Farm Foundation® Announces the 2023 Young Agri-Food Leaders


Farm Foundation, an accelerator of practical solutions for agriculture, is pleased to announce the 2023 Young Agri-Food Leaders cohort.

This program seeks to actively engage emerging leaders in food and agribusiness, from ages 25-40 years old, in a yearlong series of interactive learning and networking experiences, focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the food and agriculture value chain. The program also hopes to help young professionals build a strong, enduring network of peers in business, farming, and government.

Participants are sponsored to attend events, engage in virtual conversations, and participate in exclusive learning and networking opportunities. Each participant is also connected with a senior agri-food mentor to aid in career growth and development. Young Agri-Food Leaders participate in a variety of Farm Foundation programming, including the chance to attend at least one Farm Foundation Round Table meeting and join other events such as Farm Foundation Forums.

“The 2023 cohort of Young Agri-Food Leaders brings together a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of experiences in the food and agriculture industries,” says Jenna Wicks, program manager at Farm Foundation. “We hope that throughout their year in the program they will be able to expand their network, learn about food and agriculture in new ways, and develop their leadership skills that will carry them as the next generation of leaders in food and agriculture.”

The 2023 Young Agri-Food Leaders are:

Kellie Adesina, Kraft Heinz
Kellie Adesina is director of Federal Government Affairs at Kraft Heinz, where she develops and implements advocacy strategies on an array of agricultural issues, including nutrition, specialty crops, food safety, food labeling, and taxes.

Amanda Bittner, Louis Dreyfus Company
Amanda Bittner is senior NAM oilseeds analyst and lead analyst for global soy research for Louis Dreyfus Company. In her role, she oversees global soybean and soybean meal research and maintains U.S. soybean complex balance sheets critical for global product line decisions.

Gina Cox, Indigo Ag
Gina Cox leads the South and the West regions of the carbon customer success team at Indigo Ag. Gina and her team are responsible for ensuring farmers’ successful participation in the Carbon by Indigo program, in which farmers get paid for carbon credits generated on their farm.

Trista Danos, Whole Foods Market
Trista Danos is a senior food safety analyst on the Whole Foods Market’s Retail Food Safety team, covering the Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Kansas Metro. Starting her role at Whole Foods Market in 2020, you can find Trista traveling to her stores, teaching food safety to her fellow team members to help “ensure we sell the safest, highest quality food.”

Kasey Garrett, Aqua Irrigation Technologies, LLC
Kasey Garrett is an owner/operator of Aqua Irrigation Technologies, LLC, a drip irrigation company.  For the last 10 years, he has specialized in agricultural drip systems in a variety of crops and applications.    

Christian Horn, Cultivian Sandbox/Sandbox Sustainability Ventures
Christian Horn is an associate of Cultivian Sandbox and Sandbox Sustainability Ventures. He supports the Cultivian Sandbox Funds’ investments in Full Harvest, Leaf, and Vestaron.

Ryan Locke, FMC
Ryan Locke is currently industry relations manager for FMC. He is responsible for the external engagement strategy with non-government stakeholders and partners for the company, a global agribusiness based in Philadelphia. 

Micah Mensing, Farm Credit Mid-America
Micah Mensing is the customer education manager for Farm Credit Mid-America, where he develops the education strategy and is the lead on executing workshops and conferences that support farmers in becoming more informed managers.

Richard Preisser, Smithfield Foods
Richard Preisser is a research and development manager at Smithfield Foods. He holds a Master of Science in meat science/animal and poultry science from Virginia Tech.

Learn more about each Young Agri-Food Leader and the program at

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