Brendan Bachman

Brendan Bachman

Sr. Agronomy Technology Manager – GROWMARK

Brendan Bachman is the Sr. Agronomy Technology Manager for GROWMARK serving members across the GROWMARK cooperative system. Currently he leads GROWMARK Agronomy Technology,  myFS, and MiField brands focusing on technology strategy and implementation. Before joining GROWMARK in June 2016, Brendan served within the FS System as a Precision Agriculture Specialist and Crop Specialist in west-central, Illinois for 10 years. As a CCA and 4R Nutrient Management Specialist, Brendan strives to provide value added technology and agronomic information to FS members and farmers across the cooperative system.

Aaron Magenheim

Aaron Magenheim

CEO and Co-Founder, AgTech Insight and Growers Insight

Aaron Magenheim is an entrepreneur who grew up in California Agriculture and has become a global industry leader facilitating Agriculture and food system modernization. As CEO and co-founder, his companies Growers Insight and AgTech Insight specialize in operational and business strategy and implementation through business process mapping by aligning business, processes, data, people, and technology. As a realistic boots-on-the-ground expert, Aaron leads diverse teams advising growers, food companies, Co-ops, Corporates, Governments, investors, and startups on building successful ecosystems leveraging best processes, practices, and technology throughout the Agri-Food supply chain. 

Marc Vanacht

Marc Vanacht

Principal, AG Business Consultants

Marc Vanacht is the principal of AG Business Consultants. Vanacht specializes in business strategy and development, product and marketing management, market research, and analysis for organizations, government agencies and businesses steeped in agriculture and the food chain. Vanacht has worked with equipment manufacturers, regional cooperatives, national and regional distributors, seed and chemical companies, publishers, farm management, and software companies throughout the U.S., the Americas, Europe, Africa and East Asia. Fluent in five languages (English, French, Dutch, German, and Spanish), Vanacht holds degrees in Business Administration, Law, Economics, and Philosophy.

Ernie Chappell

Ernie Chappell

Founder and President, EFC Systems, Inc.

Ernie Chappell was the founder and is the President of EFC Systems, Inc., now part of Ever.Ag Ever.Ag is a broad Ag Tech provider streamlining the supply chain to feed a growing world.

EFC’s solutions such as FieldAlytics, Vanguard Ag, and Merchant Ag have served the agriculture sector with wholesale and retailer business and digital agronomy solutions for Service Providers and Growers.    

Ernie’s experience in accounting and software development led to the development of these solutions tailored to Agribusiness. He is passionate about comprehensive suites that are core to retail service providers and their digital engagement with their growers/producers.    

Ernie resides in Nashville, TN, with his wife and three teenage boys, and enjoys family travel, especially to skiing destinations. 

Robert Saik

Robert Saik

Founder & CEO of AGvisorPRO

A lifetime entrepreneur, recognized in 2021 as one of Canada’s Top 50 Most Influential Agriculture Leaders, Robert has been sought for his expertise from the likes of Bill Gates, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, The International Fertilizer Association and most recently the UN_FAO Committee on World Food Security. A sought after keynote and author of “FOOD 5.0 How We Feed The Future”, Robert has leveraged his passion for innovation to found and lead many organizations in the areas of farming, ag retail, fertilizer manufacturing and distribution, consulting, precision agriculture, data management, and robotics. As Founder of Agri-Trend/Agri-Data (now Trimble) and as CEO of DOT Technology Corp (now Raven), Robert has a unique ability to identify and address “white space” he sees in the agricultural sector. Now, as Founder & CEO of AGvisorPRO, his team is creating a global connectivity channel to increase agriculture sustainability, farm profitability and enhance global food security.

Jonah Kolb

Jonah Kolb

President, Moore & Warner Ag Group, LLC

Jonah Kolb leads business development and consulting initiatives at Moore & Warner Ag Group, working with private and institutional investors to build direct farmland portfolios. He also advises start-ups, private equity, and venture capital funds pursuing opportunities in production agriculture and agribusiness. His professional experience includes evaluating agricultural big data technology and trends, business development at Cargill, risk management for CF Industries, and consulting and private equity in agriculture and renewable energy.

Michael Gomes

Michael Gomes

Vice President, Strategic Business Development – Agriculture, Topcon Positioning Group

Michael has been active in the Digital transformation of Agriculture since 1994, as it continues to evolve from Precision technologies to Decision based systems with a careers experience of implementing electronics for automation from planting through harvest. As Vice President of Strategic Business Development – Agriculture for Topcon his responsibilities combine strategic relationships, product development and business strategy to drive growth. His personal experience includes utilizing technologies of measurement; optical, sonic, and positioning toward improving in field efficiency and is a co-inventor on patents for Auto Steering, Sensors and User Interface. In support of developing a stronger industry, Michael currently serves on the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Ag sector board, co-chairs the councils for Ag Innovation & Future of Food and serves on the Regulatory council. He received bi-partisan endorsement in being appointed to serve a 2nd term on the federal taskforce for the Connectivity & Technology needs of Precision Agriculture in the USA under the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). He is a founding board member of Ag Data Coalition not for profit corporation and has served as moderator of Germany’s VDI conference on Connected Off Highway vehicles 2018-2021. Michael is frequently a guest speaker at conferences and podcasts on Precision Agriculture or related subjects.

As a native of California, he has familiarity with vegetable crop production and irrigation of the Western US. Michael holds a BS from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; MBA from Golden Gate University, graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program (Class 33) and has also been recognized as a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. He and his wife Kara have a daughter and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and beef cattle ranching in their spare time.

About Topcon Positioning Group
Topcon Positioning Group is headquartered in Livermore, California, USA (topconpositioning.com). Topcon Positioning Group design, manufacture and distribute precise positioning products and measurement solutions for the global surveying, construction, agriculture, civil engineering, BIM, mapping and GIS, asset management and mobile control markets.  Its brands include Topcon, Sokkia, Tierra, Wachendorff Elektronik, Digi-Star, RDS Technology, NORAC and 2LS. Topcon Corporation (topcon.com), founded in 1932, is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (7732).

Alan Fetters

Allan Fetters

Principal, AGceleration Advisory Service

Allan is a third-generation agriculturalist from California’s San Joaquin Valley. He has been involved in the supply of crop inputs and services to growers and dealers for over 30 years.

He is currently Principal at AGceleration Advisory Service, an agricultural consulting firm focused on increasing the pace of commercialization and adoption of new products and innovations while bringing value to growers and the agriculture value chain.

Allan is also a farmer, growing almonds and pistachios in the Central Valley, providing him knowledge and insight into the needs of specialty crop growers.

Previously he worked for the J.R. Simplot Company as the Director of Technology, where he led and directed Simplot SmartFarm®, Simplot’s digital agriculture platform to harness data-driven agronomy and help growers maximize farm productivity.

Allan received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a licensed Pest Control Advisor.

Vonnie Estes

Vonnie Estes

VP of Innovation, International Fresh Produce Association

Vonnie’s role as VP of Innovation at International Fresh Produce Association is to bring technology to the produce industry across the supply chain, bridging the gap between technology innovators and producers to identify and solve pressing needs. Her career has been driven by a passion for agriculture, technology, and sustainability. She has held leadership roles with some of the largest multinational organizations along with start-ups.

Vonnie is a sought-after voice in the ag industry, speaking and publishing frequently. She produces an insightful weekly Podcast “Fresh Takes on Tech” on technology and solutions in the Produce Industry and manages the Fresh Field Catalyst Accelerator bringing new technologies into the industry.  She also chairs the Technology and CEA Councils for IFPA pulling the industry together on important topics to those sectors. She sits on three start-up company board of directors (Creatus Bio, Kula Bio and Stony Creek Colors) in addition to advisory and government boards.

Vonnie earned a bachelor of science degree in horticulture from New Mexico State University and a master of science degree in plant pathology from University of California, Davis. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization awarded her with the fourth annual Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology in 2017, an award recognizing women who make lasting contributions in the field of biotechnology.