FIND THE BEST POSSIBLE PATH
to your customers' hearts, minds,
smartphones AND BACK.
AgCatalyst brings together the brightest minds in social media, marketing, agriculture and food production for two days packed full of insights and ideas to help you embrace the new space of consumer empowerment. Learn how to educate, connect and build positive relationships all the way from the field to the consumers and back again.
Jay is a renowned business strategist, keynote speaker and The New York Times best-selling author of five books, including “Hug Your Haters.” Jay travels the world helping businesspeople get and keep more customers.
President, Wine Evangelist, Black Hills Estate Winery
Glenn Fawcett is the president of Black Hills Estate Winery and is known as the wine evangelist running the sales/marketing of the business. As an entrepreneur creating entertainment experiences his whole life, he is the driving force behind seven consecutive businesses, Black Hills being the seventh. Glenn is also known for his wildly successful tourism company, Bust Loose Holidays.
Editorial Content Director, Successful Farming
Dave Kurns is the editorial content director for Successful Farming, the magazine that started Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) more than 110 years ago.
He has been a journalist for more than 30 years across multiple media platforms: as an editor, strategist, marketer and creative team leader. His current role includes publishing the industry-leading Successful Farming magazine, along with brand extensions in web, TV, radio, digital editions, social, mobile and beyond.
Kurns spent nearly 10 years as a newspaper editor and reporter. He joined Meredith as a copy editor for the Better Homes and Gardens® Special Interest Publications.
He was named one of two founding editors of Meredith New Media in 1994 and helped launch Meredith’s first commercial Internet site, www.agriculture.com.
Kurns was the founding editor-in-chief of this group, which operated Meredith’s largest magazine destination websites. The sites generated more than 10 million unique visitors and 100 million page views monthly.
In 2006, he joined Meredith Xcelerated Marketing – the marketing services agency within the company – to help expand digital marketing services. He was responsible for creating and directing marketing initiatives across all forms of media – print, video and digital –- for major companies, including: Kraft Foods, Nestle, Principal Financial Group, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Met Life, Carnival Cruises and DirecTV.
He also spent three years in business and corporate development roles, building strategic relationships that included digital and marketing-services investments and acquisitions.
Kurns is a 1982 graduate of Iowa State University in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in business. He lives in in the Des Moines area.
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Acuity Ads
Stephen Novenstern is a New York-based tech aficionado and soccer player living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Specializing in programmatic media, Stephen has a background in campaign strategy and optimization.
Vice President of Product, NUVI
Erik is the vice president of product at NUVI, a leading social media analytics company focused on helping agencies and brands understand and manage social conversations. Prior to NUVI, Erik held various VP- and director-level roles at LifeLock (LOCK) in product, management, business intelligence, strategy, operations and service. In addition to his role at NUVI, Erik spends a significant amount of time consulting or advising startups and small companies on product development, growth strategy, and culture or leadership development. Erik has a master’s degree in information systems from BYU and grew up in an agriculture family; he has an extreme passion for the ag space. He and a small team of engineers currently have two patents pending in ag tech space.
Lawrence Herefords and Rocket Turf
Marytina Lawrence and her husband, Bryan, raise turf grass, alfalfa, corn and purebred Hereford beef cattle on their 500-acre family farm near Princeton, Minnesota. They are the third generation on the family farm raising Hereford cattle for nearly 60 years. Marytina has four children: Montana, 18, Wyatt, 16, Wade, 15, and Wynn, 9, who are actively involved on the farm.
Marytina has a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in agricultural communications and public relations. She maintains an active life, caring for her family and running a growing speaking business. Additionally, she works for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation as the state coordinator for the Speak for Yourself Program, which trains farmers to share their personal farm stories with consumers and students throughout the state. She serves as the secretary for the Minnesota Turf Association and is a member of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, Minnesota Hereford Breeders Association, Sherburne County Farm Bureau and the National Hereford Women. Marytina and her husband also teach Sunday school at their church. Advocacy for agriculture is a top priority for Marytina. “I recognize the importance and necessity to share my story any place I am able. Otherwise someone else will share it for me.”
Assistant Vice President, Communications, National Pork Board
Cindy Cunningham is the assistant vice president of communications for the National Pork Board, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.
She focuses much of her time on crisis preparedness and management and issues management. Cunningham works with internal and external communications functions for the National Pork Board and is the official contact for the news media.
Cunningham won Best of Show, Public Relations in 2013 for her work in developing and implementing a farm-level crisis plan that coordinates with the national pork industry crisis plan.
Vice President of Sales, WTR/Acuity Ads
From its inception, Brian Samletzki, as VP of sales, has played a vital role in WTR’s success as it has represented digital media for over 10 years, starting with selling individual sites and eventually transitioning into small network sales. WTR Media Sales is an Alberta-based company representing radio, TV, print, out of home and digital, primarily focused on, but not limited to, western Canada. In 2011, WTR moved into programmatic media with Acuity Ads as their exclusive western Canadian sales team.
Though Brian took an unusual path into media, obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on entomology from the University of Saskatchewan, he originated from a farming background in Saskatchewan. Brian continues to embrace his interest in agriculture.
Publisher and General Manager, Agweek
For Katie Pinke, speaking and writing are catalysts to engage, enlighten and empower. A fifth-generation farm girl, Katie shares reflex tweets, gritty blog posts and mesmerizing North Dakota sunset snapshots from the prairie. She seizes every opportunity to talk about family, food, farm life and community, online and offline.
After more than 12 years on the marketing fast track, including 10 years with AdFarm, Katie ventured out in 2013 on her own to focus on being an at-home wife and mom. As a writer, speaker and marketing consultant, she also coordinated the CommonGround North Dakota effort, bringing together 30 farm-women volunteers. CommonGround North Dakota created farm-to-table connections and events, including three years of Banquet in a Field in rural Cass County, North Dakota.
In August 2016, Katie was named Agweek publisher and general manager; she continues to be based from her rural North Dakota home and oversees a team in TV, print, digital and sales.
Today, Katie speaks from experience rooted in farm family values and as a career woman and mom. She connects on a daily basis with non-agriculture moms concerned about their food choices and works directly with farmers producing food.
Katie resides with her husband, Nathan, and three children in Wishek, North Dakota. Together, they are small-business owners, operating Pinke Homes and Pinke Lumber Company. Katie’s family farms a couple hours north, raising winter wheat, barley, black beans, corn and soybeans. Katie volunteers her time to a number of community organizations, including FFA and 4-H, and she coaches track and field.
You can connect with Katie through her weekly Agweek column, on her Pinke Post Facebook page, on Instagram and Twitter (@katpinke), and on her blog at thepinkepost.com.
Mother of Three
Elen Gilder was born and raised in the Minneapolis area where she now lives with her husband, Erik, and three children: Elsie, 11, Evan, 9, and Easton, 2. She earned her undergraduate degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she majored in elementary education.
After graduating from college, she lived in California for two years, teaching first grade and kindergarten, then returned to Minneapolis and completed graduate school at Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis, earning a master’s in elementary education. Her culminating graduate project was focused on the effects of nutrition on learning and classroom behavior.
Currently, Elen teaches Title One (reading and math interventions) at an elementary school in Hopkins, Minnesota. When she is not at work, she stays busy keeping up with her kids, running, cooking and traveling as much as she can. Also, she recently started playing a Minnesota favorite game: ice hockey!
Director of Office for Science and Society, McGill University
Joe Schwarcz is Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, and known for his informative and entertaining public lectures, which cover a variety of topics. Dr. Joe hosts “The Dr. Joe Show” on Montreal’s CJAD and has appeared hundreds of times on The Discovery Channel, CTV, CBC, TV Ontario and Global Television. He has also authored a number of best-selling books and received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public.
Principal of Marketing Insights, Salesforce
Mathew is principal of marketing insights for Salesforce.com and is regarded as one of the top minds on the future of marketing. A consummate researcher and thinker, Mathew’s work is often cited in leading publications such as Mashable, VentureBeat, PCWorld, CMO.com, Information Week, Forbes, the Huffington Post and numerous marketing books. He is also the author of “Marketing Automation for Dummies,” the first practical guide to marketing automation.
CEO, Farm Market ID
Steven is a strategic executive with deep background in marketing, data and analytics, and a broad industry background. His expertise and knowledge ranging from venture-backed enterprises to Fortune 500 companies is valuable when working with clients to develop data solutions that will help achieve their strategic goals. Mr. Rao was previously the CFO, and then CEO, of Telematch, Inc., and successfully led its Relevate company to sustained double-digit growth and a successful exit in 2015. Relevate is a marketing data analytics leader that delivered database marketing solutions for companies in a variety of industries including insurance, retail and automotive. He brings a unique perspective to database marketing in agriculture due to his broad experience in delivering database marketing solutions across many industries.
Creative Director, AdFarm
As creative director, Shaun works to lead creative team members and promote an environment of conceptual thinking. He not only walks-the-walk, but he also talks-the-talk. He actively works to produce ideas at the highest level and is a huge advocate for embracing new technology within advertising.
He’s worked with a variety of clients beyond agriculture, including building materials, executive search, health care, automotive and home development sectors.
Shaun counts himself fortunate to have had great teachers along his journey, and he tries to continue that experience for others. He is an active member in the Kansas City Ad Club, NAMA and the maker community. If he’s not in the office, he’s probably 3D printing a new prototype.
Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Land 'O Lakes
Tim oversees business-to-customer and business-to-business branding and marketing strategy and is responsible for building marketing competencies across all businesses and geographies for Land O’Lakes, Inc. He also has oversight for FLM+, a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes. During his 31-year career, Tim has earned a reputation as a trusted advisor and skilled marketer.
Prior to Land O’Lakes, Tim was the CEO and president, international, at mcgarrybowen. In that role, Tim led the rapidly expanding global offering, while also continuing to steer the Chicago office. His career in advertising has allowed him to help build many well-known brands, from General Mills to Frito Lay, Sears to Mondelez, Disney to Wrigley, and from Kraft to Clorox. He’s accumulated a considerable collection of Effies and other awards along the way. Tim earned his bachelor’s and his MBA from Michigan State University.
Julia Hitman King
Good software solves problems. Great software anticipates and avoids them. In her 15+ years leading software development teams, Julia has built her career by divining the sort of consumer insight that creates great software and building strong partnerships that result in great software solutions.
She works with clients to define and articulate their goals, understand their needs, and find solutions to real business problems. She cultivates trust through informed guidance and a clear vision for strategies and tactics informed by the deep-seated conviction that all software—whether it’s an app, a site or a game—should fulfill a need. With early professional roots in account planning, hands-on consumer research and strategic planning, Julia is adept at finding the simple (but not always obvious) insights and actionable business information that makes Propaganda3’s work, well, work.
Chairman and Founding Partner
From his youth on a family farm in east-central Illinois, through his rise to state office in FFA and graduation from the University of Illinois and, ultimately, the founding of Charleston|Orwig, Lyle has maintained his focus on and passion for agriculture, marketing communications, reputation management and corporate social responsibility programs. He leads the agency’s crisis communications work for clients and continues to be intimately involved in working with clients such as ARM & HAMMER, Dairyland Seed Co., and Omega Foods, Inc.
In 1999, the National Agri-Marketing Association named Lyle National Communicator of the Year for his contributions to agriculture and the astute marketing of its products and services. Additional honors came at the 2006 annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, where Lyle received the Dix Harper Meritorious Service Award, the group’s highest recognition for a nonbroadcaster. Lyle and his business partner John Charleston were inducted into the national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2010, Lyle was named to The Farm Journal Foundation Board, where he provides counsel for their Farmers Feeding the World initiative. In 2012, the Ag Relations Council and Agri Marketing magazine accorded Lyle the honor of naming him one of two inaugural inductees into the ARC Public Relations Hall of Fame, established to recognize the best of the best in public relations.
Public Relations Director, AdFarm
Chris brings over 22 years of experience in leading strategic communications, crisis communications management and media relations across the energy, agriculture and technology sectors. Accredited in public relations, he also holds certification by IaP2 in public consultation. He has managed crisis communications for global energy companies as well as the park and poultry industries.
Account Planning, Street Smart
Chief Creative Officer, AdFarm
Director of User Experience, AdFarm
Jen is the director of user experience for AdFarm, an ag-only marketing, branding and digital agency with offices in the US and Canada. Jen has the privilege of leading a smart and talented group of digital marketing geeks across a variety of disciplines and clients. As a creative and strategic problem solver, Jen works with teams on projects ranging from improving user and customer experience to integrating digital innovation into creative solutions and marketing communications plans. Jen lives by the motto “you are the sum of your experiences” both personally and professionally and proclaims to have a visceral reaction to bad experiences.