Session Title: The Rapid Diffusion of E‑Commerce and E‑Procurement in Developing Regions: Patterns and Determinants
Thomas Reardon is a Professor at Michigan State University since 1992, and IFPRI, 1984 – 91, with a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley 1984. Tom’s research is on the modern revolution in agrifood systems (the Supermarket Revolution and the e‑commerce revolution) and the Quiet Revolution (SMEs as a grass root revolution in food value chains), and links with small farms and consumption/nutrition and rural employment in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Tom spent 21 years in residence or long-term travel in those three regions, collaborating in extensive field survey work.
Tom is listed in Who’s Who in Economics, was the first agrifood economist personal invitee to the World Economic Forum in Davos, has 35,702 citations in Google Scholar, was elected in 2014 as Fellow of the American Association of Applied Economics, AAEA (250 selected from 30,000 members since 1957), and was featured on page 1 of the New York Times.
Session Title: AI & Emerging Technology Use Cases in Agriculture
Wendy’s primary focus is solving her clients’ business problems by leveraging emerging technology as exponential accelerators to create efficiencies, grow their business, and gain competitive advantage as they redefine themselves for the digital age.
In March 2021, IBM promoted Wendy to the position of Global Industry CTO for Retail, Travel & Transportation, and Consumer Packaged Goods clients worldwide. Her mission is to change how IBM innovates with the world’s leading organizations in the Industry. Wendy’s curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit never ends at the edge of IBM. She regularly engages with Ecosystem partners and start-ups to augment the client’s current landscape and strategy, preparing them for the future.
At the center of this work, Wendy has a commitment to giving back to the broader Technology and Industry community. She participates in several Industry organizations to contribute thought leadership and advocate for industry relevant issues across retailers.
Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, Wendy moved to Atlanta for college. She continues to reside outside of Atlanta with her husband and two boys.
Session Title: Venture Capital, Entrepreneurship and Agriculture
Kellee James is Founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market information service and trading platform for organic and other identity-preserved agricultural commodities. Previously, Kellee spent five years at the start-up company Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the first electronic trading platform and registry for spot, futures and options on carbon, sulfur, clean energy and other environmental derivatives. In 2009/2010, she was appointed by President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow. Kellee was named by both Black Enterprise Magazine and Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine as a ‘40 under 40’ rising leader.
Ms. James is an Aspen Institute Catto Environmental Fellow and serves on the Boards of the Organic Trade Association and Oregon Tilth, organic certifiers.
Kellee received her MBA and MA in International Development from American University in Washington, DC and completed a BA in Spanish from the University of Kentucky.
Session Title: Agriculture in a Digital World
A nationally recognized expert in agricultural and rural issues, Jason R. Henderson is the Senior Associate Dean in the Purdue University College of Agriculture and Director of Purdue Extension. In this role, he leads statewide public engagement and research-based education in 4- H Youth Development, Agricultural and Natural Resources, Community Development, and Health and Human Sciences. As Purdue’s Assistant Vice President for Engagement, he provides leadership in university-wide initiatives that connect Purdue expertise and resources to statewide needs and helps form effective partnerships to grow Indiana’s economy and improve quality of life for its residents.
Jason previously served as Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In this role, he led Federal Reserve efforts to track agricultural and rural economies, including the Tenth District Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions and the Federal Reserve System’s Agricultural Finance Databook. He as published more than 60 agricultural economics research articles in academic and Federal Reserve publications on such topics as land values, entrepreneurship, electronic commerce in agriculture, demographics, and many more. He holds masters and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Central College in Pella, Iowa.
Session Title: The Future of Food at the Intersection of Corporate Social Responsibility, Technology, and Consumer Awareness
Dr. Darin Detwiler, LP.D., M.A.Ed., is the Assistant Dean at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies and an Associate Teaching Professor of food regulatory policy, where he has specialized in food safety, global economics of food and agriculture, Blockchain, and food authenticity. Detwiler is an internationally recognized and respected food policy expert with over 25 years’ experience in shaping federal food policy and addressing food safety and authenticity issues in the U.S. and abroad. His committee work includes appointments to two terms as a member of the USDA’s National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection, federal consumer advocate in their stakeholder advisory group work, and service on the Conference for Food Protection. In 2018, Detwiler received the International Association for Food Protection’s DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD. Detwiler is the author of FOOD SAFETY: Past, Present, and Predictions and Building the Future of Food Safety Technology.
Session Title: Reconnecting with Food
As the CEO & Founder of HerdX, Inc., a global ag-tech company based in the Texas Hill Country, Ron is building the foundation for a greater level of transparency and security in the global food supply chain. A lifelong innovator, Ron has developed numerous patented systems that are unique in the ag-tech space, from enabling livestock producers to monitor their operations to addressing the growing need for greater visibility and security in food supply chains by countries across the globe. By providing the ultimate transparency in the agricultural livestock space using blockchain and IoT data tools, Ron’s team has built HerdX to help create a new level of food transparency and will spread to other food products over time. In 2020, Ron was inducted into the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, an organization in Aotearoa New Zealand dedicated to solving global issues through novel solutions and skilled innovators. He was also noticed as a finalist for Innovator of the Year and Bilateral Connections in New Zealand.
Hicks has played a key role in strengthening ties between the United States and New Zealand. Before his time with HerdX, Ron had a number of immensely successful career paths and achievements as a serial entrepreneur, inventor, and a strong visionary who desires disruptive technologies for specific global needs. He was distinguished with Business Week’s top industrial design award in Medical Technologies which recognized him along with other leaders and companies throughout the world, including BMW, Sony, Logitech and Ford Motor Company. Ron is a dynamic speaker who is passionate about solving problems. He has been a guest speaker numerous times at Google in the United States, Australia and Singapore. Ron was also a past speaker for the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry as the keynote for the program titled, “Technology Excellence for Rural America” which served as a springboard for the formation of HerdX.