Hamer’s research focused on crop diseases, where his lab pioneered molecular approaches to disease management and control and worked with numerous international agencies in China, The Philippines, and South America. Dr. Hamer is a passionate believer in the opportunity that is emerging in the agricultural value chain in food, health, energy, materials, and chemicals.
Dr. Jodie Holt, Professor of Plant Physiology, University of California, Riverside (see Appendix B)
Dr. Steven Leath, President, Iowa State University
Dr. Leath became the fifteenth President of Iowa State University (ISU) in January 2012. Trained as a plant scientist, Dr. Leath served at three universities in teaching, research, and economic development posts en route to the ISU presidency. From 2007 until his appointment at ISU, he served as Vice President of Research and Sponsored Programs for the University of North Carolina system. In the last year, he also served as Interim Vice President for Academic Planning for the 16-campus system. He began his career in 1985 at North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where he progressed through the plant pathology faculty ranks conducting research on disease resistance in grains, primarily wheat and oats, in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. He was named Research Leader to the unit in 1998, shortly before beginning a stint as the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s acting National Program Leader for grain crops. He returned to NC State in 2001 as Professor and Assistant Director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service. He rose to be Director and Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2005. He was also the Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research prior to his appointment at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Leath holds a bachelor’s degree in Plant Science from Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree in the field from the University of Delaware, and a doctorate in Plant Pathology from the University of Illinois.
Mr. David Miller, Director of Research and Commodity Services, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
Mr. Miller is Director of Research and Commodity Services for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). In this position, he coordinates the research programs of the Iowa Farm Bureau and the various commodity services offered by the Federation. He provides economic analysis of agricultural issues and is a primary liaison for the Federation with state and national commodity organizations. Mr. Miller has served on several state, regional, and national boards or committees including the National Institute of Animal Agriculture, the Extension Section of the American Agricultural Economics Association, the U.S. Meat Export Federation, the Offset Committee of the Chicago Climate Exchange, the Midwest Governor’s Association Greenhouse Gas Accord committee, and the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council. He joined IFBF in April 1998 as Director of Commodity Services. Prior to IFBF, Mr. Miller served as a commodity policy specialist for the American Farm Bureau, where he worked on agricultural policy issues for dairy, livestock, and the grain industry. He is also active in production agriculture. In 2003, he began active ownership and operation of a 630-acre grain farm in southern Iowa. Primary crops on the farm are corn and soybeans. Mr. Miller grew up on a dairy and grain farm in Indiana with 1,000