President and CEO, Appareo
Since joining Appareo in 2005, David Batcheller has served as program manager, director of quality, process, and program management, and COO. Now as president and CEO, David is responsible for the remote operations (Tempe, Arizona and Paris, France), engineering, manufacturing, finance and administrative components of Appareo's business. David holds a degree from the University of Minnesota. He has been invited to testify for the NTSB and serves as guest speaker at numerous conferences, including TEDx in 2013 and 2014. David was named in ExecRank's 2012 list of top COOs in the country, and he was twice named to Prairie Business’s “40 under 40.”
Dr. Amrita Cheema
International News Anchor and Journalist
Amrita Cheema is an international news anchor and journalist. She has worked for major television networks in Germany, Australia and India. She also moderates debates and panel discussions including at the World Economic Forum. She is a Rhodes Scholar with a D.Phil. in Modern History from Oxford University. She is based in Berlin.
Dr. Donald E. Conner
Professor and Department Head, Auburn University, Department of Poultry Science
Dr. Conner is a native of Virginia and presently professor and head of the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University. He has been on faculty at Auburn since 1989, and has served as department head since 2002. During his academic career, Conner developed a nationally recognized research and teaching program in microbiology as related to poultry with primary interests in: food safety. He is a certified lead HACCP instructor, and has been heavily involved in food safety training for the poultry industry.
Conner received his B.S. degree in environmental health science from the University of Georgia. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in food science from UGA, as well. He is an active member of the Poultry Science Association; Worlds Poultry Science Association; International Association for Food Protection; and the Institute of Food Technologists. Conner completed ESCOP/ACOP leadership training in 1998, and is a 2016 fellow of the Food Systems Leadership Institute.
In his present position, Conner provides leadership to numerous Auburn University programs including the university’s Food Systems Institute, the Detection & Food Safety Center, and the National Poultry Technology Center. He serves as advisor to numerous industry groups including the United Egg Producers, US Poultry and Egg Association, as well as the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association.
Director, YieldWise, The Rockefeller Foundation
As Director, Mr. Flor oversees the Foundation’s YieldWise Initiative which aims at demonstrating how to save good food from going to waste in priority value chains and improve millions of lives.
Mr. Flor has 20 years’ progressive work experience in international development. He has worked with development institutions, academia, and the private sector. Before joining the Foundation, he was a Senior Program Advisor in the Office of the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He has held positions with Armajaro Trading, the MDG Centre West and Central Africa, the United Nations Development Programme, Columbia University, and Escuela Agricola Panamericana, Zamorano.
Mr. Flor has served as a member of the World Food Programme’s Working Group on Productive Safety Nets, World Food Programme’s Latin America and the Caribbean Knowledge Sharing Steering Committee to Support Hunger Eradication, Peer Reviewer of the 2006 Environmental Performance Index, and a member of the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger.
Mr. Flor holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University and an Agricultural Engineer degree from the Escuela Agrícola Panamerica, Zamorano (Honduras).
Managing Director – International Programs World Poultry Foundation
Richard Fritz is the Managing Director for the World Poultry Foundation. The foundation pursues five basic goals: Increase poultry production and productivity; Increase rural household income; Improve household nutrition; Empowerment of women; and Increase employment. Current programs are being undertaken in Sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia and Cuba.
Mr. Fritz is also co-founder of Global AgriTrends. Global AgriTrends (GAT) is an agricultural consulting firm that assists meat and poultry companies and associations to research market opportunities and track international trends in trade.
Mr. Fritz holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics and a Master’s degree in econometrics.
Dr. Sarah H. Ison
Global Farm Animal Advisor, World Animal Protection
Sarah is World Animal Protection's expert in pig behaviour and welfare. Researching welfare issues across the pig production cycle from in utero to transport and slaughter and the perceptions of stakeholders to the issues gave Sarah a passion for improving pig welfare. This led her to leave academia and embark on a career in advocacy. Since joining the farming team in 2017 she has represented the organisation on the EU Animal Welfare Platform and played an active role developing best practice guidelines for developing countries.
Sarah has worked globally on her passion to improve pig welfare, from researching animal behaviour with Scotland's Rural College to pig aggression with Michigan State University (MSU). Her work providing expertise to Michigan pig producers with the MSU pork extension team has positioned her as a trusted go-to for media and industry. She currently supports pig producers to improve practices in China, Thailand and Brazil, as well as sharing ‘best practice’ from around the world.
She obtained her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from King’s College London and her master’s degree in Animal Behaviour within Exeter University’s Psychology department. Studying animal behaviour from both a biological and psychological perspective inevitably led to an interest in animal welfare. In 2016, she was awarded her PhD after researching pain associated with the birthing process in pigs and continues to support the academic network through student supervision, peer review and scientific publication.
Executive Director of Global Animal Partnership
Anne Malleau is the Executive Director of Global Animal Partnership, where she is responsible for leading the nonprofit and its mission of improving the lives of farm animals. And while GAP does set standards for farm animals to be raised a certain way, Anne has pioneered complete ‘farm to fork’ support, all designed to help GAP partners create sustainable, profitable practices that enable them to flourish for generations to come.
Global Animal Partnership has grown to certify 3500+ farms and ranches across 6 countries impacting the lives of more than 290 million animals across the globe.
Anne is also a Global Meat Coordinator at Whole Foods Market, where she provides farm animal production compliance support to the meat teams. She has no responsibility for any purchasing decisions.
Anne is an animal scientist with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, a master’s degree in poultry behavior and welfare, and a MBA in agribusiness. She has studied and worked in animal agriculture for more than 20 years.
Anne hails from Canada and currently lives and works from her farm outside of Toronto, traveling often. She has two young children, and she enjoys helping her husband renovate their home, as well as many crafts, cooking, and gardening.
Dr. Gerd Müller
Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
Dr. Gerd Müller was a member of the European Parliament and Parliamentary Managing Director of the CDU / CSU Group from 1989-1994. Since 1994 he is a member of the German Bundestag. From 2005-2013, he was Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, where he oversaw - among other topics - international relations, development projects and global food security. Since December 2013 he is Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Dr. Gerd Müller was born in 1955 in Krumbach, Germany. He is married and has two children.
Dr. Thomas D. Parsons
Associate Professor of Swine Production Medicine and Director of the Swine Teaching and Research, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Tom Parsons is an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine and serves as the director of the School’s Swine Teaching and Research Center. He was raised on a family farm in western Massachusetts where his nephew, Christopher, is the 12th generation of Parsons’ to work land deeded from King George of England. Dr. Parsons received his veterinary degree and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Following postdoctoral training in Heidelberg, Germany, Dr. Parsons returned to Penn as a faculty member in 1996.
Dr. Parsons was instrumental in the establishment of the school’s swine teaching and research center which has been a prototype for the commercial scale implementation of sustainable agricultural practices for over a decade. More than 200,000 sows on 80 farms across the U.S. and Canada have adopted the animal friendly rearing systems pioneered by Dr. Parsons at the school’s swine center. He also has built one of the largest research groups working on farm animal welfare in North America. Dr. Parsons was a charter diplomat of American College of Animal Welfare, sits on numerous corporate and non-profit welfare advisory boards, and has received awards from the New York Farmers for distinguished service to agriculture and from the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association for animal welfare advocacy.
Dr. Parsons’ current work focuses on alternative housing systems for sows with a specific interest in electronic sow feeding, animal behavior and welfare, antibiotic free production and employee training especially during the on-boarding process. As a practicing veterinarian, he also has experience with the control of infectious diseases such as PRRS and improving the productivity of sow farms.
Prof. Dr. Martin Richenhagen
Chairman, President and CEO, AGCO
Martin H. Richenhagen (*1952) was selected by the Board of Directors in March 2004 as President and Chief Executive Officer of AGCO Corporation. He was appointed to Chairman of the Board on August 15, 2006, and continues to serve on the Executive Committee and the Succession Planning Committee.
Previously, Mr. Richenhagen was the Executive Vice President at Forbo International SA, a manufacturing firm, headquartered in Switzerland. He also served as Group President for CLAAS KgaA mbH, a global manufacturer of agricultural equipment, headquartered in Germany. Prior to 1995, Mr. Richenhagen was the Senior Executive Vice President of Field Operations for Schindler Holding GmbH in Germany.
From 2006 through the first quarter of 2007, until its sale to Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., Richenhagen served as a Board member for the Phelps Dodge Corporation on the Audit, Finance and Corporate Governance Committees. He is currently on the Board of Directors for PPG Industries, a leading coatings and specialty products and services company, where he chairs the Audit Committee and sits on the Officers & Directors Compensation Committee. Mr. Richenhagen is also on the Board of Directors of Praxair, a leading industrial gases company, where he sits on the Finance & Pension Committee and Governance & Nominating Committee. Mr. Richenhagen is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) and a former member of the President's ‘Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa’. He is the immediate past Chairman of the German American Chambers of Commerce of the U.S. (GACCs). He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and is a Life Honorary Director of AEM. In the course of two decades, his manufacturing career has covered a wide array of executive positions and managing directorships with responsibility for sales, marketing, human resources management, acquisitions, joint ventures, logistics, materials purchase, inventory management and competitor intelligence.
An international business executive, Mr. Richenhagen is fluent in several languages and has lived overseas for many years. He graduated from the University of Bonn. In 2008, Mr. Richenhagen was appointed Honorary Professor to the faculty of agricultural machinery at the TU Dresden, Dresden University of Technology (Germany) and in 2016, he received an honorary PhD from Szent István University in Gödöllő, (Hungary).
Sophie Schütt, Moderator
Actress and Animal Welfare Supporter
Sophie Schütt is a German actress who gained her first acting experience in the theater troupe “Curry, Sand und Eigelb”. She is well known for her movies “Typisch Sophie”, “Wie angelt man sich seine Chefin“ and „Die Gang“.
Ms. Schütt is an official ambassador for the German José Carreras Leukemia Foundation and patron of the German Children`s Prize of World Vision Germany. In the recent years she also got involved in coaching and supporting new mothers and women in general. Ms. Schütt`s passion goes towards the fulfillment and empowerment of women and respect and tolerance amongst all living beings on our planet.
In addition, she is involved with the animal welfare organization PETA against animal testing of cosmetic products. Ms. Schütt lives with her family in South Africa.
Freelancer writer, Broadcaster and Moderator
Haig Simonian, born 1955, studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford. After writing a doctoral thesis on French and German politics (later published by Oxford University Press), he went briefly into investment banking before turning to journalism. He started as a financial journalist at The Economist in 1984, then moved to be Frankfurt correspondent of the Financial Times in 1987. Subsequent postings have been Milan and Paris. In 1999, he moved to Berlin as the FT’s chief German correspondent, before coming to Zurich to cover Switzerland and Austria in late 2003. In summer 2012, he stepped down to become a freelance writer.
Haig Simonian has also undertaken extensive broadcasting and conference work, including a monthly column for Switzerland’s NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, regular slots on Swiss radio and television (German, French and Italian) as well as periodic appearances in Germany and the UK.
CEO & Development Director Ceres Tag Pty Ltd
David is the CEO of Ceres Tag. Previously living and working on 5 continents in the Energy and infrastructure industry, 3 years ago identified an opportunity to fundamentally change the livestock industry with better and more timely decisions using information generated on board the animal. Driven by provenance, finance and biosecurity, an opportunity to create value and reduce risk with less waste became obvious with the conception of Ceres Tag.
Ceres Tag is a revolutionary new smart ear tag for livestock being developed in collaboration with Meat & Livestock Australia, Queensland Government, CSIRO and James Cook University. The smart tag includes GPS location, motion monitoring accelerometers and core body temperature sensor. The tag has been designed from the ground up with a high retention system to stay on the ear, a battery life of 10+ years, communications via satellite, long range blue tooth for updates when and ability for international identification accreditation.
Ceres Tag represents the largest change to livestock management information the world has ever seen. Our goal is to be the worlds largest and most reliable source of livestock information on provenance, health, welfare and bio-security. Governments, finance, insurance, pharmaceutical companies, nutrition, supplies and other organisations all require this information to help the farmers make decisions. The farmers need this information to drive efficiencies in their operations. The consumers want this information to make food choices. The processors and retailers want the information to brand and produce higher value products. Banks/insurance need it to reduce risk over finance. The pharmaceutical companies need it to supply products when needed and to support industry best practice. Governments need this for bio-security and livestock theft detection.
Ceres Tag will have a large impact in the agriculture industry and as the world population continues to grow, demand for provenance information will increase.
Dr. Rob Smith
SVP & General Manager, Europe and Middle East, AGCO Corporation
Dr. Rob Smith is Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe and Middle East. In this role, Dr. Smith is responsible for reinforcing AGCO’s leading market position in Europe and further expanding the company’s business in Eastern Europe and Middle East. In particular, he leads AGCO’s efforts in developing the market of Russia where AGCO sees significant growth potential in the agricultural equipment sector. Dr. Smith and his team are also responsible for improving AGCO’s distribution coverage and local manufacturing presence to leverage this immense growth potential. In addition, he is responsible for AGCO’s global parts business.
Dr. Smith has extensive international management experience and most recently was the Vice President & General Manager of the global Engine Components Division for TRW Automotive – one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers. He also was the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TRW Automotive GmbH. Prior to this, Dr. Smith served as Vice President of the Global Automotive Division at Tyco Electronics, and Vice President & General Manager of the Aftermarket Parts and Material Repair and Overhaul business at Bombardier Transportation. Prior to 2001 he worked in various operations and supply chain roles in the global automotive industry with LucasVarity PLC, Lucas Industries PLC and BMW. Dr. Smith began his career as a Combat Engineer Officer in the United States Army.
Dr. Smith earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Princeton University followed by an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Business. He received German Diplom-Kaufmann and Doctoral degrees in International Operations Management from the WHU – Graduate School of Management in Koblenz, Germany. Dr. Smith is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in Germany and represents AGCO as Vice President in the AmCham Germany Executive Committee. In addition, Dr. Smith is a member of the Board of Directors for FLSmidth & Co A/S, a publicly traded Danish leading supplier of equipment and services to the global minerals and cement industries, and serves as the Chairman of the FLSmidth Board’s Technology Committee.
Ulrich Stockheim, Moderator
Chief Communications Officer, AGCO Corporation
Ulrich Stockheim is Chief Communications Officer with AGCO Corporation and is responsible for all of the company's global communication initiatives. He was appointed to this position in March 2015 and is responsible for addressing all of AGCO's relevant corporate communication stakeholders that includes the press and media, employees, investors, political and non-government organizations.
A trained financial and economic journalist, Mr. Stockheim has been an external professional advisor to AGCO since 2006. As a managing partner of the communications consultancy PR firm Instinctif Partners, he supported AGCO and its Chairman, President and CEO in corporate media work for several years. Prior to his role with Instinctif Partners and its predecessor Stockheim Media, which he founded, he held a managing director position with a publisher in Germany and was an accomplished bureau chief, journalist and author focused on Wall Street.
Mr. Stockheim holds a diploma in economics and political science from the University of Cologne/Germany, having received a scholarship for journalism from the prestigious Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation.
Prof. Dr. Eva Tůmová
Professor in the Department of Animal Husbandry at the Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources of the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Prof. Dr. Eva Tůmová is a professor in the Department of Animal Husbandry at the Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources of the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic, and she works on poultry, rabbits and nutrias.
Prof. Tůmová graduated at Czech Agriculture University in Prague as a specialist in animal husbandry and received her PhD at the same university in Animal Science. After PhD studies she started to work at the Department of Animal Husbandry and worked on topic of the interaction of genotype and environmental conditions. Her research was oriented on poultry and rabbit nutrition, the effect of different factors on egg and meat quality. Previously, Prof. Tůmová was a head of department and a vice dean of Science and Research of the Faculty of Agronomy of Czech Agriculture University.
Prof. Tůmová is responsible for Czech Genetic Resources of poultry, rabbits and nutrias in the Czech Republic. In international collaboration, Prof. Tůmová has experience from work at University of Wageningen (Netherlands), University of Kaposvar (Hungary) and University of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa) and in program COST. Current research focuses on feeding regime in meat type of chickens, rabbits and nutrias. Very important part of the current research are housing systems for laying hens and their effects on welfare, oviposition, egg quality and egg safety. A part of the research focuses on interactions of different internal and external factors and housing systems of laying hens. In this topic has a wide collaboration with farmers.
Prof. Tůmová is a member of World Poultry Science Association, Scientific Committee of Animal Nutrition and an Editor in chief of Czech Journal of Animal Science.
CEO Sarah Wiener GmbH, TV chef and author
Sarah Wiener is an Austrian (TV-) chef and sustainability icon. She advocates for preserving our natural resources and an ethical and ecological awareness regarding nutrition.
Having spent her childhood and adolescence in Vienna, Sarah Wiener learned the trade of cooking in the late 1970s in artists’ restaurant in Berlin owned by her father. Today, she runs a successful catering company, a restaurant with exclusively regional suppliers, and an organic wood stove bakery. As she truly believes in closing the circle from field to plate, she fulfilled a youthful dream of hers and bought, together with partners, an organic farm north of Berlin.
Alongside her entrepreneurial work, she campaigns for several causes. She is an advisor for Cradle 2 Cradle and ambassador for biological diversity. With her foundation, she aims to inspire children to eat good and versatile foods. The Sarah Wiener Foundation aims to reach more than 1 Million children and 10% of kindergardens and primary schools with Germany’s biggest practical nutrition initiative, “Ich kann kochen” (“I can cook”).