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.

Ashley Stokes, DVM, PhD biography coming soon. 

  • Georgia:

Venessa Sims-Green, biography available soon.

Bob Waldorf is an Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent in Banks County for the University of Georgia Extension. Working in a top ten poultry county, producing over 26 million commercial birds annually, Bob began serving on the State Agriculture Response Team (SART) for poultry in 2005. During the next 10 years, he participated in statewide exercises involving HPAI, Pandemic Flu, Large Animal Rescue, and Companion Animal Shelter. Bob has served on the planning committees for two Poultry Tabletop Exercises, for the Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness Strategic Planning Committee for the Department of Agriculture, and provided ESF-11 training for new Extension agents. Bob holds degrees from University of Georgia - BS in Agriculture (Animal Science) and Clemson - MS in Agriculture (Swine Nutrition).

Sarah Workman  is a technology transfer specialist and, as a Public Service Associate, helped initiate the Agriculture and Food Defense Proram as part of the State Agricultural Group-Georgia Homeland Security. She helped lead development of the UGA Agrosecurity Certificate Program, taught the capsone Issues Seminar course, helped organize university emergency response teams for handling animals during disasters, and led planning and exercises with county officials for county Animal in Disaster Plans to shelter companion animals. Working with state, regional and national partners Sarah and the UGA-GDA support group prepared just-in-time training modules for animal sheltering management and volunteer capabilities; developed a national multi-jurisdictional exercise for Animal Emergency Management and served as exercise Director. She was the initial developer of the state portal for HSIN-Agriculture, and served as a member of the CIKR risk management team for State of Georgia Department of Homeland Security.  

  • Hawaii


  • 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 is a Purdue University Cooperative Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural resources serving in La Porte County, Indiana since 2006. Prior to that he worked as a Soil Conservation and Water Quality Specialist with the Purdue Agronomy Department, working closely with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts in northwest Indiana and other partners. He is also a member of the purdue Extension Agrosecurity Team which focuses on emergency planning and education for extension personnel and Indiana residents. Gene has degrees from Purdue University in Agronomy (BS) and Ag Econ (MS in Farm Management).  

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 DVM, MS, DACVPM, is a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Her areas of expertise are preventive medicine, biosecurity, and disaster preparedness. 

Andrea Higdon is the Emergency Management System Director for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. She is responsible for safety and preparedness activities in the College, including emergency action plans, business continuity, mitigation, training, compliance, and liaison to local, state, and Federal stakeholder groups. She also serves as the project director for multi-state and national projects designed to protect the food and agriculture sector. 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, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky. At the University, she is involved in agricultural disaster planning and biosecurity. Dr. Newman is also the K9 coordinator for Ohio Task Force 1 a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team, Chief of the Kentucky Search Dog Association, a firefighter and a Deputy with the Grant County Sheriff's Department. In these roles she has been involved in over 300 searches and disasters as either a dog handler, team leader or operations officer, her K9s are certified through FEMA and the North American Police Work Dog Association in disaster, air scent, trailing, and cadaver (land and water).

  • 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.

  • Nebraska:

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   is retired from NMSU where he served as Co-Director of the Southweste Border Food Safety and Preparedness Center for 10 years. Previous to that he retired as Associate Dean and Director of the New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service, a position he held for 7 years. His earlier carerr included about 20 years as a County Extension Agent.

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, is a District Director for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service covering 19 counties in southeastern Oklahoma. He is alo a volunteer fire fighter and has a close working relationship with emergency managers across Oklahoma. He is also a member of Oklahoma Mesonet Steergin Committee that governs 120+ weather monitoring stations. He received a BS degree in Animal Science from the University of Arkansas.   

Marty Montague, biography available soon.

Casey Russell, biography available soon.

  • Tennessee:

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.

  • Virginia:

Corey Childs has served as an Area Extension - Livestock Specialty Agent for the past 25 years, serving the counties in the Northern Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service. He also serves Warren County as the Director of Extension Services. He is Certified at National Incident Management Systems Levels 100, 200, 300 and 700, Certified DHS - Agro Terrorism - First Responser - Level 1 and is a University Diversity Ally Fellow. His many areas of emphasis include: Farm Profitability, Product Quality Assurance, Biosecurity, Farm safety for adults/youth, Leadership Development, and Emergency Awareness. Corey has double BS degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Education and currently is working on a MS degree in agricultural education.

Brad Jarvis, biography available soon.

Mike Martin is the Emergency Response and Preparedness Coordinator for Virginia Cooperative Extension.  He has worked for Extension for more than 20 years as a county 4-H Extension Agent, District Director, and Extension 4-H Specialist prior to his current role.  He is the point of contact for Virginia for the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN).  IN the event of a disaster that impacts Agriculture, he coordinates the Extension response with local Extension Agents to conduct damage assessments and report findings to localities and to the Farm Services Agency. He works closely with other state agency partners including the Department of Emergency Management and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as needed.Carrie Swanson has been an Extension Agent with Virginia Cooperative Extension since 2004 and is based in the Albemarle County Extension Office. She has a BS in Animal Science and an MS in Animal Science/Equine Nutrition. Carrie provides educational support to a diverse four county area in all aspects of agricultural production and specialized programming related to equines throughout the state. She also supports the Albemarle/Charlottesville/UVA Regional Emergency Managment Team with agriculture and livestock related issues and events in the county.  

  • Washington:

Cynthia Faux, biography available soon.

Michael J. Gaffney is the Director of the Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS) at Washington State University, which provides applied research, technical assistance, and training services for governmental agencies and non-profits throughout the Northwest. DGSS also provides Emergency Management services to WSU, focusing on the Pullman campus and statewide Research and Extension offices. Mike's experience with Emergency Management began when he was on active duty in the Air Force, where he participated in base Disaster Response Teams dealing with terrorism, aircraft accidents and other critical incidents. Mike is a CERT member and CERT trainer, and is a certified EMI Emergency Management Academy trainer. Mike co-leads the WSU SR530 Long-term Recovery Support Team, and facilitated the Governer's SR530 Commission. Mike is also the Washington Point of Contact for the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) and is active in that national organization.

Todd Norton, biography available soon.

Susan Kerr has been with Washington State University Extension since 1995, first as Kickitat County Extension Director and now as the NW Regional Livestock and Dairy Extension Specialist. She serves on several eXtension communities of practice, including EDEN agrosecurity. She is an EDEN delegate and participates in the Agrosecurity PAWG. Susan has a B.S. in Animal Science, Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, and Doctorate in Education.

Christina Sanders is the Associate Director of Washington State University’s Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS).  DGSS conducts applied qualitative and quantitative social science research; actively interacting with organizations and providing services such as technical assistance and training for governmental agencies and non-profits throughout the Northwest. DGSS also provides Emergency Management services to WSU, focusing on the Pullman campus and statewide Research and Extension offices. Christina’s areas of expertise include working collaboratively with state and local government entities and conducting interviews, assessments and focus group facilitations for analysis and reporting.  Christina is a CERT member, CERT trainer, a member of the State Agency CERT Planning Committee and a Washington Delegate for the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). Christina is also the lead for the Public Safety program for DGSS at WSU.

  • West Virginia:

Matt Blackwood, biography available soon.

Roy McCallister, biography available soon.

  • Wyoming:

Caleb Carter is an Agriculture and Horticulture Area Educator for the University of Wyoming Extension, based in Goshen County and serving Southeast Wyoming. He specializes in crop production and irrigation. Caleb has degrees from Montana State University in Biology (BS) and the University of Wyoming in Agronomy (MS).

Kellie Chichester, biography available soon.

Scott Cotton serves as an Area Agriculture Educator and the Extension Disaster Education Network Delegate for the University of Wyoming. He has served in an agrosecurity leadership role with universities for 23 years including being the EDEN coordinator and co-founder of the Colorado Animal Response Team while with CSU, a member of hte Livestock Emergency Disaster Response Team in Nebraska while working with UNL, and now the lead agrosecurity Educator with UW. He has over two decades of serving as Animal Branch Director during more than a dozen disasters including wildfires, floods, blizzards, and disease outbreaks. Cotton was one of the original national team members to develop and present the Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning curriculum. He is national Chair Elect of the Extension Disaster Education Network.

Duane Williams, biography available soon.