2022 Speakers

Rob Sharkey

Rob Sharkey, known in digital circles as The SharkFarmer, is not your average Illinois grain farmer. He is unwavering in his ability to directly address controversial topics, ask tough questions and get to the heart of an issue. Rob tackles life, alongside his high school sweetheart, Emily and they have four fantastic kids.

With the hog crash of 98’ in the rearview mirror, an outfitting business thriving, and farming full time, Rob launched the groundbreaking SharkFarmer Podcast.

His authentic interview style that comes from the idea that everyone has an important story to share has resonated with Tens of Thousands of weekly global listeners.

His podcasting success catapulted him onto Sirius XM Radio, where he has a daily show and SharkFarmer Weekend Edition on Saturdays.

His latest venture is the wildly successful SharkFarmer TV show on RFDTV where audiences have demanded Four seasons and counting and a second TV show on WTVP PBS called “A Shot of Ag” with Rob Sharkey……and he’s just getting started.

Dr. Bob Hough
The history of the U.S. beef industry.

Dr. Bob Hough and his wife, Nancy, are retired in Colorado, yet he stays active as an author and speaker. He has the distinction of being the Red Angus Association of America’s (RAAA) longest-serving executive while also being one of the shortest-serving executives at the North American Limousin Foundation. He has managed an Angus operation and served as a state Extension Specialist.

Hough’s writing credits include the books: The History of Red Angus; Breeds of Cattle; Simmental’s American Journey; and Shorthorn and the American Cattle Industry. He authored chapters of the BIF Guidelines and in 1984, wrote the manual, 4-H Livestock Judging. He is also a regular contributor to the Western Livestock Journal, and posts weekly cattle history lessons on social media. He is also a regular guest on the Scottish Podcast Toplines and Takes.

Raised in Pennsylvania, his family moved to their farm when he was in junior high. That is when he knew his life’s work would be with cattle. At various times they cut and sold fence post, raised Polled Herefords, sold hay, milked cows and cropped. He earned the FFA State Farmer award, and holds degrees in Animal Science from Penn State University, University of Connecticut and Virginia Tech. He has coached intercollegiate livestock judging teams and has been recognized as a Distinguished Animal Science Alumni at Penn State and was inducted into the Maine beef producers’ Hall of Fame.

During his tenure at RAAA, the breed grew from outside the top 10 to the 4th largest breed, and he developed the industry’s first USDA’s Process Verified Program. Hough also oversaw Red Angus’ carcass EPD program, negotiated value-based marketing grids, was involved in the design of the industry’s first Total Herd Reporting program, and implemented the industry’s first Reproduction Sire Summary. Hough received the RAAA’s Distinguished Service Award, and was named one of the “50 Most Influential People of Red Angus.”

Hough was one of the creators and the first Chair of the Ultrasound Guidelines Committee. He served as president of U.S. Beef Breeds Council; on the Board of Directors of the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium; and on the Board of Directors of the National Pedigree Livestock Council, and the Board of Directors of the Beef Improvement Federation, which honored him with the BIF Continuous Service and Ambassador Awards.

Hough has been invited to speak at programs in 29 states, four Canadian provinces, and three South American countries. He also served on the management committee for the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest for 24 years; served as Superintendent of Eastern States contest; and as an official at Houston and Louisville intercollegiate judging contests; and has judged livestock shows in 15 states, four Canadian provinces, and Brazil and Paraguay. He has traveled on livestock business to 49 states, nine Canadian provinces, and six South American countries.

Bryce Schumann

Bryce Schumann started working for Vytelle in July 2019 as the director of seedstock sales in North America. Before joining Vytelle, Bryce was the cooperative solutions manager for Thomas Angus Ranch (TAR) where he managed their cooperator network of over 1000 TAR bred females and built relationships within the seedstock industry and marketed cattle through five annual production sales. Prior to his time at Thomas Angus Ranch, Bryce served in many capacities at the American Angus Association (AAA). Over his 15-year tenure at AAA, Bryce climbed his way through the association beginning as the assistant director of feeder packer relations for the Certified Angus Beef program to chief executive officer of the association.

Bryce, his wife, and four kids reside near Lecompton, Kansas. They have a commercial cow/calf operation as well as a registered Hereford operation, Schu-Lar Herefords. This fall “Schu-Lar” will began testing their 14th consecutive bull crop for feed efficiency. “In our first ten years of testing, we have selected cattle that express favorable growth with lower RFIs resulting in a 19 percent improvement in average daily gain and a 25 percent improvement in feed conversion ratio,” said Schumann. Schu-Lar Herefords currently has seven bulls in various stages of testing in the American Hereford Association’s National Reference Sire Program (NRSP) at Olsen Ranches in Harrisburg, Nebraska – a long term Vytelle customer.

Tim Parks

Tim Parks, D.V.M., is a Ruminant Technical Service Manager for Merck Animal Health. Dr. Parks spends most of his time focusing on vaccinology production medicine in the cow/calf and stocker industries. The majority of his time is spent in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Dr. Parks enjoys working with the Veterinary Schools around the country.

Dr. Parks is a 1994 graduate of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After starting his career in Pratt Kansas and then Seneca Kansas, Dr. Parks and his wife, Dyann, purchased a large animal clinic in Holton Kansas in 1998.   In 2000, Heartland Veterinary Clinic, moved into a newly built facility, with a strong focus on cow/calf and stocker cattle. Dr. Parks also performed a large number of orthopedic surgeries in small animals. In June of 2015, Dr. Parks sold his clinic to a young Veterinary couple from Kansas. Dr. Parks is a member of AABP, AVMA, KVMA, NCBA as well as his local and state livestock associations.

Dr. Parks and wife Dyann still live in Holton Kansas.

Ross Havens

Ross joined the Nichols Farms team in 1994 with a wealth of experience in the integrated swine business.

As Nichols’ Marketing Coordinator, much of his time is spent selling bulls and females.  Ross is also responsible for customer service and adding value to their cattle through Nichols Farms’ marketing programs, which include Nichols Genetic Source Feeder Calves, and Nichols Genetic Source Replacement Heifers.

Ross served as President of the Cass County Cattlemen Association, Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. Plus he served as it’s President. Currently he serves on National Cattlemen Beef Board and is a member of the International Marketing Committee.

Ross and his wife Lisa, reside in Atlantic, Iowa.  They enjoy camping in their vintage 1964 Shasta Camper and spending time with their grandchildren.

Tony Latcham

Tony Latcham has a B.S. degree from Iowa State University majoring in Agricultural Business with an area of emphasis in Finance. He has 16 years experience in banking and agricultural finance and 10 years experience owning and operating his own risk management and consulting business. His risk management business consists of offering crop and livestock insurance as well as assisting producers with marketing plan development and execution as well as offering long term financing solutions for producers. Tony also has a row crop and cow calf operation he owns and operates with his family.

Denise Schwab
Using Annual Forages to fill the Grazing Gap

Denise Schwab is a NE Beef Specialist since 2003. She spent 5 years on the state 4-H staff in charge of Ag Programs, and is a Central Iowa Livestock Specialist and Tama County 4-H agent. She lives on a farm north of Belle Plaine.

Jason Wells

Jason Wells graduated from Iowa State University in 1991. He and his wife Stefany have 5 kids and 3 grandchildren. Jason is a shareholder in the family farm, Wells Organic Dairy with his parents. They are starting to work a son into the operation. The operation includes 600 conventional row crop acres, 1,000 acres certified organic, a 140-cow organic dairy utilizing rotational grazing with annuals, cover crops and perennials.

Garland Dahlke
Swath Grazing – A Winter Feeding Strategy

Garland Dahlke is a Wisconsin native, received his bachelors of science degree from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, his master’s degree in animal production and PhD in Ruminant Nutrition from Iowa State University. After graduation, Garland returned to Wisconsin to operate the family dairy farm and work in the feed industry for six years prior to signing on with the Iowa Beef Center where he has been stationed for the past 19 years.

Doug Claussen

Doug has over 25 years of experience working with feed yards, cattle growers and grain companies with extensive knowledge of agriculture as a whole. He provides High Choice Feeders with strategic, operational, and financial leadership. It’s through his leadership and guidance, that High Choice Feeders has continued to grow and prosper.