• Mike Pearson, Host of IPTV's Market to Market View Full Bio

    Iowa Public Television’s Market To Market host Mike Pearson keeps viewers informed as host of the "Weekly Journal of Rural America." Pearson was raised in south central Iowa, attended Simpson College, where he majored in History, and continued to run the family farm south of Winterset, IA.  After graduation he moved to Grinnell, Iowa, where he lives with his wife, Heidi.   He is a part-time farmer and has experience as a banker with emphasis on Agriculture and Residential lending.


  • Jay Byrne, President, v-Fluence Interactive View Full Bio

    Jay Byrne is president of v-Fluence Interactive a strategic communication and research agency providing public affairs and issues management support to multi-national corporations, leading academic institutions. Previously Mr. Byrne led corporate communications for Monsanto Company, directing global biotechnology acceptance communications, media relations, and employee communications.  Mr. Byrne served as chief spokesperson, chief of staff and deputy assistant administrator for legislative and public affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Byrne is a contributing author for the book “Let Them Eat Precaution” (AEI 2005) and he has published articles on strategic communications, reputation management and new media strategies in various trade, professional and peer reviewed journals.

  • Julie Kenney, Farmer and CommonGround volunteer View Full Bio

    Julie Kenney was raised on a farm in northwest Iowa. She and her husband, Mark, became the fifth generation of their families to farm when they returned to Mark’s family farm in 2005. Today, the Kenneys grow corn, soybeans and oats on about 3,000 acres in central Iowa along with Mark’s parents and his sister. Julie is a volunteer with CommonGround, a program sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and United Soybean Board to help connect farm women with consumers. She is a member of the Iowa Soybean Association’s District Advisory Council and has served on the biotechnology committee of the International Food Information Council. She blogs at and her Twitter handle is @jakenney.

  • David Sutherland, Activist, Blogger, and Founder of VeganGMO View Full Bio

    David Sutherland is a professional artist and, since 2000, an amateur animal rights/vegan activist. In addition to volunteering with and alongside many food and animal interest NGOs, he has created several independent social support and outreach projects. His most recent project is VeganGMO, which highlights the benefits biotech can bring for vegan interests. It also serves as a platform to fight the anti-GMO sentiment co-opting the vegan movement. His blog PythagoreanCrank is an insider's critical look at the vegan and animal rights movement, where he recently wrote about his tour of Monsanto claiming "We are all Monsanto.” David also runs one of the biggest vegan groups on Meetup, Vegan Chicago.

  • Alison L. Van Eenennaam, Ph.D, Animal Genomics and Biotechnology Cooperative Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis View Full Bio

    Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam's internationally-recognized research and extension program focuses on the use of DNA-based biotechnologies to address applied problems of animal agriculture. She currently serves as the Extension representative on the U.S. National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium Industry Council where she has been involved in validation of DNA-marker tests for beef cattle since 2005. She is also involved in public education and uses a variety of media to inform general public audiences about science and technology, and provides a credentialed voice on some controversial topics including cloning and genetically-engineered animals. Dr. Van Eenennaam was the recipient of the 2010 National Award for Excellence in Extension from the U.S. Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.