of 2010's '100 Most Influential People Online' Eve has been featured by CNN Radio, CIO.comand, Dallas Morning News and speaks professionally to groups on the Social Media Equation™, which is her proven system for how organizations must engage in media to generate a positive Return on Investment.  She is author of the internationally acclaimed title, Social Media for the CEO (released October 2010) and shares social media knowledge that people can actually understand with an online network of over 80,000+ fans, followers and connections every day. Eve also hosts ‘Social Media for the CEO’ weekly radio show which airs live every Friday at 10am CT at  Eve is seen as one of the most sought after authorities on social media with expertise in all areas including business to business, business to consumer and non-profit.  To connect with Eve online vist: - - -


Utilizing Employer Brand to Enhance Recruitment (New and Experienced Professionals)                           Darlene Godsey, PHR Business Partner at Novozymes
Darlene Godsey is an experienced human resources professional with a strong foundation in employee relations, policy administration and compensation, and an expertise in talent attraction and recruitment for the biotechnology industry. Darlene is currently a Business Partner at Novozymes, an international biotechnology company. She began her human resources career ten years ago, and has since held positions with progressive human resources responsibilities, including serving as Recruitment & Employer Branding Manager at Novozymes from 2009-2011. 

As the Recruitment & Employer Branding Manager, Darlene was part of a global management team dedicated to developing Novozymes’ employer brand. She successfully managed Novozymes North America’s employer brand interpretation, strategic roadmap and execution of tactics to heighten awareness of Novozymes as an employer of choice in the US and Canada.


Human Resources Management Track - Getting a Foothold on Effective Career Pathing and Succession Planning Strategy 
Marvis Meyers, AAIM Employers Association
Marvis Meyers is the Vice-President of Training and Organization Development for AAIM
Employers Association. In her role with AAIM EA she manages the customized, on site training programs and Organization Development consulting.  Marvis works with members to understand their training and organizational needs and develop a customized solution that helps them achieve their organizational objectives. Some of the work done by Marvis and her team of consultants include:

  • Design and implementation of performance management processes and systems
  • Executive coaching for individuals and teams
  • Development of customized on-line training
  • Facilitation of team building workshops
  • Customized Supervisory and Leadership training
  • Administration and delivery of a wide range of pre- and post-hire assessments including 360 degree assessments for development and coaching.
Prior to joining AAIM Marvis was the Manager of Training and Organization Development at Covidien (formerly Tyco Healthcare). During her time with Covidien she managed the managerial training function for all of Tyco Healthcare domestically. Marvis was also the head of Branch Training for Edward Jones, the financial services firm.
Marvis was an Executive Coach and Personal Productivity Coach for seven years. She has worked with a number of managers and executives in the areas of strategic planning, team building, project management, personal productivity and communication skills. 
B.A. Business – Webster University

Recruiting Track - HR Metrics - What Should We Be Measuring?                                                                      
Dr. Sara Mann, University of Guelph
Dr. Sara Mann is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Strategic Human Resource Management in the Department of Business at the University of Guelph. Sara completed her MBA at McMaster University, and a PhD in Management at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Sara’s expertise includes performance appraisals and performance management, selection and compensation. Sara’s research is primarily within rural areas and the Agri-food sector, and is funded by both SSHRC and OMAFRA.

University Track - Beg, Borrow and Share Session Paula Beecher, Clemson University 
Paula Beecher has worked in the Clemson University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS) Office of Recruiting, Advising and Career Services since 2006. Paula works primarily with Student and Career Development for CAFLS undergraduates, graduate students and alumni. Prior to this position, Paula worked for 9 years at Louisiana State University also in Student Services where she coordinated Recruitment and Academic Advising for their College of Agriculture.


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