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Summit Presenters

Nicole Ayache  

Nicole serves as the Director of Sustainability Initiatives at National Milk Producers Federation. Nicole leads the FARM Environmental Stewardship and FARM Workforce Development programs. She focuses on developing tools and resources to help U.S. dairy farms improve their environmental and labor outcomes.

Before joining NMPF, Ayache worked as a consultant for the FARM program and for a variety of clients in the food and ag sector. She developed sustainability programs / reports, procurement policies and research studies for dairy cooperatives, environmental NGOs, and protein processors. Her past experience spans multiple industries and disciplines, giving her a broad perspective on sustainability – including consulting for pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies; working at an international conservation non-profit; and, serving as an internal management consultant for a leading prosecutor’s office. Nicole holds a M.S. in Agriculture, Food and Environment from Tufts University and B.S. in Biology from Yale University.

Jesse Bell, PhD

Dr. Jesse Bell is the Claire M. Hubbard Professor of Health and Environment in the Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. His research explores the relationships of climate and extreme weather on natural and human processes. He served as a lead author for the U.S. Global Change Research Program report “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment” that was released by the White House in 2016. Before coming to UNMC, Dr. Bell developed a joint position between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In this role, he led and coordinated a variety of climate and health projects. He also served on the White House OSTP Pandemic Prediction and Forecast Working Group. Dr. Bell also serves as a Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute Faculty Fellow and adjunct faculty for the Department of Environmental Health at Emory University.

Casper Bendixsen,PhD

Dr. Bendixsen Director, National Farm Medicine Center a social-cultural anthropologist with an extensive background working with, living within, and researching agricultural and rural communities in the U.S. His current work focuses on translating the knowledge of agricultural health and safety in order to promote volunteer adoption by farm and ranch communities – reducing injuries, illness, and fatalities among farmers, farm workers, and farm families. Communities of particular interest to me include: beginning/young farmers and ranchers, rural firefighter/EMT’s, and minority and niche farm groups. Additionally, He remains engaged in conversations regarding agrarian ethics, traditionalist and working class attitudes, and rural imaginaries – always trying to apply an anthropological perspective in order to improve the human condition.

Wendy Bennett MBA, CCRSP

Executive Director for AgSafe in BC and serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association and for the International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health.

Wendy has been a health and Safety professional since 1995. Successfully earning her Canadian Registered Safety Professional designation in 2004, Wendy is a course tutor with British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Occupational Health and Safety Certificate program and is holds an MBA in Health and Safety Leadership. Her experience in designing and delivering training and education coupled with her leadership skills have benefited AgSafe since she started in 2013. Ensuring agriculture producers have the resources they need to ensure a safe and healthy working environment has been her goal with AgSafe and her Board roles. She hopes to continue leading change in the agriculture industry toward a Canada where no one is hurt farming.

Heather Fowler, VMD PhD MPH DACVPM

Dr. Heather Fowler completed her Veterinary Medical degree at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. After veterinary school, she received a Master in Public Health in Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. In 2011, Dr. Fowler began the 2-year Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CSTE/CDC) Applied Epidemiology Fellowship, working alongside members of the Zoonoses group at the Minnesota Department of Health under the supervision of Drs. Joni Scheftel and Kirk Smith.  During her fellowship Dr. Fowler received valuable on-the-job-training in public health practice. She was also able to conduct a study of occupational hazards present in the clinical veterinary setting in the state. In 2013, Dr. Fowler began a PhD program at the University of Washington School of Public Health in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences.  During her time in Seattle she also worked as the Associate Director of Animal Health for the Center for One Health Research (COHR) under the leadership of Center Director Dr. Peter Rabinowitz. Her dissertation work focused on the hazards present in veterinary medicine with the goal of establishing a national cohort of veterinary personnel. After completing her PhD in the summer of 2017, Dr. Fowler began work as the Director of Producer and Public Health at the National Pork Board where she oversees public health as well as occupational safety and health issues as they relate to swine production in the United States.

Dan Hair, MSS CSP

Dan Hair recently retired as the Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer (CRO) at WCF Insurance headquartered in Utah. He joined WCF in 2005 after a 25-year career with Zenith Insurance Company. At WCF Dan served as the Chief Risk Officer, Chief Underwriting Officer was responsible for the Enterprise Risk Management efforts of WCF as well as the Safety & Health staff. Dan holds degrees from UCLA and USC, and has an insurance operations and safety engineering background. Dan currently serves as the Co-Chair of the NIOSH Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries Sector Council of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).He has taught and published in the areas of loss prevention, agriculture safety & health, risk and risk management for many years. In 2014 he was selected as the Safety Professional of the Year by the Utah Chapter of ASSE. In 2019 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from AgSafe. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Occupational Safety & Health at the University of Utah and a founding Board member and former Vice-Chair of ASHCA.

Daniel Foster, PhD

Daniel Foster is an Associate Professor/Agricultural Teacher Educator, The Pennsylvania State University.  Daniel has a life-long mission to serve as a positive change agent. He strives to facilitate engaged scholarship that curates and stimulates innovation connecting industry with secondary, post-secondary and community-centered learning in food, fiber, and natural resources. A native Texan, Dr. Foster taught high school agriculture in Willcox, Arizona prior to traveling to Ohio State to complete his graduate work in agricultural and extension education. Since 2009, he has worked as an Agricultural Teacher Educator at Penn State. He is a member of the National Supply and Demand Research Team for Agricultural Education and with his wife Dr. Melanie Miller Foster created the Global Teach Ag! Initiative at Penn State with a focus of connecting the world through agricultural education through purposeful professional development. Dr. Foster’s scholarly line of inquiry focuses on improving access to agricultural education. In addition, Daniel is a professional registered parliamentarian, an auctioneer, a lover of National Parks and an avid sports fan. He would love to engage with you on Twitter at @FosterDanielD.

David Gilkey, PhD

Dr. David Gilkey is an Associate Professor at Montana Technological University in Butte, Montana. He has nearly 40 years’ experience in occupational and environmental health with expertise in ergonomics, safety, and workplace wellness. Dr. Gilkey earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California Health Sciences University and Ph.D. from Colorado State University with a focus in occupational health, safety, industrial hygiene and ergonomics. He is a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE), Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS). Dr. Gilkey has authored and/or coauthored 30 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals, 66 articles in trade journals, and provided three book chapter contributions in the areas of ergonomics, occupational safety, and environmental health. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses in environmental and public health, occupational safety and ergonomics.

Lourdes Gonzalez, MBA, HRPA, CIHM, CLCS, AFIS

Lourdes Gonzalez has worked in the industry as a Safety Director, Loss Control Consultant, HR Consultant and Account Executive in  California and Arizona. Lourdes has extensive experience in safety and supervisory training, HR management, as well as consulting on risk management and operational productivity in various industries. She has lectured on labor relations, human resources, safety and  organizational development to companies, associations, and organizations in California, Arizona and Colorado. She is a frequent speaker for SHRM chapter in Yuma, AZ. She contributes as a writer to various newsletters and magazines on topics related to human resources, safety and risk management. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), the American Society for Training &  Development (ASTD), AgSafe and APMA. Lourdes, a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University. She is a Certified Industrial Hygiene Manager (CIHM), is a licensed Property & Casualty, Life and Health Producer, holds a Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS) certification and an Agribusiness & Farm Insurance Specialist (AFIS)  designations.

Robert Hagevoort, PhD

Dr. Robert Hagevoort, a native of The Netherlands, is an Associate Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist in the Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources Department of College of Agricultural in the College of Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Tropical Animal Production from the College for Tropical Agriculture (1987) in Deventer, The Netherlands. He received a M.S. degree in Range Nutrition (1989), and a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition (1993) both from Texas A&M University.
Prior to joining New Mexico State University as an Extension Dairy Specialist in November of 2005, Dr. Hagevoort served for over 10 years as an independent dairy management consultant primarily in California’s southern and central Valley. As a an Extension Specialist, he has been working closely with the Dairy Industry in New Mexico and across the Western US regarding many regulatory and environmental issues, and initiated an effort to rebuild a dairy program at NMSU through the formation of the U.S. Dairy Education & Training Consortium (formerly known as the Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium).

John Howard, MD

John Howard is the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Howard also serves as the Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program. Dr. Howard was first appointed NIOSH Director in 2002 during the George Bush Administration and served in that position until 2008. In 2008 and 2009, Dr. Howard worked as a consultant with the U.S. Government’s Afghanistan Health. In September of 2009, Dr. Howard was reappointed NIOSH Director in the Obama Administration. Prior to that he served as Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health in the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Dr. Howard is board-certified in internal medicine and occupational medicine. He is admitted to the practice of medicine and law in the State of California and in the District of Columbia, and he is a member U.S. Supreme Court bar. He has written numerous articles on occupational health law and policy

Charles Jennissen, MD

Charles Jennissen, MD, is a pediatric emergency medicine physician and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Jennissen grew up on a dairy farm in central Minnesota. Most of his research projects have addressed injury-related issues, especially those involving off-road vehicles. His 12-year-old first cousin and another neighborhood boy were killed while on an ATV as they drove out of a farmyard driveway and were hit by a pick-up just a few miles from his family’s farm. Dr. Jennissen is very active in the Iowa ATV Safety Taskforce and is a member of a national coalition led by the Consumer Federation of America that has been working to inform the public and governing officials of the dangers of off-road vehicles on public roads. He has been an advisory board member of I-CASH (Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health) for 21 years.

Mike Keenan

Mike Keenan is an Area Senior Vice President of Loss Control Services with Gallagher National Risk Control in Omaha Nebraska. Mike has worked extensively with agricultural clients throughout the Midwest for over 12 years. His clients include swine producers, dairy operations, cattle feeders, feed mills, grain elevators and packing plants. Mike has been developing and implementing Enhanced Risk Management Programs to identify risk exposures and controls in animal agriculture and affiliated industries.

Donham, Kelley MS, DVM, DACVPM

Kelley was born on an Iowa farm and remains a farmer today on his 440 acre farm. His education beyond farming include an M.S. in preventive medicine, College of Medicine (Iowa), DVM (veterinary medicine, Iowa State), and Diplomat in the College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. He has have 40 year career as professor of public health (U.I) focused on farmers’ health. He is Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Medicine, and founding Director of Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. He founded the Agricultural Health and Safety M.S. and PhD programs at Iowa, and the outreach core courses in nine other states, Sweden, Australia, and Turkey. He has published over 160 articles and three text books in the field. He lives near Iowa City, and enjoys spending time with his wife Jean, his two sons, two grandsons, two dogs, and his 440-acre farm. Track 3: National Programs – Certified Safe Farms CSF is a voluntary program combining wellness screening, health coaching, on farm safety assessment, and safety education. CSF Farmers have 47% less medical costs, decrease lung and serious injuries, and increased use of PPE.

William Krycia, MPH, CIH

William Krycia is the Senior Safety and Health Consultant at Zenith Insurance Company. Prior to that, he was Senior Safety Engineer for the Department of Industrial Relations, Cal/OSHA Division. His career spans over 30 years with the Department of Industrial Relations – Division of Occupational Safety and Health. He obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also a Certified Industrial Hygienist with the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. He also served as a Senior Safety Engineer coordinating the Division’s Agricultural Safety and Health Unit, as well as the Heat Illness Prevention Units.

Barbara Lee, PhD

Director, National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety Protecting children from agricultural injuries has been the primary focus of Dr. Lee’s career since 1987 when she transitions from clinical nursing to research. She organized the first national symposium on this topic and been a leader in research, knowledge mobilization and advocacy. In 1996 she led adoption of the National Action Plan for Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention and shortly thereafter secured federal funding for a NIOSH Center of Excellence. Her research has tested interventions to protect working youth and non-working children on farms. Dr. Lee served three terms as Director of the National Farm Medicine Center, most recently stepping down in March, 2019. Under her leadership, the Center has grown to be the longest standing, most fully staffed agricultural safety and health center in the U.S. She helped bring the Journal of Agromedicine to its home in Marshfield and serves as the Senior Associate Editor. Dr. Lee was a founding member of the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA), served as its Administrative Director for a decade, and continues to serve on its Board of Directors.

National Initiative for Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Since 1997 the U.S. has had a national strategy coordinated by NIOSH to address the problem of children seriously injured or killed on farms and ranches. Through systematic data collection details and trends regarding injuries and deaths were used to set priorities and key strategies. Public and private-sector initiatives have raised awareness of safety strategies, influenced safe behaviors, and reduced the toll of nonfatal injuries. Valuable lessons have been learned and a 2020 vision for the future has been set.

Michael Marsh

President & CEO National Council of Agricultural Employers.  Michael earned his bachelor’s degrees in history and accounting from the University of Wyoming where he also studied law. He is a certified public accountant. Although Michael started his career in public accounting in Casper, Wyoming working for a CPA firm that had many farm and ranch clients, his career changed dramatically when he began to focus in the areas of forensic accounting and fraud investigation. In fact, it was a fraud he uncovered at the National Potato Promotion Board in Denver that ended up tying him inextricably to agriculture. He was subsequently hired to be the Director of Finance for the Almond Board of California and later became the CEO of the largest dairy producer trade association in the US at Western United Dairymen in Modesto. After consulting for a few years in the areas of litigation support and complex financial transactions in Federal District Court, Michael returned to his true passion advocating on behalf of America’s farmers.

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 AgSHARP™ certificate course.

Rick Naerebout

Rick Naerebout grew up on his family’s dairy farm in McBain, Michigan, where he learned the value of hard work, integrity, and an appreciation for agriculture that can only be learned on the farm. He moved west with his family after the family dairy was sold in the late 90s and shortly thereafter began a family and his schooling at the College of Southern Idaho and Idaho State University. Rick has been with the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, Inc. for over 15 years, assisting with the Association’s environmental, legal, economic, and legislative and stewardship efforts. The IDA is a progressive Association that represents all of Idaho’s nearly 500 dairy farms. Recently named CEO of the Association, he manages the day-to- day operations of the organization, which includes IDA Consulting Services, a new division within IDA that provides on-farm services, through its highly skilled staff, ranging from nutrient management planning to dairy worker training and safety programs.

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.

Mark Pew

Mark Pew, senior vice president of product development and marketing for Preferred Medical, is a passionate educator and agitator. Mark is a recognized thought leader in workers’ compensation and award-winning speaker, blogger, author and jurisdictional advisor. Also known as the RxProfessor, he is focused on the intersection of chronic pain and appropriate treatment, particularly as it relates to the clinical and financial implications of prescription painkillers, non-pharma treatment modalities and the evolution of medical marijuana. He is a strong champion for the industry to #PreventTheMess and #CleanUpTheMess with a specific focus on the BioPsychoSocialSpiritual treatment model.

Bradley Rein

Brad is a 40 year member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and a past President and 34 year member of the International Society of Agricultural Safety and Health. In his 30 year career at USDA Brad has provided leadership and administrative over-site of the NIFA agricultural safety and health programs. In multiple positions at different times, Brad has provided over-site of approximately 80% of NIFA’s current $1.5 billion portfolio. Brad grew up on an integrated crop and livestock farm in western Nebraska.

Paul Riley, MBA, CSP

Paul is originally from Portland, Oregon. He is a Certified Safety Professional with over 27 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 Director of Safety, Health, and Environmental for AgReserves, Inc.  AgReserves, Inc. is a global agriculture company with 3 main divisions that include Cattle (beef & dairy), Permanent Planting (almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, oranges, and olives), and Row Crops (potatoes, onions, corn, carrots, wheat, and soybeans).  Paul sits on the board of directors for the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America and has served as President of the Utah Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and other national leadership positions within ASSP.

Lupe Sandoval

Guadalupe (Lupe) Sandoval is a trainer and consultant on a wide range of workplace safety and personnel management issues.  Lupe also serves as the Executive Director for the California Farm Labor Contractor Association.  Mr. Sandoval was born into a family of farmworkers.  For over 30 years, Mr. Sandoval has developed and conducted training programs for farmworkers, agricultural supervisors, and agricultural employers.  He has done this through his work for non-profit community clinics, UC Davis, USI Insurance, CFLCA, and his own consulting business.

Lupe has participated on the Ag Labor Relations Board’s Labor-Management Committee; stakeholder committees for Cal OSHA regulations; and on the external advisory committees at the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at UC Davis, and the Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program.

Lupe studied at the Modesto Jr. College, CSU Stanislaus, and the University of San Francisco.  He holds and Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and has completed course work in masters of public administration.  He has held certifications as Professional in Human Resources, OSHA 10-Hour Instructor, and Instructor Trainer for Pesticide Safety.  He is married to Donna Paul and resides in Sacramento, CA.

Joel Sherman

Joel Sherman is Vice President of Safety, Workers’ Compensation and Regulatory Compliance 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 7,500 employees and contract laborers. Joel has more than thirty years’ experience in the safety and workers’ compensation field.

Julie Sorensen, PhD

Dr. Sorensen is the Director of the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. She received her PhD in Epidemiology from Umea University, in Umea, Sweden and has worked for nearly two decades to conduct research and implement occupational health and safety solutions that address agricultural hazards that are resistant to change.