15th Annual Conference


2013 Conference Registration Form (PDF) | 2013 Convention Agenda
August 9th 2013 Conference Phone for Press 816-412-5719

Voices Rising From the Land

15th Annual Food and Agriculture Conference
August 8-9-10, 2013



Wenonah Hauter
Executive Director of Food & Water Watch
Author of Foodopoly

Wenonah Hauter is the Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. She has worked extensively on food, water, energy, and environmental issues at the national, state and local level. Her book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America examines the corporate consolidation and control over our food system and what it means for farmers and consumers.

Experienced in developing policy positions and legislative strategies, she is also a skilled and accomplished organizer, having lobbied and developed grassroots field strategy and action plans. From 1997 to 2005 she served as Director of Public Citizen’s Energy and Environment Program, which focused on water, food, and energy policy. From 1996 to 1997, she was environmental policy director for Citizen Action, where she worked with the organization’s 30 state-based groups. From 1989 to 1995 she was at the Union of Concerned Scientists where as a senior organizer, she coordinated broad-based, grassroots sustainable energy campaigns in several states. She has an M.S. in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland.

Publisher’s Weekly calls her book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, “…a meticulously researched tour de force…” In Foodopoly she examines the corporate consolidation and control over our food system and what it means for farmers and consumers.

Dave Murphy
Founder and Executive Director
Food Democracy Now

Dave Murphy is the founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots movement of more than 350,000 American farmers and citizens dedicated to reforming policies relating to food, agriculture and the environment. Murphy has been called “the most crucial and politically savvy actor in the on-going efforts to help move American agriculture into the 21st century” as a result of his “Sustainable Dozen” campaign, which resulted in four candidates being placed in high level positions at the USDA and his efforts to reform food and agriculture under the Obama administration.

In 2006, Murphy moved back to Iowa to help stop a factory farm from being built near his sister’s farm. After seeing the loss of basic democratic rights of rural Iowans, Murphy decided to stay in Iowa to fight for Iowa’s farmers and rural residents and expose the flaws of industrial agriculture to help create a more sustainable future for all Americans.

In 2007, Murphy organized the Food and Family Farm Presidential Summit, where 5 of the 6 Democratic candidates pledged their support to help save family farm agriculture and he filmed then Senator Barack Obama’s now famous promise to Iowa farmers to label genetically engineered foods.

Previously, he has worked as an environmental and food policy lobbyist and political strategist. His writing has appeared in the Nation, the Hill, Huffington Post and the New York Times. Dave is known as the “big dude from Iowa” by friend and foe alike and is a board member of the Iowa Organic Association.

Harlan Hentges
Harlan Hentges, PLLC
Organic Lawyers

Mr. Hentges is a 1992 graduate of the University of Texas with a juris doctorate from the School of Law and a Master of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. He is a 1987 graduate of Oklahoma State University with a bachelor of science in agricultural economics.

He is admitted to practice law in the States of Oklahoma and Texas and the Federal District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. He is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Oklahoma County Bar Association and the American Agricultural Law Association.

Mr. Hentges’s legal practice is concentrated in agricultural law, civil litigation, Endangered Species Act, eminent domain and appellate law.

Dudley Butler
Farm & Ranch Law
Farm & Ranch Law

J. Dudley Butler has recently returned to the practice of law after spending almost three years as Administrator of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. He was appointed to this position by United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Mr. Butler’s leadership greatly improved the relationship between the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Justice and he spearheaded the creation of the first USDA/DOJ task force to address corporate concentration in the livestock and poultry industries. Under Mr. Butler’s leadership the rights of family farmers and ranchers were enhanced by the passage of new regulations and the vigorous enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.

Upon his departure Secretary Vilsack stated “I want to thank J. Dudley Butler for his outstanding service as administrator of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration,” “President Obama and I believe fair and competitive markets are critical to the success of American agriculture, and Dudley has worked tirelessly to advance this cause.

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard stated “Mr. Butler did exactly what he was appointed to do by proposing a rule that would have restricted the corporate meatpackers’ ability to exercise abusive market power against independent producers and R-CALF USA greatly appreciates Mr. Butler’s historic effort.

Diana Moss
Vice President and Director of the American Antitrust Institute (AAI)
American Antitrust Institute

An economist, Dr. Moss has managed projects for AAI involving antitrust and regulation. Her industry expertise includes electricity, petroleum, agriculture, airlines, telecommunications, healthcare, and sports. Before joining AAI in 2001, Dr. Moss was a senior staff economist at the FERC where she coordinated competition analysis for electricity merger cases.

From 1989 to 1994, she consulted in private practice in the areas of regulation and antitrust at the National Economic Research Associates and Putnam Hayes and Bartlett. Dr. Moss has spoken widely on various topics on antitrust and regulation, testified before Congress, and appeared before state and federal regulatory commissions. She has published articles in a number of economic and legal academic journals, including: American Economic Review, Journal of Industrial Organization, the Energy Law Journal, and the Antitrust Bulletin. She is editor of Network Access, Regulation and Antitrust (2005). Dr. Moss is Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Economics and Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She holds a M.A. degree from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines

Bob Taylor
Alfa Eminent Scholar and Professor
Auburn University

Dr. C. Robert Taylor is the Alfa Eminent Scholar (Distinguished University Professor) in Agricultural Economics and Public Policy in the College of Agriculture at Auburn University.

Prior to joining the Auburn faculty in 1988, he held faculty positions at the University of Illinois, Texas A&M University, and Montana State University. He has conducted applied research on a wide variety of topics, including market concentration, conservation, buyer power, bioenergy, and sustainable agriculture.

He has authored or coauthored 5 books and over 200 articles and reports. He has testified to Congress on concentration and consolidation of the food system and, in 2010, was invited by the U.S. Department of Justice and USDA to testify at two of their Joint Workshops on Competition Issues in Agriculture.

Wayne Pacelle
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Humane Society of the United States

Pacelle took office June 1, 2004 after serving for nearly 10 years as the organization’s chief lobbyist and spokesperson.

Under Pacelle’s leadership, The HSUS is rated a 4-star charity (the highest possible) by Charity Navigator, approved by the Better Business Bureau for all 20 standards for charity accountability, voted by Guidestar’s Philanthropedia experts as the #1 high-impact animal protection group, named by Worth Magazine as one of the 10 most fiscally responsible charities, and is ranked in the top 10 for nonprofit brands.

Wayne Pacelle was named one of NonProfit Times’ “Executives of the Year” in 2005 for his leadership in responding to the Hurricane Katrina crisis. In both 2008 and 2009, NonProfit Times named Pacelle to its annual “Power and Influence Top 50” nonprofit executives. In 2008, the National Italian American Foundation presented Pacelle with the Special Achievement Award in Humanitarian Service. In 2010, Pacelle received the Knight of Honor Award from Notre Dame High School.

Joe Maxwell
Vice President, Outreach and Engagement
The Humane Society of the United States

Joe Maxwell grew up on a family farm in the small town of Rush Hill, Missouri, the son of a hard-working family farmer.

Today, as Vice President of Outreach and Engagement for The HSUS, Maxwell works directly with family farmers, helping them organize into producer groups to open direct markets for their own products.

Maxwell is a former president of the Association of Family Farmers, an organization associated with the Agriculture of the Middle Project, and is a member of the Organization for Competitive Markets and the Missouri Farmers Union.

As a fourth-generation farm boy, Maxwell learned from his grandfather and father the value of being a good steward of the land and the animals you raise.

Matthew Penzer
Special Counsel
The Humane Society of the United States

As Special Counsel in the Animal Protection Litigation section of The Humane Society of the United States, Matthew Penzer practices exclusively on cases related to agriculture and farm animals. Through direct challenges and consultations with others, Mr. Penzer has worked extensively on checkoff-related matters. He currently serves as lead counsel in a federal lawsuit challenging $60 million in checkoff funds being given to the industry’s primary lobbying organization.

Mr. Penzer has been practicing law for two decades, more than half of which has been focused exclusively on animal protection issues. He has brought groundbreaking legal challenges and been at the forefront among attorneys helping direct the growth of animal law.

John K Hansen
Nebraska Farmers Union

John K. Hansen comes from a sixth generation diversified grain and livestock farm in northeast Nebraska north of Newman Grove. Until he was elected President of Nebraska Farmers Union in December of 1989, John and his family farmed 1,500 acres of irrigated and dryland corn and soybeans, and did custom farming. They also owned and operated a small fertilizer business, a crop-hail multi-peril insurance agency, a regional seedcorn and soybean distributorship, a purebred Charolais cattle herd, a commercial cattle herd, a dairy operation, and a farrow-to-finish hog operation,

When elected president of Nebraska Farmers Union in 1990, Hansen discontinued his farming operation and moved his family to Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Farmers Union is 100 years old this year, has organized over 440 cooperatives, and is the second largest general farm organization in the state. John is the registered lobbyist for the Nebraska Farmers Union in the Nebraska Legislature.

Location and Registration

15th Annual Food and Agriculture Conference
August 8-9-10, 2013
10300 N. Ambassador Drive
Kansas City International Airport
Kansas City, MO
Friday, August 9, 2013 Fees
Conference – $50
Lunch – $30
Banquet – $40

2013 Conference Registration Form

Contract Room (Suites) Price $109.00 + Tax (OCM Block)
– Complimentary Hot Breakfast Buffet (6 to 9:30 AM)
– Complimentary Social Dinner (Thursday Evening) Hearth Room (5:30 – 7:30 PM)
– Complimentary Shuttle Service/Airport

One Bedroom King Suite $109 USD per night
One Bedroom Queen Queen Suite $109 USD per night