Jeff VanderWerff-Michigan, Farmer, President
Marie Bowers-Oregon, Farmer, Vice-President
Marie Bowers is a 5th generation grass seed farmer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, farming land that has been in her family for over a hundred years. Prior to returning to the family farm she graduated from Washington State University with degrees in Agriculture and Agriculture Economics and Management then spent 3 years in the Farm Credit System. When she discovered #Agchat on twitter it opened many doors and connections. It fueled her passion for telling her story via social media and encouraging others to do the same!
Zach Hunnicutt is a fifth-generation family farmer from Aurora, Nebraska, who farms with his dad, brother, and cousin raising irrigated corn, popcorn and soybeans. Zach received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing an MBA from Nebraska. Their farm has always been on the cutting edge of ag technology, and being able to connect with farmers and consumers from around the world through social media is a great extension of that focus.
Brian Scott – Indiana, Farmer, Secretary
Brian Scott is a 4th generation Indiana corn, soybean, popcorn, and wheat farmer. Through his blog The Farmer’s Life and associated social media accounts Brian discusses the daily happenings of his family farm, and also tackles hot topics like biotechnology. Brian can also be found writing posts for CNN’s Eatocracy and 12Most.com. He has served for several years on the ACF Training Committee assisting with planning of ACF events. Additionally, he serves on ACF’s #AgChat/#FoodChat committee.
Ryan Weeks – Nebraska, Farmer
Ryan Weeks is from the heart of South Central Nebraska. He and his wife Kristi operate Weeks Family Farms which raises Yellow Commercial Corn, White food grade corn, Popcorn, Soybeans, Alfalfa and Prairie Hay. Ryan is very involved at both the local and national levels as a voice for agriculture. His Social Media involvement in agvocacy began in 2009 with a promotion by the Nebraska Corn Board called “Follow a Farmer on Twitter”. That involvement led him to attending the first AgChat Conference in Chicago, IL. Since that time he has been involved in a support role with AgChat by serving on the Training Committee and working with logistics for the conferences. Ryan sees the role of our organization as fostering a community to communicate, educate, foster ideas, and share the story of our farms to preserve our right to do what we do for generations to come.
Michele Payn, CSP – Indiana, Professional Speaker & Farmer
Kathy Swift, DVM – Florida, Veterinarian
Kathy was born and raised on a dairy farm in Virginia, earned her DVM at The Ohio State University and chose to have a career in agriculture as a cattle veterinarian because of her love for animals. Kathy serves a variety of clients in Florida and southern Georgia. She enjoys being an information resource for people, as the care and health of animals continues to be a growing concern for consumers. Kathy is excited to be involved with this diverse group in educating people about the many ways agriculture helps their everyday lives. “Social media is important because it allows personal interactions between people who ordinarily would not come in contact with each other.”
John Blue-Indiana, Digital Ag Media Producer and Publisher
Elizabeth Burns-Thompson is currently Government Relations Manager for the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Elizabeth was raised on a diversified family farm in eastern Iowa, where her parents still farm today. Elizabeth’s passion for agriculture led her to Iowa State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business. Elizabeth also holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Drake Law School, specializing in agricultural law and policy. While Iowa has always been home, one of her favorite past-times is traveling, and over the years she’s had the privilege of observing agricultural production in variety of countries around the world.