Keynote: Emerging Zoonotic Diseases Impacting Agriculture:  What Comes After Covid 19?  Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH, MBA, Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and former Assistant Surgeon General

Ali S. Khan is Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and a former Assistant Surgeon General with the US Public Health Service. Dr. Khan’s professional career has focused on health security, global health, and emerging infectious diseases. He completed a 23-year career as a senior director at the CDC, which he joined as a disease detective, and where he led and responded to numerous high profile domestic and international public health emergencies. Dr. Khan was one of the main architects of CDC’s national health security program and continues this work at UNMC, which has been nationally designated to prepare the American healthcare system to respond to outbreaks of high hazard pathogens. He also continues to actively support global outbreak responses such as the response for the West Africa Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh as a member of World Health Organization (WHO) Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.

As Dean of the UNMC College of Public Health, his focus is on health system and community-based health transformations. His vision is for the College to play an integral role in creating the next generation of Public Health Guardians and devising innovative solutions and new interventions to address public health challenges. The College is committed to education with a purpose measured by the impact in our communities starting with making Nebraska the healthiest and most equitable state in the Union as a national and global model for wellness.

Dr. Khan received his medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and has a Master of Public Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. He completed his pediatrics and internal medicine training at the University of Michigan. He has authored numerous papers and publications and has consulted extensively for multiple US organizations, ministries of health, and the World Health Organization where he serves on the steering committee for GOARN.  Dr. Khan is the author of The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers.

Keynote Panel:

Moderator: Matthew Nonnenman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Iowa.  He has technical training in industrial hygiene air sampling and a background in biology. He blends these skill sets to focus on bioaerosol characterization and exposure control. His research focuses on using molecular biology for the characterization of bioaerosols through air sampling in both the laboratory and the field as well as evaluating the effectiveness of engineering controls on aerosol generation.





Carrie Klumb is a senior epidemiologist who works in the Zoonotic Disease Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health. She is the project coordinator for the Surveillance for Zoonotic Diseases in Agricultural Workers and their Families in Minnesota, which is a project through the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center or UMASH at the University of Minnesota. She also focuses on outreach and education to the Ag population and those who visit Ag venues. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, she is part of the team that helps monitor healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 and is the Co-Lead for Minnesota Public Health’s K-12 Schools and Childcare Team.



Christine (Christy) Petersen, Director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, completed a DVM at Cornell University and a PhD in Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard School of Public Health. The focus of this center, a “One Health” collaboration between the Iowa Department of Public Health, the colleges of Medicine and Public Health (UIowa) and Veterinary Medicine (ISU) is to bring together trans-disciplinary research teams to lessen the burden of emerging zoonotic infectious diseases across health settings. As an Associate Professor at University of Iowa, she teaches joint veterinary, medical and global public health coursework and conducts outreach related to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of zoonotic diseases within animal and human populations. She collaborates with the Iowa State University animal shelter medicine program, populations ripe for spread of zoonotic infectious diseases. Her active research group is focused on the long term goal of understanding how to best protect people and animals from vector-borne diseases through effective treatment and/or vaccination.


Capstone: The Science of Communicating Effectively for Behavior Change   Rima Afifi, PhD, Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa


Rima Afifi is a professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa.  Her research and practice focus on mental health, refugee and immigrant wellbeing, tobacco control, and intervention evaluation.  Rima engages in public health research and practice with intent to promote social, community, and policy environments conducive to wellbeing.  She applies community-engaged research and cultural humility to equalize power, voice, and self determination of communities experiencing marginalization; and emphasizes knowledge transfer of research to practice and policy.



Capstone Panel:  Changing Behaviors with Changing Demographics

Moderator: Brandi Janssen knows that a truly sustainable agriculture has to keep farmers and farm workers safe, in addition to being environmentally sensitive. As director of Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH), she oversees a statewide coalition of public and private organizations devoted to reducing injuries and fatalities on farms. As a researcher, she examines local food production in Iowa to better understand how to develop food systems that are environmentally sustainable, accessible to consumers, and profitable for farmers.  Trained as an anthropologist, her research examines the production and marketing strategies of local food producers and their relationships with conventional agricultural production. She has collaborated with area school districts, nonprofits, and community agencies to promote and enhance sustainable food systems locally. Dr. Janssen is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Iowa.





Míchi López serves as the Access and Equity Coordinator at Iowa Valley RC&D.  Her expertise is in equity analysis, community food asset mapping, analytic scientific methods, group facilitation and management, early childhood development, curriculum design and implementation, and social capital building with people of color and refugee families.



Athena Ramos is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and is affiliated with the Center for Reducing Health Dis­parities and the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, Nebraska. She leads a Latino outreach and engagement team and serves as principal investigator for a number of community-based health and social research and education initiatives in such areas as agricultural health and safety, immigrant integration, and community well-being. She is an experienced administrator, program manager, and researcher with proven ability to develop and implement social, health, and human service programs with culturally diverse populations. She has nearly 20 years of experience in health promotion, strategic thinking, community development, and public relations.


David Swenson is a research scientist, specializing in community economics research and education in the Department of Economics, Iowa State University.  He is also a lecturer in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Iowa.  His work centers on regional and statewide economic analysis, technical assistance, and projects that support University-sponsored efforts in community development and in providing community economics education services to the public.  One of Swenson’s major roles is to provide educational and technical assistance, presentations, and workshops to community groups, governments and organizations seeking to learn about Iowa’s economy, the changes it has undergone, and the consequences of economic change for regions, communities, and households.




Linda Emanuel is the Community Health nurse with AgriSafe Network as well as a co-proprietor of her three generational Nebraska family farm. She engages with the diverse agriculture community as a health care advocate, educator and coach. Her passion as an agriculture producer and nurse provider enables her to act as a liaison between research and practice and therefore drives her work to address the everchanging needs of this population.   Linda and AgriSafe have created guides on both farm yoga and farm pilates that can be accessed on the AgriSafe website.



Emily Freudenburg is the Lead Rural Rehabilitation Specialist for Nebraska AgrAbility. She has been with the program since 2015.  Emily’s background in Occupational Therapy helps her to understand client disabilities and limitations.  This helps her to recommend assistive technology that is appropriate for the farmer/rancher.  Emily enjoys attending farm/ranch expos to find new technologies.  Emily is also the social media guru for the program. In her free time you will find her playing with her dog, Milo, or helping with the cattle on her family farm.  Emily will be demonstrating stretches from Farmer Daily Stretching Program Brochure which she developed.



Jenna Gibbs has been playing sports, lifting, running, and doing yoga for more than 20 years. Some of her biggest accomplishments include playing basketball for the University of Iowa, running the Boston Marathon, competing in power and Olympic weightlifting competitions, and balancing fitness with motherhood. In addition to an academic career as a researcher in the field of public health, she has 6 years of experience in strength and conditioning, training, and yoga instruction. She is passionate about helping other individuals achieve their sports performance goals.  Visit her personal trainer page.

Please join us in thanking all of our speakers!