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Speaker Bios

Kevin Pula

Policy Specialist
National Conference of State Legislatures

Kevin Pula is a Policy Specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Transportation Program. In this role, Kevin leads NCSL’s Transportation Funding and Finance policy research efforts and assists state legislatures in related policy matters. He tracks state legislation related to motor fuel taxes, variable-rate gas taxes, alternative fuels and electric vehicles, bonding and transportation appropriations. Read more about Kevin Pula

William Rachal

Chief of Staff
Lousiana Governors Office of Homeland Security

William Rachal is responsible for assisting with all homeland security and emergency and disaster preparedness and response  for the state of Louisiana. The agency coordinates the state’s activities to prepare for – prevent where possible – respond to, recover from and mitigate against emergencies or disaster events. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Rachal served as the senior business development manager at South Louisiana Community College. Read more about William Rachal

Leo Ray

Chief Executive Officer
Fish Breeders of Idaho

Leo Ray, his wife, Judith, and their son Tod built and operate Fish Breeders of Idaho, Inc.; Big Bend Trout, Inc.; and Fish Processors, Inc. They raise channel catfish, blue catfish, tilapia, rainbow trout, sturgeon and aquarium fish on geothermal wells and cold water springs. They process and market the fish they grow. Sturgeon eggs are made into caviar. Read more about Leo Ray

Joe Reardon

Asst. Commissioner
North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture

Mr. Joseph Reardon joined North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services to serve as the Assistant Commissioner for Consumer Protection.  In this role, he will oversee the divisions responsible for food safety, agricultural emergency response, animal health and regulation of the structural pest control industry, pesticide use and various weighing and measuring devices.  Mr. Read more about Joe Reardon

David Rinneard

Agriculture Business Banking
BMO Harris Bank

David Rinneard leading a team of Ag Bankers focusing on BMO Harris’s service to farmers within BMO’s footprint including Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, and Missouri. Read more about David Rinneard

Larry Sherwood

Interstate Renewable Energy Council

Larry Sherwood is the president and CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. He previously served as the council’s  Vice President/COO. Mr. Sherwood also was the author of IREC’s U.S. Solar Market Trends report and editor of IREC’s Small Wind Newsletter. Read more about Larry Sherwood

Lindsey Shute

Executive Director
National Young Farmers Coalition

With a background in organizing and state policy, Lindsey Shute co-founded the National Young Farmers Coalition as a platform for young farmers to have a meaningful influence on the structural obstacles in the way of their success. She speaks across the nation to get farmers and consumers engaged in policy for family farms. In 2014, she was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House. Read more about Lindsey Shute

Mike Steenhoek

Executive Director
Soy Transportation Center

Mike Steenhoek is executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC), an initiative established in 2007 and comprised of the United Soybean Board, the American Soybean Association, and twelve state soybean boards. The Soy Transportation Coalition exists to promote a cost-effective, reliable and competitive transportation system that serves the agriculture industry. Read more about Mike Steenhoek

Mike Strain

Louisiana Department of Agriculture

Dr. Mike Strain was elected to serve as commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry in 2007 and sworn into office in January 2008. Born and raised on a cattle farm in Covington, Dr. Strain was very active in the Future Farmers Association and 4-H. He earned a Ph.D. in veterinary medicine from Louisiana State University. Read more about Mike Strain

Clive Strong

Chief, Natural Resources Division,
Office of Idaho Attorney General

Clive Strong coordinates legal representation for the departments of Agriculture, Environment, Fish and Game, Lands, Parks and Recreation, and Water Resources for the state of Idaho. He served as lead counsel in Idaho Power Company v. State and Idaho Power Company v. Idaho Department of Water Resources, Case No. Read more about Clive Strong