JoAnn Brouillette, Managing Partner, Demeter LP and Chair, NGFA Board of Directors

Brouillette is managing partner and president of Demeter LP, a privately owned and operated agricultural business for over seven decades in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Since joining the company in 1986, Brouillette held various merchandising and management positions before assuming her current role in 1996.

Brouillette was appointed to the Board of Trustees for Purdue University in July 2006 and serves as chairman of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. She was awarded the AgriVision Award from the State of Indiana in 2010 and appointed to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiation by President George W. Bush in 2003 and again in 2005. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hanover College. Her late father, Donald G. Brouillette, also served from 1984-86 as NGFA’s top elected industry officer.

  Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos represents Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, which spans 7,000 square miles across Northwest and Central Illinois. Now in her fifth term, Congresswoman Bustos is a member of senior Democratic House Leadership. She also serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, the House Agriculture Committee, and is a Co-Chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. In each of these roles, she is a relentless advocate for lifting up Midwestern voices to address the very real economic challenges millions of Americans struggle with at the kitchen table each night.

  Katie Farmer, President and CEO, BNSF 

Katie Farmer was named President and Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 2021; she also leads BNSF’s Board of Directors. Katie has been with BNSF for 28 years, most recently serving as executive vice president and Chief Operations Officer since September 2018, overseeing the entire Operations organization. In that role, Katie led the team responsible for operation of trains and maintenance of track, structures and rolling stock, as well as sourcing, safety and training.

Prior to serving as executive vice president and Chief Operations Officer, Katie served as vice president, Service Design and Transportation Support since July 2017. In this role, she was responsible for the scheduling of railroad operations to meet customer expectations and optimize use of the BNSF network, and leading the service design functions for the Agricultural, Industrial, Consumer Products and Coal business units in addition to Capacity Planning, Joint Facilities, Shortline Development and Passenger Operations.Katie began her career in the railroad industry with the Burlington Northern in 1992 as a management trainee in Fort Worth, Texas. Katie has held a variety of positions in sales and marketing in the Chemical, Plastic and Minerals business units. She has also held positions in finance, customer solutions and network operations. In 1998, after a field sales position in Houston, Texas, she returned to Fort Worth as director, Plastics Marketing. In 2001, she was appointed to general director, Chemical Products Sales. In 2002, she was promoted to the position of assistant vice president, Carload Equipment, supporting the Carload, Agricultural Products and Coal business units. In December 2005, she was named vice president sales, Industrial Products, and in June 2010 was appointed vice president, Domestic Intermodal. Beginning in January 2013, she served as group vice president, Consumer Products.
  Thomas Halverson, President and CEO, CoBank

As CoBank’s president and chief executive officer, Thomas Halverson is responsible for implementing the bank’s strategic and business direction as set by the Board of Directors. Previously, he served as CoBank’s chief banking officer where he was responsible for the bank’s Agribusiness and Rural Infrastructure banking groups as well the Banking Services group and Corporate Communications. Mr. Halverson is the chairman of CoBank’s Management Executive Committee.

Prior to joining CoBank in 2013, Mr. Halverson spent more than 15 years with Goldman Sachs. He was most recently managing director and chief of staff for Goldman Sachs Bank USA, a $120 billion commercial bank subsidiary of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Prior to that he served in a variety of executive positions at the firm, including head of credit risk management for Goldman Sachs in Asia (ex-Japan) and executive director of credit risk management and advisory in London. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. Halverson served as principal credit officer for country risk at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London.

Currently Mr. Halverson serves on the Board of Directors of the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation and is Chairman of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. Mr. Halverson earned a British Marshall Scholarship and completed a doctorate in war studies at King’s College, University of London and is a summa cum laude graduate of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

  David MacLennan, CEO, Cargill

Dave MacLennan has been chief executive officer of Cargill since 2013. He is the 9th CEO since Cargill was founded in 1865. He began his Cargill career in 1991 in the Financial Markets Division, helping establish Cargill’s proprietary financial business in distressed asset investing and trading, serving in that capacity in the Minneapolis and London offices. After serving as Chief Financial Officer of the Financial Markets Division, he moved to Geneva to head Cargill Energy. He also supervised several businesses in Cargill Protein and later, Food Ingredients, before becoming Chief Financial Officer in 2008, and Chief Operating Officer in 2011. Prior to joining Cargill, he began his career as a runner, phone clerk, and risk manager in the futures and securities sector in Chicago, where he learned the financial and commodities trading businesses from the back to front office. He was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and Board of Options Exchange, and later in his career, he was president of fixed income capital markets at USBancorp Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis.

Outside of Cargill, MacLennan serves on the boards of Ecolab, the Minnesota Business Partnership and the Board of Trustees of Amherst College. He has served on the boards of several public companies, and his non-profit board service has included Youth Frontiers and College Possible, in support of his passion for a focus on the needs of under-privileged youth and their access to education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Amherst College and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago.

    Charley Moore, Senior Vice President Agriculture Sales, Trinity Rail

Charley Moore is the Senior Vice President of TrinityRail’s Agriculture business unit and has been with TrinityRail since 2018.  Prior to assuming the Senior Vice President role, Charley led TrinityRail’s Customer Delivery organization and Fleet Management Solutions business.  Before joining TrinityRail, Charley spent 18 years with BNSF Railway where he held increasing leadership roles across the Customer Service, Audit, Equipment Management, and Sales departments.  Charley also taught Supply Chain Management at Texas Christian University for 5 years.

Charley serves as a member of the National Grain Car Counsel and has served on the board for different charities across the state of Arkansas.  Charley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Harding University and an M.B.A. from Texas Christian University. 

  Martin Oberman, Chairman, U.S. Surface Transportation Board

Marty Oberman was sworn in as a Member of the Surface Transportation Board on January 22, 2019. Marty has had an extensive career in both the public and private sectors. His first public position was serving as the first General Counsel to the Illinois Racing Board from 1973 to 1974, where he worked closely with the Board’s chairman to bring long needed reforms to the Illinois horse racing industry. From 1975-1987, Marty served on the Chicago City Council as Alderman of the City’s 43rd Ward where he earned a reputation as a reform leader, committed to promoting transparency in key governing processes while also working to reduce government corruption and profligate spending. Following his departure from the Council, the Mayor of Chicago appointed Marty as Chairman of a special commission to fix Chicago”s eroding shoreline. In 2013, Marty was appointed to the board of Metra, the Chicago region’s commuter railroad, the second largest in the U.S.  In 2014, he was unanimously elected Metra chairman and served until the end of 2016. Most recently, he served on the board of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) until November 2018. Since 1975, Marty also maintained a successful practice in Chicago as both a trial and appellate lawyer. Marty graduated from Yale University and the University of Wisconsin Law School, cum laude, and served as a Note Editor of the Wisconsin Law Review.  He has been married to his wife, Bonnie, since 1971, and has two children, and three grandchildren.  Marty is a native of Springfield, Illinois.

  Jim Perdue, Chairman, Perdue Farms, Inc.

Jim Perdue has been the Chairman and advertising spokesperson of Perdue Farms since 1991. He is the third-generation leader of the company founded by his grandfather in 1920.

Under Jim’s leadership, Perdue Foods has grown from an East Coast-centered label of premium fresh chicken to a national roster of premium protein brands, which includes turkey, pork, beef, and lamb. At the same time, Perdue AgriBusiness went from a regional grain and oilseed business to a multi-faceted international player. His leadership guided Perdue to become a leader in workplace safety and associate health, including innovative wellness programs for which the company received the C. Everett Koop National Health award for innovative employee wellness program. Jim’s commitment to earning consumer trust guided Perdue to become the first major poultry company to move all of its chicken to no-antibiotics-ever protocols. In 2016, Jim announced the Company’s Commitments to Animal Care, a groundbreaking initiative that has transformed Perdue’s approach to raising its chickens. As Chairman, Jim is responsible for ensuring the company stays true to its vision and values, and ensuring that the company continues to build on its strong corporate responsibility programs, especially continued leadership in elevating animal care and strengthening farmer relationships, and a strong focus on associates.

Jim received his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University, a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Massachusetts at South Dartmouth, and a doctorate in fisheries from the University of Washington in Seattle, and his master’s degree in business administration from Salisbury University in Maryland. Jim is a member of the board of the National Chicken Council. He is active in the local community, serving on the boards of the Oyster Recovery Partnership and the Handy Seafood Company, and participating in the Salisbury University’s Perdue School of Business Entrepreneur Program.

  Jeff Schreiner, CEO, Roger LLC

Jeff Schreiner is a progressive, action-oriented executive and entrepreneur recognized as a leading innovator in commodity and related industries. He has extensive experience in strategic development, operations management and customer relationship management. Jeff serves as CEO of Roger, an independent technology solution for the dry bulk freight industry.

Prior to his role at Roger, Jeff served as CIO for The Scoular Company and Ardent Mills, as well as held executive positions at Conagra Foods. Jeff played a key role in the largest merger in flour milling history, leading the teams responsible for bringing together the IT systems and processes of Horizon Milling and ConAgra Mills to form Ardent Mills.  Jeff has led numerous digital business initiatives in risk management, contracting, transportation and finance. He founded and served as president of Continuum Worldwide Corporation, an operational risk management consultancy company and affiliate of Mutual of Omaha, which was later acquired by SCS Holdings Inc.
  Tracy Zea, President & CEO, Waterways Council Inc.

Tracy Zea is President/CEO of Waterways Council, Inc.’s (WCI). WCI is the national trade organization that advocates for a modern, efficient, and reliable inland waterways transportation system while representing more than 165 members. Tracy is responsible for ensuring WCI yearly and long-term goals and objectives are being accomplished while promoting strong public policy for the Nation’s inland waterways transportation system.

Prior to joining WCI, Zea served on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) for five years. During his time on the Committee, he assisted in legislation related to the Environmental Protection Agency, Tennessee Valley Authority, Army Corps of Engineers – Civil works, and played an integral part in the enactment of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014.

Mr. Zea earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from South Dakota State University.