Speakers 2018

image of Robert HagevortRobert Hagevoort, Associate Professor & Extension Dairy Specialist, New Mexico State University’s Agriculture Science Center at Clovis

Dr. Robert Hagevoort, a native of The Netherlands, is an Associate Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist in the Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources Department of College of Agricultural in the College of Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Tropical Animal Production from the College for Tropical Agriculture (1987) in Deventer, The Netherlands. He received a M.S. degree in Range Nutrition (1989), and a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition (1993) both from Texas A&M University.

Prior to joining New Mexico State University as an Extension Dairy Specialist in November of 2005, Dr. Hagevoort served for over 10 years as an independent dairy management consultant primarily in California’s southern and central Valley. As a an Extension Specialist, he has been working closely with the Dairy Industry in New Mexico and across the Western US regarding many regulatory and environmental issues, and initiated an effort to rebuild a dairy program at NMSU through the formation of the U.S. Dairy Education & Training Consortium (formerly known as the Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium).

A key component of his current research & extension program is the development and implementation of a comprehensive dairy workforce training & safety program.

In March of 2011, Dr. Hagevoort was the first recipient of the Topliff Dairy Chair, a position charged with promoting the visibility of the dairy industry through research, extension and education and which serves as a policy center for regulatory matters.

image of Aerica BjurstromAerica Bjurstrom, Agriculture Agent & Associate Professor, UW-Extension Kewaunee County

Aerica Bjurstrom has served as the Agriculture Agent specializing in dairy and livestock production in Kewaunee and Door Counties since 2007. Aerica worked in sales and marketing in the dairy equipment and artificial insemination industries before joining UW-Extension. With a background in both dairy and meat animals, Aerica incorporates experience and technology into reaching producers across the state. Her primary work focuses on farm management, employee training, cow comfort, and animal health.



Image of Casey DavisCasey Davis, Cattle Procurement Manager, JBS Green Bay

Casey was born and raised on a beef cow/calf operation in Southern Indiana.  As a teenager he worked in local livestock auctions.   The past 12 years he has worked for JBS in the cattle procurement division in multiple areas throughout the United States.  The last 4 years he has been in his current role, managing the cattle buy for the Green Bay facility.  Together with his wife and children they have a small beef farm south of Green Bay.  Having produced livestock, handled it through marketing facilities, and dealt with the end product Casey has a considerable amount of experience and knowledge in how handling and facilities can impact the value of livestock to both the producer and the processor.


Image of Christopher JabobsChristopher (Jake) Jacobs, Market Manager – Bonduel, Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association

Chris Jacobs grew up on a small diversified farm raising cattle and cash crops. After high school he worked in the farm sales and service industry for Patz Equipment for 5 years at which time he took a job working with a local livestock dealer buying and selling all classes of livestock. During his ten years of dealing livestock  pursued a degree in criminal justice and was hired by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture as a Livestock Health Inspector-Investigator. Jacobs worked there regulating diseases in all classes of livestock along with regulating imports, dealers and truckers. After 15 years as an inspector Jacobs was offered a position with Equity Livestock which after a some hard consideration accepted the position and is currently going into his fifth year as Market Manager. Over the course of his career he was able to obtain vast amount of knowledge on all aspects of livestock farming including many training sessions from some of the most renowned livestock handlers and humane investigators in the country plus has made many contacts in the livestock industry.


Image of Kay Johson SmithKay Johnson-Smith, President & CEO, Animal Agriculture Alliance

Kay Johnson Smith is the chief spokesperson leading the national advocacy of the Alliance, supervising its many outreach and education programs in support of American animal agriculture. She serves on a number of strategic agriculture industry coalitions and has provided hundreds of presentations on the opportunities and challenges facing agriculture today.  Johnson-Smith has served the Alliance since 1994, first as Vice President, and later as Executive Vice President. Previously, Johnson-Smith was the Executive Director of the Alliance’s predecessor association, the Animal Industry Foundation.



Image of Sarah Mills LloydSarah Mills-Lloyd, Agriculture Agent & Assistant Professor, UW-Extension, Oconto County

Dr. Sarah Mills-Lloyd joined UW-Extension Oconto County in 2013 as the Agriculture Agent specializing in dairy and livestock. With her veterinarian background and certification in Milk & Dairy Beef Quality Assurance program, Sarah provides educational programs related to animal health and animal husbandry not only in Oconto County, but across Wisconsin.  Sarah incorporates new innovative technologies with university-based research to provide educational and outreach efforts for producers focusing on animal well-being, calf management and transition cow management.



Image of Aaron lavoyAaron LaVoy, Owner of Midwestern Hoof Care, LLC

Owner/operator of Midwestern Hoof Care, LLC, LaVoy has been a professional hoof trimmer since 2004 and serves the very top dairies in Wisconsin.  Prior to starting Midwestern Hoof Care, LLC, LaVoy started his agricultural career working on a 1,000 head custom heifer farm where he learned the priority of quality and animal welfare.  He is a member of the Hoof Trimmers Association and has written articles featured in Progressive Dairyman. With Midwestern Hoof Care provided a professional hoof trimming school, hoof care, and hoof care consulting.



Image of Shelia Harsdorf Sheila Harsdorf, Wisconsin State Secretary of Agriculture

Sheila Harsdorf has represented the Wisconsin State Senate’s 10th District since 2001 and served in leadership roles including majority caucus chair, chair of the Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges, as a member of the Joint Committee on Finance, and as a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism. She previously represented the 30th Assembly District in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1989-1998. She holds a degree in Animal Science from the University of Minnesota.

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