Plenary Session Speakers:

Speaker: Chris Dionigi – National Invasive Species Council
Presentation: Invasive Species – A National Perspective
Chris Dionigi is the Deputy Director of the National Invasive Species Council (NISC). His work covers the full range of topics addressed by NISC with a particular emphasis on the early detection of invasions and the control of widespread invasive species. Prior to joining NISC in 2000, Chris was a USDA legislative fellow on the U.S. Senate Committee for Agriculture and Research and Plant Physiologist for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. He has authored over 20 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and holds a Ph.D. in Crop Science (emphasis in Weed Science), and Master of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biology. Chris is a third generation native of Colorado.

Speaker: Jeff Vogel - Kansas Department of Agriculture Plant Protection and Weed Control
Presentation: Invasive Pest Concerns Affecting Kansas
Jeff Vogel currently serves as Program Manager for the Plant Protection and Weed Control Program with the Kansas Department of Agriculture. He was formally the State Weed Specialist for the program from 2006-2010. Prior to working for the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Jeff earned a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture in 2002, majoring in Agronomy and has a Masters of Science, focusing on Weed Science at Kansas State University in 2005. Jeff and his wife Marie along with their two daughters Katelyn and Emma, reside in Oskalooska, KS.

Speaker: Bill McGuire - Bill McGuire Conservation, LLC
Presentation: Bioenergy and Biodiversity
Bill McGuire is the President of Bill McGuire Conservation, a consultancy specializing in agriculture, conservation, and energy policy, and providing expertise in fish, wildlife, and ecosystem sustainability. Bill’s experience includes 35 years with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) where he served as Chief of the Private Land Services Division. Bill led MDC’s partnership with USDA and represented MDC in the 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008 Farm Bill processes. He chaired the Midwest Private Land Group in two terms, as well as the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) Agriculture Conservation Task Force. Bill is nationally-recognized for his role in helping build the strong relationship between the Natural Resources Conservation Service and MDC. Bill also chaired a national group to develop consensus on forest aspects of biodiversity, bioenergy, and carbon sequestration. Bill’s career began with 8 years in wildlife law enforcement in Missouri and he later provided fish, forest, and wildlife assistance to landowners in the highly agricultural Missouri Bootheel. Bill holds an M.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Conservation and Wildlife Management. He is a member of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Conservation Federation of Missouri, Conservation Pioneers of Missouri, Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri, and Missouri Prairie Foundation.

Speaker: Deborah G. McCullough - University of Michigan
Presentation: Emerald Ash Borer: Kicking Ash in North America
Deborah G. McCullough holds graduate degrees in Forestry (M.S., Northern Arizona University) and Entomology (Ph.D., University of Minnesota). She is a Professor with a joint appointment in the Dept. of Entomology and Dept. of Forestry at Michigan State University, research, extension and teaching responsibilities. Much of McCullough’s current research focuses on the ecology, impacts and management of invasive forest insects, including emerald ash borer and beech bark disease. She works with forest management agencies, regulatory officials and private landowners to identify damaging forest insect populations and to develop long-term, sustainable management strategies to protect forest health. McCullough has published more than 80 papers about forest insect ecology and management in scientific journals along with more than 120 extension bulletins and articles. She teaches Insects and Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees annually, a 4 credit course designed for students majoring in Forestry or Horticulture.


Gold - $1500
Sharp Brothers Seed Co
Westar Energy 

Silver - $1000
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism
Natural Resources Conservation Service

Bronze - $750
Kansas Chapter National Turkey Wildlife Federation