USFRA PANEL

  • Frank Sesno, Director, School of Media and Public Affairs, Creator and Host of Planet Forward at the George Washington University and former Washington Bureau Chief and Anchor for CNN View Full Bio
    Frank Sesno

    Frank Sesnois an internationally recognized journalist with more than 30 years of experience reporting from around the world. Well known as anchor, White House Correspondent and talk show host with CNN, he is also a nationally renowned moderator, who has engaged some of the world’s leading personalities. Sesno currently serves as Director of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, where he leads a faculty of nearly two dozen world-class faculty who research and teach journalism, political communication and the impact of digital media in international affairs. He teaches classes on journalism ethics, documentary, sustainability reporting, and ‘the art of the interview.’ 

    An Emmy-award winning journalist, Sesno created and hosts PlanetForward.org, a user-driven web and television project that brings students and experts together to examine innovations in sustainability and global food security. Sesno has produced Planet Forward for Bloomberg Television, Huffington Post, Public Television and National Geographic. Sesno also launched FacetheFactsUSA.org, a nonpartisan content hub dedicated to highlighting factual information during the 2012 election cycle. Both Planet Forward and Face the Facts are produced by GW’s Center for Innovative Media, of which Sesno is co-director. 

    Sesno has interviewed many world leaders including five U.S. Presidents – George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter – Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, Margaret Thatcher; Yasser Arafat; Hosni Mubarak and others.

  • Julie Maschhoff , Pig Farmer, The Maschhoffs, Carlyle, Ill. View Full Bio
    Julie Maschhoff

    Julie Maschhoff is farmer and owner of The Maschhoffs, a fifth generation family owned company that is one of the largest family-owned pork production networks in North America. She grew up on a diversified grain, hog, and dairy farm near Okawville, Illinois. She graduated with honors from the University of Illinois in 1985, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Science. She joined the Maschhoff family business in 1989 and has held a variety of posts as the company has grown.
     
    Julie is a graduate of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program and has been recognized as one of Ten Outstanding Young People in Illinois by the Illinois Jaycees in 1992. As an active member of the Illinois Pork Producers Association, she has served on numerous pork industry committees on the state and national level. Julie has served as co-chair of the Clinton County D.A.R.E. program and is also an active member of the Illinois Ag Leadership Foundation. Julie and her husband, Ken, reside with their four children on the family farm near Carlyle, Illinois.
     

  • Bruce Rominger, Farmer, Rominger Brothers Farm, Winters, Calif. View Full Bio
    Bruce Rominger

    Bruce Rominger is a fifth-generation farmer from Yolo County in California. He and his brother, Rick, own Rominger Brothers Farm, a progressive, diversified family farm and ranch located north of Winters, California. They produce many different crops using organic and conventional techniques, including winegrapes, processing tomatoes, rice, wheat, corn, safflower, sunflower, onions, alfalfa and oat hay. They are committed to growing crops in ways that protect the environment, such as minimizing the use of crop protection materials, crop rotation, using drip irrigation to conserve water and using sheep to graze crop residue.
     
    He has a background in local water issues and water policy. Bruce currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. He is chairman of the Board of Directors for the California Tomato Growers Association, a group he has been a part of since 1991. Bruce also served on the Board of Directors of the Yolo County Resource Conservation District from 1989 to 2000 and the Board of Directors of Western Yolo Intercom from 1984 to 1996. He holds a Bachelor of Science in plant science from the University of California at Davis, and also serves as a Farmer/Advisor to the Sustainable Agriculture Research Project, an ongoing research project of the University of California at Davis.

  • Joan Ruskamp, Cattle feeder, J&S Feedlot, Dodge, Neb. View Full Bio
    Joan Ruskamp

    Joan Ruskamp and her husband, Steve, operate a feedlot and row-crop farm west of Dodge, Nebraska that has been in Steve's family for over 100 years. On the farm, Joan's main jobs include walking pens, cattle doctoring/ processing, and office manager.  Steve and Joan received the Pioneer Farm Family award in 2014, which is awarded to farms that have been in the same family for 100 years.

    She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Curtis, where she earned an associate degree in veterinary medicine in 1980. Joan has been very active in the beef industry, with service to organizations including the Nebraska Cattlemen, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, American National CattleWomen; Nebraska Farm Bureau; Nebraska Soybean Association, and the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN). In addition, she has been a 4-H leader for over 20 years, an EMT for 12 years, and a religious education teacher for 30 years. She has served on a committee for the annual Ag-Ceptional Women's Conference; is an alum of the Nebraska LEAD program; and volunteers for CommonGround. Joan and Steve have been married for more than 30 years and have five children, two sons-in-law and a granddaughter.