Stephanie Agee is the Director of Marketing and Development at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). In this role, Stephanie directs the Commonwealth’s efforts to promote the sale of Virginia agriculture, food and beverage, and forestry products, both in the U.S. and overseas. With an education and career background in international trade, Stephanie focuses a considerable amount of time on programs and efforts to develop profitable sales opportunities for Virginia producers in markets around the world. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland and is a proud Hokie, having received her bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Political Science from Virginia Tech.
Dr. Robert Holsworth is a managing partner of Decide Smart. He is the team lead for higher education and civic engagement projects. He was the founding director of the Center for Public Policy and the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. He also served as dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences. Holsworth was executive director of the Governor’s Commission on Efficiency and Effectiveness in Virginia State Government, and is a past director of the Virginia Executive Institute, the leading professional development program for state executives in the commonwealth.
Emily has 20 years of experience of restaurant management and business development. She has worked in different Value-Added industries including forestry, agriculture and manufacturing. Emily was hired by Moo Thru in 2015 to help standardize the business and grow the market share. Moo Thru has grown exponentially and is now a registered franchised brand.
Dale Moore is executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. He oversees the strategic direction and all operations of AFBF, as well as the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. He previously served as AFBF’s vice president of Public Affairs and was a former deputy executive director for Public Policy. Moore has 30 years of public policy and communications experience. In 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush as USDA’s chief of staff and served all four individuals appointed as Secretary of Agriculture by the President. Moore grew up in southwest Kansas on a livestock, hay and grain farm.
Janice Person is founder of JPlovesCOTTON LLC and is known for her tweets and blogging about her favorite fiber. She is a fourth-generation city girl from Memphis who was introduced to agriculture in her college years through jobs with agricultural magazines, Custom Applicator and Cotton Farming. She also has worked for a public relations agency in New York, a seed company in Mississippi and the world’s ag biotech leader for Missouri. For the past five years, Person has connected with moms, foodies and millennials sharping how they look at food and farming.
Ken is a fourth-generation dairy farmer who has spent much of his life working in the state dairy industry. He is the Owner-Operator of Cool Lawn Farm & Founder of Moo Thru. Ken is a member of the Ag. and Forestry board in Fauquier county and former director of Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers, he currently serves on their leadership council and has done so since its inception. Ken has served as president of the American Dairy Association of Virginia, he is the current Treasurer of The Dairy Alliance Promotion Board based out of Atlanta Ga. which promotes dairy products throughout the Southeast.
Stephen Versen works for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) where he serves as Manager of the Office of Agriculture and Forestry Development. In this role, he manages the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, oversees the Office of Farmland Preservation, and, in general, provides business and economic development assistance to new and expanding agriculture- and forestry-based businesses in concert with economic development allies and industry partners.
Prior to his eleven years at VDACS, Stephen’s work experiences include the City of Staunton’s Department of Economic Development and the Virginia Main Street program, where he assisted communities with their downtown revitalization efforts. Stephen grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelors of Business Administration (Economics & History Majors), and received his Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives in Richmond with his wife and three children.