Cynthia Bartel is Research Scientist and Manager of the Forage Quality Lab in the Iowa State University Biomass Cropping Systems Lab. After finishing her undergraduate education in agronomy, she obtained an agricultural legislative fellowship in the United States Senate, and also worked at the World Bank as an Agricultural and Rural Development Consultant on the first Agriculture Investment Sourcebook. She then served for seven years as the agriculture, nutrition and trade policy advisor to United States Senator Tim Johnson in Washington, DC.A year-long Robert Bosch Foundation fellowship in Germany included placements in both the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in the German Parliament and within the global headquarters of Bayer CropScience. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Crop Production & Physiology and doctoral minor in Statistics from Iowa State University and Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from University of Wisconsin-Madison, after which she was selected as a 2018 Cornell Atkinson Center Fellow.
Cora Carpenter graduated from Iowa State this past May with a degree in Agricultural Education-Communications Option and a minor in General Business. While in school, she worked as a Student Assistant for the ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag program. She was raised on her family’s dairy farm in Southwest Wisconsin, and that is where her passion for the agriculture industry began. Currently, Cora lives in Wamego, Kansas, where she is working as the Product Manager for MS Biotec, a company that produces a probiotic for both beef and dairy cattle.
Krista Downing serves as the Program Coordinator for Guthrie County ISU Extension & Outreach as well as a co-owner of Triple Downing Cattle LLC in Linden, Iowa. In her Extension role, Krista assists in bringing various educational opportunities and resources to the members of Guthrie County. In her cattle company role, she assists in the day-to-day decisions and operations of the company.
Krista earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education: Communications in 2017 from Iowa State University and is a passionate advocate for the agriculture industry. She resides in Guthrie County where she spends her time on the family farm working with her cattle and assisting her family farming operation with spring and fall field work.
Jade Hargrafen currently serves as the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Delaware county program director. In her current role, she works to increase community educational programming opportunities to fulfill county agriculture needs. Growing up on a diversified livestock and row crop operation taught her the importance of agriculture early on in life. She attended the University of Iowa and received degrees in Political Science and Environmental Policy. Today she continues to stay active in her community and family farm operation but in a new role, bringing new research, education, and technology onto the farm.
Alicia serves as the Director of Engagement for Paulsen. In her role, she is a passionate advocate for rural America and leads ag clients in achieving messaging goals through strategic communications programs.
She has more than 15 years of renewable energy, policy, and farmer-owned cooperative experience including leadership roles at Renewable Energy Group and Landus Cooperative.
A fifth-generation Iowa farm girl, she and her husband are raising their son on their Greene County acreage and cheering for their alma mater, Iowa State University.
Morgan Hibbs serves as the Education Outreach Coordinator for Linn County Farm Bureau. Morgan received her bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Communications from Iowa State University and is passionate about agriculture education. In her current role, Morgan visits classrooms preK-12 monthly to bring awareness to the importance of Ag. She resides in Johnson County with her husband Tyler and son Dean. In her free time, Morgan likes to blog about home-grown flowers and life on a beef farm.
Ann Johanns is an Extension Program Specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach. She received her B.S. in Agricultural Business and M.S. in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University. Ann coordinates the library of materials available on the Ag Decision Maker website, conducts research on emerging agricultural issues, and supports efforts across the state for the farm management team as team co-leader. Ann grew up helping any way she could on her parent’s farm in Southwest Iowa. Today, Ann and her husband farm in Mitchell County with their three active sons.
Myriam Lafrenerie-Landryresided in Quebec City, Quebec before establishing her home in Pella, Iowa in 2015. Before coming the United States, Myriam completed her Master’s degree in plant sciences from Laval University and worked 10 years for the Canadian government where she developed inspection programs and stakeholders collaboration on invasive plants. Later, she supported the adoption of agriculture innovations and conservation practices by developing and leading projects on agroforestry, water quality, invasive pests, and corn fertilization. She is passionate about growing her art business and volunteering in her community. Myriam currently serves as Watershed Coordinator for the Poweshiek County Soil and Water Conservation District.
An alumnus of Iowa State University, Monica retired from her career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist after 46 years. After her husband’s death in 2011, she took over management of the family business that began in 1946. She is actively transitioning Lursen Farms and Lursen Trucking, LLC to her sons. Monica blends her nutrition expertise and love of farming to educate others through her 20th year of serving as the Executive Director of the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Monica has chaired the College of Human Sciences Council from 2017-2019. She is a member of the Order of the Knoll and is one of 39 “Faces of Iowa State” portraits painted by Rose Franzen in 2017.
Dr. Ebby Luvaga
Dr. Ebby Luvaga is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University and serves as the Coordinator for Undergraduate Advising. She is involved in leading student study abroad programs and conducts research in developing countries. Luvaga is passionate about the role of gender in development. She helped smallholder farmers in Africa understand the economic nature of farm-based decisions. Luvaga was part of a 2014-2017 USAID-Feed The Future interdisciplinary research team that worked on legumes and soil fertility management in Uganda and Mozambique. In 2017 she hosted women entrepreneurs in agriculture from Nigeria through the USDA Cochran Fellowship Program. Luvaga previously served on the board of Right Sharing of World Resources, a nonprofit organization that awards small grants to women groups in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and India to engage in income generating activities. A native of Kenya, Ebby, continues to be actively engaged in her rural community of Maliki, where she built a public library in honor of her parents. Luvaga has won numerous college and university awards and recognitions for her leadership and strong support of student success. Luvaga earned her doctorate degree in Economic Education and Master’s Degree in International Affairs at Ohio University.
Melissa O’Rourke is a Farm and Agribusiness Management Specialists and Extension Dairy Team Member for ISU Extension and Outreach. Also, an attorney, Melissa has practiced extensively in the fields of business and estate planning, employment legal issues, and agriculture commercial litigation and has worked on numerous farm and ranch families to facilitate planning for management of their farm businesses. Melissa’s particular areas of interest included farm estate and succession planning, agricultural human resource legal and management issues, farmland leasing and tenure arrangements, and working with beginning and transitioning farmers. Melissa’s work with Iowa State University combines her background in education, agriculture, and law as she informs and advises members of the farm and agribusiness community on an expansive array of business planning and legal topics.
Lisa Scarbrough is a Communications Specialist with Iowa State University Department of Economics and Extension and Outreach. Lisa co-leads a Women in Agriculture program. She produces videos, designs marketing materials, coordinates promotion, manages websites, creates program impact reports and publishes an online newsletter. Lisa works with Extension professionals across the state to promote educational courses, workshops and conferences for women. She leads the Women Impacting Agriculture recognition program. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Journalism from the University of Iowa.
Madeline Schultz is the Women in Agriculture Program Manager with Iowa State University Department of Economics and Extension and Outreach. She designs educational programs, increases connections among women, builds the professional capacity of educators, and stewards program funding in order to improve the lives of women and their families and enhance agricultural sustainability. Madeline coordinates farm management courses for women as well as an annual leadership conference. She serves on the national board of directors for Annie’s Project – Education for Farm Women. Madeline received the 2019 USDA Research, Education, and Economics Undersecretary’s Award in recognition of her team’s innovative courses, conferences, videos and tours impacting the lives of women in agriculture who are key stakeholders in the production of safe food. Madeline earned a Master of Science degree in business administration from Iowa State University.
Kitt Tovar Jensen
Kitt is a Staff Attorney at ISU’s Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation. Kitt earned her B.S. in Animal Science from Iowa State University and her J.D., with honors, from Drake University.
Prior to joining CALT, Kitt worked as a research assistant in the Animal Production department at the University of Lleida in Catalonia, Spain, and interned with the international trade department for the National Pork Producers Council in Washington, D.C. While in law school, she worked at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.