SPEAKERS

Clay Crawford  (Bad Faith Avoidance)

Clay Crawford is an AV rated attorney with substantial jury trial experience and appellate experience in state and federal courts throughout Missouri and Kansas. Since joining the firm, Clay has developed his practice in insurance litigation, the defense of personal injury claims, construction defect litigation, commercial disputes and general trial practice, with a focus on insurance coverage and extracontractual matters. Clay is a Fellow in the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel. He also has been named one of Best of the Bar by the Kansas City Business Journal, The Best Lawyers in Kansas City® by Ingram’s Magazine, and the Best Lawyers in America® by U.S. News and World Report. He has earned the Super Lawyers® designation in Missouri and Kansas each year since 2009, including a Top 100 ranking in Missouri and Kansas and Top 50 ranking in Kansas City. In 2014, Clay was selected as Insurance “Lawyer of the Year” in Kansas City by Best Lawyers, and in 2016 he was named to the St. Louis Post Dispatch list of “Top Lawyers in Missouri.”  In addition to his trial practice, Clay has served as an adjunct professor of insurance law at the UMKC School of Law. Clay is also a past President of the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers.  Before joining the firm, Clay served as an officer of Employers Reinsurance Corporation, now part of Swiss Re.

Don Heinrich (Reserving Claims)

Don Heinrich is the Assistant Vice President of Claims for Chubb Agribusiness Insurance. He is a 1981 graduate of the Drake University School of Law and has worked in insurance, consulting and risk management for 37 years. He has spent the last 11 years managing the agricultural claim operations for Chubb.

 

His areas of expertise include insurance company claim department structure and procedures, coverage and complex litigation, reinsurance, captive insurance and alternative risk financing. He was the principal and owner of Heinrich Insurance Consulting, providing consulting and expert witness support to the legal and insurance industries. He has presented to a number of groups on a variety of topics including Reserving Philosophy and Practice, Litigation Cost Control, Good Faith Claim Handling/Bad Faith Avoidance, Claim Department Performance Metrics and others.

 

Don is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ag Claims Association and sits on the PLRB Products and Services Committee. He is a Fellow of the Claim and Litigation Management Alliance and is a licensed P&C Adjuster in multiple states.

 

In addition to his Juris Doctor, he holds the following professional designations:

 

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter

Associate in Reinsurance

Associate in Risk Management

Agribusiness & Farm Insurance Specialist.

 

In his spare time, he is a college/high school baseball umpire and a high school football coach.

Dan Little, DVM.  (Dairy Equipment Failures)

Dr. Little received his B.A. in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College, his M. S. in Physiology of Reproduction from Texas A&M University, and his D. V. M. from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.  Over his 30 plus years as a veterinarian, his practice has focused on a systems management approach to food animal medicine.  In addition to providing on-farm services to diagnose and prevent health challenges, he has also provided technical support to companies that desire to implement biotech solutions in livestock systems.  He has presented at national and international professional conferences and is a published author in scientific journals and industry magazines. 

Dr. Little’s education and management consulting experience in the areas of protocol development, facility design, production efficiency, and financial management have provided a framework for his skills in forensic investigation and economic loss evaluations for livestock related matters.  He provides expert opinions in complex scenarios regarding dairy, swine, beef, poultry, equine, small ruminants, practice management, and personal injury.  The majority of his current forensic investigations relate to alleged feed mixing and contamination concerns.

Dan and his wife, Pat, reside in Brookings, SD.  In addition to travel, golf, and general aviation, they enjoy grandparenting and activities with their adult children

Zev Paiss  (Hemp Investigations)

COO - Abraham Paiss & Associates

Industrial hemp consultant & supply chain brokers

Zev Paiss has been actively involved in the industrial hemp industry since 2012 – the year Colorado citizens passed legislation allowing farmers to legally grow this versatile crop. He is recognized nationally for his common sense solution-oriented approach to filling needs in the hemp industry.  In 2013, he founded the National Hemp Association (NHA) and served as the Executive Director from 2013-2016.  During that period he coordinated over 50 educational and networking events. In 2017 he created the Hemp Marketplace – a “Craigslist-style platform” – to help hemp farmers find buyers for their raw and lightly processed material. He is a well respected consultant and advisor across many aspects of the emerging hemp industry and lives in Boulder Colorado with his wife.

Brandan Mcgehee – MW Claims Service  (Ag Claims)

Brandan Mcgehee is a partner and General Adjuster with Midwest Claims Service who specializes in the Agricultural Claims Industry. Brandan has prepared over 400 estimates for damage to conventional, chain wall and tunnel poultry houses with damage including but not limited to hail, wind, weight of ice/snow, fire and mechanical breakdown.

 

Prior to Brandan's adjusting career, he was raised on the largest poultry operation in Arkansas which consisted of 32 cage layer houses, 4 broiler/brooder houses,  a self-contained feed mill, and an egg grading operation. At any one time this farm had approximately 2,680,000 chickens on sight and produced approximately 3,000,000 eggs daily.

Christopher A. Wills  (Roundup Litigation)

 

Chris is a partner at Rajkowski Hansmeier Ltd. in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  He is licensed to practice law in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.  He primarily handles agricultural claims, including crop claims, feed claims, injury claims, and employment claims.  His clients have so appreciated his ability in handling agricultural claims that they have asked him to get licensed in Iowa and Nebraska so that he can handle agricultural claims in those states.  His wife Molly is a librarian; together they have three young children.  In his free time, Chris enjoys cooking with his oldest son, rock climbing with his daughter, and playing with Legos with his youngest son.

Cary Rivard (Organic Agriculture) 

Cary is a Fruit and Vegetable Extension Specialist at Kansas State University in the Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources, and is Center Director of the Olathe Horticulture Research and Extension Center located near Kansas City. His research program focuses on sustainable farming production systems and current projects include: vegetable grafting, annual strawberry production systems, high tunnels, no-till and minimum tillage systems, and reducing postharvest losses. He also coordinates the Growing Growersfarmer education program (www.growinggrowers.org) and is responsible for the www.hightunnels.org webpage and listserv.

Mikey Minor (Lightning Losses) 

Mikey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Milwaukee School of Engineering and is the Director of Consulting for TechLoss Consulting and Restoration, Inc. Over his 16 years of technical consulting experience in the insurance loss industry, he has handled more than 5,000 projects including those involving agricultural equipment, electrical and mechanical infrastructure, and obsolete or unique systems. Mikey is experienced in large loss damage claims, project management, subrogation, and litigation support. He has conducted numerous training seminars and presentations nationwide on the subject of technical losses and their causes. TechLoss (www.techloss.com) has a full-time staff of degreed engineers from multiple engineering disciplines, which allows for successful outcomes whether dealing with equipment that is run-of-the-mill or highly specialized. Mikey and his family live on a few acres in the Asheville, North Carolina area where they dabble in hobby farming.

James Enos (Investigating Electrical Fires & Agricultural Equipment Fires)

Mr. Enos joined Donan in 2007 and currently serves as regional fire manager for the firm’s south region. He has 35 years of
fire service experience, and has conducted more than 900 fire investigations. Mr. Enos is a Certified Fire Investigator, a Certified Fire
and Explosion Investigator, and a Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator. Mr. Enos is also a Private Investigator in Georgia, Tennessee and
Virginia, and a Certified Asbestos Inspector in Tennessee. Jim frequently lectures on fire science and fire subrogation topics, and is a
seasoned and court-tested expert on fire origin and cause.

Chris Wortmann (Scoping Agricultural Buildings)

Christopher Wortmann, PE is the owner of NOHR Wortmann Engineering, an engineering company that provides engineering, evaluation, insurance investigation, design and drafting services to industrial, agricultural, manufacturing, residential and commercial clients, along with expert witness testimony.

He is a 1998 graduate of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and is a Professional Engineer currently licensed in 25 states.  NOHR Wortmann Engineering provides engineering services throughout the US as well as both Canada and Mexico.

Wortmann is an active member of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), American Concrete Institute (ACI), and Grain Elevator & Processing Society (GEAPS).

Chris currently serves on the Nationwide Agribusiness Grain Advisory Board. He is one of 10 Board members collaborating to solve key issues impacting the grain industry. 

Chris also serves on the St. Rose of Lima School Board as President and has been the St. Rose of Lima Children’s Choir Director for the past ten years, Chief Ranger for Catholic Order of Foresters, Crofton Community Club Member and Yankton Chamber of Commerce Member.  He has also been an active member of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital Toastmasters Club #6217 for the past five years.

Jason Davis (Machinery Accidents with BI)

“Jason Davis has over twenty-two years of experience in the Claims department at American National Insurance Company in Springfield, MO.  He is currently a Litigation Manager for all lines of business all over the United States.  His previous roles include Sr. Litigation Specialist – Commercial/Agribusiness and Sr. Claims Specialist – Commercial/Agribusiness.  He has handled a wide variety of complex Agribusiness claims.  Jason holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Drury University in Springfield Missouri.  He is a licensed adjuster in eight states and has earned his CPCU, CLMP, SCLA, AIC, ARM and AIS designations.”

Doug Riley (Grain Contamination)

Doug Riley has worked for the Missouri Department of Agriculture for nine years. In that time he has obtained commodity grading licenses under the United States Grain Standards Act for the following commodities: Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, and Sorghum. He is also licensed to perform Mycotoxin testing on grain for Aflatoxin, Fumonisin, and Vomotxin. Doug is currently the Quality Assurance Specialist for Missouri’s Grain Inspection Services and is based out of central Missouri in Marshall, MO. Doug enjoys hiking, fishing, and mushroom hunting. He also has a love for bugs.  Doug is married and has a 2 year old boy and a little girl coming in Dec. 2019.

David Niederjohn (Grain Contamination)

David is the Assistant Manager for the Missouri Department of Agriculture Grain Inspection office in Marshall, MO. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from the University of Central Missouri. David’s career in the agriculture field has included crop insurance, agricultural finance as well as being involved on his family farm near Waverly, MO. He and his wife live in a 182 year old log cabin with their 6 month old daughter, Georgia.

Jack Bangert (Mediation)

Jack Bangert is a Partner at Kutak Rock in Kansas City. He has more than 40 years of experience in commercial and civil litigation. Jack has successfully mediated hundreds of cases over the past 10 years. He is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. Only 32 attorneys in Missouri are recognized as having met the requirements for the NADN. Jack is one of only four NADN members in Missouri to have achieved “Diplomate” status.

Mr. Bangert is an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law.

He has taught at numerous trial academies including the Missouri Bar Trial Academy, the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers Trial Academy, the Missouri Judicial Trial College and the International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy.

Mr. Bangert is a past President of the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, and Board of Trustees of the Law Foundation of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and the American Board of Trial Attorneys for the Western District of MO and Eastern District of KS.

Mr. Bangert has been named to the Best of the Bar in litigation by the Kansas City Business Journal and been named to US News and World Report’s “Best Lawyers” and Kansas City’s Ingram’s Magazine “Best Lawyers in Kansas City”. He has also been named a Top 100 Super Lawyer for Missouri and Kansas in litigation.

His acknowledgments have included among others, the Inaugural Legal Leader of the Year Award by the Daily Record, the Ben Ely, Jr. Outstanding Defense Lawyer for Missouri and the Alumni Achievement Award in Law from Westminster College.

Rusty Rumley (From the Farm Fields to the Courthouse)

Rusty was born and raised on a family farm in Cogar, Oklahoma. He graduated magna cum laude from Oklahoma State University in 2004 with a B.S. in AgriBusiness and in 2007 earned his juris doctor from the University of Oklahoma. After law school, Rusty earned his LL.M in Agricultural Law at the University of Arkansas.  He is licensed to practice law in the states of Oklahoma and Michigan.

 

Rusty has published law review articles discussing the future application of special use valuation for inherited farmland, “right to farm” statutes, and the enforcement of animal cruelty statutes by private organizations. He has also written on landowner liability, agritourism, food labeling, local food production, business organizations, crop insurance, estate planning, leasing, and other land use topics in his work at the Center. Further, Rusty presents around the country to producer, consumer, extension, industry and legal groups on an array of topics.

 

His primary areas of interest are in estate planning, taxation, business organizations, landowner liability, leasing and agritourism.

Brandon Wyant  (Precision Farming - New Insurance Risks)

 

Brandon started with Deere & Co. in 2007 and currently serves as the Global Proactive Customer Services – Deployment Manager.   He has global responsibility for the deployment, engagement, and execution of various Customer & Product Support tools and initiatives.  He’s earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Science degree from Purdue University, and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.   During his career at Deere, he has held various roles in Product Engineering, Customer & Product Support, Project Management, and Territory Management.   Brandon, his wife Lisa, and their 2 young children reside in Shawnee, KS.  In his spare time, he enjoys being active in the family’s farming operation in Central Nebraska.

Gus R. Hitz, FCLS, CIFI

 

Lancaster County Nebraska Deputy Sheriff, 1986 to 2000

Lancaster County Youth Assessment Center Director, 2000 to 2004

Partner Paper Tiger Shredding INC. 2004 to 2007

International Police Advisor (Iraq) 2007 to 2009

Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center Staff Instructor, 2009 to 2012

Nebraska Department of Insurance Fraud Prevention Division, Fraud Investigator, 2012 to 2016

National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) Special Agent 2016 to 2018

National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) Supervisory Special Agent 2018 to Present

 

Certifications - (Current and Past)

 

Certified Law Enforcement Trainer, State of Nebraska and Department of Justice

Law Enforcement, Field Training Officer Certified Instructor

Certified Tactical Communications Instructor

Fraud Claims Law Specialist (FCLS)

Certified Insurance Fraud Investigator (CIFI)

 

President Iowa Nebraska International Association of Special Investigative Units (IASIU) Chapter 2016-2018

Vice President Iowa Nebraska IASIU Chapter 2018 to Present

 

My grandfather was a life long farmer in Butler County Nebraska and my Father in law is a farmer and cattleman in Butler County Nebraska, with over 200 head on Salers cattle…

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The Agricultural Claims Association reserves the right to refuse attendance at our discretion.

No refunds after February 17, 2020 for the conference.