October 5, 2018

“The Business of Agriculture in North Carolina”

The NC Chamber’s newest event, the 2018 Agri-Business Conference will explore the role of agribusiness in shaping North Carolina’s future. Topics will include state and federal agricultural policy updates, economic development as a result of agricultural innovation, legal issues impacting agribusiness and more.

Presented By
  • NC Agribusiness Council


Friday, October 5
7:30 amRegistration and Networking
8:15 amWelcome Remarks

Lew Ebert, CEO, NC Chamber
Kevin Mulligan, President North Carolina Agribusiness Council

8:30 amOpening Keynote: Federal Agricultural Policy Update

Ray Starling, Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Agriculture

9:15 amThe Future of Agriculture
  • Dr. Tom Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Pairwise Plants, LLC
  • Nelle Hotchkiss, Senior Vice President of Association Services and COO, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives
  • Dennis Kelly, Head, State Affairs North America, Syngenta
  • David Swintosky, CFO, Improved Nature, LLC
  • John Therien, Partner and Co-Lead of AgTech Group, Smith Anderson (moderator)

The future of agri-business in North Carolina is bright with both opportunities and challenges ahead. Is North Carolina prepared for what the future holds? In this session, our panel of experts will discuss the future of agri-business, including crop science, food technology and water/infrastructure challenges.

10:15 amBreak
10:45 amThe Life Cycle of Food
  • Dr. Bill Aimutis, Director, North Carolina Food Innovation Lab (moderator)
  • Dr. Mario Ferruzzi, Professor, Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science, NC State University
  • Jay Jandrain, Chief Operating Officer, Butterball
  • Leonard L. Williams, Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences, North Carolina A&T State University

From seed and growth to manufacturing and consumption, businesses along the life cycle of food drive North Carolina’s economy. In this session, experts will discuss the economic opportunities along the life cycle of food and how agri-business can overcome barriers to fulfill its potential.

11:30 amA Changing Landscape: Labor and Workforce Trends in Agri-Business
  • Frank Geovannello, Director, Corporate Responsibility Supply Chain Programs, Altria Client Services
  • Francisca Rios, Agriculture & Foreign Labor Program Manager, NC Department of Commerce, Division of Workforce Solutions
  • Courtney J. White, Head of Human Resources, BASF Agricultural Solutions, North America
  • Harvey Godwin, Owner and CEO, Two Hawk Employment Services (moderator)
12:15 amLunch
1:00 pmLegal Issues Impacting Agri-Business

Senator Brent Jackson

1:30 pmClosing Keynote: How North Carolina Feeds the World

NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

2:00 pmClosing Remarks

Lew Ebert, CEO, NC Chamber