Keynote & Plenary Speakers

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Ted Hymowitz


Theodore Hymowitz
Sunday, September 10, 2017
5:45 pm – Chatham Ballroom

Theodore Hymowitz is a University of Illinois emeritus professor.  He was born to Polish immigrants on the lower east side of Manhattan, New York. He received his B.S. from Cornell University, M.S. from University of Arizona, and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. After graduate school he joined the University of Illinois and spent his entire career there working on breeding, genetics and the history of the soybean. While at the University of Illinois he conducted research on the variation in and genetics of biologically active and anti-nutritional components of soybean seed and conducted plant exploration trips to Asia, Oceania, and Australia to locate potential germplasm resources for soybean varietal improvement. He is a Fellow of several professional societies.  Honors include a Fulbright Scholar to India, Loeb Foundation Scholar, Funk Award and the Meyer Medal for his plant exploration activities.


Plenary Speakers:


Randal Giroux
Monday, September 11, 2017
8:30 am – Chatham Ballroom

Randal Giroux currently holds the position of Vice President at Cargill Incorporated located at the World Headquarters in Wayzata, Minnesota. He has a passion for production agriculture, working globally across Cargill’s Animal Protein and Agricultural Supply Chain businesses, and is a recognized thought leader on the integration of technology into the global food system. As part of his portfolio, he is involved professionally with both science and trade organizations across the supply chain and in this capacity, he has held a number of leadership positions in the trade and has served on several advisory committees. Before joining Cargill, Dr. Giroux was a Program Manager with the Canadian Grain Commission and previous to his public service; he was a National Needs Fellow with USDA. Randal graduated with a PhD in Agriculture from the University of Guelph (OAC).

Dr. Mark Messina


Mark Messina
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
8:30 am – Chatham Ballroom

Mark Messina is the co-owner of Nutrition Matters, Inc., a nutrition consulting company, an adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University in California, and the Executive Director of the Soy Nutrition Institute. Dr. Messina devotes his time to the study of the health effects of soyfoods and soybean components.  He writes extensively on these subjects, having published more than 80 articles and book chapters for health professionals.  Dr. Messina is the chairperson of the editorial advisory board and writes a regular column for The Soy Connection, a quarterly newsletter that reaches over 250,000 health professionals.  He has organized 10 international conferences on soyfoods and is the co-author of three books.  Dr. Messina has given over 550 presentations to health professionals in 51 countries.



Rod Snyder
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
8:30 am – Chatham Ballroom

Rod Snyder has served as president of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture since March 2014.  Field to Market is a diverse alliance working to create opportunities across the agricultural supply chain for continuous improvements in productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being. Prior to this role, Snyder held positions as Public Policy Director for the National Corn Growers Association and Government Affairs Leader for CropLife America. He is particularly recognized for his work at the intersection of agricultural and environmental issues.  He has previously served on the board of directors of the Conservation Technology and Information Center, on the steering committee of the Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council, on the executive committee of Field to Market, and as chair of the Pesticide Policy Coalition. He resides on his family’s farm in Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia.

Krysta Harden


Krysta Harden
Thursday, September 14, 2017
8:30 am – Chatham Ballroom

Krysta Harden is vice president of Public Policy and chief sustainability officer, joining DuPont in February 2016.  Most recently, she served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where she helped to shape food and agriculture policy, including leading implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill. At USDA and throughout her career in agriculture, Ms. Harden has focused on growing the ranks of agriculture and expanding opportunity for women, young people, immigrants, socially disadvantaged producers, returning veterans and retirees. Prior to her service as deputy secretary, she held USDA leadership positions as chief of staff to the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and assistant secretary for Congressional Relations. Preceding her service at USDA, Ms. Harden spent five years as CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), providing national leadership for natural resource conservation and representing thousands of conservation districts across the nation.  In addition to serving as CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts, she also has worked with the American Soybean Association as senior vice president of Gordley Associates, where she concentrated on conservation and renewable energy issues. She also served 12 years on Capitol Hill, as staff director for the House subcommittee on Peanuts and Tobacco and as chief of staff and press secretary for former Congressman Charles Hatcher.