Tuesday, July 6, 2021

AM21 Pre-conference Workshop: "Private and Public Sector Employment Opportunities: Thinking Outside the Box"

Marriott, Austin, TX
July 31, 2021 

Learn more: https://www.aaea.org/meetings/2021-aaea-annual-meeting/events/ticketed-events/pre--and-post-conference-workshops


  • Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Trust
  • Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation, Arizona State University
  • Agricultural Finance & Management (AFM) Section of AAEA
  • International (INTL) Section of AAEA
  • Senior (SS) Section of AAEA
  • Food and Agricultural Marketing Policy (FAMPS) Section of AAEA
  • China Section of AAEA
  • Latin America Section of AAEA
  • Dr. Di Feng, Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas
  • Dr. Elizabeth Canales, Assistant Professor, Mississippi State University


8:00-8:30 am: Breakfast and registration
8:30 am-8:45 am:Welcome by organizers, what to expect
Dawn Thilmany, President AAEA
8:50 am-9:20 am: Consumer financing and risk management companies
Lynn Miller—Senior VP Santander Consumer, Dallas, TX.
9:30 am-10:00 am: Agricultural Finance and banking (Rabo Bank?)
Alicia English, Lead, Global Data Analytics Team & Senior Analyst, Rabobank, Netherlands
10:10 am-10:40 am: Farm Credit Administration and rural banking industry
Glenn R. Smith, Board Chairman and CEO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA.
Jeremy D’Antoni, Director and CDO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA.
10:50 am-11:20 am: Agribusiness firms (Bayer)
Cami Ryan, Social Sciences Lead, Bayer Crop Science. St. Louis MO. 
11:30am-11:20am: Coffee break
11:30am-12:00 pm: Multinational companies
Basanta Dhungana—Lead Data Science, Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA. 
12:10pm-1:10 pm: Lunch
1:20 pm-1:50 pm: Consumer and retail industry (Tysons Food, Walmart accounts)
Jennifer Travis, Vice President Sales–Walmart at Tyson Foods, Fayetteville, AR.
Katherine McGraw, Customer Development, Tyson Foods, Walmart Ecommerce, Springdale, AR
2:00 pm-2:30 pm: Insurance companies (Air Worldwide)
Juil Borman, Assistant Vice President, AIR Worldwide Corporation-Boston, MA.
2:40 pm-3:10 pm: Large accounting firms (Price Waterhouse and Coopers)
Daniel Lewis, Senior Manager, Washington National Tax Services at PwC. Atlanta, GA
3:20 pm-3:50 pm: Agribusiness firms (Cargill)
Michael Zerr, Lead, Global Trading Analytics: Long Term Model and Animal Protein Analytics, Cargill, Minneapolis, MN.
4:00 pm-4:30 pm: Wrap up and questions
Ashok Mishra, AAEA Employment Committee Chairman

 Dawn Thilmany, President AAEA

Dawn Thilmany is a Professor of Agricultural Economics, Co-Director of the Regional Economic Development Institute and Director of Engaged Research at Colorado State University. She specializes in rural economic development and focuses on opportunities related to value-added food market supply chains, as well as applied research on food market analysis and consumer behavior. Her work on agricultural diversification also includes work with agritourism and entrepreneurship in Colorado and the Western US. She is currently the President of the Ag and Applied Economics Association and has held several leadership positions with national ag, food and regional economic associations. She has been a visiting scholar and collaborated with several USDA agencies, including a current project focused on food supply chains during COVID with the Ag Marketing Service.

Lynn Miller, Enterprise Risk Management for Santander Consumer, USA, Dallas, TX.

Lynn Miller, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management for Santander Consumer. He has responsibility for Risk Identification, including identifying Material Risks to the corporation, Emerging risks, Strategic risks and Reputational risk as well as the responsibilities for the Risk Appetite Statement. Prior to his current role, he has served as SVP, Risk Management at Elevate Credit, and held executive risk and analytic positions and eBay/PayPal, Cognilytics-Century Link, and American Express. Dr. Miller is an advisory board member for SISUROOT. Dr. Miller received his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and BS in Agriculture from The Ohio State University.

Alicia English, Lead of the Global Data Analytics Team & Senior Analyst for Rabobank International, Netherlands.

Alicia is the Global Lead for the Data Analytics team for Rabobank’s Research group. Her responsibilities have been covering the data transformation, moving research to a more quantitative approach for all sectors from farm to fork. This has included building & designing cloud-based information, analytics and distribution platforms to better handle large volumes of data, complex models and new avenues to communicate to internal and external clients. Prior to this role, she was developing the methodology for measuring and monitoring progress on SDG 12.3, decreasing Food Loss and Waste for the UN Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome; working on developing the market for the energy transition in Kosovo, where she also served as a Fulbright Scholar in 2013. Dr. English received her PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, an MS from the University of Tennessee, and BA from Colorado State University.

Glenn R. Smith, Board Chairman and CEO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA.

Glen R. Smith is chairman and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, an independent U.S. government-controlled corporation that insures the timely payment of principal and interest on obligations issued jointly by Farm Credit System banks. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business and accepted a position with Doane Agricultural Services as state manager of the company’s farm real estate division. Mr. Smith is the founder and co-owner of Smith Land Service Co., an ag service company specializing in farm management, land appraisal, and farmland brokerage, serving about 30 Iowa counties.

Jeremy D’Antoni, Director and CDO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA.

Jeremy D'Antoni is the agency's chief data officer and director of the Office of Data Analytics and Economics. He was named to these positions in 2019. Since joining FCA in 2015, Mr. D'Antoni has helped the agency evaluate risks to agribusinesses and lenders by tracking commodity markets, farm policy, and rural economic issues. He has also helped improve the data analytics FCA uses to measure the System's service to young, beginning, and small farmers and ranchers. Mr. D'Antoni is a CFA charter holder and holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics and an undergraduate degree in finance from Louisiana State University.

Cami Ryan, Social Sciences Lead, Bayer CropScience, MO

Cami Ryan, Ph.D., is the Social Sciences Lead with Bayer Crop Science. The role is a first-of-its-kind in the industry. Up until joining Bayer in 2014, Cami worked in the area of agriculture for over 20 years and for most of that time as a public sector researcher. In her current position with the Regulatory Scientific Affairs team (RSA), Cami is responsible for strengthening relationships with social, behavioral, and political scientists. In this role, Dr. Ryan leverages an expanding scientific network in North America and worldwide to more closely examine and understand policy, regulations, consumer behavior, and the acceptance of agricultural innovations. Cami holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies through the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan. She is currently a Professional Affiliate with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan and a member of the Scientific Industry Advisory Committee for Genome Canada. In 2017, Cami Ryan was a member of Genome Canada’s Genomics in Society Expert Panel to evaluate the efficacy and strategic direction of GC’s GE3LS research program.

Basanta Dhungana, Lead Data Science, Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA.

Basanta Dhungana, Ph.D., has spent 12 years working in fortune 500 companies, including Sears, Nestle, Apple, Hewlett Packard, and startups as a data science and ML application developer. During his career, he helped build enterprise-level forecasting applications to improve supply chain management, prequalification optimization solution for a DSL service provider, price optimization solution for real-time quasi auction market exchange, recommendation engine solution to enhance digital customer experience, marketing and sales qualified lead generation solution. Basanta currently works in Agilent Technologies, a medical instrument and life science company, as a data science lead, helping to accelerate digital transformation through ML and AI application development and deployment. Basanta graduated from UIUC under the supervision of Prof Madhu Khanna and Professor Hayri Onal. His presentation will focus on preparing applied economics graduates for the corporate job market in an evolving era of Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence.

Jennifer Travis, Vice-President Sales, Walmart at Tyson Foods, Fayetteville, AR.

Katherine McGraw, Customer Development, Tyson Foods, Walmart E-commerce, Springdale, AR.

Julia Borman, Senior Scientist, AIR Worldwide Corporation, Boston MA.

Julia Borman, Ph.D., is a senior scientist and manager on the agricultural risk modeling team at AIR Worldwide. She is the research model manager for the U.S. Multiple Peril Crop Insurance models, leading development and research on the project and related consulting agreements. AIR modeling products and services are used by governments, crop insurers, reinsurance companies, and agricultural risk managers. Julia received her Bachelors in Economics and Mathematics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, her masters in Economics from N.C. State University and her Ph.D. in Economics from N.C. State University.

Daniel Lewis, Senior Manager, Washington National Tax Services at PwC. Atlanta, GA.

Michael Zerr, Lead Global Trading Analytics: Long Term Model and Animal Protein Analytics, Cargill, Minneapolis, MN.

Michael Zerr is an Economist for Cargill. Cargill is a global food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products provider. Michael leads the analytics team for the Cargill Protein Group and Cargill’s meat and livestock products processing business. In addition, Michael works with Cargill’s grain and oilseed businesses to provide the corporation with long-term forecasts for strategy and business development. He previously worked in Cargill’s packaged food ingredients enterprise as a food economist and was the economist for the beef division. Michael worked as an agronomist with Cargill in Northwest Indiana, where he advised farmers about crop production and site-specific farming techniques. Michael was raised on a livestock and grain farm in Missouri, which his family continues to operate. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in General Agriculture and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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