External Advisory Committee

Francisco Cerda

Francisco Cerda

Francisco Cerda was appointed Texas State Monitor Advocate in Austin, Texas January 1998. As the State Monitor Advocate for Texas, Cerda is responsible for overseeing and ensuring migrant and seasonal farmworkers receive the same equitable services to those that are provided to non-MSFWs throughout the state of Texas. Cerda serves as Civil Rights Compliance Investigator on complaints filed by MSFWs through the Employment Service system and observes the working and living conditions and coordinates with state and federal enforcement agencies as well as legal entities and farmworker advocacy groups throughout Texas and the United States of the many labor statutes that affect MSFWs. Instrumental in working with many agencies and farmworker organizations, Cerda has been associated with numerous organizational committees throughout his career as well. Cerda has been employed for almost 24 years with the Texas Workforce Commission. Prior to joining the Texas Workforce Commission, he worked several seasons in the watermelon fields and later began working on his family ranch and surrounding ranches after school and during summer months as a ranch hand in the South Texas area while attending high school and Southwest Texas State University and Texas A&I University.

Jennifer Conner, DrPH

Jennifer Conner, DrPH

Jennifer Conner is a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for Chicot County in Arkansas. She earned her doctorate degree in public health with an emphasis in leadership. She also has training in biostatistics. She will offer expertise to the Center in motivational interviewing, evaluation and provide access to extension agents in Arkansas and across the nation.

Robert Hagevoort

Robert Hagevoort

Robert Hagevoort, a native of The Netherlands, earned his bachelor’s degree in tropical animal production from the Deventer College for Tropical Agriculture. He received a master’s degree in range nutrition and a doctorate in animal nutrition from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining NMSU as an Extension Dairy Specialist in November of ’05, Hagevoort served for 10 years as an independent dairy management consultant and nutritionist, primarily in California’s southern and central Valley. As a an Extension Specialist he has been working closely with the Dairy Industry in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest on providing information, regulatory issues, and any other fires that may erupt within the industry. In 2011, Dr. Hagevoort was appointed to New Mexico State University’s $1 Million Endowed Dairy Chair.

Cornelis de Hoop, MBA, Ph.D.

Cornelis de Hoop, MBA, Ph.D.

Corneils (“Niels”) de Hoop is an Associate Professor at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, where he has worked since 1992. Prior to obtaining his PhD at Texas A&M University, he worked twelve (12) years in the forest products industry, mostly in logging supervision and timber procurement, in Canada and eastern Texas. He also worked a year with the U.S. Forest Service in Kentucky and 1 ½ years with the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife. He has a Master of Business Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Kentucky. He teaches courses in timber harvesting and procurement. His research activities have included expert systems for diagnosis for problems with veneer lathes, assessment of cut-to-length harvesting, stormwater runoff from log yards, wood supply for chip mills, wood residue supply and demand, accidents in the forest products industry, and biomass energy. He is a regular contributor to The Louisiana Logger magazine with articles on logging safety, teaches in logging safety workshops, and is the Technical Editor of the International Journal of Forest Engineering.

Matt Nonnenmann, Ph.D., CIH

Matt Nonnenmann, Ph.D., CIH

Matt Nonnenmann is an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with extensive experience in field aerosol exposure assessment and exposure control in agricultural health and safety. His research focus has been on the prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses in agriculture. In the previous cycle, he led a project focused on the broiler industry and novel exposure assessment methods. Dr. Nonnenmann gives the Center national perspective and a helps to maintain a close working relationship with other Ag Centers.

Mark Shirley, M.S.

Mark Shirley, M.S.

Mark is a Marine Agent in the Vermillion Parish Extension Service Office in Abbeville, Louisiana. He conducts educational programs dealing with crawfish production, alligator farming, fish pond management, and other aquaculture topics in southwest Louisiana. He also works with fishermen and landowners on coastal issues. Mr. Shirley is a respected member of his community and an invaluable member of the SW Ag Center External Advisory Committee. Mr. Shirley has been instrumental in participant recruitment for the project, Innovative Approaches to Worker Health Protection Among Shrimp Fishermen of the Gulf Coast, led by Dr. Jeffrey Levin. He also helped make local connections for a feasibility project that assessed ergonomic considerations for crawfish farmers. Recently, Mr. Shirley was honored with the Extension Excellence Award for his dedication to helping people in southwest Louisiana protect and earn a living off the marshes and waterways in his community.

James Wright, DVM

James Wright, DVM

James Wright worked with the Texas Department of State Health Services serving in many capacities, including Deputy Regional Director of Region 4 & 5N, regional Meat Safety and regional Zoonosis Control Veterinarian. Dr. Wright received the Texas Veterinary Medical Association President’s Award in recognition of his developing A Veterinarian’s Guide to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. As the Center continues to address

livestock safety, Dr. Wright will be invaluable as an expert in zoonosis.