Keynote Speakers

PJ Haynie III

PJ Haynie III

Chairman of the Board, National Black Growers Council

PJ Haynie III currently serves as Chairman of the National Black Growers’ Council. Haynie graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics in May 1999. While attending Virginia Tech, he served as president of the Virginia Tech MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences) chapter. After graduating from Virginia Tech, he chose to pursue his childhood dream and continue the family tradition of farming. Haynie, a fifth-generation farmer, currently owns and operates Haynie Farms, LLC, a grain farming business, producing corn, wheat, soybeans and canola throughout all four counties of the Northern Neck of Virginia. Haynie and his family also own and operate a transportation company specializing in food grade liquid bulk and dry bulk transportation, a timber harvesting company as well as a landscaping & excavating company. Haynie and his wife reside in Reedville, Va., with their three children.

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts

Senior Research Analyst: Grains & Oilseeds, American AgCredit

Matt Roberts is the senior research analyst in grains and oilseeds at American AgCredit and is the founder of The Kernmantle Group, an economics research and training consultancy. Dr. Roberts is a nationally-renowned expert and speaker on the grain and energy markets. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and Forbes, and has been interviewed on CNBC. Roberts received a B.A. in Economics from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Economics from North Carolina State University. Prior to graduate school Roberts worked as a commodity and energy derivatives broker in Vienna, Austria and as a market research consultant to the pharmaceutical industry in North Carolina. From 2001 through 2016, Roberts was and Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at The Ohio State University. He is an active speaker, appearing approximately 50 times per year around the nation on grain, petroleum, and biofuels markets, and is also an active consultant to the commodity industry.

Dawn Thilmany

Dawn Thilmany

Co-Director and Professor, Colorado State University Regional Economic Development Institute and Department of Ag and Resource Economics

Dawn Thilmany is the co-director of the Colorado State University Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI). She is a Professor of Agribusiness and Agribusiness Extension Economist with Colorado State University, serving in that role since 1997, and specializes in economic development related to local, organic and other value-added food market segments, as well as food market analysis and consumer behavior. She has published over 80 journal articles on consumer behavior, agricultural markets and food systems, and presented similar material to over 200 Extension audiences. She is on the leadership team of the CSU Extension Food Systems work team and Chairs the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council. Currently, she serves the US Dept of Agriculture by sitting on the Secretary’s Advisory Board on Research, Extension, Education and Economics. She has served on in leadership positions with the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the Western Agricultural Economics Association, the Food Distribution Research Society and several regional research committees.