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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Elected Chairman: Leon Graves


Leon Graves is the owner of Cedar Ledge Farm in Fairfield, VT.  A graduate of The University of Vermont, Leon started his career as a farmer.  Additionally, he served in both the Vermont House of Representatives and Senate and as Vermont’s Commissioner of Agriculture.  Most recently, he was a Vice President for Farm Services at Dairy Farmers of America, and General Manager of Empire Livestock Marketing. Leon and Amy live in Marcellus, NY.  He has two sons.


VICE CHAIR: Kimberly Naffziger

Kimberly is Vice President and Agricultural Specialist with Zenith Insurance Company.  A California native, Kimberly Naffziger has been involved with the agricultural industry for most of her life. Kimberly joined Zenith Insurance Company as an agricultural specialist in 2008 to help build strong relationships with California’s agricultural industry, and to work collaboratively with Zenith’s servicing departments throughout the state to help improve the health and safety of the agricultural and dairy policyholders’ workforce. This successful approach has positioned Zenith as the premier agricultural insurance carrier in California.

Some of her accomplishments include developing innovative programs and resources for Zenith agricultural policyholders such as the Zenith Ag Leadership Program and the “Spotlight on Wellness” initiative. In addition, Kimberly currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Agricultural Safety & Health Council of America, and is a current board member of the Agricultural Personnel Management Association.

Kimberly’s background includes serving as Program Development Specialist at California State University, Fresno’s Center for Agricultural Business. In 1997, she was named the Executive Director for AgSafe, a non-profit organization. During her tenure at both the university and at AgSafe she has played an integral part in the development and implementation of educational programs for the industry including the California Agricultural Safety Certificate Program; the Farm Labor Contractor’s Education Institute; the Motor Vehicle Education Program for Spanish speaking workers; the Ag Lenders Institute and the Supervisor Development Program to name a few.

Kimberly has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Business from California State University, Fresno. In her free time, she enjoys competing in the sport of barrel racing with her horses Sam and Rap.



Kelsey-BillingsKelsey serves as the Director of Government Affairs and Treasurer of NCFC CO-OP/PAC at the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC). In her role as Director, Kelsey is responsible for the sustainability, biotechnology, workplace safety and animal agriculture issue areas of NCFC’s public affairs agenda. As PAC Treasurer, she manages the PAC’s finances and coordinates events with members of Congress who support NCFC’s mission. In 2012 Kelsey served as a Public Policy Fellow at the Fund for American Studies and is an alumnus of the International Institute for Political and Economic System, and the Institute on Business and Governmental Affairs with the same program. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Missouri in 2010. Kelsey has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a Master of Science with a concentration in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University.


Ryan Bennett

Ryan Bennett is the Senior Director of Industry and Environmental Affairs at the National Milk Producers Federation. Ryan manages FARM Environmental Stewardship Program which provides a comprehensive estimate of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use associated with dairy farming. Ryan was previously the Director of Government Relations for NM PF du ring the 2014 Farm Bill and played a key role enlarging the organizations focus on conservation policy. Prior to this position, he held the position of Director of Public Policy Relations at the National Grain and Feed Association. Ryan has a Masters of Agribusiness from Kansas State University where he also received his undergraduate education. Ryan is married and remains active in the livestock show industry by judging shows, volunteering with 4-H, and assisting with his in-laws show cattle operation.



Dan Hair, MS

Dan is the Senior Vice President, Safety and Underwriting for Workers Compensation Fund. Dan is responsible for the loss control and underwriting operations of the company. He began his insurance career with the State Compensation Insurance Fund of California in 1976, and spent 25 years with Zenith Insurance Company in a variety of technical and management positions ending as Senior Vice President and National Director of Safety & Health. Dan previously served as ASHCA Vice Chair. Dan is chairing ASHCA’s newly established Advisory Committee.


Paul Gunderson, PhD

Paul Gunderson is Director of the Dakota Precision Ag Center, Devil’s Lake, ND. Paul’s career exploring the health impact of human activity in agricultural work settings began in 1976 with research on the respiratory effect of working in poultry barns, and continued until his initial retirement in 2000. He has conducted numerous research initiatives exploring the health effects of agricultural exposures, convened scientific meetings and seminars and chaired scientific review mechanisms that rate applications for federal funding.



Jan Klodowski, MBA

Jan is the Vice President of Agri-Services Agency LLC (ASA), an agricultural focused insurance group located in Syracuse, NY. Jan is responsible for the administration and management of Agrisurance Inc., the captive program that was formed over 17 years ago to provide stable and consistent workers’ compensation coverage for agriculture business owners. Jan has more than 25 years of experience, working closely with loss control, claims, and insurance professionals to develop and share strategies promoting safety awareness on the farm. Jan currently serves on the Advisory Panel for the Northeast Center for Agricultural Health (NEC). Jan chairs ASHCA’s Member Relations and Communications Committee.


Barbara Lee, PhDBarb_Lee

Dr. Lee is a senior scientist with the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin, where she has directed the NIOSH-funded National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety since 1997. She has chaired major efforts to launch, then update, the national agenda for childhood agricultural injury prevention. She is a past President of the International Society for Ag Safety and Health. Barbara co-led a feasibility study with agri-business and farm organization leaders leading to the creation of the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America in 2007 and served as the Executive Director till 2016.


Jess McCluer

Jess manages NGFA’s wide-ranging operational programs concerning employee safety and industrial health, environmental issues, grain-handling facility design and equipment, and grain inspection and weighing issues. He is principal staff liaison to the Safety, Health and Environmental Quality Committee, Grain Grades and Weights Committee, Biotechnology Committee, and Agroterrorism and Facility Security Committee.

He joined NGFA’s staff in 2007 after serving since April 2003 as a program analyst at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Office of Outreach Services and Alliances. In that capacity, he worked with trade associations, professional societies, academia, unions and government agencies to coordinate the implementation of national alliances and the development of compliance assistance resources. He was honored twice – in 2003 and 2005 – as recipient of the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award. Before joining OSHA, McCluer served from 1999-2003 as manager of government affairs for the Shipbuilders Council of America, overseeing the association’s Safety, Environmental and Human Resources Committees.

McCluer was staff assistant for both the Dole/Kemp ’96 presidential campaign and the 1996 Republican National Committee convention. A native of Dallas, Texas, he was graduated from Texas A&M University with degrees in political science and international studies. He also received a master’s degree in political management from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.



Dennis Murphy, PhD

Dr. Murphy retired from the Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, College of Agricultural Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University on June 30, 2017, as the Nationwide Insurance Professor of Agricultural Safety & Health and a Certified Safety Professional.  He currently holds the title of Nationwide Insurance Professor Emeritus. He founded Murphy Agricultural Safety Consulting, LLC, July 1, 2017. Program areas from his time at Penn State  included applied research and education for: tractor and machinery safety issues; youth safety; classification of agricultural deaths and injuries; agricultural safety and health management, methods of modifying farm worker safety behavior; evaluating safety interventions; dairy farm and manure handling safety; and responding to farm injury emergencies.  He consults nationally and internationally with other groups and organizations on farm safety education program development.  He is a co-founder of the Agricultural Safety & Health Council of America (ASHCA), and is an instructor for the International Society of Agricultural Safety & Health’s (ISASH) Agricultural Safety and Health Certificate Course, and ASHCA’s AgSHARPTM certificate course.



William Nelson, MA, MS

William J. Nelson served as vice president of Corporate Citizenship for CHS Inc. and president of the CHS Foundation, retiring from CHS on March 1st, 2016.  In his role at CHS, William provided leadership to all CHS corporate citizenship activities including corporate philanthropy, volunteerism, employee engagement and CHS corporate memberships in associated organizations.  William also led the CHS Foundation, which offers support through university partnerships, rural leadership development, cooperative education, and farm and agricultural safety programs.

William served on the National Council on Farmer Cooperatives’ Executive Education Committee and the Board of Directors of the National Cooperative Business Association.   He continues to serve as Vice- Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ralph K. Morris Foundation, Chairman of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives Advisory Committee, and a member of the University of Saskatchewan Centre for Cooperatives Advisory Committee, and Co-Chair of the Co-op Roundtable of the Southern Federation of Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund.

He is a founding member and immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America; and now serves as Chair of the newly created ASHCA Foundation.  William is a Board member of the Farm Foundation, a member of the Farm Foundation Roundtable, a member of the Advisory Committee for Ogallala Commons, and a Board member and President-Elect of the International Food and Ag Management Association (IFAMA).  William is a long-time member of ACE, including past Board member and President.

He has undergraduate degrees from the University of Minnesota, Morris, in Sociology and Political Science, and graduate degrees from the University of St. Thomas (Community Education) and the University of Houston (Studies of the Future).  He served as a faculty member and administrator in the University of Minnesota for 13 years, and holds the rank of Associate Professor Emeritus.  He grew up on a Centennial family farm in central Minnesota.

He earned the Honorary American Farmer degree, was inducted into the US National Cooperative Hall of Fame at the National Press Club in May 2105. He has received numerous awards and recognition from several state, national and international organizations, including ACE, IFAMA, NAAE, and USDA Cooperative Extension.


Michael Pankonin

Michael is a Senior Director, Technical and Safety Services at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). He began his career in test engineering and has served industry in the agricultural, construction, utility and forestry sectors. Michael currently has responsibility for the Technical and Safety Services at AEM and works with AEM product groups including the Manufacturers of Earthmoving and Mining Equipment. He serves on several ISO standards committees, is a member of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and is the AEM staff contact for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and emissions-related activities.


Paul Riley, MBA, CSP

Paul is originally from Portland, Oregon, but now calls Utah his home.  He is a Certified Safety Professional with over 26 years of experience in Occupational Safety and Health.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Environmental & Occupational Safety & Health from Brigham Young University and his Master’s degree in Business Administration.  He has worked in the Safety and Health profession in several different industries including Mining, Agriculture, Insurance, Government, and Construction.  Paul is currently the Corporate Safety, Health, and Environmental Director for AgReserves, Inc.  AgReserves, Inc. is a global agriculture company with segment operations that include include cattle (beef & dairy), permanent planting (nuts, citrus, peaches, olives,  etc.), and row crops (potatoes, corn, wheat, soybeans, etc.).  Paul has served as President of the Utah Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and other national leadership positions within ASSE and other organizations.


Joel Sherman

Joel Sherman is Vice President, Safety & Corporate Affairs, for Grimmway Farms, a large vegetable grower/packer/shipper based in Kern County, California. Mr. Sherman oversees three departments responsible for the safety and workers’ compensation issues for more than 10,000 employees and contract laborers. Joel has more than thirty years’ experience in the safety and workers’ compensation field. He has served in a variety of capacities including claims adjuster, loss control consultant, policy services representative, and as the workers’ compensation liaison for a large industrial medicine practice. A certified self-insurance administrator, Joel presently teaches Introduction to Workers’ Compensation at CSUB, and was also certified by the state as a continuing education provider for Qualified Medical Evaluators. He was the Chairman of the board of directors of the California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation (CCWC) for 2009 and 2010 and was recently elected to the board of directors of the California Self-Insurance Association (CSIA). He was actively involved in the comp reforms of 2004 and continues to participate in legislative reform of the system. In December of 2010, Governor Schwarzeneggar appointed him to the Fraud Assessment Commission. Joel was also recently invited to participate in the Agricultural Sector of the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda, and is a member of the Cal/OSHA Advisory Committee.



Aaron Yoder, PhD

Aaron Yoder is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center working with the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. Prior to that, he was a Penn State Instructor and Extension Safety Associate, where he provided national leadership for the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program by coordinating online instructor training and educational programs for 4-Hers, volunteers and county educators. In addition, he taught within the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and participated in other research and outreach programs for the Penn State Agricultural Safety and Health Program.