Reducing the Impact of Disasters Through Education
State Information

About the Instructors

The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Preparedness (S-CAP) program recognizes National and State trainers as follows:

  • Alabama:

Virginia White is Administrator III, Outreach Programs and Extension Specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Housed at Auburn University, she is an EDEN Past Chair, member of several EDEN committees, and contributing author of ReadyCommunity, a companion guide to FEMA’s Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101.  Virginia’s education includes a BA in Sociology, MA in Media, and an EdD in Human Resource Development.

  • Colorado:
Bruce Fickenscher is a Livestock and Range agent for Colorado State University Extension in the Southeast Area of Colorado covering seven counties, approximately eleven percent of Colorado.  Bruce has worked closely with Emergency Management personnel primarily covering severe weather situations in Southeast Colorado.  He received his BS in Animal Science with a concentration in Industries Management and is currently working on his masters in Integrated Resource Management.
Marvin Reynolds, biography available soon.
  • Hawaii:

Ashley Stokes, DVM, PhD is the Extension Veterinarian for the University of Hawaii Manoa.  She earned her DVM and PhD in Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. She has worked with the Hawaii State Civil Defense and the State Emergency Board to represent livestock.  She also serves in a leadership role for the Hawaii Livestock Farmers Coalition as the chair of the Animal Health and Welfare Committee. 

  • Indiana:

Curt Emanuel is a Purdue University Cooperative Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources in Clinton County Indiana. He is a member of the Purdue Extension Agrosecurity Team which he helped form in 2009, a member of the Indiana Radiological Emergency Planning Program (REPP), a member of the EDEN National Extension Radiological Education Team, a member of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) Swine Health Advisory Committee and an EDEN Delegate. He has been involved in several state-level Emergency Exercises, particularly those involving BOAH and REPP, most recently the federally graded Palisades Nuclear Power Plant Ingestion Pathway Exercise in October, 2012.

Eugene Matzat, biography available soon.

Amanda Bailey Mosiman works for Purdue Extension as the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator in Warrick County Indiana. Amanda participates on the county’s Weed Board, Area Plan Commission, and the Local Emergency Planning Council. She is also a member of Purdue’s Agro-security Team which focuses on emergency planning and education for extension personnel and Indiana residents. Amanda is 2006 BS and 2007 MS graduate of Purdue University with both degrees in Animal Sciences.

  • Kansas:

Sandy Johnson, is the Emergency Management Coordinator for the Kansas Department of Agriculture. She is the team leader for the KDA Incident Management Team, author of the Kansas Food and Agriculture Incident Annex and a Master Exercise Practitioner. In her role she conducts agriculture based exercises, planning workshop and training sessions on a regular basis. Sandy represents States, Tribes and Territories on the Government Coordinating Council for the Food and Agriculture Sector. She is an Army Veteran and holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. 

Karaline Mayer, biography available soon.

  • Kentucky:

Roberta Dwyer, biography available soon.

Andrea Higdon is Agrosecurity Program Coordinator for the Cooperative Extension Service in the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky. She is the project leader for several National EDEN products, including the EDEN Animal Agrosecurity and Emergency Management Course, EDEN Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Preparedness Workshops, EDEN Regional Food Protection Conferences, and other related activities. Andrea’s education includes a BS in Animal Science and an MS in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management, with a concentration in Homeland Security.

Melissa Newman, biography available soon.

  • Louisiana:

Lillie Adams Wiley is a Regional Safety Manager and Assistant Director with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry housed at the Haughton Regional Facility in northwest Louisiana. Lillie is the Liaison for the Shreveport Critical Transportation Need Pet Shelter during emergencies, and is also the Assistant Manager for the  department’s Haughton Point of Dispensing Center for Mass Prophylaxis.  She is a  member of the Louisiana S-CAP  Training Team.   Lillie received her  Bachelors of Science from Louisiana State University A & M in Agriculture Business. She has served the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry since January 2008.

Darren Guidry is a Regional Coordinator for the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).  His region consists of the eight parishes that surround the Baton Rouge Area.  He has held the positions of Regional Coordinator, Operations Section Chief, Training Officer, and Technical Hazards Specialist during his tenure at GOHSEP.  Darren's background in Emergency Management also consists of Military Service and as an Enforcement Agent for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. 

Jeremy Hendrix is a Regional Safety Manager and Assistant Director of the Soybean Promotion Board with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry.   Housed at the Monroe Regional Facility in northeast Louisiana, Jeremy has worked with LDAF on various emergency incidents.  He is the Liaison for the Monroe/Bastrop Critical Transportation Need Pet Shelter during emergencies, and is also the Assistant Manager for the  department’s Monroe Point of Dispensing Center for Mass Prophylaxis.  He is a  member of the Louisiana S-CAP  Training Team.   Jeremy received his  Bachelors of Science from Louisiana State University A & M in Animal Science with a  Concentration in Science & Technology in 2004.

Diane Stacy, biography available soon.

Allen "Buster" Whittington, biography available soon.

Mark Williams is an Assistant Extension Agent with the LSU AgCenter East Baton Rouge Parish. Mark is a Louisiana S-CAP Teaching Team member has attended two EDEN Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Preparedness Workshops. He is working with local officials to safeguard agricultural interest in the parish in the event of an emergency. Mark’s education includes a B. S. in animal science and a current candidate for a M. S. in extension education at Louisiana State University.

  • Montana:

Tommy Bass, is an EDEN Delegate (since 2007) and member of the S-CAP development and pilot team; he has taught at nine S-CAP workshops in five states. As the Livestock Environment Associate Specialist with Montana State University Extension, Tommy provides technical assistance, and conducts demonstrated research in the areas of environmental management, water quality, manure and compost management, sustainable agriculture, and agricultural emergency management.  Tommy holds degrees in animal science (University of Georgia) and agricultural education (Montana State University).

Jeanne Rankin, DVM, received her DVM at Colorado State University and practiced predominately equine and camelid veterinary care for 17 years before joining the Montana Department of Livestock in November of 2004. Dr. Rankin served as the Assistant State Veterinarian and as the Acting State Veterinarian for the Montana Department of Livestock where she developed the Montana Trichomoniasis program and oversaw Disease Reporting, Foreign Animal Disease Response and Emergency Preparedness. She is a Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician and is currently working with Montana State University Extension as the Agro-Emergency Projects Coordinator.

Lee Schmelzer, biography available soon.

Linda Williams has served Chouteau County in the dual role of Montana State University County Extension Agent for 35 years and Emergency Management Coordinator for 25 years. She is a delegate to the national Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), an instructor for the EDEN course – Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Preparedness, and is a member of Montana’s Agriculture Emergency Preparedness Committee. Linda’s education includes a BS degree in family and consumer science from Montana State University along with numerous Homeland Security ICS and emergency response/preparedness oriented courses.


Scott Cotton, biography available soon.

Larry F. Howard, biography available soon.

Jay Jenkins, biography available soon.

Richard Randle, biography available soon.

Troy M. Walz, biography available soon.

  • New Mexico:

Billy Dictson, biography available soon.

Jeff Witte is the director/secretary of New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) and the Cabinet secretary of agriculture for NMDA under Governor Susana Martinez. He is currently serving as president of the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the executive board of the Western United States Agriculture Trade Association and as a board member of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and chair of their Natural Resources, Pesticide Management and Environment committee. Mr. Witte served as the assistant director of NMDA from 1994 to 2003 then the director for the Office of Agricultural Biosecurity for NMDA and New Mexico State University (NMSU) until 2011. He codirected the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center at NMSU, working on agriculture issues related to homeland security.  He is an adjunct instructor with Louisiana State University, National Center for Biomedical Research and Training; and the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine. Mr. Witte comes from a ranching family in northern New Mexico. He is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management and a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics and Economics.

  • North Carolina:

Melissa Huffman is an Extension Agent with field crops, pesticide, and wildlife responsibilities.  She is a member of the North Carolina S-CAP team.  Melissa has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Extension Education with a minor in Animal Science; and is currently working on a Master's degree in Agriculture Education.

Mark Seitz currently works for North Carolina Cooperative Extension, where for the last two years he has served as the Cooperative Extension Director and Field Crops agent for Pender County. Prior to becoming Cooperative Extension Director he served as a four county, area commercial horticulture agent in southeast North Carolina, helping farmers large and small increase their sales and crop production. Mark graduated from Michigan State University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Crop and Soil Science and from Kansas State University in 2003 with a Master of Agribusiness degree.

Roy Thagard, Jr. is a local field crops agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Greene County, NC.  He works with producers of tobacco, soybeans, corn, wheat, peanuts, cotton, and grain sorghum. 

  • North Dakota:

Craig Askim is a County Extension Agent for the Cooperative Extension Service at North Dakota State University. He serves Mercer County as the Agricultural Extension Agent; he has been in that role for ten years. His many areas of emphasis include: farm safety for adults/youth, leadership development, and emergency awareness. Craig has a BS degree in Animal Science and currently is working on a MS degree in agricultural education.

  • Oklahoma:

Claude Bess, biography available soon.

Marty Montague, biography available soon.

Casey Russell, biography available soon.

Dave Sparks, biography available soon.

  • Tennessee:

Ray Burden, biography available soon.

J.C. Rains, biography available soon.

Nathan Rich, biography available soon.

Tom Rison, biography available soon.

  • Utah:

Chris S Crnich, DVM is the Director of Agriculture Homeland Security with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.  Dr. Crnich has been involved since 2007 in animal and agricultural emergency preparedness.  He is one of the founders of the Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition (UEARC) as well as one of the initial board members.  Dr. Crnich has been integral in the animal decontamination efforts of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Planning (CSEPP) program in Utah.   He has presented on agricultural and animal preparedness throughout the state of Utah, other states in the Intermountain West, and has acted as a consultant to other state animal preparedness programs and exercises.

Warren J Hess, DVM is the Assistant State Veterinarian with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.  Dr. Hess has been involved since 2007 in animal and agricultural emergency preparedness.  He is one of the founders of the Utah Emergency Animal Response Coalition (UEARC) as well as one of the initial board members and past president of the National Alliance of State Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP).  Dr. Hess has presented on agricultural and animal preparedness throughout the country and has acted as a consultant to outside state programs and exercises.

Kerry Rood, biography available soon.

  • Vermont:

Julie Smith is an Extension Dairy Specialist based in the Department of Animal Science of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont. She is Vermont’s EDEN POC and currently serves as chair of the Agrosecurity PAWG. As a member of the EDEN eXtension CoP, Julie focuses on agrosecurity and biosecurity content. She has led a number of projects supporting preparedness for a highly contagious disease emergency such as foot-and-mouth disease. Julie graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences, a DVM, and a PhD in Animal Nutrition from Cornell University.

  • Washington:

Susan Kerr has been the Washington State University-Klickitat County Extension Director since 1995. She serves on three eXtension communities of practice, including EDEN agrosecurity. Susan has a B.S. in Animal Science, Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Doctorate of Education.   

  • West Virginia:

Matt Blackwood, biography available soon.

Roy McCallister, biography available soon.

Last Updated:7/31/2015 5:44 PM

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