2020 Speakers

Taylor Grussing, M.S.
Fast Forwarding Genetics: The latest in IVF Technology

Taylor Grussing is a Special Projects Manager for Vytelle (Vi-tell-ee), a livestock IVF company headquartered in Hermiston, Oregon with a corporate laboratory in Ames, Iowa. Vytelle provides revolutionary reproductive technology to cattlemen through the use of hormone-free in vitro fertilization (IVF) and proprietary processes advancing the field.

Taylor grew up on a commercial cow/calf operation in South Dakota and earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in animal science from South Dakota State University and Masters of Science from Iowa State University with emphasis on Reproductive Physiology and nutritional interactions on cattle reproductive performance. Prior to joining Vytelle, Taylor was a Cow/Calf Field Specialist for SDSU Extension. She lives in Chamberlain, SD where her and husband, Tyler Grussing, DVM, also employed by Vytelle as an OPU Specialist, raise Red Angus cattle.

Amanda Radke
Ag Advocacy – The Open Letter to Ellen Degeneres

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State Uni-versity with a degree in agricultural communications, education and leadership, Radke served internships with USDA’s Ag Marketing Service in Washington, D.C. and the National Cattle-men’s Beef Association in Denver. Her 2008 summer internship with BEEF magazine led to an ongoing blogger position for the BEEF Daily blog, where she provides timely industry news each week, Monday through Thursday. She’s the 2006 National FFA Extemporaneous Speaking champion and the 2006 National Beef Ambassador. In 2012, she was recognized as a Top 10 Beef Industry Leader by the Cattle Business Weekly was included in Media Industry News’ 2012 Top 15 People To Watch Under 30 list. When she’s not writing or ranching, Radke is traveling the country speaking to agricultural groups about hot industry issues or reading her ranch-inspired children’s books at elementary schools. She married her collegiate meats judging teammate, Tyler, in 2010, and together, they have three children, Scarlett, Thorne and Croix.

Tom Mastrobuoni
Exploring Plant-based Protein Sources

Tom is the Chief Financial Officer of Tyson Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Tyson Foods. Tom has nearly fifteen years of experience in alternative asset management and prior to joining Tyson, held a number of CFO positions at New York investment firms. He received a BS in Accountancy from Villanova University. Tom is a Certified Public Accountant (NY) and holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation from the AICPA. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Erin and their four children, Juliana, Alexis, Patrick and Elisabeth.

Toby Jordan
A 365-day Approach to Managing Toxic Tall Fescue

Toby Jordan co-owns and operates Waukaru Farms with his wife Jodi their four children and brother Mark, which has farmed since 1895 and registered purebred Shorthorn cattle since 1902 in Rensselaer, IN.

Toby received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University. At OSU, Jordan was a member of the 1996 Livestock Judging Team, which was named National Team of the Year. During college, Toby worked for Dr. Brad Morgan, gaining experience at beef and pork packing plants while assisting in grading and retrieval of meat samples from test carcass on numerous research projects. He also assisted the Meats Processing Manager, Jake Nelson, at the then new Oklahoma Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center. After college, Toby was hired as the Show and Sale Cattle Manager at Pollard Farms LLC in Enid, OK, where he was responsible for all production sales, registrations, performance records, and the breeding, buying, and selling decisions at that Angus operation. At Pollard Farms, Toby continued to develop the commercial bull market and designed a “buy-back” program for commercial cattle sired by Pollard Farms bulls in order to collect carcass and performance values on sold progeny and increase demand in future bull sales.

In 2002, Toby returned to Rensselaer, Indiana, to Waukaru Farms to manage the cow herd. Today, Toby and his wife, Jodi, along with their four children, Jack, Chloe, Charlotte, and Jemma, are integral with his family’s operation of 275 purebred cows and 1200 acres of row crops. Jordans host the longest running female production sale in Indiana every fall. In the spring, Waukaru’s “The Gathering” markets 50 bulls throughout Canada and US. The inclusion of ultrasound, carcass data, growth information, and genomically enhanced EPDs have been the reason behind the rapid expansion of this market. Toby’s father Barry credits him with continued development of Waukaru’s bull market and structuring their annual bull sale, which sends bulls into many purebred and commercial herds throughout the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Toby is a solid proponent of continual improvement of cattle with all tools available, including performance data, obtaining carcass data from steer feed-outs to prove his sires, and also honing customer service and marketing savvy. To this end, Toby has been an active participant in regional grazing seminars, and the annual Beef Improvement Federation convention.

Toby currently is a director of the American Shorthorn Association, and president of the Indiana Shorthorn Association. Toby has been a director on the board of the Indiana Forage Council. He was previously named Young Cattleman of the Year by the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, and has represented Indiana on the NCBA Young Cattlemen’s Tour. Toby has been asked to speak about using technology with beef production in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Beef Improvement Federation, and others. Has served on and chaired committees such as the Commercial Marketing Committee for the American Shorthorn Association, International Trade Committee for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Indiana Forage Council, and Indiana Beef Cattle Association. He has judged many state, county and regional cattle shows for several breeds, as well as the Royal National Show in Brisbane, Australia.

Cody Nelson
Building Soil Health with Cows

Cody Nelson Owner of Soil RX Inc. A Cover Crop and Soil Health Consulting company where he helps farms across the Midwest to incorporate cover crops, no-till, and other soil health principles on their farms and ranches. Cody also owns and operates Bar N Cattle Company with his wife Melanie and kids Amelia (11), Coy (6), and Jace (3) where they run 70 cow calf pairs. On their operation they have incorporated a fall and winter grazing of cover crops as well as weaning on cover crops. Cody has been working with cover crops for over 10 years on his farm and how found numerous ways to incorporate them on his west central Minnesota farm.

Aaron Steele
Meat Goats for Pasture, Profit, and Personal Growth

Aaron Steele is the founder and co-owner of Goats On The Go®, a targeted grazing service that
uses meat goats to control weeds and brush on customers’ properties. Lacking land and capital
to move beyond hobby-scale livestock production, Aaron, his wife Nicole, and partners Chad
and Wendy Steenhoek launched Goats On The Go® in 2012 as a supporting structure for farm
growth. The resulting land-light, dual-revenue goat production system is now being duplicated
by a growing network of Goats On The Go® affiliates throughout the United States. Aaron holds
a Bachelor’s degree and MBA from Iowa State University.

Robin Pruisner

Robin Pruisner was appointed the State Entomologist and Bureau Chief of Entomology and Plant Science at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in 2003. Pruisner wears numerous hats in the department including  Ag Security Coordinator, State Seed Control Official, and the newest hat, Iowa Hemp Administrator.

Pruisner is managing the implementation of the Iowa Hemp Act, signed by Governor Reynolds on May 13, 2019. This includes developing a hemp licensing program; establishing hemp sampling and testing protocols; and developing the administrative rules to carry out the provisions of the State Statute and 2018 Farm Bill. Pruisner is intimately familiar with the highs and lows, risks, and nuances of hemp farming in Iowa, 2020.

Raised on a family farm in Grundy County, she currently lives in Central Iowa with her husband (who does work in the beef industry) and five, sometimes six, bee hives.