Animal Agriculture Alliance :: Stakeholders Summit

2017 Summit Speakers

Tyne Morgan- 2017 Summit moderator

Tyne Morgan is doing what she calls her "dream job." She’s a Missouri girl who has generations of agriculture rooted in her blood. Born and raised in Lexington, Mo., FFA was a big part of her high school career. Through public speaking and various contest teams, she actually plunged into broadcast at the young age of 16. While in high school, she worked at KMZU radio providing the daily farm market updates, as well as local, state and national agriculture news. Although Tyne always knew she wanted to go into TV, it was then she discovered farm broadcasting was her calling.

Tyne attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she majored in Agriculture Journalism, with an emphasis in broadcast. During her college years, she was a farm broadcast intern for Brownfield Ag News, and was the 2006 Missouri State Fair Queen, serving as the Ambassador for Missouri agriculture.

After spending countless hours on the road as AgDay and U.S. Farm Report National Reporter, Tyne was named the first female Host of U.S. Farm Report in 2014. Today, she travels the country, capturing the latest agricultural news, interviewing both farmers and industry leaders, as well as searching for compelling stories in rural America.

But more important than any of those titles, is her newest title: Mom. Tyne and her husband James, have two daughters, ages 1 and 2. She says being a mom is the hardest, yet most rewarding job she’s ever had. 


LeahMcGrathLeah McGrath, Ingles Markets. - Food History: Fact vs. Fiction and Dispelling Myths About Food

Corproate Dietitian

Leah McGrath is a Corporate Supermarket Dietitian, former Army and Public Health Dietitian and founder of the Facebook and twitter group, "Build Up Dietitians" emphasizing evidenced-based information and #stand4science. For the past 5 years Leah has worked to increase her knowledge about agriculture and farming by visiting farms and writing blogs and articles about her experiences to educate consumers and peers. She considers herself an "agvocate."


Amber PankoninAmber Pankonin, - Food History: Fact vs. Fiction and Dispelling Myths About Food


Amber Pankonin is a registered dietitian nutritionist passionate about food, nutrition science and agriculture. She works as a nutrition and agriculture communications consultant and adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Pankonin loves good food, Nebraska agriculture and building community. She shares the stories of farmers and ranchers through recipes on her blog, 


Phil StayerDr. Phil Stayer, Sanderson Farms - We're All In This Together: Marketing Without Disparaging

Head Veterinarian

Philip A. Stayer, DVM, MS, ACPV is Sanderson Farms’ Corporate Veterinarian as he has been for the past 14 years.  His primary responsibilities at Sanderson Farms include overseeing live bird health programs, biosecurity and animal welfare with the help of two other live production Staff Veterinarians to cover all the flocks from Texas to North Carolina.  

NinaNina Teicholz, The Big Fat Surprise - The Big Fat Surprise

Investigative Journalist and Author

Nina Teicholz is an investigative journalist and author of the International (and New York Times) bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. Named a *Best Book* of 2014 by the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Forbes, Mother Jones, and Library Journal, The Big Fat Surprise has upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat and challenged the very core of our nutrition policy.

Before taking a deep dive into researching nutrition science for nearly a decade, Teicholz was a reporter for National Public Radio and also contributed to many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The Economist. She attended Yale and Stanford where she studied biology and majored in American Studies. She has a master’s degree from Oxford University and served as associate director of the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Columbia University. She lives in New York city.





Meagan Cramer, Kansas Farm Bureau - Implementing an Influencer Tour

Director of Communications and Marketing 

Meagan Cramer serves as Communications and Marketing Director for Kansas Farm Bureau. She has been part of the communications division since 2006. In her current position, she manages and directs a creative staff handling all communication and social media activities and strategies for the state’s largest farm organization. She’s a homegrown Kansas girl who loves connecting the farm with foodies. There’s nothing better than seeing the light bulb come on when someone steps foot on farm soil and hears directly from Kansas farmers and ranchers. She received her bachelor’s degree in public relations fromKansasStateUniversityand her master’s degree in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Universityof Denver. In her down time, she loves spending time with her husband, Corey, and twin daughters Madison and Mackenzie.

JanceyHallJancey Hall, Kansas Soybean -  Implementing an Influencer Tour

Program Manager

Jancey Hall is the Program Manager for the Kansas Soybean Commission and works on behalf of Kansas soybean farmers. Although she’s not a farm kid, she grew up in rural Kansas and through her involvement in 4-H & FFA fell in love with agriculture. After graduating from Kansas State University she fell into the role of working with bloggers, dietitians and other influencers and connecting them to farmers and the agriculture story. Getting these influencers onto farms is her favorite role and she’s taken 10 bus trips doing just that. From niche hog operations to large scale dairies, and everything in between, she has seen how these influencer's food fears dissolve while on a farm, how their newfound story reaches their devoted audiences and the resulting positive impacts on ‘her farmers’.


Stacey Forshee -Implementing an Influencer Tour

Grain and Beef Farmer

Stacey Forshee married a fifth generation farmer and has been in the industry for 25 years. She and her husband David raise alfalfa, wheat, grain sorghum, corn, soybeans and beef cattle. They are proud parents of 3 children Kendra, Lauren and Wyatt. She is the 5th District Board Member on the KFB board of directors, is on the AFBF Policy Committee. In her community she is on the board of directors of CloudCorp and volunteers with her local FFA Chapter, and sits on the Solomon-Republic Regional Advisory Committee for the Kansas Water Authority. In 2014 she was named one of the 50 Under 50 for Agriculture Advocacy by AgriPulse.  


LukeRunyonLuke Runyon, Harvest Public Media - Animal Ag in the Headlines: Jounalist Perspectives 

Agribusiness Reporter

Luke Runyon is a reporter for Harvest Public Media based at NPR member station KUNC in Greeley, Colorado, where he reports on food, agriculture and rural life in the American West. He previously reported in Aspen, Colorado for Aspen Public Radio, and in Springfield, Illinois for Illinois Public Radio. He has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. He frequently files stories with NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, Weekend Edition and APM’s Marketplace.



Phil Borgic - Setting the Record Straight: Working with Biased Media

Hog Farmer, Illinois

Phil Borgic is a third-generation pig farmer from Raymond, Il. He has 6200 sows farrow to finish, while works with 17 farm families/grower partners to help raise safe, healthy and delicious pork. Phil is also very active in many local, state and national organizations including the Illinois Pork Producers Association and the Board of Director of the National Pork Producers Council.


JenniferTireyJennifer Tirey, Illinois Pork Producers - Setting the Record Straight: Working with Biased Media

Executive Director 

Jennifer Tirey is the executive director of the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) headquartered in Springfield. Jennifer joined IPPA in 2015 and is responsible for pork producer communications, education programs, pork promotion and community outreach. She also represents the organization at the state and national levels.

Before joining IPPA, Jennifer was executive director for the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices dedicated to protecting and enhancing the sustainability of agriculture in Illinois through outreach and education. She also served as bureau chief of marketing and promotions at the Illinois Department of Agriculture where she promoted small to mid-sized Illinois food and agribusinesses.

Jennifer attended Eastern Illinois University and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1998. After graduation, Jennifer completed an internship with the Illinois House of Representatives and worked for the Speaker of the Illinois House, Michael J. Madigan, on the Issues Development Staff.

Jennifer was born and raised in southern Illinois and continues to co-operate her family farm in Gallatin and Hardin Counties with her aunt and younger sister. 

In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys freelance writing, running, and being active with her husband, Kevin, and two children, Flynn and Katharine.



SteveSolomonDr. Steve Solomon, M.D., Global Public Health Consulting - Key Issues Update: Animal Ag and Public Health


Dr. Steve Solomon is a principal and founder of Global Public Health Consulting. He received a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.D. from Tufts University. He is board certified in internal medicine, infectious diseases and preventive medicine, and has been elected to Fellowship by the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.  Prior to retiring from government, Dr.  Solomon held several senior executive positions at CDC, most recently as Director of CDC’s Office of Antimicrobial Resistance from April 2011 to May 2015. From 1989 to 2009 he was an attending and staff physician at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Decatur, Georgia, and was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Solomon retired from the U.S. Public Health Service in 2010 at the rank of Rear Admiral. In addition to his roles at CDC, Dr. Solomon has previously served as chair of the Patient Safety Task Force of DHHS and as Deputy Director of the Office of Healthcare Quality in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health in DHHS.  He also served as managing co-chair of the Federal Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance and head of the secretariat of the Transatlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance. As the founder of Global Public Health Consulting, LLC, he provides advisory services to industry, clinical programs, non-profit organizations and governmental public health agencies.  



Dr. Ken Opengart, Keystone Foods - Latest Target for NGOs: Broiler Welfare & Sustainability 

Vice President, Live Operations/Processing and Corporate Social Responsiblity

Dr. Ken Opengart received his Master’s Degree in Poultry Science from Virginia Tech, his Veterinary Degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Dr. Opengart is a Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and was certified by the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization as a Foundation Poultry Welfare Auditor.

Dr. Opengart has worked for nearly 25 years within the poultry industry. Past employers include Elanco Animal Health, Wampler Foods, Seaboard Farms and ConAgra Poultry. Dr. Opengart has been employed by Keystone Foods for 13 years and during that time his responsibilities have included overseeing live operations, health and nutrition, animal welfare, biosecurity, pre-harvest food safety, sustainability and grain risk management programs within Keystone Foods’ U.S. Proteins Division. In his current capacity he leads Global Animal Health and Welfare and continues to lead Sustainability for Keystone Foods’ U.S. Proteins Division.


Dr. Matt Salois, Elanco - Latest Target for NGOs: Broiler Welfare & Sutainability  

Director of Global Scientific Affairs & Policy 

Dr. Matthew Salois is a skilled professional economist with experience working in academia, government, and the private sector. His education includes a bachelor’s of science in Health Services Administration, a master’s of arts in Applied Economics, both from the University of Central Florida, and a doctorate in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida. His previous experience includes working abroad at the University of Reading in the UK as a research fellow and faculty lecturer, as well as, having served as the Chief Economist and Director of Economic and Market Research for the Florida Department of Citrus.

He is currently the Director of Global Scientific Affairs & Policy for Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company. Dr. Salois also holds a courtesy professor appointment with the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida. His expertise broadly covers three main areas: food/agriculture, nutrition/health, and public policy analysis. Dr. Salois has produced 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 book chapters, and numerous white papers and professional conference presentations. His current research and professional experience focuses on the role of innovation and technology in food and agricultural production, with a particular focus on animal health, sustainability, and food security.

TopangaMcBrideTopanga McBride, Kansas State University - Campus Dining Decisions: Navigating Demands from Students and Activists

Ag Communications and Ag Economics Student, Individual Winner of 2016 College Aggies Online 

Topanga McBride is a junior at Kansas State University pursuing a degree in Agricultural Communications and Journalism as well as a degree in Agricultural Economics. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado, Topanga grew up showing Milking Shorthorns in 4-H. In high school, she came to the realization that her peers and teachers had little understanding of where their food came from, inspiring her to take to the internet to start a Tumblr blog dedicated to clearing up consumer confusion regarding agriculture. Today, she utilizes this blog along with engaging in #AgChat discussions and writing about agriculture through Spoon University, a college student food resource. In 2016, Topanga was recognized as the first place individual winner of Animal Agriculture Alliance’s College Aggies Online contest. She has served as a PR intern for Look East and the Center for Food Integrity and served as a student leader on Agriculture Future of America’s Student Advisory Team. Currently, Topanga is a communications intern for the Kansas Department of Agriculture.



GregSlipherGreg Slipher, Indiana Farm Bureau - Defending Against Activist Threats

Livestock Specialist 

Greg Slipherjoined Indiana Farm Bureau staff as a Livestock Development Specialist in December of 2006.

Greg comes to Farm Bureau from a crop and livestock production background and has championed livestock issues for the Indiana Pork Producers Association for 12 years as their Director of Industry Services & Development. His IPPA responsibilities included industry communications, educational program development and delivery, relationship building and local advocacy. He is largely responsible for the successful "IPPA, Building Strong Communities" and "IPPA, Good Neighbor" programs.

Greg currently lives near Thorntown IN and has extensive local government experience having served as chair of the Clinton County Area Plan Commission, chair of the Clinton County Soil & Water Conservation District and service on the Clinton County Board of Zoning Appeals.

Greg works with the Indiana Livestock Team to help livestock producers be successful in locating their buildings or helping them if the community is resisting their business expansion efforts. A lot his time is spent in APC, BZA and County Commissioner meetings where he gets to see people behave in ways that would not make their mother proud.

Greg works with county Farm Bureaus to empower them to be livestock advocates. He has been active in leadership development through the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Institute, Indiana and National Young Farmer Associations and FFA.

Greg lives in Boone County and has two grown children, son Jordan and daughter Lindsey. Greg enjoys long distance cycling and photography.     


MichellePardoMichelle C. Pardo, North Rose Fulbright - Defending Agaisnt Activist Threats


Michelle Pardo joined the Washington, DC office in 1997.  She is a partner in the Disputes Group.  Her practice focuses on civil litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. Michelle has worked in a number of diverse areas, including animal law, government investigations, consumer fraud, employment, product liability, and business and tort litigation. She has handled proceedings in various state and federal courts and alternative dispute resolution. Michelle has handled regulatory matters before various federal agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission (FTC).   

Michelle has developed extensive experience in animal law and animal rights litigation and regulatory counseling, including representation of businesses or entities in the entertainment, agricultural, food production, educational and research spaces whose operations involve animals or animal products or services. She has had experience with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 

Michelle also has experience in litigation crisis management and has managed clients' responses to the media in connection with high profile litigation.  Her media relations work on behalf of her clients includes television and radio broadcast interviews with The Today Show, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and Fox News. She also has conducted interviews with The New York Times, the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and National Geographic as well as numerous legal outlets including The National Law Journal.