Agenda

DairyTech 2024’s agenda is designed to help all attendees quickly understand the impact that technology is having throughout the industry.

Speakers

President & CEO, International Dairy Foods Association

Michael Dykes, D.V.M.

Chief Executive Officer, Ever.Ag

Scott Sexton

Founder and CEO, Wheyward Spirit

Emily Darchuk

Vice President, Corporate Engagement, Foodbytes by Rabobank

Caroline Keeley

Chief Operating Officer, DFA

Matt Musselman

Director of Product Management, Connecterra B.V.

Nynke Slegten

Discovery Researcher - Dairy, Zinpro Corporation

Daryl Kleinschmit, PhD, PAS, DPL ACAN

Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Decker Walker

Partner, Boston Consulting Group

Prerak Bathia

SVP, Business Development, Austin Data Labs

Hamish Keston

Head of Planning, ANZCO Foods

Jason Buschl

Vice President of Information Technology, Tillamook County Creamery Association

Travis Pierce

Executive Director of Supply Chain, Food & Beverage, Ecolab

David Parr

Senior Vice President of Innovation and Member Advancement, IDFA

Tom Wojno

Vice President, Information Technology, Aurora Organic Dairy

Ana Kinsman

Director of IT, Cabot Creamery Co-operative

Meeghan Jones

Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, Darigold

Simone Frazier

Vice President of Information Technology, Hilmar Cheese Company

Stephane Adam

Senior Vice President, International Dairy Foods Association

Matt Herrick

CEO, Athian

Paul Myer

Head of Emerging Opportunities, Indigo

Chris Malone

Owner, Bar 20 Dairy

Steve Shehadey

Co-Founder and VP of Partner Development, Merge Impact

Beth Robertson-Martin

Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company

Nick Kosturos

Cyber Expert, McKinsey & Company

Kathleen Li

Cyber Expert, McKinsey & Company

Peter Russell

Mandiant Consulting

Chris Linklater

Former General Mills Supply Chain and Transformation Officer

John Church

President, AgriTech Capital

Aidan Connolly

President & CEO, International Dairy Foods Association

Michael Dykes, D.V.M.

Michael Dykes, D.V.M., a long-time government affairs strategist, agricultural policy expert, and veterinarian, became president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association in January 2017. In this role, he represents members that make more than 90 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. Since joining IDFA, Dykes has been a strong advocate for the importance of global competitiveness to the future of the U.S. dairy industry. He has made preserving trade partnerships with Mexico and improving Canadian market access for U.S. dairy exports in all future trade agreements a priority for IDFA. Prior to assuming his role at IDFA, Dykes served as vice president of government affairs for Monsanto, where he was responsible for developing and implementing a portfolio of U.S. government relations strategies and programs that included agricultural biotechnology policy. He led Monsanto’s office in Washington, D.C., and served as the company’s primary point of contact for elected officials, regulatory authorities, U.S. farm organizations, key industry participants, trade associations, international organizations and embassies. He directed the company’s efforts in state and local government affairs, in addition to government affairs in Mexico and Canada. Dykes is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Academy of Practitioners. He has served on the Farmhouse Fraternity board for 3+ years. He is also a member of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and has served on the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21). 

Dykes grew up on a small dairy and tobacco farm in Kentucky. He earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Auburn University. He also attended the University of Kentucky where he received a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. 

Opening Session:World-Leading Technological Innovation

Chief Executive Officer, Ever.Ag

Scott Sexton

For over 25 years, Scott Sexton has been a well-known and well-respected entrepreneur and innovator in the ag and food technology industry. As chief executive officer of Ever.Ag, the leading provider of software, risk management, and market intelligence solutions for the dairy industry, he is a driving force in digitally connecting the supply chain and empowering it to feed a growing world. 

In addition to guiding Ever.Ag’s growth from a simple idea to over 400 employees, he also serves on multiple boards, committees, and at educational institutions, including his alma mater, Baylor University. He was named by Dallas Business Journal as one of the top technology leaders in the city and landed Ever.Ag on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™.

Sexton holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Baylor, where he played Division I basketball. He and his wife live in Dallas with their three teenage daughters.

Opening Session:World-Leading Technological Innovation

Founder and CEO, Wheyward Spirit

Emily Darchuk

Wheyward Spirit Founder and CEO, Emily Darchuk forged her career as a food scientist in the natural food and dairy industry before disrupting the liquor sector through her ingenuity and commitment to sustainable spirits. Wheyward Spirit brings the natural food ethos into the spirit category delivering a truly innovative spirit consumers can truly taste a difference and make a difference. 

Always curious about where food came from and how it made those around her feel, Emily dedicated her undergraduate studies to Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Illinois. She holds a master’s in food science from Oregon State University and an MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of Oregon. Throughout her career, Emily has held positions in product development and innovation at Coca-Cola, Whitewave Foods, Kellogg’s, and NASA. 

While working with dairies, she observed firsthand the pain point of whey waste impacting local producers which motivated her to do something about it. Balancing her roles as both a scientist and consumer, Emily perfected her signature spirit through years of trials, carefully crafting the recipe while she mastered the distillation process hands-on, producing a first of its kind farm-to-flask specialty spirit. 

Since launching in the fall of 2020, Wheyward Spirit has lived up to its name disrupting the industry for good. With over 467 million press impressions in 2022, Wheyward Spirit is a company leading the conversation around upcycling and innovation in the dairy and spirit sectors through collaborations and partnerships with Ben & Jerry’s and Fever-Tree to winning top honors at spirit competitions across the world. Emily was named as a Grist 50 Environmental Fixer and serves on an advisory board for the Lundquist College of Business. 

Keynote:Venturing Wheyward to Create Sustainable Innovation

Vice President, Corporate Engagement, Foodbytes by Rabobank

Caroline Keeley

Both French and American, Caroline’s international background and language skills have sent her to Europe, Africa and South-East Asia in different roles spanning the Food & Ag supply chain over the past 15 years. Prior to joining Rabobank in 2020, Caroline managed a French FoodTech startup called Algama, which pioneers microalgae as a sustainable and abundant source of plant protein. Caroline has advised multilaterals and agribusinesses on creating shared value with smallholder farmers in Kenya, India and Mexico as well as French companies and startups on entering the North American market.

Moderator:Innovation through Startup Collaborations: Tapping the Agility of Startups to Accelerate Corporate Innovation

Chief Operating Officer, DFA

Matt Musselman

Currently serving as Chief Operating Officer for Farm Services at Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) in Kansas City, Matt Musselman brings a unique perspective on animal husbandry, farm operations and business strategy to serving the cooperative’s farmer-owners. At DFA, Musselman leads a team responsible for delivering a broad offering of products and services to farmers including insurance, lending, feed & animal health supplies, along with risk management and renewable energy solutions and a variety of other member programs.

Growing up on his family’s dairy and beef farm in Iowa, Musselman has been passionate about animal agriculture from the beginning, leading to deep involvement in 4-H and service as a state FFA officer. He has dedicated his career to leading teams to bring innovative animal health and nutrition solutions to market. He holds a bachelor’s in Dairy Science and Ag Business from Iowa State University, along with a master’s in Animal Sciences from University of Illinois. Prior to joining DFA in 2017, Musselman held leadership positions with several other large players in the industry, including Farmland Industries, Boehringer Ingelheim, Parnell Pharmaceuticals and Vets Plus.

Panelist:Innovation through Startup Collaborations: Tapping the Agility of Startups to Accelerate Corporate Innovation

Director of Product Management, Connecterra B.V.

Nynke Slegten

Nynke earned her BSc in Economics & Business from University of Amsterdam and MSc in Finance from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Her career began in private equity management, where she quickly learned the requirements for entrepreneurial success. She then honed skills in business strategy and B2B product management for Rocket Internet venture and Booking.com. Today, as the product strategy lead for Connecterra, Nynke translates her personal passion for using data and technology to solve the world’s food problems. She works closely with enterprise partners and farmers to ensure each collaboration delivers value for stakeholders across the dairy value chain.

Outside the office, she is most at home in nature and can be found in the garden or exploring the European countryside with her partner in their 30-year-old VW campervan.

Panelist: Innovation through Startup Collaborations: Tapping the Agility of Startups to Accelerate Corporate Innovation

Discovery Researcher - Dairy, Zinpro Corporation

Daryl Kleinschmit, PhD, PAS, DPL ACAN

Dr. Kleinschmit was raised on diversified livestock farm in Northeast Nebraska, where he raised dairy cattle, beef cattle, and hogs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, master’s degree in animal science from the University of Delaware, Newark, DE and doctoral degree in animal science at South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD.

Dr. Kleinschmit joined Zinpro in 2013. His duties include overseeing dairy research projects on current and new products and providing technical services and support for dairy to the U.S. and International sales team. Before joining Zinpro, Dr. Kleinschmit was a dairy nutritionist for a Midwest U.S. based feed company for 7 years supporting the company’s international growth in both beef and dairy species as an on-farm consultant, technical services for sales personnel, and researcher.

Panelist:Innovation through Startup Collaborations: Tapping the Agility of Startups to Accelerate Corporate Innovation

Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Decker Walker

Decker Walker is a core member of The Boston Consulting Group’s Industrial Goods practice, where he leads the global agribusiness topic, and the Corporate Development practice, where he leads the North America mergers and acquisitions topic.

Since joining BCG in 2007, Decker has worked extensively with public and private companies, governments, and nongovernment organizations on projects related to growth strategy, merger and acquisition strategy, strategic and private-equity due diligence, and postmerger integration. His experience has covered a wide range of industries, focusing in particular on industrial goods but also working in consumer, technology, health care, and financial services.

Decker has deep experience in food and agriculture, where he has helped clients develop corporate strategies, evaluate investment opportunities, and analyze industry and technological changes. He has worked in all major food and agriculture sectors (grains, softs, dairy, livestock, fertilizer, agrochemicals, seeds, and equipment) and in all steps of the value chain (crop inputs, farming, distribution, financing, trading, processing, and sourcing), on every inhabited continent. Decker is the author of BCG’s agriculture publication Making Hay.

Speaker: The Most Impactful Technologies Dairy Businesses Should Be Using

Partner, Boston Consulting Group

Prerak Bathia

Prerak Bathia is a leader in BCG’s Industrials and Private Equity Practices. He was the former head of BCG’s Agribusiness topic in North America.

Since joining BCG in 2012, Prerak has worked extensively with public and private companies, governments and non-government organizations on projects related to due diligence, growth strategy and mergers and acquisitions strategy. His experience covers a wide range of industries including consumer, technology and financial services.

Prerak has deep experience working in food and agriculture, where he has helped clients develop corporate strategies, evaluate investment opportunities, and analyze industry and technological changes. He has worked across the value chain of Agriculture (Crop inputs, farming, harvesting, processing / distribution, trading and marketing). He has spent significant time helping investors think through investment opportunities in Agriculture globally as well as helping client think through leveraging Technology in Agriculture. He has authored multiple white papers and articles in Agriculture – including BCG’s Agriculture Value Creators Report and Food Security and COVID-19.

Speaker:The Most Impactful Technologies Dairy Businesses Should Be Using

SVP, Business Development, Austin Data Labs

Hamish Keston

Hamish has extensive dairy experience, having spent 17 years at Fonterra across a variety of roles. Most recently, he was General Manager Optimization and Planning, leading a team of 20 who optimized manufacturing across 90 factories and 2.8 million MT of sales. This equated to over UDS10B in revenue and included consumer, food service, and ingredients products.

Prior to this he held roles in Australia, looking at 1/2 billion in export sales to China, Middle East, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Over the past ten years, he was involved in establishing a commodity risk and trading function that has now expanded to 130 people.

Moderator:Successful End-to-End Supply Chain Digitization for Dairy and Beyond

Head of Planning, ANZCO Foods

Jason Buschl

Bio coming soon.

Speaker: Successful End-to-End Supply Chain Digitization for Dairy and Beyond

Vice President of Information Technology, Tillamook County Creamery Association

Travis Pierce

Travis Pierce is the Vice President of Information Technology at Tillamook County Creamery Association, a farmer-owned cooperative that produces high-quality dairy products. He joined Tillamook in 2017 as the Director of Information Technology and was promoted to his current role in 2023. He leads a team of IT professionals who are responsible for developing and implementing business technology strategies and solutions that support Tillamook’s growth and innovation.

Travis has over 20 years of experience in IT management and leadership, with a focus on business process automation, enterprise software implementation, project management, and team development. He has successfully led several digital transformation initiatives at Tillamook, including the migration to cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 and RSM solutions designed specifically for dairies. These initiatives have supported business expansion and growth as well as enabling Tillamook to improve its operational efficiency, inventory visibility, and customer service.

Prior to joining Tillamook, Travis was the Global Director of Information Technology at Leatherman Tool Group, where he led Leatherman’s technology transformation. He also worked as the Director of Information Technology and Director of Global E-commerce Channel Development at Warn Industries, Inc.

Travis holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Western Oregon State University and master’s degree in business administration from the University of Oregon. He lives in Ridgefield, WA with his wife and three children. He enjoys activities such as golfing, soccer, camping, fishing, and playing drums.

Panelist:Successful End-to-End Supply Chain Digitization for Dairy and Beyond

Executive Director of Supply Chain, Food & Beverage, Ecolab

David Parr

Bio coming soon.

Panelist:Successful End-to-End Supply Chain Digitization for Dairy and Beyond

Senior Vice President of Innovation and Member Advancement, IDFA

Tom Wojno

Thomas Wojno is responsible for identifying and implementing innovative strategies to enhance IDFA services, expand its diverse membership and develop new opportunities for growth.

Prior to joining IDFA, Wojno served as vice president of member value and strategy for the National Restaurant Association. During his tenure, NRA’s membership grew by 300 percent in three years and increased the association’s member retention rate from 83 percent to 94 percent.

Wojno also served as vice president of resource development for America’s Promise, an alliance organization built by General Colin Powell to support better outcomes in education, and as director of corporate relations with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Wojno began his career in business development at Bloomberg LP.

Wojno received a bachelor’s degree in business and organizational communication from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Wojno was the recipient of the 2016 Association Innovators awards, given by DC Live to those leaders driving growth and change in their respective associations and industries.

Moderator:Dairy Technologist Panel 2.0

Vice President, Information Technology, Aurora Organic Dairy

Ana Kinsman

With 25 years of experience in Information Technology, including certifications in ITIL and Project Management, Ana has worked in infrastructure management, project management, and full cycle technology implementation, from inception to support through to continuous improvement. Ana’s current focus is managing security across the complex landscape of IT and OT Dairy Manufacturing, and enabling an agile, dynamic business within a rigorously secured environment. 

Panelist:Dairy Technologist Panel 2.0

Director of IT, Cabot Creamery Co-operative

Meeghan Jones

Meeghan Jones is the Director of Information Services at Agri-Mark, a New England and Upstate New York dairy cooperative that makes Cabot Creamery, McCadam and Agri-Mark branded products. Meeghan grew up in Massachusetts, then moved to Vermont to acquire a business degree at St. Michael’s College. Her love of the mountains, snow and outdoors, kept her in Vermont where she later pursued her Masters in Innovation and Information Technology at Champlain College. 

Prior to joining Agri-Mark, Meeghan worked in various industries implementing and analyzing business systems, customizing web applications, building dashboards/reports, documenting requirements, and outlining business processes. Meeghan has worked on mid- to large-scale projects, while combining best practices and industry experience to solve business problems. 

The Agri-mark IS team supports users from the farms through the plants and to the retailer. The Information Services team is driven to provide secure, reliable, and integrated technology solutions in alignment with the goals of the cooperative, while delivering excellence in customer service. 

Meeghan is proud to work for the cooperative and of course enjoys the world’s best cheddar from Cabot Creamery. 

Panelist:Dairy Technologist Panel 2.0

Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, Darigold

Simone Frazier

Simone has 30+ years of experience in the Dairy Foods & Beverage Business. Beginning her career in Information Technology managing infrastructure, database management, application development, project management and end-user support. During her career she has led Dairy Foods supply chain teams through several ERP implementations. Moving from IT to Supply Chain Simone has held various leadership roles in Continuous Improvement, Quality, Procurement, Logistics, Engineering and Manufacturing. Her current role is Sr. Vice President of Operations leading Manufacturing, Food Safety/Quality and Asset Reliability.

Panelist:Dairy Technologist Panel 2.0

Vice President of Information Technology, Hilmar Cheese Company

Stephane Adam

Stephane Adam is the Vice President of Information Technology for Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. one of the most successful cheese and whey ingredient processors serving customers in more than 50 countries. The company has facilities in California, Texas and is building in Kansas. Hilmar, a privately held company founded in 1984 by eleven dairy farm families, is also known for its commitment to positive, mutually beneficial relationships with its customers, suppliers, community, and employees to improve lives.

Stephane joined the Company in 2021. His passion for excellence, teamwork and improvement has led a dynamic shift in the approach to technology. Stephane is leading Hilmar’s digital transformation with a focus on bringing efficiency through digital manufacturing initiatives, supporting the business growth, ensuring redundancy and reliability of the IT infrastructure and improving cyber security.

Adam previously worked more than 20 years in consumer goods industries at Mars & Ferrero. His career started in France with projects throughout Europe. He moved to Russia for two years and then settled in the US in 2008. He graduated as an engineer in Automation Engineering in France with certification in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and technical certifications in IT.

Stephane and his wife Muriel reside in Oakdale. They have three grown children.

Panelist:Dairy Technologist Panel 2.0

Senior Vice President, International Dairy Foods Association

Matt Herrick

With more than 20 years of experience navigating consumer, regulatory and legislative issues surrounding food, beverages, agriculture and nutrition, Matt leads IDFA’s public affairs and communications activities, with a particular focus on advancing IDFA’s advocacy priorities and coordinating organizational strategy. Matt brings a results-based approach to organizational positioning, strategic communications, and public affairs strategy and reporting. He has strong relationships with influencers in the philanthropy, food, beverage, agriculture, and global development spaces. For IDFA, Matt is also helping to develop and execute the organization’s first social impact strategy. IDFA social impact work will increase awareness about positive nutrition outcomes related to dairy foods and beverages, support the dairy industry’s efforts to address environmental sustainability, and offer research and educational tools to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce within the food and beverage sector.

Matt most recently served as Director of Communications for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Biden Administration under Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; prior to USDA, Herrick served as Senior Vice President of Executive and Strategic Communications for IDFA from April 2019 until January 2021. Previously, Matt served as Managing Director, Communications for The Rockefeller Foundation, one of the world’s most renowned institutions with a legacy in public health, global food security and climate resilience. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President with Story Partners public affairs in Washington, D.C., where he founded and managed the agency’s food, nutrition, and trade practice, working with trade associations, food companies, and foundations. He served in the Obama Administration, first as Press Director and spokesperson for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and then as Director of Communications for USDA under Secretary Vilsack. Matt also led communications and media relations for Oxfam America, served as speechwriter and spokesperson for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, and worked as a newspaper and magazine reporter. He holds a BA from the College of the Holy Cross and an MA from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Moderator:The Next Generation of U.S. GHG Markets

CEO, Athian

Paul Myer

Bio coming soon.

Panelist:The Next Generation of U.S. GHG Markets

Head of Emerging Opportunities, Indigo

Chris Malone

Christopher Malone co-leads Emerging Opportunities within Indigo’s strategy org.  His work primarily focuses on advancing opportunities for food, fashion, and fuel companies to source low-carbon agricultural feedstocks to reduce their carbon footprints.  Chris led the creation of Indigo’s Source offering, which ties sustainability into the supply chain, and now oversees Source strategy & partnerships.  He was previously a leader in Indigo’s Innovation group, where led a cross-functional team in creating new ways to use geospatial technology to capture and create value from agricultural field data.  Prior to joining Indigo, Chris served as the VP of Strategy & Corporate Development for Groundtruth, which he helped grow into the largest geospatial marketing company via organic growth and acquisitions.  He was previously a strategy consultant and project leader at The Boston Consulting Group.  Chris sits on the board of KWG (a CPG ad agency) and is an advisor for Geospatial Alpha (a geospatial VC firm).  Chris received an MBA from Dartmouth College and a BS from Miami University. 

Panelist:The Next Generation of U.S. GHG Markets

Owner, Bar 20 Dairy

Steve Shehadey

Bio coming soon.

Panelist:The Next Generation of U.S. GHG Markets

Co-Founder and VP of Partner Development, Merge Impact

Beth Robertson-Martin

Beth Robertson-Marti co-founded Merge Impact, the first and only blockchain-powered agricultural measurement and data solution to connect brands to fully verified regenerative and organic supply chains. She has a particular focus on developing deep industry relationships to create new alliances and break down barriers. She has extensive experience building strong relationships with suppliers, manufacturers, and farmers. Beth’s commitment to creating a more sustainable food system stems from her early years of growing up on an organic farm in Southeastern Missouri. Before moving into procurement, she developed risk management strategies and portfolio management techniques in the financial industry. Beth also led the organic and non-GMO sourcing group at General Mills. She has an MS and BS from Washington University in St. Louis.

Panelist:The Next Generation of U.S. GHG Markets

Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company

Nick Kosturos

Nick Kosturos is an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company based in New York City, where he helps global cross-sector clients transform their cybersecurity capabilities to accelerate their mission and protect their purpose. Nick has built and scaled McKinsey’s capabilities as a recognized industry leader in Global Cybersecurity Consulting and is passionate about helping clients address complex challenges related to cybersecurity strategy and transformation, security operations, cyber crisis readiness/response, and cyber risk culture.

Speaker:Futureproofing Cybersecurity in the Dairy Industry

Cyber Expert, McKinsey & Company

Kathleen Li

Kathleen Li is an Cyber Expert with McKinsey & Company’s New York office. As a leader in McKinsey’s global cybersecurity practice, Kathleen is passionate about supporting clients in understanding and transforming their technology & product risk into competitive advantages using a wealth of deep cyber and digital transformation experience. Over the last few years, Kathleen supported numerous organizations on secure product and cyber transformations.

Speaker:Futureproofing Cybersecurity in the Dairy Industry

Cyber Expert, McKinsey & Company

Peter Russell

Peter Russell is a Cyber Expert with McKinsey & Company’s global Cyber Practice based out of the New York Office. Peter focuses on market growth, product strategy, new business building, and technology risk topics with an emphasis on cybersecurity, He serves providers, investors, and enterprises across topics. Peter co-leads delivery of the Cyber Market Map, McKinsey’s proprietary asset detailing the cybersecurity market landscape, and of the Cyber Threat Snapshot, McKinsey’s rapid cyber threat intelligence and due diligence tool.

Speaker:Futureproofing Cybersecurity in the Dairy Industry

Mandiant Consulting

Chris Linklater

Chris Linklater is a highly experienced cybersecurity consultant with over 20 years of experience between Enterprise Security and Infrastructure. He has a proven track record of success in leading and delivering complex projects, and is recognized for his deep technical expertise, strategic thinking, and ability to build and lead high-performing teams. In his current role at Mandiant, Mr. Linklater leads the Incident Response Remediation Function globally. In this role, he is responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to help organizations respond to and remediate cybersecurity incidents. He is also responsible for building and managing a team of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals.

Prior to joining Mandiant, Chris held technology leadership positions at the Target Corporation and Epiq Global. At Target, he led IT Architecture, Engineering and Operations teams. At Epiq Global, he was responsible for the global infrastructure of the largest eDiscovery provider in the world. Mr. Linklater holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Kansas State University.

Speaker:Futureproofing Cybersecurity in the Dairy Industry

Former General Mills Supply Chain and Transformation Officer

John Church

John Church is the Founder and Principal of John Church Advisory Services, LLC. He provides consulting and advising services on operational effectiveness, business and digital transformation, M&A assessments, and senior executive coaching. A partial client list includes Kimberly Clark, Allina Health, and Chick-fil-A. He leads within the supply chain profession as a member of Gartner’s Executive Advisory Board and as a member of The Visibility Council, a C-suite group focused on leading digital transformation. 

Church retired from General Mills, Inc. in 2022 as Chief Transformation and Business Services Officer after a 33-year career. In this role, he led the company-wide transformation to improve the GMI’s agility, reduce costs and provide investment in data and technology. Prior to this role, Church was Chief Supply Chain Officer for 13 years with global responsibility for procurement, logistics/planning, manufacturing, engineering, as well as human/food safety and ESG. As this role expanded, he additionally led the company’s shared services, IT, and security functions. Previously, he led that integration of the Pillsbury Company after acquisition and held leadership roles in manufacturing operations and R&D. 

John is a Board Member of Allina Health (MN), serving as Chairman from 2015 – 2018. He is also an independent board member for EverAg, a software company focused on connecting and empowering partners in the food supply chain. He served as board member and the lead director of Cereal Partners Worldwide, a joint venture of General Mills and Nestle, and as lead director of the board of Yoplait, S. A., a joint venture of General Mills and Groupe Sodiaal. Previously, Church has chaired Boards at The Courage Center (MN) and the Newton County Community Partnership (GA) 

Church holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. He resides in Wayzata, MN with his wife Klerissa, and has four children.  

Fireside Chat:DairyTech 2023 Reflections from a Supply Chain and ESG Innovator

President, AgriTech Capital

Aidan Connolly

Aidan is President of AgriTech Capital, a resource for new and established companies working at the interface of agriculture and technology.

AgriTech Capital has aided governments, fortune 500 food companies and large agri-businesses on their AgTech strategy.

Previously, Aidan was CEO of Cainthus, a computer vision and artificial intelligence company specialised in monitoring key farm management practices that impact nutrition, health and the behaviour of livestock.
Prior to that, Aidan held the position of CIO at Alltech. With 30 years of experience in strategic analysis and planning, Aidan adds the innovative thinking and capital investment needed to go from possibility to reality.

Aidan is a principle at Kincannon Reed, the world’s leading food and agribusiness executive search company and is also a Senior Advisor at McKinseys.

He has a strategic understanding of the marketplace and the regulatory parameters that set the environment.

Aidan has worked in over 100 countries and speaks five languages. He has worked in political associations, with state and national governments in the US, China, Europe and Brazil, international organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations.

Aidan also contributes to a wide range of publications in agriculture and business, including Forbes.

Fireside Chat:DairyTech 2023 Reflections from a Supply Chain and ESG Innovator

And more! See the agenda below for additional speakers.

Day 1 – Wednesday, October 23

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1:30pm - 3:00pm

Optional Tour

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3:30pm – 4:00pm

Opening Session

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4:00pm – 5:00pm

Keynote

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5:00pm – 5:30pm

AI 101 Primer

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6:00pm – 7:00pm

Welcome Reception

Day 2 – Thursday, October 24

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7:30am – 8:00am

Networking Breakfast

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8:00am – 8:45am

AI Application in Dairy Processing Plants

This session will highlight how artificial intelligence is driving sustainability initiatives across various aspects of dairy operations. Presentations will cover AI applications in energy management, waste reduction, water conservation, and carbon footprint optimization within dairy production facilities. Attendees will learn about innovative AI-driven approaches to minimize environmental impact, comply with regulatory standards, and meet consumer demand for ethically sourced and environmentally responsible dairy products.

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8:45am – 9:30am

Sustainable Practices Through AI Implementation in Dairy

This session will highlight how artificial intelligence is driving sustainability initiatives across various aspects of dairy operations. Presentations will cover AI applications in energy management, waste reduction, water conservation, and carbon footprint optimization within dairy production facilities. Attendees will learn about innovative AI-driven approaches to minimize environmental impact, comply with regulatory standards, and meet consumer demand for ethically sourced and environmentally responsible dairy products.

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9:30am – 10:15am

Breakout Roundtables

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10:15am – 10:45am

Networking Break

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10:45am – 11:30am

Leveraging AI for Corporate Use in Dairy Companies

In this session, attendees will discover how AI is reshaping human resources management and marketing strategies within dairy companies. Speakers will delve into AI-driven recruitment and talent acquisition strategies, workforce optimization, performance management systems, and employee training programs. Practical insights will be shared on how AI tools can help dairy businesses in talent retention, skill development, and fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Industry experts will discuss the use of AI in consumer behavior analysis, personalized marketing campaigns, product recommendations, and social media engagement. Attendees will gain insights into leveraging AI algorithms to understand consumer preferences, target specific demographics effectively, and drive brand loyalty and sales growth in the competitive dairy market landscape.
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11:30am – 12:15pm

Breakout Roundtables

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12:15pm – 1:15pm

Networking Lunch

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1:30pm – 2:15pm

AI-driven Supply Chain Optimization in the Dairy Industry

This session will focus on the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on dairy supply chains. Participants will learn about AI-powered demand forecasting, inventory management, logistics optimization, and supplier relationship management. Real-world examples will demonstrate how AI technologies enable dairy companies to achieve greater agility, reduce costs, minimize stockouts, and ensure product freshness while navigating complex supply chain challenges.
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2:15pm – 3:00pm

Looking towards the future

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3:00pm – 3:30pm

Closing Remarks

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