Learn More About the November C-FARE Brandt Forum 2021 Speakers

Visit the Agenda page for exact times & dates.

Kevin Barnes
Event Intro­duction


Kevin Barnes was named NASS acting admin­is­trator in July 2020. Before this appointment, Kevin served as the NASS associate director. He has nearly 40 years of service with NASS. In addition to serving in several leadership positions in NASS, Barnes has also served key detail assign­ments, within the REE Mission Area, USDA, and with Congres­sional staff. Barnes’ work with NASS began as a co-op student in South Carolina and North Carolina NASS field offices. After gradu­ating summa cum laude from the North Carolina Agricul­tural and Technical State University with a degree in agricul­tural economics and a concen­tration in agricul­tural business, he began his career as an agricul­tural statis­tician in the NASS Florida and Illinois field offices.

David Zilberman
Session Title: Digiti­zation within the food supply chain — the impact of the pandemic


David Zilberman has been a professor in the Agricul­tural and Resource Economics Department since 1979 where he holds the Robinson Chair. He is the cofounder and co-director of the BEAHRS Environ­mental Leadership Program (ELP), and is the director of the Master of Devel­opment Practice (MDP). David writes both for profes­sional journals and the general public, and aims to integrate economic theory to real world problems in both developed and devel­oping countries. He is also an extension specialist, and co-editor of ARE Update. 

David is a fellow of the American Agricul­tural Economics Associ­ation and the Associ­ation of Environ­mental and Resource Econo­mists. He has published in various fields on the Economics of agriculture, environment, technology and risk, and is most proud of his students and collab­o­rators (we will provide the link to page on personal blog that includes all past students and post docs, we are still working on it). David completed his B.A. in Economics and Statistics from Tel Aviv University in Israel and his PhD in Agricul­tural and Resource Economics from U.C. Berkeley.

Israel Talpaz
Session Title: SeeTree- the Intel­li­gence Platform for Trees!


Former ranking general, serving for more than 30 years in the Israeli defense estab­lishment. A leader and a highly skilled strategist. Expert in constructing and applying opera­tions, technology and analytic processes to get to the higher ground. While serving was active in the inter­na­tional arena, running complex campaigns in specialized domains of expertise, and coping with different cultures and environments.

Amir Szuster
Session Title: Powering efficient, predictable and sustainable agri-food value chains


Experi­enced Vice President of Sales & Business Devel­opment with a demon­strated history of working in the SaaS industry. Skilled in Negoti­ation, Business Planning and Analytical Skills. Has a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and another Master focused in Social Sciences and Human­i­tarian Affairs from Sapienza Università di Roma.

Scott H. Irwin
Session Title: Changing Times and Changing Attitudes: The Impact of the COVID Pandemic on Digital Extension Programs


Dr. Scott H. Irwin holds the Laurence J. Norton Chair of Agricul­tural Marketing in the Department of Agricul­tural and Consumer Economics (ACE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Irwin is a national and inter­na­tional leader in the field of agricul­tural economics. His research on commodity markets is widely-cited by other academic researchers and is in high demand among market partic­i­pants, policy­makers, and the media.

Irwin is best known for his work on commodity market specu­lation and biofuels markets. He has been an active partic­ipant in the world-wide debate about the impact of financial index investment in commodity markets, popularly known as finan­cial­ization.” He is also one of the foremost experts on biofuels markets and policy, writing and speaking frequently on the economics of ethanol and biodiesel, the Renewable Fuel Standard, and RINs markets.