advisory board

  • Carrie Oliver, Toronto, Artisan Beef Expert

    Carrie Oliver is the founder of The Artisan Beef Institute™ and owner of The Oliver Ranch Company™. Her mission is to transform beef and other meats from commodities to a more deeply appreciated food by leveraging a little known secret: the very best meat is like wine, it presents a wide array of flavors and textures depending on the land and the artisans who craft it. Beef has terroir. Often referred to as “The Robert Parker of Beef,” “The Meat Sommelier,” or more simply, “THE Beef Geek,” Carrie asks a simple question: If Rutherford is famous for Cabernet Sauvignon and Carneros for Pinot Noir, why not similar appellations for beef? She hosts exciting educational Artisan Beef, Pork, Lamb, Poultry, and Goat tastings across North America and offers home tasting kits through her online marketplace, The Oliver Ranch Company.

  • Janice Person, Missouri Agribusiness

    Janice Person is a fourth generation city girl who found a passion for agricultural communications in college while working for some trade magazines. She has spent most of her career focused on Southern row crops with cotton being a common thread as she’s worked for various companies. Janice is currently a public affairs person working with public understanding of agriculture and social media for Monsanto Company. She tuned in for the first #AgChat and has volunteered with a number of the efforts the community has pulled together since. “As a communicator, I enjoy sharing stories and working in ag. Social media is just latest way to do that and is a great means of relationship building. Its amazing how much you can learn or how much you can teach others through the social media. One farmer in the middle of rural America can touch hundreds, even thousands of people in the city. I’ve learned so much and made so many friends that I can’t imagine life without social media.”

  • Craig Raysor, CO Legal Liaison

    Craig is an agricultural and food attorney with the firm Gillon & Associates, PLLC that is based out of the metropolitan Memphis, Tennessee area. Craig specializes in agricultural, food, international trade and general corporate/transactional work. He has been excited to be a participate in #agchat for almost a year now and has enjoyed the connections he has made to various farmers and ranchers throughout the world that have enlightened him, as well as his practice.

  • Amy Sipes, KY Meat Processor

    Raised on a family farm in rural Kentucky, Amy has found her passion in entrepreneurship in the big wide world of meat. She currently lives on a small farm, Split Creek Farm, on the outskirts of Bowling Green with her husband, John, and their young children. Together, Amy and John founded, own and operate John’s Custom Meats, a modern, on-farm USDA slaughterhouse, processing facility and retail shop. They offer true farm-to-plate services by raising their own beef cattle for direct sale to consumers. Amy is dedicated to creating and enabling the infrastructure to support an efficient regional food system. She offers livestock processing and consulting services to regional farmers, empowering them to sell their meats directly to their customers. Amy spends her days balancing family, farm life, and the meat shop, all while navigating the hair-pulling regulatory world of USDA, FSIS, and HACCP. In keeping with the Kentucky tradition, Amy’s also a huge supporter of Kentucky Bourbon.

  • Nate Taylor, IL Precision Technology

    Nate currently works in business development at ZedX, Inc., headquartered in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Nate shares the vision of ZedX; a sustainable world guided by knowledge and ingenuity, aided by technological innovation, dependent upon well managed resources and works every day with farmers and ranchers to fullfill this vision. Prior to joining ZedX, Nate worked at John Deere Agri Services in the Global Research and Development Group as a Project Manager developing products and services for the agricultural marketplace. Nate is a proud husband and father of three children. “With an ever increasing population, sparked interest in the field of agriculture by consumers, and finite resources it has never been more important for farmers and ranchers to openly share their story – of how they work to sustainbly produce safe, healthy, affordable food and why it is much more than a job. Social Media has provided us a platform to connect with consumers from across the globe to enable knowledge sharing.”

  • Mace Thornton, VA, Membership Organization

    Mace was born and raised on a small hog farm in northeast Kansas. He started his career as a newspaper reporter while earning a journalism degree from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has been writing about agriculture and the hard-working families that make it possible ever since. Mace joined the staff of Kansas Farm Bureau in 1985 and the American Farm Bureau Federation in 1990. He is deputy director of the AFBF Public Relations Department, where he serves as chief speechwriter and contributes to AFBF’s public relations, issues management, media relations and social media strategies. “Social media has empowered farmers and ranchers to engage in today’s conversation about food and agriculture, and it could not have come along at a more opportune time. It used to be we would go to farmers and help them convey their stories. Now, they are coming to us with their real-life stories that are more genuine and compelling than any trained journalist could ever write.”

  • Scott Vernon Ph.D., CA Education Liaison

    Dr. J. Scott Vernon is the founder of the “I Love Farmers…They Feed My Soul” campaign to support American family farmers and ranchers. He is a professor of agricultural communications at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Dr. Vernon travels throughout the world speaking with agricultural organizations on leadership, communication and industry issues. He grew up on his family’s cow-calf ranch.