2018 Annual Meeting Speakers

Confirmed Speakers

Chad Pregracke
Chad Pregracke is the founder and president of Living Lands and Waters – the nonprofit responsible for over 1,000 community cleanups on 23 rivers in 20 states, removing over 10 million pounds of garbage.

Chad, who was named CNN’s Hero of the Year in 2013, will give the keynote address at Monday’s Leadership Luncheon.


Tom Cassidy
In 2018, Tom will be the president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, an established liaison between farm broadcasters and the agriculture community made up of producers, companies, agencies, and associations like NACD. Tom will serve as the emcee for Monday’s Live Auction and Tuesday’s Appreciation Banquet, and will also moderate the farm bill panel held during Tuesday’s general session.


Tyson Durfey and Shea Fisher
Tyson Durfey is a bona fide rodeo star that has qualified for 10 rodeo national finals, won the Houston Rodeo and “The American,” and been named the 2016 World Champion Tie Down Roper. Tyson and Shea will give the inspirational keynote address during Monday’s General Session.

Shea Fisher is an Australian-born country music singer who will perform at Tuesday evening’s Appreciation Banquet.


Invited Speakers

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
Secretary Perdue was born and raised in Bonaire, Georgia, where his family owned a dairy and diversified row crop operation. He worked as a veterinarian before joining his state legislature as a Senator, and from 2003 to 2011, served as the governor of Georgia. As Agriculture Secretary, Mr. Perdue has promoted the message of responsible land stewardship and the crucial role of conservation districts.


Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke
Tony Tooke was sworn in as the United States Forest Service Chief on September 1, following his role as the regional forester for the Southern Region.

Tooke has worked for the Forest Service since he was 18 years old. Prior to becoming a Regional Forester, he was the associate deputy chief for the National Forest System (NFS), director for Ecosystem Management Coordination, deputy director for Economic Recovery, and assistant director for Forest Management.


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