Our Speakers

Dr. Courtney Bir

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics

Oklahoma State University

Dr. Courtney Bir is an Assistant Professor in the department of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Bir received a PhD in agricultural economics from Purdue University, a masters in agricultural economics, a bachelors in agribusiness, and a bachelors in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Bir's research combines eliciting consumer preferences for agricultural products, and analysis of traditional production economics. Her work strives to determine if consumers’ preferences regarding production processes can be profitably incorporated or adopted by producers.

Greg Tyler

Chief Operating Officer

USA Poultry & Egg Export Council

Greg Tyler is the Chief Operating Officer for the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, an industry-sponsored trade organization dedicated to increasing exports of U.S. poultry and egg products in all foreign markets through marketing, trade policy, and technical programs. Tyler supervises the Council’s 16 global offices and marketing programs implemented in more than 75 countries. Tyler received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics with concentrations in marketing from the University of Georgia. He also serves on the Executive Committee for the US Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC) which is an export oriented non-profit association representing approximately 80 U.S. commodity trade associations, farmer cooperatives and state regional trade groups from around the country.

Erin Borror



Bryan Brandes

Dir. of Maritime

Port of Oakland

Michael Swanson

Chief Agricultural Economist

Wells Fargo

Brian Earnest

Lead Economist

Animal Protein

Brian Earnest is lead economist for animal protein in CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division. He provides market and industry research for the poultry, pork and beef sectors.

Mr. Earnest has more than 10 years of industry and consulting experience. Prior to joining CoBank, he was senior commodity analyst, poultry, with IHS Markit’s Food and Agricultural Commodities Economics group. Mr. Earnest provided forecasting and price risk strategies, client service, as well as project consulting in the poultry and egg space. He previously held various procurement and advisory roles with Topco Associates, LLC, a retail food industry cooperative.

Mr. Earnest holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in economics from Eastern Illinois University.

Zak Weston

Foodservice & Supply Chain Manager

The Good Food Institute

Jessica Spreitzer

Trade Analyst

U.S. Meat Export Federation

Michael DiSabato

Associate Director- Protein Strategy

HelloFresh US

Dustin Aherin

VP, RaboResearch Animal Protein Analyst

Rabo AgriFinance

Dustin Aherin is an animal protein analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & AgriBusiness group. Within animal protein, Aherin concentrates his work in beef. He joined RaboResearch after completing his PhD in pathobiology at the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University. Aherin focused his multi-disciplinary graduate research on developing a cow-calf production system model to assess both biological and economic efficiency. Aherin is a former visiting fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management. He also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from Kansas State. Prior to graduate school, he spent several months in Russia working on a beef cattle embryo transfer and artificial insemination project involving 6,000 breeding females. Aherin also worked as a feedyard sales representative for an animal health company. The Kansas native currently sits on the board for the American Gelbvieh Association.

Heather Tansey

Sustainability Director

Cargill Animal Nutrition & Health and Cargill Protein & Salt

Heather Tansey is the Sustainability Director for Cargill Animal Nutrition & Health and Protein & Salt. Heather has nearly 20 years of experience in the sustainability field. Currently, she leads Cargill’s Protein and Animal Nutrition sustainability teams to develop and execute Cargill’s Sustainable Animal Protein Strategy which addresses sustainability challenges and opportunities throughout the animal protein value chain.

Prior to Cargill, Heather spent 15 years at 3M leading various aspects of sustainability, most recently as 3M’s Head of International Sustainability & Community Investment. During her time at 3M, Heather led work to embed sustainability into innovation, business development, business strategy, and key account engagement. Heather began her career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where she co-developed the EPA's Climate Leaders program.

Heather has a degree in Biology from Lawrence University and a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University.

Todd Thurman


SwineTex Consulting

Ambassador Gregg Doud

Vice President Global Situation and Chief Economist

Aimpoint Research

Ambassador Gregg Doud is vice president of Global Situational Awareness and chief economist of Aimpoint Research. In these roles, he brings an unparalleled global perspective and economic expertise to Aimpoint’s thought leadership platform, the Executive Intelligence Network.

Prior to this, Ambassador Doud served as chief agricultural negotiator within the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), where he led agricultural negotiations for the historic Phase One agreement with China, the U.S.-Japan trade agreement and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement.

Before this, Ambassador Doud served as president of the Commodity Markets Council (CMC), where he oversaw advocacy efforts for commodity futures market regulatory issues in the U.S. and Europe. Before joining CMC, Ambassador Doud was a senior professional staff member on the Senate Agriculture Committee for Senators Pat Roberts and Thad Cochran.

Before joining the Senate Agriculture Committee staff, Ambassador Doud served as the Chief Economist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Washington, DC. Prior to this, he held leadership positions with U.S. Wheat Associates and agricultural commodity consulting firm, World Perspectives.

Ambassador Doud earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Kansas State University. He currently serves on the CMC board of directors and is also a partner in a commercial cow-calf operation in Kansas. He lives with his family on their horse farm in southern Maryland.

Rich Nelson

Chief Strategist

Allendale Consulting

Speakers From Urner Barry

Gary Morrison

Vice President and Beef Market Reporter

Russell Barton

Director and Pork Market Reporter

Russ Whitman

Senior Vice President

Jamie Chadwick

Editorial Director

Andraia Torsiello

Plant Protein Market Researcher

Angel Rubio

Senior Analyst

UB Consulting