Join us July 22-24 in Lexington, Kentucky!

The FARM Program is proud to partner with Alltech to bring you the in-person 2024 Evaluator Conference July 22-24 in Lexington, Kentucky.

In addition to guest speakers and FARM Program updates, the 2024 Evaluator Conference will include a special welcome reception sponsored by Alltech on day 1, as well as an evening reception and tour on day 2 at Town Branch Distillery, where you will be able to sample bourbons from Kentucky’s famous bourbon trail. Evaluator Conference tickets will include these receptions, the conference speaker sessions, lunches for day 2 and day 3, and transportation to off-site receptions. Travel and hotel accommodations are not included in the registration cost.

Tickets may be purchased for additional, optional activities that coincide with the Evaluator Conference. More information about the Horse Farm and Alltech facilities tours will be shared as it becomes available. Attendees will not be able to participate in both optional activities, as they occur simultaneously.

Hotel Information

The 2024 Evaluator Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Lexington Green, located at 245 Lexington Green Circle, Lexington, KY 40403. Rooms are available at a rate of $169/night using the Group Code CESNMP or the direct link in the button below.

Hotel reservations using the group code must be made by June 5.


Check back regularly for agenda updates with speakers and topics!



Day 1 — July 22


Evening Reception
Sponsored by Alltech


Day 2 — July 23

Emily Yeiser Stepp, FARM Program

Animal Welfare Trends in State Legislatures
Hannah Thompson-Weeman, Animal Agriculture Alliance

Antibiotic Stewardship
Pam Ruegg, DVM, MPVM

Building Value in Environmental Assessments for Dairy Farmers and Advisors
MaryGrace Erickson, Ph.D., P.A.S.


Alltech On-Farm Support Approach
Jorge Delgado, Alltech

Farm State of Mind
Emily Buckman, American Farm Bureau Federation

Responding to Evolving Outbreaks: HPAI in Dairy Cattle
Panelists TBA

Evening dinner reception and Town Branch Distillery tours
Sponsored by Alltech

Day 3 — July 24


FARM Program Town Hall & Interactive Discussion
FARM Program Staff

Lunch & Conference Conclusion



Optional add-on afternoon activities
Separate registration required. Additional details coming soon. 

Alltech Special Reception: Town Branch Distillery

Alltech founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, acquired the 200-year-old Lexington Brewing Company in 1999, resurrecting a brewing and distilling tradition that dates back to 1794. Offering the unique distinction of being both a brewery and distillery, experience the world-famous “brewstillery” in the heart of downtown Lexington.

About the Speakers

Full speaker lineup coming soon!


President & CEO  |  Animal Agriculture Alliance

Hannah Thompson-Weeman is president and CEO of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, a nonprofit working to safeguard the future of animal agriculture and its value to society by bridging the communication gap between the farm and food communities. In her role, Hannah provides strategic direction to the organization and oversees its operations along with engaging key stakeholders about the value of animal agriculture and providing guidance to the animal agriculture community about managing various issues, including animal rights extremist activity and campaigns.

Hannah joined the Alliance in 2014 and has served in various leadership roles involving communications, issues management and strategic engagement. Hannah’s passion for the future of animal agriculture and expertise in farm security, crisis management and effective communication strategies have made her a sought-after spokesperson, speaker and columnist. In her time with the Alliance she has given hundreds of media interviews and presentations to audiences across the U.S. and around the world. Hannah’s work has been recognized with the NextGen Award (2021) and the Public Relations Professional Development Award (2019) from the National AgriMarketing Association, the Young Alumni Award (2020) from The Ohio State University Department of Agricultural Communications, Education and Leadership and the Outstanding Alumni Award (2018) from the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.

Director, Government Affairs | American Farm Bureau Federation

Emily Buckman joined American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) as Director of Government Affairs in 2021. Her portfolio includes appropriations, broadband, rural affairs, and technology.
Emily joined AFBF after serving two years as the Director of National Affairs for the Kentucky Farm Bureau. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for nearly a decade for Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) as a Senior Policy Advisor and served as a policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Rural Development and the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services mission areas. While in these roles, she worked to advance policy and legislation on issues including agriculture, education, infrastructure, and workforce development.
Emily was raised on her family’s fourth generation farm in central Kentucky where her father and brother continue to grow corn, soybeans, and tobacco, as well as raise beef cattle and hogs.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Campbellsville University and lives in Washington, D.C.

Post-Doctoral Associate | University of Minnesota

MaryGrace Erickson is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Minnesota committed to developing pathways for sustainable dairy production. Her recent work focused on the effects of protein nutrition on productivity and environmental outputs from lactating cows, laboratory methods for estimating greenhouse gas emissions from stored manure, and documentation of sustainability transitions through whole-farm assessments.

Thank you to our generous partner, Alltech!

Thank you to our generous partner, Alltech!