Speaker Bios

Judson armentrout, Commodity Management Coordinator, The Kroger Company.

Judson Armentrout has been with the Kroger Company for the past 10 years.  He has spent the last 6 years building and managing their Case Ready fresh meat network of 17 plants.  These facilities provide Kroger stores across the country with retail ready pork, beef, and grinds.  Judson ArmentroutHis team is responsible for all aspects of the program from inbound raw materials all the way to the finished product quality on shelf.  Prior to his current role, he spent 4 years implementing new procedures across Kroger’s Fresh Supply Chain for cold chain, freshness, quality assurance, and food protection.

He started his career with IBP as an Industrial Engineer in 2000 in Beef Slaughter & Processing. He moved to their Case Ready group in 2002 to 2005.  His work focused on operational improvements and capital project design.  He left Tyson in 2005 to pursue his MBA.  Prior to joining Kroger he worked for FoodLogiQ, a traceability and food safety technology company.  Judson has an BS in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA dual focused on Supply Chain Management and Marketing from the University of North Carolina.



Ben Brown, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Agricultural Risk Management

Ben Brown is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Agricultural Risk Management and he oversees The Farm Management Program in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University. Ben is from Appleton City, Missouri where he grew up on a diversified row crop and cattle operation and was active in 4-H and FFA. Ben received Ben Brownan undergraduate degree from Kansas State University in 2015 in Agricultural Economics and Agronomy. As a student at K-State, he was a student assistant to Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh learning agricultural policy and as a legislative assistant in the Office of the University President under Dr. Sue Peterson. Ben worked closely with K-State’s Research and Extension system and the College of Agriculture to advance policy initiatives that benefited university students and extension patrons as well as involvement with the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility project. He received a Master’s in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Missouri- Columbia where he was a graduate assistant to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI-MU). His area of focus was on current U.S. farm policy with specific work on the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Commodity Programs in the Agricultural Act of 2014.  At Ohio State Ben hopes to create a Farm Management Program that shares knowledge between department faculty, industry, and extension specialist in the areas of Farm Risk Management. Areas of focus include: cooperative management, commodity markets, agricultural policy, farm financial health, land and rent markets, cropping system aids, trade impacts, and taxes.  

Donald L. Davidson, DVM, MS

Dr. Donald Davidson is a 1982 graduate of Ohio State University and the Dairy Science Program located in the Department of Animal Science as well as a 1986 graduate of the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine. He worked for a mixed animal practice in Bellefontaine, OH till 1990. In 1992, he earned a Masters in Integrated Food Animal Management Systems from the University of Illinois. Between 1992 and 2005, Dr. Davidson served in several roles for Corcpork Company, a fully integrated production system owned by Clougherty Packing Company in Los Angles, California as Production Manager, Veterinarian, and General Manager.  In 2005, he served as the Director of Production for Hormel Foods hog operations with 54,000 sows and 1.2 million wean to market pigs annually in California, Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado. Since 2014, Dr. Davidson has served as the hog and turkey grow out manager for Cooper Farms in Ft. Recovery Ohio. The hog division is a producer-partner with the Clemens Food Group in Coldwater, Michigan.

Tim Haab, Professor, AEDE Department Chair, Dean's Chair CFAES Knowledge Exchange

Tim Haab is a professor and Chair of AEDE and was appointed Dean's Chair of CFAES' Knowledge Exchange(KX), a transformative research-based data-driven platform for collection, storage, translation and exchange of CFAES data and research for diverse audiences. His research and teaching focuses on environmental economics, experimental economics, and applied econoDr. Tim Haabmetrics. Dr. Haab’s recent research has looked at the impacts of social norms on common pool resource management, modeling intertemporal decisions, measuring individual discount rates for environmental projects, the consistent modeling of individual welfare across value elicitation methods, and testing the stability of individual preferences in the presence of external stimuli. His recent applied research includes measuring the value of recreational angling in Ohio and Hawaii, measuring the value of oyster reef restoration in the Chesapeake Bay, and measuring consumer preferences for genetically modified foods. He has broad interests in the methodology and econometrics of nonmarket valuation, experimental economics, and applied welfare analysis. Dr. Haab joined the department in 2000 after five years on the faculty at East Carolina University.

Dave Heisler, Owner, Fine Swine, LCC

Dave Heisler is a 1985 graduate of the College of Agriculture at The Ohio State University with a majoDave Heislerr in Agriculture Economics and a minor in Animal Sciences. From 1985 to 2001, he worked as a swine specialist with Ralston Purina, a feed, food and pet food company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Dave purchased his first farm- Pork Champ, a farrow to finish operation, in 1997. Under his leadership, Pork Champ grew to 22,000 sows. Since 2008, he has Owned Fine Swine, LLC, a farrow to wean pig operation with 130 employees and 30,000 sows in 9 locations and headquartered in Hillard, Ohio.  

Ani Katchova, Associate Professor and Farm Income Enhancement Chair

Ani Katchova is Farm Income Enhancement Chair at The Ohio State University and Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. Dr. Ani Katchova  She chairs the Farm Income Enhancement Program and manages a research team of post docs, graduate research assistants, and undergraduate research assistants, conducting research and outreach on U.S. agricultural economics issues.  Her research areas include agricultural finance, agribusiness management and marketing, cooperatives, and applied econometrics. Her research has been published in leading journals such as the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Finance Review, and Agribusiness and has been funded by over $2.3 million in grants. She currently teaches courses in agribusiness finance and has previously taught courses in financial management, applied econometrics and statistics. She currently serves as an Executive Director for the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, a Vice-Chair for the NCERA 210 Cooperatives group, and an editorial board member for Agribusiness: An International Journal.  Previously she served as an associate editor for the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, a chair of the AAEA Economic Statistics and Information Resources Committee, and a chair of the Agricultural Finance Regional Committee.  She was AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Economic Research Service at USDA and received the Bruce Gardner Outstanding Visiting Economist Award. She was also a Fulbright Specialist Scholar in Austria.  She holds the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel.  

Zoë Plakias, Assistant Professor 

Zoë Plakias is interested in all facets of the contemporary food system. She is currently conducting research on agricultural Dr. Zoe Plakiasproducer organizations, direct marketing, farm to institution sales, and patent licensing for horticultural varieties. She also has an interest in cooperatives and has seven years of leadership experience in the consumer-owned cooperative retail grocery sector. Dr. Plakias is a faculty affiliate of the InFACT Discovery Theme and an active member of the STEAM Factory.

Brian Roe is the Van Buren Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State University. Roe attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and was named as part of the 1990 Truman Scholar class. Roe went on to receive a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland. Prior to his employment at Ohio State, Roe worked on policy issues surrounding food safety and health information disclosure as a Staff Fellow at the US Food and Drug Administration in Washington, DC.  Since arriving at Ohio State in 1998, Roe has worked broadly in the areas of agricultural and environmental economics focusing on issues including agricultural marketing, information policy, behavioral economics and product quality. He recently served as an editor for the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, the flagship journal of the Dr. Brian RoeAgricultural and Applied Economics Association, and as the faculty leader of his department’s undergraduate program. He also helped form and currently leads the Ohio State Food Waste Collaborative, a collection of researchers, practitioners, and students working together to promote the reduction and redirection of food waste as an integral part of a healthy and sustainable food system.  In addition to research on food waste, his other recent research includes a USDA funded project focused on local foods and school lunch programs and participation in an NSF-funded multidisciplinary team seeking to understand human-ecosystem feedbacks in the Western Lake Erie basin, including understanding how farms and agribusinesses respond to voluntary environmental programs and how Ohio residents respond to different options to manage Lake Erie water quality.

Ian Sheldon, Andersons Professor of International Trade

Ian Sheldon was appointed Andersons Professor of International Trade in July 2006. Professor Sheldon was born and raised in the United Kingdom, completing his BSc in Economics in 1978, and his PhD in Economics in 1981, both at the University of Salford, which is in the twin city to Manchester in the northwest of England. He spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology, before taking a post as Lecturer in Economics and Agricultural Economics at the University of Exeter in 1982. Professor Sheldon came to The Ohio State University as a Visiting Professor in 1989, joining the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics as an Associate Professor in 1990, and becoming a full Professor in 1998. Between 2002 and 2006, Professor Sheldon was an Editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, the leading journal in the field, and he was Featured Articles Editor for the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association's re-launched journal, Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy between 2010 and 2013. Professor Sheldon also completed a term as Chair of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium in 2010.

Brent Sohngen, a professor

Brent Sohngen of environmental and resource economics in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at The Ohio State University. Dr. Sohngen received his doctorate in environmental and resource economics from Yale University in 1996. He conducts research on the economics of land use change, the design of incentive mechanisms for water and carbon trading, carbon sequestration, and valuation of environmental resources. Dr. Sohngen developed a global forest and land use model that hasDr. Brent Sohngen been widely used to assess the implications of climate change on ecosystems and markets, and to assess the costs of carbon sequestration in forests. Dr. Sohngen has written or co-written over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 60 monographs and book chapters. He co-authored sections of the 2001 and 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, and he co-authored the forestry chapter of the most recent U.S. National Climate Assessment Report. He teaches courses on “Food, Population and the Environment” and “Energy, the Environment, and the Economy”.