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2023 farm to fork speakers

2023 Farm to Fork Summit & Expo EMCEE

Kyle Vickers

Kyle Vickers has been the host of Show-Me Ag, KMOS TV, since 2002. His extensive background in family farming, as well as agriculture policy, gives him unique insight into many issues facing farmers today. A life-long farmer, Kyle served as Deputy Director at the Missouri Department of Agriculture from 1993 until 2001, and as a Kellogg Food and Society Fellow from 2001 – 2003. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia. Kyle farms near El Dorado Springs, where he raises soybeans, corn, and cattle. He and his wife Debra have three grown sons.

Opening Keynote:

Rooted in Local Food and Farming 

Time: 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Andrew McCrea – American Countryside

Andrew McCrea is a farmer, nationally syndicated broadcaster and a frequent speaker at events across the country.  He is the fifth generation in his family to farm in northwest Missouri.  His daily radio and tv features are heard/seen on over 100 stations including Sirius XM satellite radio.  He travels on-location for the stories he shares on the air and with audiences, providing him with real world experiences that provide insights on how we can better our communities, work and lives.  


Andrea Clark – KC Healthy Kids

Andrea began her career with KC Healthy Kids as a planning intern in 2016 and returned in 2019 as a member of the policy team. As an urban planner, she manages collaborative projects that connect and strengthen the local food system. She also supports initiatives of the Greater KC Food Policy Coalition, advocating for good food and farm policy at the local, state, and federal level. 

Breakout Session 1 TRACK: Soil Health

Title: Practice Regenerative Agriculture

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Josh Payne

Josh Payne farms with his family in Concordia, MO. Traditionally a commodity corn and soy farm, they transitioned through cover cropping commodities into regenerative sheep and cattle grazing both on a wholesale and direct marketing level. They grass finish on a mixture of annuals, perennial cool-season pastures, native warm-season grasses (next year!) and microgreens grown on farm.  They have 30 acres of chestnuts, which had their first marketable harvest this year, and have started implementing silvopasture practices in every pasture.

Breakout Session 1 TRACK: Diversification

Title: New Crops

 Time: 11:00a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

PANEL – Ben Bennett, Lynn Meinershagen, & Josh Abercrombie

Ben Bennett is married with 3 children and lives on a divisified farm raising pecans, cattle and soybeans/corn. Him and his wife are part owners of Missouri Northern Pecan Growers, a business that his wife’s father help start in 1999.  Ben recently became the manager of the business.  They raise and process locally grown organic pecans and ship them all over the world.

Lynn Meinershagen attended University of Missouri at Rolla and graduated in 1967 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. From there, he worked as a Manufacturing Engineer, Plant Manager for Westinghouse. During this time, he also graduated from University of New York at Buffalo with a BS in Business Administration. He is a Veteran with 2 years active duty and served in Vietnam. After retiring in 1993 as a Lieutenant Colonel with 26.5 years of service, he moved his family to Nevada, MO. Since then, he started beekeeping in 2016 and has served as President of the Western Missouri Beekeepers Association. Currently, Lynn is the President of The Nevada Vernon County Farmers Market and serves on the Council of Stewards at the First Baptist Church in Nevada, MO.

Director of Black Walnut and Orchard Development, Josh Abercrombie has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from Indiana State University. He was born and raised on a farm and has been working for Hammons Products for 6 years. At Hammons, they are proud to have planted over 2000 trees and are on their 5th timber sale.

Breakout Session 1 TRACKFood Policy

Title: Farm to Food Bank

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Bill McKelvey & Lisa Ousley

Bill McKelvey has been involved in community gardening, youth gardening, farm to school, and related projects for a number of years. McKelvey helped coordinate a multi-state hunger and food assistance study; the development of an online application for the Missouri Hunger Atlas; and Missouri EATs, a community development curriculum to help communities convene food system stakeholders and create plans to enhance their local food system. He is currently the chair of the University of Missouri Extension Food Systems Network. He earned an M.S. degree in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri.

Lisa Ousley has worked with farmers in the state of Missouri to get locally grown produce into the nonprofit food system since 2008, when she started the region’s first gleaning program. She has since founded two produce-rescue nonprofits that have provided a combined 45 million pounds of fresh produce to agencies serving food-insecure families, children and seniors. She has also served on food policy councils for cities in Missouri and Kansas, and has worked with food-system colleagues to craft legislation securing tax incentives for small and medium-sized farmers to donate produce to food banks.

Business Services Director New Growth Women's Business Center Director

Breakout Session 1 TRACK: Entrepreneurs

Title: Business Plan How-To

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Tiffany Frost & Anthony Jones

Tiffany Frost is the New Growth Senior Director Business Services/Women’s Business Center Director advancing rural entrepreneurs in all stages of business development and growth.  Tiffany has been the WBC director since July 2021 and has recently been promoted into her new role as Senior Director Business Services. She spent 17 years with the West Central’s Head Start program working her way from a Secretary to Deputy Director of Safety and Compliance.

Anthony Jones took over as CEO for two family companies in 2015—Jones Twine & Net Wrap and Jones Boots. Since taking over, Anthony and his team have grown his family businesses 5x, and started two additional companies along the way. The latest business venture,, was launched in June of 2021. Agzaga is proudly built in-house by a passionate team with the ambitious goal of becoming Agriculture’s Online Marketplace. Anthony’s mission is to usher the Ag industry into the next generation. Jones Companies is built on the foundation that his grandfather, Ronnie Jones, built all the way back in 1974: “Anyone can make a customer for a day, our goal is to make a customer for life”. Through a fierce growth mindset, industry-leading care of customers, and a commitment to excellence, Anthony is holding true to the family values that have guided the Jones Companies for decades—harvesting the potential of his people along the way.


Breakout Session 2 TRACK: Soil Health

Title: Cover Crop Basics

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Kelly Wilson

Kelly Wilson. PhD, is the Assistant Director for the University of Missouri’s Center for Regenerative Agriculture and an Assistant Professor in the School of Nature Resources. Wilson conducts participatory research and outreach with stakeholders across agricultural value chains to identify and respond to barriers and opportunities to create more resilient and equitable food systems. Wilson has over 15 years working with farmers, farm advisors, and communities in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa and has extensive experience managing and working with interdisciplinary research teams. She has a a PhD in Agricultural Communications, Education, and Leadership from the Ohio State University, a master’s in international Agricultural Development from the University of California-Davis, and a bachelor’s in Anthropology from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Breakout Session 2 TRACK: Diversification

Title: New Markets

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

PANEL – Hemme Brothers, Matt Moreland, & Monty Smith

Hemme Dairy LLC was organized in 2006. As sons graduated from college all four had the desire to come back to the farm. In August of 2016 we made our first batch of cheese. We use about 40 percent of our milk for cheese production with the remainder sold to DFA. Row crops, beef production, whey fed Berkshire hogs and honey bees are also a part of our business model. Always looking for a way to develop avenues toward regenerative production.

Matt Moreland is a fourth-generation farmer farming alongside his father and uncle sustainably raising beef for the direct consumer market as well as corn and non-GMO soybeans for the worldwide human consumption market. In addition to his work at Moreland Farms, he also owns a Farm Venue called Red Barn Ranch, offering a real working farm as the backdrop for many activities year-round. Through events such as sunflower festivals, pumpkin patches, weddings, private events, corporate events, field trips and their own on farm, year-round preschool, they have the wonderful opportunity to educate about agriculture in nearly everything that takes place there.

Monty Smith and Leon Stacy started Vernon County Meats in October of 2021 by processing 5 head of beef and pork per week for family and friends. Since then, the local demand for their services has increased and inspired them to expand their processing facility to increase its capacity to 25 heads per week, becoming state and federally inspected as well as adding a retail storefront and marketing their products to institutions. With both Leon and Monty growing up in a meat processing plant and with the assistance of Bill Jacks, who also worked in the family meat processing plant for 32 years, there is a wealth of knowledge and background experience.



Breakout Session 2 TRACK: Food Policy

Title: Farm Bill Action

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m

Patrick Westhoff

Patrick Westhoff is the director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and the Howard Cowden professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri. He grew up on an Iowa farm, has degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Texas, and obtained his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University. He served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, and was an economist with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry before joining MU in 1996.

Breakout Session 2 TRACK: Entrepreneurs

Title: Regenerative Main St.

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m

Chett Daniel

In 2019, Dr. Daniel created The Jesup Group at Crowder College. It is a regional initiative that focuses on three areas: community development, economic development through entrepreneurship, and growing the digital economy in rural southwest Missouri. Dr. Daniel grew up in rural Barry County Missouri and was a first-generation college student at Crowder College. He holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology from Kansas State University and earned his Doctorate Degree at Murray State University where his research focused on factors that influence entrepreneurship and digital economies in the rural Heartland.


Closing Demonstration:

LIVE! The Power of Healthy Soil

Time: 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m

Ray Archuleta – Soil Health Academy

Ray Archuleta is a distinguished soil scientist and founder of the national Soil Health Academy and Understanding Ag LLC. His live demonstration of healthy soil’s power to hold water and nutrients provides a closeup look at what regenerative agriculture can do.