Steve has enjoyed a successful acting career for over 25 years, appearing in over 800 hours of film and television productions. He has worked on over 30 films and many guest leads in television. Most recently you would have seen Steve appearing in the hit movie TRANSFORMERS and BLACK HAWK DOWN. Steve’s other film credits would include films such as CONTACT with Jodie Foster, ARMAGEDDON with Bruce Willis, STARSHIP TROOPERS, ERASER with Schwarzenegger, HEAT with Al Pacino, CARRIE II, and WHEN HARRY MET SALLY as Meg Ryan’s boyfriend. He has also done numerous guest leads in television shows such as SUDDENLY SUSAN, J.A.G., FLIPPER, WALKER TEXAS RANGER, DR. QUINN, BAYWATCH, THE CAPE, COLUMBO, MURDER SHE WROTE and HAPPY DAYS. Steve also hosted a full season, 22 episodes of the primetime series SECRET SERVICE for NBC. Early in Steve’s career he spent six years playing the character Andy Richards on the Emmy Award winning daytime show THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

Before becoming an actor in 1980, Steve worked on the professional rodeo circuit as a team roper and still ropes today in his spare time. He owns a ranch in California. Steve served three years on the Board of Directors of THE NATIONAL COWBOY HALL OF FAME in Oklahoma City and currently serves on THE GERALD R. FORD PRESIDENTIAL FOUNDATION.

He is also highly sought after nationally as a motivational speaker for corporate events relating his inspiring experiences during his family’s stay in the WHITE HOUSE and his years in Hollywood. Steve also speaks about his own successful battle overcoming alcoholism over twenty years ago. He shares with audiences inspiring stories of character and leadership that lead to the Ford family’s success which will help audiences rethink their own lives. He is the third son of President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford.



Steven Ford



Jennifer Bond is a senior agricultural economist with the Crops Branch, Markets and Trade Economics Division of the USDA Economic Research Service and currently coordinates the Wheat and Pulses Outlook programs. Jennifer joined ERS in July, 2012 and began working with the Feed Grains and Vegetable and Pulses Outlook teams, later also coordinating the Agency’s Pollinator Health Research Team from 2013 to early 2016. During her career, Jennifer has worked on topics ranging from commodity market analysis, consumer demand, cooperatives, industrial organization, agricultural finance, and pollinator health. Prior to joining MTED, Jennifer was a faculty member in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at Colorado State University (2005-2012). Jennifer received her Master’s (2003) and Ph.D. (2008) from the University of California, Davis and a B.S. (2000) in Agribusiness from Texas A&M University.


Keynote Speaker

Andrew J.J. Fontaine
General Manager, V.P. Sales & Marketing
Spokane Seed Company

Born and raised in the Seattle area, Andrew became a loyal alumnus of Washington State University in 2000, graduating with an Advertising/Marketing degree.  As the GM and V.P. of Sales for Spokane Seed Company, Andrew is responsible for all daily operations as well as all Domestic and International trading for the 107 year old company.  Spokane Seed Company prides itself on supreme processing that permits them to supply the largest most recognized food companies in the world. 

Andrew is a fourth generation pulse trader with 14 years’ experience selling Peas, Lentils and Chickpeas.  He is a very active member of the US Dry Pea and Lentils Council.  Andrew serves as the Domestic Marketing Committee Chairman.  He is also the current Chairman of the Trade Association Board and is a member of the National Board.  In his spare time he enjoys many outdoor activities and spending time with his wife and three sons.        


Keven Sawchuk

Senior Merchandiser, Edible beans – Pulses, Viterra Inc.

Keven has spent the past two decades merchandising white beans, colored beans and chick peas for (Viterra / Glencore grain) and their heritage companies.  Located in Southern Alberta he has seen tremendous growth in pulse crop production and global export opportunities.  Keven provides market outlook and commentary to grower groups, industry associations and international meetings on a regular basis.  Passionate about continued growth in pulse consumption, awareness and product innovation he gives ongoing support to various industry initiatives.  Related experience; market development, processing plant and equipment design, implementation of quality management systems.


Rebecca Bratter, Executive Director –US Dry Bean Council
Rebecca has spent the last twenty years dedicated to global market development and trade for a variety of US agricultural commodities.  Working closely with the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), she has represented the global trade interests of the US wood product industry, US wheat growers and farmers, US corn, barley, and sorghum growers and processors, agricultural technical providers, and traders such as Louis Dreyfus, Cargill, and ADM. In her current role, she provides leadership and vision to the global export market development interests of the US dry bean industry. She has also collaborated with both FAS and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) on humanitarian feeding and nutritional programs utilizing US origin commodities to provide sustenance for food insecure nations.  She has been active in developing broad trade policy agendas to run in tandem with global market development activities and has represented US agricultural interests in bilateral and regional trade negotiations and at multilateral fora such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).  A key aspect of her roles with various associations has been leadership of industry and association committees to achieve consensus among divergent interests with a view towards program excellence.  To that end, together with other members of executive leadership, she has played a leadership role in several organizational development initiatives ensuring use of best practices and streamlining operations for efficiency. Before joining the US Dry Bean Council, Rebecca ran her own agricultural consulting practice, The Chaski Group, working with US agricultural trade groups on new market development and food aid policy.  Rebecca has lived and worked all over the globe and is fluent in Spanish and speaks decent Portuguese, along with a smattering of other languages.  An outdoor and tropics enthusiast, she lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and dog, Madiba.