Meet the Board

Whitney Thome 

Whitney Thome, President
Ag Marketing Communications major, Ag Business and Food Science minors, 2011
Knowing that she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture, Whitney, originally of Dorchester, WI, chose UW-River Falls. Once at UWRF, she became involved with organizations such as the Agriculture Education Society and the Agriculture Business and Marketing Society. Immediately following graduation, Whitney began working with John Deere. She has been with the company for four years and has held various roles within Remarketing (used equipment), Order Fulfillment (combine manufacturing) and Parts (metric analysis). Currently, she works within the Parts Division as a Dealer Parts Management Analyst. In this role, Whitney works directly with agriculture and construction dealer accounts to manage their part inventory at a location level.

Jenni Skiba

Jenni (Drinkall) Skiba, Vice President
Dairy Science, 2003
Having focused her studies on the dairy management option, Jenni currently works with her husband and his family on their family farm, Diamonds S Farm, and is the owner of Silver Star Jerseys. She was also previously employed by Land O'Lakes and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. Jenni advises students to get as much out of their coursework as they can, and to take advantage of the opportunities and resources that are open to them during their college years. Come with an open mind, she says, you never know what course might change your career path. Skiba lives in North Branch, Minn., with her husband and five young children.

Stephanie_Jens_Board members

Stephanie Jens, Secretary
Dairy Science major, Chemistry minor, 2005
Stephanie grew up on a small beef farm in southeast Minnesota and graduate from UWRF in 2005. After college, Stephanie worked for six years at a small agriculture research and development company, providing technical support across the U.S. Since 2012, she has worked at Lallemand Animal Nutrition as a Territory Business Manager. Stephanie enjoys being involved with CAFES again, as it gives her the chance to give back to the school that created the foundation for her career in the agriculture industry. The connections she made at UWRF and beyond have been invaluable, not only for her career, but also in creating life-long friendships. Stephanie lives with her husband, Josh, and three sons, Cade, Mason and Zach in Randolph.

Jeff Betley


Jeff Betley
Ag Business and Ag Engineering major, 1990
Jeff Betley is from Pulaski, Wisconsin where he is the owner of Betley Farms, LLC. After graduation, Jeff went to work for Cargill before deciding to return to the family farm. Since then they have grown from 240 to 2000 cows and new barns are in the works for the next expansion with a focus on labor and resource efficiency. They are also a partner in a cropping business that covers about 7000 acres per year. Two years ago the Betley's started a heifer raising operation in western NE with a few dairy partners. That operation is growing rapidly with about 11,500 dairy heifers in their care. Jeff stated that UWRF gave him a great base to build on and, as a board member, he would like to bring some of his talent and experience back to the next generation.


Kory Duerst 

Kory Duerst
Dairy Science, 2006
Kory is currently a Dairy Account Manager for Chr. Hansen in Milwaukee where he supports local suppliers with technical advice for silage inoculants and dairy probiotics. Kory grew up on a dairy farm in southern Wisconsin. Prior to attending UWRF, he served as a state FFA officer for one year which confirmed his desire to pursue a degree in agriculture. At UWRF, Kory participated in several clubs and activities, including Alpha Gamma Rho and Dairy Club. As a member of the Board, Kory is excited to help lead and grow CAFES so that other prospective and current students can have the same opportunities for success that he has had as a graduate of CAFES.


Ashley (Sollman) Gausman
Agricultural Business major, Agronomy minor, 2009
Ashley currently works as a business representative for BASF, a global leader in crop protection products. BASF helps farmers to sustainably increase the yields and quality of their crops. Ashley, who grew up on a dairy farm in Turtle Lake, credits her professional career largely to the experiences she gained in CAFES. While a CAFES student, she was exposed to many facets of agriculture and people who shared the same interests and desires for the industry as she. It was through these experiences that she gained an awareness of what it really meant to be an agriculture graduate and how it opens the doors to endless opportunities. Ashley lives in Baldwin with her husband Bill where they have a corn and soybean operation.

Greg Golombeski 

Greg Golombeski
Animal Science – Dairy Emphasis, 2002
Greg Golombeski currently resides in Byron, Minnesota where he is a senior dairy nutritionist for Hubbard Feeds in Mankato. In 2005, Greg earned his M.S. Dairy Science from South Dakota State University and a Ph.D. in Animal Science in 2011 from the University of Minnesota. He joined Hubbard Feeds in 2011. Greg's responsibilities include on farm nutrition consulting, ration balancing and assisting dairy producers on issues regarding nutrition and management. In his free time, Greg likes to golf, travel, spend time with family and friends, and help his brother with their small registered Jersey herd. Greg really enjoyed his college experience at UW-River Falls. He participated in several clubs and activities, including Delta Theta Sigma, McNair Scholars and Dairy Club. From these activities he made connections that helped in his career and also made life-long friendships. Greg wants to share his great UW-River Falls experience with others, help give back to CAFES, and be a resource for prospective and current students to help shape the next generation of the agricultural industry.


Wendy Kannel
Ag Education, 2003
Wendy has been with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau since 2010 and is the Director of Training and Leadership Development. She coordinates the Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program (YFA) for members ages 18-35, oversees the Collegiate Farm Bureau chapters at UW-River Falls, Madison and Platteville, and facilitates the Leadership Institute, a year-long leadership development program for Farm Bureau members. After graduating from UWRF in 2003, Wendy was the Agriscience Teacher and FFA Advisor for the Mishicot School District and also served as an adjunct instructor for Lakeshore Technical College. Wendy states that UWRF offered not only great instruction but also opened many networking opportunities and experiences that have helped her in her current position.

Lindsay Knoebel 

Lindsay Knoebel
Animal Science-Meat Animal major, Horticulture minor, 2013
Lindsay grew up on a cattle and grain farm in Helenville. In 2001, her family started Jelli's Market, a fresh produce business growing and promoting pick your own strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples and other fresh produce throughout the summer. After attending UWRF, she returned to work on her family farm and is an independent sales representative for DuPont Pioneer. She is also currently serving as the Farm Bureau YFA representative for Jefferson County. Lindsay looks forward to being an advocate of CAFES to younger generations.

Contact Us

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Fax 715-425-3785
210 Agricultural Science
611 S. 3rd St.
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