top of page
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
MBA Foodcon (2).png

MBA FoodCon 

Cultivating The Future

FEB 16,2023


Image by Dan Gold

About FoodCon

About the Conference

The Business Sustainability Collaborative is proud to host the 9th annual MBA FoodCon Conference. Bringing together a diverse group of over 250 students, community members, business leaders and industry experts annually, FoodCon aims to increase the awareness and understanding of the sustainable food industry. 


Beginning in 2014 at UNC-Chapel Hill, FoodCon has rotated annually between UNC’s Kenan-Flagler, Duke’s Fuqua, and NC State’s Jenkins MBA programs in the years since. This year’s edition will be the third time NC State has hosted the conference and we are excited to continue the FoodCon tradition while also highlighting NC State’s unique perspective and expertise.




FEB 16


Registration & Breakfast


Opening Keynote: Karl Binns Jr., Cargill Inc. 

Mountains Ballroom


Room 3210
Room 3285
Room 4280


  • Entrepreneurship For Sustainable Food 

    • Eric Hallman - Piedmont Food Processing Center​

    • Tami Schwerin - The Plant

    • Garrett Corwin - Piedmont Microgreens (Founder & Farmer)

    • Lisa Grele Barrie - Raleigh City Farm

    • Jacob Boehm - Snap Pea

  • Farm to Fork: Creating Sustainable Supply Chains to Your Table 

    • Shraddha Rathod - Freshspire​

    • Lankford Ruffin - Butterball

    • Jason Massey - Ndustrial

    • Lyle Estill - Fair Game Beverage Company

  • Cultivate the soil: Sustainable soil & tech solutions

    • Graham Givens - FoodBuy​

    • Maria Williford - Raleigh City Farm

    • Matthew Reinhart - Bayer Life Sciences


Lunch Provided


Room 3210
Room 3285


  • Growing the future (plant based protein, lab grown protein, farm grown protein)

    • Dr Kitt Payn - Terviva

    • Michelle Egger - BioMilq (CEO)

    • Rachel Gray - Grayhouse Farm

    • Rob Schutte - Jellatech 

Sponsored by The Dairy Alliance 

  • Cultivating equity in food, food production, and food security

    • Demetrius Hunter - Black Farmers Hub​

    • Sana Hadley - Sinnovatek

    • Andrew Gravens - A Place at the Table

    • Renee Smith - Plant Based Foods Institute

    • Bill Baker - Butterball


Closing Keynote: Matt Tripp, John Deere

Mountains Ballroom


Mountains Ballroom

Networking & Howling Cow Ice Cream Sponsored by The Dairy Alliance 


Keynote Speakers


Karl Binns


Morning Keynote

Black Farmer Equity Manager - Cargill, Inc.

Karl Binns is a nationally recognized advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion and currently serving as the Black Farmer Equity Manager for Cargill. In his role he leads a cross-functional team creating bespoke supply chains and new market opportunities for black farmers, ranchers, and producers. 


In the past, Karl served as the Future Talent & DEI partnerships lead for Merck Animal Health and has held leadership roles at the Penn State University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Karl is a former national officer for Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), and founder of both the World Food Prize- Maryland Youth Institute and the Maryland Junior MANRRS Leadership Institute.


Mr. Binns is a proud HBCU graduate, a LEAD Maryland Class X Fellow, Herrsching International Seminar Fellow and a Climate Reality Action Fellow.


  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon

Matt Tripp

Division Business Manager - John Deere

Matt is responsible for leading the dealer strategy and sales execution for the southeastern United States.  Matt’s support of our dealers to help encourage the adoption of new equipment technologies by our customers. These technologies are helping to make their operations more profitable and sustainable, both of which are key to ensuring they can feed a growing world population. 


Since joining John Deere in 2002, Matt has worked in positions of increasing responsibility including strategic marketing, product marketing in Europe, future product development and dealer product support.  Matt was also a board member for the Ag Retailers Association.


Matt is still an active member of his family farm where they raise chickens, pigs, corn, and soybeans. The family farm is where he learned at a young age the importance of sustainable food production.


Afternoon Keynote


  • Black LinkedIn Icon
The Venue

The Venue

2610 Cates Avenue

Raleigh, NC 27606

Talley Student Union is the hub of student life on campus. The facility features a grand ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,200 guests; a wide variety of dining, lounge and meeting venues; recreational areas; student organization and government offices, a 2-level flagship NC State Store location; a great lawn; and advanced technology.


Named after former vice-chancellor of student affairs Banks C. Talley. Talley was instrumental in merging NC States agricultural and engineering history with the arts. Find parking directions here. 





Our Sponsors


Jenkins MBA Student Association (8).png
Contact Us
bottom of page