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Northern Ag Network Coverage
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2016 Annual Meeting Speakers
Photographer Jim Richardson
Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic Magazine and a contributing editor for its sister publication, TRAVELER Magazine. Richardson has photographed more than 30 stories for National Geographic.
Richardson’s work takes him around the world, from the tops of volcanic peaks to below the surface of swamps and wetlands. ABC News Nightline produced a story about the long process of assembling a National Geographic coverage by following Richardson in the field and at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.
In addition to his color photography, Richardson has built a distinguished body of black-and-white documentary work about rural Kansas life. His audiovisual presentation, “Reflections From a Wide Spot in the Road,” has toured internationally. A 22-page story about his 30 years of photographing life in the north central Kansas town of Cuba, population 230, was published in National Geographic and featured twice by CBS News Sunday Morning, most recently in May 2004. His 1979 study of adolescence, “High School USA,” is now considered a photo essay classic and is used in college classrooms. He was named Kansan of the Year in 2007 by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.
Richardson speaks nationally and internationally. He lives in Lindsborg, Kansas, where his work is featured at his gallery, Small World, on Lindsborg’s Main Street.
Change Management Consultant Michael Tchong
Innovation and reinvention are recurring themes in Michael Tchong’s talks. He is qualified to speak on these subjects because during his career in advertising, publishing, software, and the internet Mr. Tchong has repeatedly demonstrated a unique ability to ride the latest waves.
As founder of four start-ups, Michael Tchong helped pioneer such sweeping changes as desktop publishing, personal information management, Internet research and online marketing. His ability to identify emerging trends was refined during a career that began at some of Madison Avenue’s most creative ad agencies, including DDB and Chiat/Day, while his start-ups include MacWEEK and ICONOCAST.
Mr. Tchong leverages his expertise in marketing, media and technology to help audiences better grasp how massive waves, dubbed “ubertrends,” are reshaping society. He does this by taking audiences on a spellbinding, roller-coaster tour through the “landscape of now,” revealing a host of opportunities these ubertrends offer.
A change management consultant, Michael Tchong motivates and inspires audiences by exploring innovative cross-disciplinary products and services that leverage market trends. His transformational talks also show how brands are adapting to fast-moving changes in the consumer culture, with special emphasis on the world of social and mobile media.
Congressman Mark Amodei
Congressman Mark Amodei, U.S. Representative for the 2nd District of Nevada, previously served in the Nevada Assembly from 1997 to 1999 and in the Nevada Senate, representing the Capital District, from 1999 to 2010. After public office as state Senator, he served as chairman of the Nevada Republican Party until May 2011, when he stepped down in order to pursue the Republican nomination for Congress.
Amodei attended the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge Law School, where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1983. Amodei served in the U.S. Army as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Assistant Post Judge Advocate. He was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Award. Amodei rose to the rank of captain before receiving an honorable discharge. Congressman Amodei has served as the U.S. Representative for the second congressional district of Nevada since 2011 and sits on the Judiciary and Veterans Affairs Committees.
NRCS Chief Jason Weller
Jason Weller has led NRCS since December 2012. He served as acting chief December 2012 to July 2013. He was selected permanent chief in July 2013. As chief, he oversees programs that help protect the environment, preserve our natural resources and improve agricultural sustainability through voluntary, private-lands conservation. He leads a staff of more than 10,000 employees across the country and manages a budget of about $4 billion.
Before assuming this role, Jason served as NRCS’s acting associate chief for Conservation and as chief of staff where he worked alongside Chief Dave White and the agency’s national and state leaders to plan and implement strategic conservation initiatives and conduct the annual business operations of the agency.
Prior to joining NRCS, Jason served as a staff member for the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture where he provided oversight and crafted bills to fund USDA programs and activities. He also served on the U.S. House Budget Committee where he helped construct the annual congressional budget for agriculture, environment and energy programs. Jason also worked with the White House Office of Management and Budget where he assisted with the development and implementation of the budget for USDA conservation programs.
Before coming to Washington, D.C., Jason worked for several years with the California State Legislature where he provided fiscal and policy recommendations on a variety of natural resource conservation and environmental protection issues.
Jason is a native of northern California. He earned his undergraduate degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. and a graduate degree in public policy from the University of Michigan.
US Forestry Chief Tom Tidwell
Tom Tidwell has spent 38 years in the Forest Service. He has served in a variety of positions at all levels of the agency, including as district ranger, forest supervisor, and legislative affairs specialist in the Washington Office. As deputy regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region, Tom facilitated collaborative approaches to wildland fire management, roadless area management, and other issues. As regional forester for the Northern Region, Tom strongly supported community-based collaboration in the region, finding solutions based on mutual goals and thereby reducing the number of appeals and lawsuits.
In 2009, after being named Chief, Tom set about implementing the Secretary’s vision for America’s forests. Under his leadership, the Forest Service is restoring healthy, resilient forest and grassland ecosystems—ecosystems that can sustain all the benefits that Americans get from their wildlands, including plentiful supplies of clean water, abundant habitat for wildlife and fish, renewable supplies of wood and energy, and more.
Broadcaster Lane Nordlund
Lane Nordlund, born and raised in Central Montana, has been involved in production agriculture his entire life. In high school, when Lane was not team roping or tie-down roping, he was behind the microphone announcing the rodeo. He served as a two-term State President of Business Professionals of America. In addition, Lane had the honor of being elected as the Montana FFA State President and was also National FFA Officer Candidate for the State of Montana.
While attending Montana State University-Bozeman Lane joined the Alpha Gamma Rho agricultural fraternity, served as the College of Agriculture Student Council President, and participated as a Student Development Officer for the MSU Alumni Foundation. He was also a college athlete, but not of the typical fashion. For two years, Lane was MSU’s mascot, Champ the Bobcat. In 2014, Lane earned a degree in Agricultural Education-Relations from Montana State.
Lane started as an intern for the Northern Ag Network while he was in college. After completing his degree, he joined the network team full-time as an agricultural broadcaster. He now holds the title of Associate Ag Director. Lane’s reports can be heard on over 70 radio stations in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. Additionally, TV viewers can see Lane every morning or catch him during the noon hour for live broadcasts consisting of the most informative agricultural news in the region.
You will find Lane anywhere there is a microphone, usually picking his guitar and singing his favorite country music classics.
Lane will be providing radio and television broadcasting coverage of the annual meeting. He will also be our Master of Ceremonies for the Live Auction and the Awards Banquet.