ASA Banquet and Conference 2017
The Future of Agri-food
Darci Vetter is a strategic consultant working on international trade, food and agriculture issues, and currently serves as Diplomat in Residence at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, where she is working to launch the Yeutter Institute in International Trade and Finance. Ms. Vetter served as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative from 2014 until January of this year, a Senate-confirmed Presidential Appointment with the rank of Ambassador. In this role, she was responsible for bilateral and multilateral negotiations, including the Trans Pacific Partnership agricultural package, and significant bilateral negotiations with Japan, China, Brazil and other countries.
Before returning to USTR, Ms. Vetter served as Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where she oversaw the Foreign Agricultural Service. She led the Department’s international trade negotiating team, directed USDA’s export assistance programs, and coordinated USDA’s role in international food aid and trade capacity building.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Vetter served as an International Trade Advisor on the Democratic Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, where she advised Committee members on trade issues relating to agriculture, the environment and labor, including the 2008 Farm Bill and the Committee’s consideration of Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. She began her career as a civil servant at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she worked on agricultural and environmental issues, including the WTO Doha Round, NAFTA implementation, and the environmental provisions of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement.
Ms. Vetter received her Master of Public Affairs degree and a Certificate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, and her undergraduate degree from Drake University in Des Moines. She grew up in Nebraska on a family farm, and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two small children.
Massey University Professor of Farm & AgriBusiness Management delivering research and education, research interests include cooperatives, their management and strategies, farm business analysis and performance indicators, ownership structures in farming, investment and risk analysis and overall strategic management by farmers.
Elected Director of Fonterra Cooperative, Director of the International Food & Agribusiness Management Association, Director of Hopkins Farming Group Ltd, Editor of International Food and Agribusiness Management Review and International Journal of Agricultural Management; represents NZ in the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) in Dairying.
Has a depth and breadth of understanding of farming, has been a farmer for over 30 years, now with four farming and forestry equity partnerships and a complex arrangement of sharefarming arrangements within equity partnerships. Nicola is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management and the Australian Institute of Company Directors
Aidan O’Driscoll joined the Department of Agriculture and Food in 1977 as an Administrative Officer and was subsequently trained as a Policy Analyst in the Department of Finance. He has served in a variety of posts in DAFM including Chief Economist from 1995 to 2001 and Assistant Secretary General from 2001 to January 2015.
His most recent responsibilities as Assistant Secretary were for EU Affairs, Economics and Climate Change.
He worked in Africa and Asia in variety of roles with FAO, Irish Aid and a private consulting company from 1985 to 1992 and served in the Irish Embassy, Rome as Agriculture Attaché / Deputy Rep to FAO, WFP and IFAD1994 – 1995. He was Chairman of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) 2000-2002
Frans Keurentjes has been Chairman of the Board of Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A. and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Royal FrieslandCampina since 2016. He is responsible for leading the dairy cooperative with 19.000 member dairy farmers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. With annual revenues of 11.3 billion euro, FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy companies. Frans Keurentjes is a dairy farmer who owns a farm in the north of the Netherlands and has been active in the board of the Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A for over 10 years.
Jim Bergin was appointed CEO and director of Glanbia Ireland on 2nd July 2017. Glanbia Ireland is a new joint venture combining Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, Glanbia Consumer Products and Glanbia Agribusiness, 60% owned by Glanbia Co-op and 40% owned by Glanbia plc. Glanbia Ireland is an enterprise of scale, with a 2.4 billion litre milk pool exporting to over 60 countries, revenues of €1.5 billion and over 1,800 employees. Glanbia Ireland will own leading consumer and agribrands such as Avonmore, GAIN Animal Nutrition, Kilmeaden Cheese, Premier Milk, mymilkman.ie and Wexford.
Jim joined the Glanbia Group in 1984 and has held a number of senior positions including Finance Director Agribusiness and Group Business Process Director. He was appointed Chief Executive of Dairy Ingredients Ireland in March 2005 and CEO & Director of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland in November 2012 leading to his recent appointment in Glanbia Ireland. Jim is also a director of Ornua Co-operative Society Ltd & was Chairman of the Irish Dairy Industry Association (IDIA) from 2011-2013.
Niall graduated from University of Limerick with a Business Studies Degree in Marketing and Agribusiness. He then joined the Dawn Meats Graduate Management Programme. He progressed through the organisation working in 5 different sites between Ireland and the UK gaining experience in production, livestock procurement, marketing and general management. He was appointed by the Board to the position of Chief Executive in 2007. Niall is passionate about innovation and Dawn is proud to regularly win new product awards. He champions environmental sustainability and efficient processing which has led to Dawn being internationally recognised by its customers worldwide.
Tara McCarthy is the Chief Executive of Bord Bia. She was previously Chief Executive for Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency. Tara brings with her over 20 years’ experience in the wider food industry. Tara has operated in overseas markets for 10 years in Germany, France and Belgium and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with an MBS in Marketing from Smurfit Business School. An affiliate of IMD Business School, Switzerland; Tara has been a regular contributor to the Government’s Food Harvest 2020 and Food Wise 2025 reports and succeeded in delivering a number of instrumental initiatives for the Irish Food Industry under the ‘Pathways for Growth’ programme. Ms. McCarthy was previously Director of the Food and Beverages Division in Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board and has led a team of Senior Executives on the development of the seafood, dairy, prepared foods; alcohol and small business sectors.
Joe Healy is a dairy, sheep and livestock farmer from Athenry, Co. Galway. He was elected President of the Irish Farmers Association in April 2016.
Joe has been an active member of IFA for more than 20 years, serving most recently on the Farm Business Committee as the Galway IFA representative. He sits on the Board of the Agricultural Trust, which publishes the Irish Farmers Journal. He also serves as a director of Bord Bia, the Irish food marketing board and is a director of Farmer Business Developments.
Joe is Chairman of the COPA Working Party on the Food Chain.
He was President of Macra na Feirme from 1995–1997 and Vice-Chairman of CEJA (European Young Farmers Association) from 1997 to 1999. Joe was Livestock Markets Analyst with the Farming Independent newspaper from 2004–2016.
He held the post of Manager of Athenry Mart from 2004–2005, and served as Chairman of Athenry Mart from 1998 to 2004.
Aged 49, he is married to Margaret and they have three daughters, Nicole, Kiara and Anna.
Rowena Dwyer is the Chief Economist of the Irish Farmers’ Association, providing analysis for the organisation on national, economic and budgetary issues, as well as developments in international agriculture and trade issues. She is a graduate in Economics from Trinity College Dublin, with an MSc in Public Economics from the University of York.
Damien O’Reilly has been a broadcaster with RTE Radio 1 since 1998. He presents Countrywide on Saturday morning and has also worked and presented across a range of programmes including Liveline, Drivetime and radio sport.
In 2015, Damien was named the PPI speech broadcaster of the year and was also awarded the Star Prize for Broadcasting by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in 2012 and 2016. He is current secretary of the European Network of Agricultural Journalists.