SPEAKERS 2017

Hank Will
Editing Director Mother Earth News & GRIT Magazines

Hank Will (Oscar H. Will III) is a business leader, academic and agricultural practitioner devoted to conservation and small scale, sustainable agriculture. He is currently the editorial director at Ogden Publications in Topeka Kansas, publisher of titles such as GRIT, Capper’s Farmer, Mother Earth News, Farm Collector and many other print and digital properties. Hank’s small-scale, high cash flow farming experience spans more than four decades with projects as varied as native perennial plants and heirloom laying chickens. His current project, Prairie Turnip Farm in rural Osage County, Kansas is home to a direct market Highland beef, Will’s landrace lamb and broiler business. Hank has authored or co-authored seven books, hundreds of articles, enjoys maintaining the open pollinated corn varieties his great grandfather developed and making Finnish style puukko knives, in his spare time. 


Patrick Byers
Cooperative Extension Service, University of Missouri, Springfield, Missouri

Regional Horticulture Specialist. Responsibilities in outreach programming to commercial and home horticulture interests in the 17 county southwest region of Missouri. Assistance given horticulture producers and homeowners in the region via the services offered by Extension, such as soil testing, disease diagnoses, and pest control recommendations. Master Gardener coordinator for largest and most active chapter in southwest region. Active partnerships with local media to promote horticulture in the region.






Patrice Gros
Foundation Farm
mamakapa@yahoo.com | www.foundationfarm.com

Patrice Gros runs Foundation Farm, a 6 acre USDA certified organic farm in the Arkansas Ozarks just north of Eureka Springs. Over the last 20 years, he has progressed towards a full no-till (machine-free) system which produces high yields and profits. On 1/2 of an acre of actual cultivated ground, his yearly production exceeds $80,000. Crops are grown continuously through the seasons outdoors and inside high tunnels. All produce harvested yearly is sold within a 50 mile radius, with zero waste.

Patrice also trains farmers and gardeners in the field and through workshops and lectures. Over 50 trainees have gone through the farming school program and several have started their own farm.


Dan Hill
Agriculture Market Reporter 

Missouri Department of Agriculture, Market News Service 
(573) 751-3459 | danh.lgmn@live.comagmarketnews.mo.gov

Dan Hill is a Ripley County native who was raised on a livestock farm near Gatewood, MO. Following graduation from Doniphan High School, he attended Three Rivers Community College and the University of Missouri-Columbia. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture as well a Master’s of Education degree from MU. Dan taught Agriculture Education at Sweet Springs High School for 30 years, retiring in 2008. Upon retirement, he started working for the Missouri Department of Agriculture as a Relief Agriculture Market Reporter. In September 2013, Dan began his assignment to report the sales at the Ozarks Regional Stockyard in West Plains.


Touria Eaton
State Extension Specialist, Horticulture

Dr. Touria Eaton, State Extension Specialist of Horticulture, earned her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility. Her research projects include: (1) increasing the nutrient density of vegetable crops through management of soil fertility, (2) production of Brussels sprouts for marketing on stalks, and (3) the use of organic fertilizers in greenhouse crop production. Eaton also conducted research on the use of biochar (a charcoal-like material) as a soil amendment. A current extension project of Dr. Eaton is the 2014 Farm Bill education training program, designed and implemented to help Missouri farmers use USDA programs, to reduce financial losses associated with crop losses. Eaton is native of Morocco.



Charlie Potts

Market Reporter - Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News Division
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
12819 Country Place Drive, St. Joseph, MO 64505
Ph: 816-676-7000 | Fax: 816-279-8902 | charlie.potts@ams.usda.gov

Charlie Potts is a native of Effingham, Kansas who grew up involved in livestock and row crop production. Following graduation from Atchison County Community High School, he attended Highland Community College and Kansas State University receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science. Charlie started his USDA career as a Commodity Meat Grader in June 2005 with duty stations in Dakota City, NE and Emporia, KS. In March of 2009 Charlie joined the Market News team in Saint Joseph, MO working on Mandatory Price Reporting Live Cattle and Sheep reports.