Six tidal shifts and game changers in African Agriculture | Heartland Global


What has created the dramatic shift in the last six years in Africa’s Agriculture? Here are some of the key tidal shifts and game changers creating change and a uniquely African farm revolution. 

2008-09 Food and Fuel Price,  and Availability Crises

Increasing import cost and reduced import reliability
Food shortages caused political instability
Reliance on imports unsustainable

Rising local Private Sector and Foreign Direct Investment

Wave of new internal and external investment for food value chains.
Government commitments and incentives support agriculture as the engine for growth
Donor support for private sector growth and ag infrastructure

Rapid Rise of African Cities, and ICT’s

Changing consumption patterns
Consumption diversity, ease of use, branded foods
More meat, dairy, eggs, vegetables
Quality as well as quantity increases.
Revolutionary changes in information technology and mobile banking

Increasing Democracy, Relative Stability and Political Will

AU, NEPAD, CAADP, Regional Economic Blocks
Shift from donor dependency to self-driven national policy
Commitments to agriculture as the engine for growth
Region wide regulatory harmonization efforts free up trade

Increasing Wealth and Rapid Economic Growth

Increasing disposable incomes from national growth
Remittances and returning educated and experienced business managers.
Rapid rise of middle class (now more than 34%)
Reduction in extreme poverty

Potential for Africa as a Global food basket

Export potential to BRICS
Fresh product to Europe, Middle East, China, India.
Internal and Regional urban markets.

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email

David Neuwirth, Partner

David Neuwirth

David Neuwirth

David Neuwirth is a proven, senior level executive with over 40 years demonstrated success in the consumer and business to business marketplaces.

Focusing primarily on the global and domestic food, agricultural, and nutrition industries, David Neuwirth’s specialty is strategic planning and positioning, strategic marketing, and product/market/business development.

In his numerous consulting positions, Mr. Neuwirth has successfully accomplished P&L growth for his clients in all aspects of their businesses including marketing, sales, product development/R&D, strategic positioning, acquisitions/mergers, operations, and human resources.

Mr. Neuwirth has also held senior management positions within the food/nutrition and service industries, including Executive Director of Novus Nutrition Brands LLC, where he initiated and grew three new global business units for Novus International. Neuwirth’s other senior positions have been with Procter & Gamble, Holiday Inns Inc., Ralston Purina, and Protein Technologies International. Within these companies, he led task forces to set corporate direction, led corporate growth efforts, accomplished divisional turnarounds, addressed business effectiveness, evaluated and initiated appropriate technologies, acquisitions and partnerships, and identified, developed, and launched new products, markets, and businesses worldwide.

Mr. Neuwirth holds an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering and a graduate MBA degree in Marketing.

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email

Heartland Global CEO calls for strengthened African seed companies and associations

May 9, 2013 

At a World Bank-sponsored seed systems seminar in Washington, DC on May 2, Lloyd Le Page, CEO of Iowa-based Heartland Global, Inc., described the importance of providing African farmers with a more reliable source of locally adapted seed through strong African seed businesses, represented by robust national and regional seed industry groups such as the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA).  The private sector has been key to improving diversity and availability of new varieties, and would benefit from a more enabling policy and business environment. Efforts should include incentives and flexible financing products that support the nascent African seed sector. In comparison, India’s seed industry has flourished under policy and regulatory reforms in the 1980’s and 90’s that made way for a more competitive environment, and changed national government’s role from a competitor to an enabler.

AFSTA, a membership body representing 26 national seed associations and over 84 seed company and stakeholder members, has a long record of sustained, on-the-ground presence in addressing seed issues through its member associations, as well as directly with regional and international actors.  Speaking on behalf of the AFSTA Secretary General, Mr. Le Page outlined the current challenges and constraints inhibiting successful growth of the seed industry. Obstacles identified by member seed associations in an EU-funded national stakeholder dialogue included lack of effective implementation of existing regional seed regulatory harmonization agreements, seed technical and business management capacity, access to capital, and lack of coordination among donor and country seed initiatives, among others.  Participants stressed the need to continue pursuing reforms on seed policy, laws and the implementation of regulations that enable the flow of germplasm across borders and along African agro-ecozones. Mr. Le Page noted that solutions are emerging through a public-private partnership between the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and AFSTA, known as the Alliance for the Seed Industry in East and Southern Africa (ASIESA), designed with USAID support, and now seeking funding from donors and partners.

During the May 2 seminar, seed specialists and representatives from the  World Bank Group, as well as other actors from USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationCGIARFAOAGRA, and African and Indian private sector, civil society and land grant universities discussed the types of interventions, opportunities and challenges that exist in Africa’s seed sector. According to representatives present, the World Bank Group contributed more than US$500 million to the seed sector between 2007-2012, but this largely went to public initiatives, and there was a need to improve on outcomes.  The majority of World Bank’s global seed interventions have gone toward Africa, especially in the form of emergency lending to the public sector post the 2008 food crises.

Human capacity within seed companies, the associations that represent them, and government seed regulatory authorities are also critical to a healthy seed sector.  Although training breeders is a critical need, other business and production related training is just as important in the sector. Partnerships in the distribution chain such as local distributors and agro-dealer networks, as well as demonstrations with customers, are critical in improving supply and demand for high quality seed. Community-based seed production has a role in areas and crops that are under-served by seed companies at present, and innovative partnerships with these systems as part of commercial supply chains could provide a win-win situation for all.

Concluding his remarks, Mr. Le Page delivered a message from the Nairobi-based Secretary General, Mr. Justin Rakotoaris​aona, calling  upon seed actors across all sectors to come together to support the industry across the continent, and to develop rational business-led strategies around these recommendations. AFSTA is recognized by the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and COMESA as the apex seed industry organization and is well positioned to play a leading role in coordinating efforts in the sector.

Click here to see the full outline of Mr. Le Page’s presentation.


Heartland Global, Inc. is a community development business headquartered in Iowa, USA and with operations in Africa and Asia. Heartland Global’s vision is to deliver value-chain and technology innovations that provide lasting economic and livelihood growth, helping communities solve their own needs sustainably. Heartland Global’s activities focus primarily on farming, agri-business and food value chain investments and creating business to business relationships.  

Editors Note:Heartland Global, Inc.

Heartland Global actively seeks the best seed solutions for our customers, and we believe in the critical need for collaboration at all levels to ensure that companies and farmers have access to the right seeds for their environment.  To that end, we foster innovative partnerships that have the ability to accelerate the development and delivery of improved seed technology and locally adapted products.  We also conduct local trials, demonstrations and analysis to ensure the value of the solutions we provide to our clients.  In sum, we believe that seed innovation and technology delivery must be supported by holistic solutions that provide knowledge in use, improved market access and ongoing support which go beyond a single project’s lifespan.

For more information on Heartland Global, Inc. go to

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email

Heartland Global Gender In Agriculture Series: Finding Monica

“Monica was a street hawker, and a very good one too.  During a walk on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, I discovered just how good she was: I handed over money to purchase a flashlight she was selling, despite my own perfectly functioning flashlight being in the bag I was carrying on that very walk.  So I immediately I asked her to work with me.  Monica was just what I needed to convince farmers to try research outputs.  And I knew that once these new innovations were tried, the results would speak for themselves.”

World Bank women in marketCurt Carnemark, The World Bank

My friend Paul Seward (the ever unassuming CEO of Farm Inputs Promotion Scheme) once told me this story, and its profound implications have stuck with me.  It turns out that in his efforts to get farm inputs from the labs and warehouses of researchers and innovation providers, to the fields of farmers, Paul had encountered more resistance than anticipated.  His efforts revealed a simple truth: Approximately half the farmers he encountered were women; however, this critical mass of women farmers did not have the same access to information, resources and decision-making opportunities as men.  Furthermore, Paul often found that the women’s husbands did not take well to their wives spending time buying farm inputs and receiving information from male stockists (retail outlet owners).  In the face of these dual barriers – gender inequality and farmers’ reluctance to try new methods – Paul decided something needed to be done.

So he began to recruit women and provide them with the resources to become farm-input stockists.  He decided to target women who served as the heads of their households and women who were already well trusted in the community.  He focused on giving them the support and training necessary to fully establish themselves in their new roles as stockists, and he also encouraged them to utilise opportunities for marketing new farm inputs to reluctant farmers.  For example, market days – when women were already gathered en masse to buy and sell goods – proved to be an ideal opportunity for the women stockists to pitch new inputs to a “captive” audience; they had a good excuse to be at the market, and had time to discuss the farm inputs on sale.  

Similarly, working with primary schools enabled girls as well as boys to see firsthand, and at a young age, the benefits of improved varieties and agronomy.  In some cases, self-pollinating crops provided an ideal opportunity for women with limited resources to benefit from research: Through a “seed loan,” the women received improved vegetable seed, which they then could plant and watch flourish.  They then then “paid it back” with the seed reaped from these harvests.

None of this was rocket science, it just required attention: A team sitting down with and listening to women farmers and stockists, identifying the issues inhibiting women farmers’ participation and decision-making ability, and then brainstorming simple solutions for how these issues could be addressed. 

And then, of course, the most critical factor was identifying the Monicas – those female leaders who have the ability and drive to get the work done on the ground. Part of Paul’s success at FIPS was identifying where his organization needed to focus on working with women, then backing this up by partnering with the individuals who would be able to successfully do something about it.


Our Gender in Agriculture Series is written by Heartland Global partner Dr. Andrew Ward.  Heartland Global’s vision is to deliver value-chain and technology innovations that provide lasting economic and livelihood growth, helping communities solve their own needs sustainably.

For more information on Heartland Global, Inc. see

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email

Inspiring a new generation of farmers and ag-professionals critical to meet future food needs

Heartland Global, Inc. President & CEO Lloyd Le Page examines what we can do to ensure that the next generation of farmers, agri-business professionals and agricultural policy makers will successfully rise to the challenge of feeding the world in the 21st century.

World Food Prize Global Youth Institute - Adam in Mexico
Students learning firsthand how to conduct agricultural lab and field research
in Peru (left) and Mexico (right), as interns in the World Food Prize youth programs.
Photos courtesy of the World Food Prize Foundation

The year I was born, the population on the planet was around 3 billion, Israel was in a fight for survival with its neighbors, and John McCain was shot down over Vietnam. Some things don’t seem to have changed much, but farmers now feed an additional 4 billion consumers annually.

In roughly the same amount of time, children born in 2013 will have grown up to become middle-aged farmers, agricultural researchers, policy makers, or be in the middle of their agriculturally based careers. By 2050, farmers will need to increase food production by over 70% to feed an additional 2 billion increasingly urban and affluent consumers, with larger quantities, better quality and more diverse food. This heightened demand will include greater amounts of easy-to-prepare and pre-packaged foods, meat, poultry and dairy products.

By 2050,

farmers will need to
increase food production

by over 70%.

The good news is that if we apply our minds, food needs can be met. Increasing the rate of growth in crop productivity, improving resource efficiency, and reducing environmental impact are key elements of the solution. However, to do this we must educate and enthuse current and future generations to stay in agriculturally related jobs.  One might think that, presented with these challenges and the resulting opportunities, children and youth of farmers around the world would have the same passion and excitement that many of us feel working in agriculture today. However, the evidence seems to show a different story.

Regardless of whether one is involved in agriculture in Iowa, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast or Italy, it is clear that children of farmers are leaving rural farming-areas to seek employment in other sectors. As a result, the average age of farmers seems to be increasing. Data from Canada, Nigeria, Thailand and China seems to support this hypothesis.  There is local variation and the data correlates somewhat with the success of family planning programs, where smaller families leave fewer family successors to takeover farming activities when the oldest children move to the cities for education and jobs.

So how do we ensure that a new generation rises to meet the challenges facing our global food supply? I believe there are three priority areas that must be addressed if we are to ensure a successful new generation of farmers, agri-business professionals and agricultural policy makers.

First, we must change negative perceptions – among farm youth and the public alike – that see farming as an undervalued and somewhat demised occupation. The drudgery of hand labor and long hours, compounded by unpredictable incomes, drives many away. Public policy, education curriculum and public relations efforts must focus on changing these perceptions, to recognize and elevate the role of agriculture as an engine for economic growth. Government programs should provide opportunities for youth to work “smarter not harder.” Improved access to finance, locally adapted inputs, tools such as mobile phone apps, and appropriate farm mechanization should be emphasized, allowing farmers to become more productive, and to focus on the business of farming. Promising young farmers want to be recognized as entrepreneurs, and to participate in viable business ventures at the farm and community level. They don’t want to be referred to as subsistence farmers or peasant farmers, and given the chance, they want to and can be more productive. Unfortunately, most current government programs and well-meaning hand-outs, while appropriate in the most extreme relief and recovery situations, do little to help with changing these perceptions. Farmers who have viable incomes and secure ownership of their farms can and should be our leading stewards of both cropland and the surrounding environment.

young farmers

want to be recognized as


Second, farmers and their children must be able to capture real business opportunities through increased productivity. For example, innovations such as producer companies, contract service provision, rural value-adding and processing enterprise are important aspects of improving rural livelihoods. Heartland Global, Inc.’s vision is to develop thousands of these rural and small-farm enterprises, providing incomes for hundreds of thousands of farm youth, particularly in Africa and Asia.  Providing meaningful opportunities and incentives for youth to improve inputs, tools and technology, as well as strengthen their agri-business skills, will increase pride in their careers and in the role they play in the national economy. Youth clubs, ‘future farmer’ programs, 4-H (now operating in over 80 countries) and others such as the YPARDAIARD Future Leaders Forum, and the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute play a critical role by allowing young farmers and future agricultural research and business leaders to meet, interact with and learn from peers.

In addition, policy makers and agricultural leaders today must work more aggressively to ensure youth have the opportunity to actively and meaningfully participate in food value-chains.  Policy makers must strive to gain a better understanding of youth’s current and future needs, dreams and aspirations. Doing so not only raises young agriculturalists’ own pride in their important role, it will also provide better insight, innovation and long-term sustainability. In short, we must change perceptions among youth and consumers about the role and importance of farmers, not just for food security, but for income security and jobs. And the success of this perception-shift relies on the capacity of farming to be a true business opportunity.  We must help farmers to identify and access more reliable and higher value markets, and to improve cash flow and risk management in the pursuit of improved productivity.

Third, youth must be become critical players in long-term food security solutions, as they are more skilled than their elders at adapting to new innovation and technologies. The future of agriculture is filled with nanotech, biotech, informatics, engineering and whole-plant science. Young farmers will need skills, social insights and diversity of thought as they enter an arena of cultural shifts due to migration, increased information technology use, globalization and changing food consumption patterns. In addition, consumers are increasingly driving moves toward farm-to-fork traceability, expanded environmental awareness, and socio-cultural accountability for producers.


is a 


Methodology and processes that have worked in the past may no longer apply, as the world faces new and emerging challenges in dealing with scarce food, water and land resources. Farmers born today will need to face climate change’s projected temperature increases and unpredictable variations in weather patterns, and the resulting shifts in weed, pest and disease pressures.  Projected industrial uses of crops will bring additional market demands, and farmers will need to supply these demands with the same or less cropland, water and energy use. Both farmers and consumers will face the additional burden of efficiently managing postharvest loss and waste reduction. Tensions are already rising as new cropland development encroaches into more marginal or environmentally sensitive areas at the boundaries between farmland, forests and wildlife.

I’m convinced that given the chance, youth will rise to the occasion of solving future food needs. To move from subsistence to the business of farming, agricultural youth will need to be heard and engaged, not just on an artificial level, but in very real terms. In development activities and in business, it is critical to give meaningful – and, perhaps most importantly, measurable – attention to input from youth. Farming is a long-term investment and to be part of the solution, youth must become passionate about their role, and they must begin to take ownership today.

World Food Prize Global Youth Institute - Danika & Farmers in India

Lloyd Le Page is President and CEO of Heartland Global, Inc., whose mission is to deliver value-chain and technology innovations that provide lasting economic and livelihood growth, helping communities solve their own needs sustainably. Mr. Le Page’s career includes over 23 years management experience in farming, agribusiness, high value horticulture and rural development in Africa, Asia and the US.

This commentary originally appeared on The Chicago Council on Global Affairs blog, Global Food For Thought.

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email

Gender in Agriculture: Involving both men and women critical in changing misconceptions

Woman smiling ChinaWorld Bank Photo Collection
© Curt Carnemark, World Bank

Gender in Agriculture: Involving both men and women critical in changing misconceptions

We live in a world of stereotypes and misconceptions. So much potential for agricultural improvement in developing countries is not met because the roles of women, and the access and control that women have (or more importantly don’t have) is not understood. It is often assumed that women will benefit directly from a development initiative or that benefits will automatically trickle down to them. In reality however, these agricultural innovations and initiatives that bring productivity improvements are not adopted because women don’t, or aren’t able to, engage with the program.  Men may benefit in the short term,  but women and benefits to the family are minimal, and therefore the initiative is short lived as without funding there is no incentive to ‘include women’ and it is not accepted beyond the life of the initiative.

Interestingly there are other misconceptions and assumptions affecting gender. When you think of a gender expert most people think of a woman and are surprised when a man arrives. My career has included additional specialized gender training because I felt that for men to realize the need to change their behavior, they are more likely to listen to a man. This links to another misconception that gender is the same as feminism, women’s empowerment, men’s dis-empowerment.  Many men therefore are ‘turned off’ from considering gender because they perceive it to be a threat.

Sometimes we get so certain of gender stereotypes that we forget to thoroughly  understand the actual situation in the specific community. During the 1990′s I worked in Central Nigeria for a non-profit organisation. In the neighboring state there was a development project and we occasionally attended their meetings. In one, a gender ‘expert’ berated an extension worker who had reported that the women did not really farm, they just kept a garden close to the house. Instead of understand the specifics of the community, the ‘expert’ lectured the extension worker on how much of the farm work in Africa was done by women, and that clearly the extension worker had introduced male bias into his assessment. In many cases the ‘expert’ would have been right, but in this case the extension worker represented an area where the women were great traders and would buy from male farmers to sell produce throughout the country. The women in that community did not have time to travel to the farms but keep gardens close to their houses which can be managed by others if they are away. 

Maybe I was lucky, my boss at the time was a woman who was very successful at communicating with men. When it came to gender issues she would sit down and drink palm wine with the men and then ask questions to the group. This stimulated a discussion on how providing their women with greater opportunities would be of benefit to all in the family.

I learnt a lot, but maybe the important lesson was not to assume – not to assume that women will benefit, but also not to assume that there is a blue print with certain skill requirements to bring about gender change. 

I would be interested to hear the experiences of others.


Our Gender in Agriculture Series is written by Heartland Global partner Dr. Andrew Ward.  Heartland Global’s vision is to deliver value-chain and technology innovations that provide lasting economic and livelihood growth, helping communities solve their own needs sustainably.

 For more information on Heartland Global, Inc. see

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email

Gender in Agriculture: Involving Women Improves Technology Uptake

In my last blog, I concluded mentioning the need to take the time to include the whole community, especially women in planning and implementation of a program. When I thought about this I was reminded of a time when I almost messed up because I thought using the popular participatory research paradigm at the time was critical, I had forgotten to consider factors affecting the community members.

photo credit: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture

I was managing a research project which was supposed to be conducting participatory research through farmer field schools with common beans, which are predominantly planted by women farmers in the Southern Highland of Tanzania. It soon transpired that the research team were not successful in establishing farmer field schools, I demanded to know why ? The research team’s defense was rock solid. When they had first shared their plans for participatory research with the communities, there had been a silence and until one woman spoke up. “Do you realize how busy my day is from dawn until dusk?” she demanded, “I don’t have the time to attend your farmer field schools”.  The once quiet audience erupted in an torrent of support. 

With the problem identified and discussed, it turned out the women did in fact like the idea of the project letting them conduct their own assessment of varieties and practices. The women’s simple solution placing demonstration plots along the path that the women took to collect water every morning. As water collection was a communal and daily activity, the women would be able to observe the plots and discuss what they were observing among themselves, and if the researchers wanted to join them they could also be involved in the discussions. As a result the project was a success and led to the selection and release of the bean variety which was given the kiSwahili name of ‘Urafiki’ (friendship).

Working with more recent initiatives on gender, I have noticed that even small steps, such as dis-aggregating survey and baseline data by men and women, young and old,  can bring about major changes in the success of programs. With information on women in baseline surveys, and by measuring female views and participation, the impact of a change on women can be more easily measured.   Although it might take more effort, and there is no hiding away from the implication or potential changes to the program, women must be considered, and doing so reaps greater rewards.

Returning to Tanzania there is a Masaai saying that summarizes this approach nicely: “The fastest way up a mountain is to zigzag”!


Our Gender in Agriculture Series is written by Heartland Global’s partner, Dr. Andrew Ward.  Heartland Global’s vision is to deliver value-chain and technology innovations that provide lasting economic and livelihood growth, helping communities solve their own needs sustainably.

For more information on Heartland Global, Inc see

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email

Gender in Agriculture Series: An Introduction

photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection 

Fifteen years ago, I observed a European expert asking some questions of a gathering of about 30 farmers in Central Nigeria. The expert had a number of questions to ask, and the answers were not coming quickly as following the translation there was a lot of discussion amongst the community members. The sun was getting hot and one man from the community answered a question in English. Gradually this more efficient method for getting responses was further utilised until he was being asked all of the questions directly. The expert got his answers but the answers were from an eloquent, English-speaking man who was just visiting family in the community rather than representatives of the community, the majority of whom were women.

Women have not benefitted to the same extent as men from agricultural development. FAO estimate that Women farmers typically achieve yields that are 20-30% lower than men#. However, the vast majority of studies suggest that women are just as efficient as men and would achieve the same yields if they had equal access to productive resources and services. Addressing this gender gap would increase total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5-4%, enough to reduce the number of undernourished people in the world by 100-150m. Of course addressing these issues would ensure that future investments in agriculture also have bigger returns.

But how to address them?  Specific gender initiatives and policy influence are required to address cultural, legal and political constraints, but those of us working in agriculture in developing countries, we also have a major contribution to make. To begin with, we need to be clear that gender is all about the relationships between men and women. It should be inclusive of both men and women, it is not something for women by women. I did my gender training because I felt that there are a shortage of male gender experts out there (which is a shame because men are in a stronger position to talk to other men about behavioural change).

Secondly, although it is more work and sometimes harder work, we need to make sure that we are hearing from the whole community, from the men and the women, to ensure that we are considering them and how they will be affected by any changes that we may bring about within a community. I will say a bit more about this in my next blog.

Our Gender in Agriculture Series is written by Heartland Global Partner, Dr. Andrew Ward.  


Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email

Charles Young, Partner

Charles Young

Charles Young

Mr. Young has over 30 years of experience in the seed industry in North America and internationally. His career spans hands-on agronomy and supply chains, through plant management and strategic business leadership. In the US he has managed operations in Iowa and Illinois where he managed seed production facilities and out-growers for Maize, Soy and other crops ensure production was reliable, and quality met customer demand. Facilities operation included drying, cold-storage, conditioning, grading, treatment, packaging and logistics.

Mr. Young was regional supply manager in the southern cone of Africa for DuPont Pioneer where he represented Pioneer’s supply management operations on the regional and country management teams along with research, marketing and finance resulting in a successful business models in South Africa, Zimbabwe and East Africa. He was responsible for plant and field operations for both commercial and foundation seed, and was heavily engaged in sales-demand planning with research, production and business teams, as well as the movement of seed. His seed management experience includes training teams in process management, SixSigma, LEAN, ISO and safety health and environment aspects. His role included working with African out-grower systems, seed dealers to resolve customer issues, working with phytosanitary and trade officials, evaluating inbred and variety trials and quality management and seed testing. Young was responsible for planning and negotiating capital expansion projects in Pioneer’s property for a facility expansion in South Africa. In 2012, Young co-led an independent assessment of the Tanzanian Seed Value Chain researching the seed market needs and identifiable gaps in the industry.

In his current role, Mr. Young leads the development and delivery the Biofuels curriculum at Carl Sandburg College in Illinois where he serves on the faculty as the Coordinator and Instructor. Young networks with commercial biofuels producers and farmers to share the benefits and motivating factors for their industry involvement in the curriculum and the collegiate vision for success. Mr. Young earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy at Iowa State University and continues to have family farm connections in Iowa. He is a trained ISO auditor, has been trained in LEAN, Six Sigma and DuPont’s world renowned SHE management systems.

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email

Brian Foster, Senior Partner

Brian Foster

Brian Foster

Mr. Brian Foster has over 25 years experience in farming and international agribusiness, as well as donor contracting in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Mr. Foster managed DuPont Pioneers seed businesses in Bulgaria and Ukraine, and now provides consulting services in agricultural production and farm management, marketing, business strategy and planning to clients around the world.

In the US, Mr. Foster provides business development and agricultural policy advice to clients in the livestock and meat industries. His clients include the two largest family-owned pork producers and business operations in the United States, Christensen Farms of Minnesota and The Maschhoffs of Illinois, as well as the country’s largest producer-owned pork processing company, Triumph Foods of St. Joseph, Missouri.

Mr. Foster is a farmer himself, managing the family’s farming operations in Iowa include crop production of corn, soybeans, pastures and alfalfa production, beef cattle feeding and the implementation of numerous soil and water conservation measures including no-till and strip-till. Brian grew up on a dairy farm in northeast Iowa.

His education includes a Master’s Degree in Agronomy from Iowa State University and an MBA from Purdue. Mr. Foster served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, providing technical assistance services to dairy farmers – he speaks fluent Spanish.

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInPinterestShare via email