MBA Virtual Agriculture Conference

MBA Virtual Agriculture Conference

January 13-14, 2021


January 13 

9 am               

Welcome - Doug Rogers, Peoples Bank Mendenhall, Ag. Committee Chairman, and Gordon Fellows, MBA President and CEO

9:15 – 9:45 am

Mississippi Weather Expectations and Climatology, Dr. Mike Brown, Mississippi State University

9:45-10:15 am

Keynote Address, Congressman Trent Kelly 

10:15 – 10:30 am  BREAK

10:30 – 11:30 am

USDA Report, Scope and impact of the USDA, CARES Act, Grant programs provided by USDA and how the UDSA supports business and industry in MS, Gary Jones, Program Director, USDA

January 14

9 – 10 am

State of Timber, Michael Cooper & Bob Lyle, Molpus Woodland Group

10 – 10:15 am  BREAK

10:15 – 11:45 am

Washington Update, EIDL Grants and COVID Relief Programs, Marijuana Banking, Ed Elfmann, Senior Vice President of Agricultural and Rural Banking Policy, American Bankers Association


Dr. Mike Brown is the state climatologist for Mississippi and a professor of meteorology/climatology.  His research interests are diverse and include land-surface-atmosphere interactions and severe local storms, public perception of warnings, and various climatologies.  Dr. Brown has published articles related to tornado damage paths and enhanced convection, lightning probabilities at NCAA stadiums, seasonal predictors of mallard duck migrations, and thermodynamic characteristics of severe local storms in the southeast U.S.  

Michael Cooper is responsible for the client relations team as well as developing firm-wide strategic initiatives. He also provides leadership and strategic business advice to company executives, management, and across functional teams of the company. Michael previously served the company as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer where he oversaw all aspects of the compliance and legal programs as well as overseeing the company risk management program and managing external relationships such as outside counsel and related vendors.

Michael has worked with Molpus since 1999 and has been involved in many facets of the company’s work with previous experience including overseeing fundraising activities and in the development of Molpus’s co-mingled funds and international tax structures.

Ed Elfmann is Senior Vice President of Agricultural and Rural Banking Policy for the American Bankers Association.  He has been with ABA since June 2012, and is ABA’s head of policy on agricultural and rural credit and lending issues. In addition to agricultural policy, Elfmann works on swaps and derivatives policy, financial services, and appropriations for ABA.  He also serves on the National Hemp Industrial Council.  He currently serves on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Agricultural Markets Advisory Committee and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Agricultural Advisory Committee.  Elfmann earned his master’s degree from the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. He earned his B.A. from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn.

Gary Jones, a native of Jackson, MS began his career with USDA, Rural Development (formerly Farmers Home Administration) in 1991. Prior to being employed with Rural Development, he worked for over 8 years in the Banking Industry. Mr. Jones has been the Program Director for the Rural Business and Cooperative Services Division of USDA, Rural Development headquartered in Jackson, MS since 2010. He also served as Acting State Director for the Mississippi Rural Development Office in 2017. Prior to becoming Program Director, previous positions held with Rural Development include Community Development Specialist in Yazoo County, Community Development Manager in Yazoo, Madison, Rankin, Warren, Simpson and Hinds counties in Mississippi and Business Loan Specialist for the Rural Business and Cooperative Service Division of USDA, Rural Development.

Bob Lyle joined Dick Molpus on the staff at the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office in 1989, where his duties included assisting approximately ninety school districts with management of more than 600,000 acres of public trust school lands. He served as Assistant Secretary of State until 1993. He then joined the Molpus gubernatorial campaign as its finance director until December of 1995. Bob then served as executive assistant and legal counsel for Mississippi’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce until he joined The Molpus Company in July 1996.

Ag Conference Registration Form



Bank Name:_________________________________________________________________


$225 per MBA Member Bank

$375 – per MBA Member Bank plus recordings of all sessions

$450 per MBA Non-Member Bank

$200 – Recording Only (available to MBA Members Only)

Due to COVID-19, the MBA asks that registrants pay by credit card. 


TO REGISTER:  Scan & Email to
QUESTIONS: Contact Lori Richardson (601) 709-3736 or email the address above.


Credit Card Information

Name on Bank Card____________________________________________________________

Credit Card Number____________________________________________________________

Expiration Date___________________________CVV_________________________________

Billing Zip Code_____________________________________