June 7-9th, Paris, France


Discussion Panel No 1 Big data

Panel Moderator

Hirbod Assa, Assistant Professor, University of Liverpool

After completing his PhDs in mathematics and economics at the U of Montreal and Concordia University, respectively, Hirbod started working as an assistant professor of financial and actuarial mathe-matics at the University of Liverpool in 2013. He is now the direc-tor of the masters program in financial mathematics and supervis-es PhD students in risk management and machine learning. Hir-bod's research covers topics in hedging, pricing, optimal insurance design, agricultural finance/insurance and machine learning. He constantly works with the industry in the UK and Canada, specifi-cally, on projects in agricultural insurance, where he helped de-signing and pricing agricultural risk management tools.       PPT download



Invited Panel Discussants

Robert Finger, Chair of Agricultural Economics and Policy, ETH Zürich

Robert received a PhD in Agricultural Economics from ETH Zurich in 2009 and stayed as PostDoc till 2011. Before returning to ETH Zurich, he was Assistant Professor in the Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group at Wageningen University (2012-2013) and Head of the Production Economics Group at the Rheinische Frie-drich-Wilhelms-Universit├Ąt of Bonn (2014-2015). The research fo-cus of Robert is on risks and risk management in agriculture, evalu-ation and design of agricultural policies, sustainable farm-environment interactions and agri-environmental measures.


Dr. Joseph M. Russo, President and Senior Research Scientist, ZedX, Inc

Dr. Russo is responsible for research and development at ZedX, Inc., an information technology (IT) company in the United States specializing in decision-support algorithms, models, and data visu-alization tools for the agricultural industry. He is active in the de-sign and development of interactive, web-based decision-support platforms, and application programming interface (API) data ser-vices for different agricultural sectors. These platforms and ser-vices utilize deterministic crop, pest, and management models to complement field observations and to provide forecasts.

In 1978, Dr. Russo received his PhD in Agricultural Meteorology from Cornell University.



Joshua Woodard, Assistant Professor of Agribusiness and Finance, Zaitz Family Ses-quicentennial Faculty Fellow, David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Fac-ulty Fellow, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell Universi-ty

Joshua Woodard, PhD is an assistant professor of Agribusiness and Finance in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. His research focuses primarily on data ana-lytics and policy in agricultural finance, insurance, & risk manage-ment.




Discussion Panel No 2 International experience regarding imple-mentation of crop insurance

Panel Moderator

Lysa Porth, Assistant Professor and Guy Carpenter Research Chair in Agricultural Risk Management and Insurance, University of Manitoba


Invited Panel Discussants

Pierre Rolland, Director, GEOSYS Europe

Pierre Rolland is Director of GEOSYS Europe, the fourth subsidiary of GEOSYS Group, created in 2015 and based in Switzerland, Mor-ges. Pierre joined GEOSYS in 2005, bringing 10 years of innovation and experience in Agriculture business and sales development in Europe. He significantly contributed to the growth and sales organ-ization in Europe, and now leads the Regional Sales team, oversee-ing local sales in Europe, Africa & Middle East regions (EAME), Aus-tralia, North America and Brazil. Pierre holds a Master's degree in Agriculture from Ecole "d'Ingénieurs de Purpan" in France and a M.B.A from Paris X University. He started his agriculture career with Monsanto, selling crop protection and seeds in France. Then, Pierre joined Eurofins Scientific, an international group of laborato-ries providing a broad range of testing and support services to the pharmaceutical, food, environmental, consumer products indus-tries and government leaders.       PPT download


Leah Soroka, Program Manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Agri-Financial Services, IFC/World Bank

Leah works with her teams to improve the access to finance to the agricultural sector by improved banking practices and evaluations, development of risk management tools such as crop insurance, and the development of crop receipts to extend financing based on future crop production. In the last 20 years, Leah has worked in many countries developing the agriculture sector including most of the former Soviet republics, Afghanistan, Congo, China, and other regions. She has previously worked with IFC in Ukraine in Land Pri-vatization and Agri-Business Development. Leah has worked with agricultural equity funds and new opportunities funds to invest in agricultural processing and diversified agriculture new ventures in bio-energy, composites, and waste management. Ms Soroka also has experience in mining development particularly the start-up of the Kumtor Gold Mine in Kyrgyzstan.       PPT download


Andrew Trotter, Founder and CEO of Latevo Pty Ltd

Andrew is a highly experienced farmer, agronomist and advisor who, along with creating Australia's first agricultural income pro-tection insurance for dryland farmers, has been assisting his father managing the 1000-hectare family farm in the highly productive Wimmera district of Victoria.

The Latevo agricultural income protection model is unique in the Australian market as it offers high-level cover for all natural perils affecting broadacre crops and also enables farmers to mitigate their own risk whilst maximizing yield potential.

Latevo has been on the market for three years, has a 100% claims payout strike rate and is currently harnessing technology opportu-nities to enable more farmers complete the due diligence process-es effectively to maximize their coverage offers.

It made news in 2014 when the first claims payout of $944k was made to a Queensland grower and after a period of trading in a difficult climate, Latevo now boasts to have received more premi-ums than payouts during its start up phase.

The current model provides an efficient balance that ticks all the boxes for both insurers and farmers.

Not only is Andrew continuing to grow and develop the Latevo model, he is frequently engaging with the Australian government.

By engaging with the government he is looking to garner support for farmers through rebates that will enable them to protect them-selves against natural disasters such as drought, flood and frost.

Not only do these natural perils cripple farming enterprises, they create mental carnage for many farming families who are risk-adverse.

Andrew is focused on working closely with all stakeholders to en-sure every Australian farming family has access to the Latevo agri-cultural income protection product so they can sleep at night knowing the crops they have heavily invested in are protected.       PPT download

Current conference: 2017         Past conferences: 2015 2014 2013 2012