RaboResearch Analysts

Several members of the global RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness team are based at Rabo AgriFinance in St. Louis, Missouri.

Don Close is an animal protein analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

Close is responsible for analyzing all animal protein sectors, but specializes in beef. Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance, Close served as market director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association in Amarillo, Texas, representing cattle feeders in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. He previously held roles with AzTX Cattle Co. in Hereford, Texas; Future Beef Operations in Parker, Colorado; and PHI Marketing Services at Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa.

Close has conducted research on a wide-range of topics including confinement cow/calf operations, LFTB, ground beef and development in international trade. He is also a regular speaker for state, national and international livestock groups across North America, Australia and New Zealand. Currently, Close authors bi-monthly columns for the National Cattlemen’s publication, and is working on market issues at the intersection of marketing and ag policy.

Close is a graduate of West Texas A & M. He has a bachelor’s agricultural economics.

Sam Funk is a grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

Funk is responsible for analyzing all grains and oilseeds sectors, and has over twenty years of industry experience. Most recently, Funk was the CEO and Executive Economist at AgServe, LLC where he was responsible for guiding business operations and leading economic, agricultural and policy consulting services. He has also worked with the United Soybean Board as Chief Economist, Illinois Farm Bureau as an economist and Doane Advisory Services where he lead special projects and was a consultant.

Funk earned his doctorate in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University. Prior to that, he obtained his master’s at Texas A & M University and his bachelor’s at University of Missouri.

Sterling Liddell is a Global Senior Data Analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

In this role, he is responsible for working with Global Strategists to develop data models for a variety of sectors. Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance, Liddell was Senior Research and Development Analyst with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. Areas of research included farm profitability, rural investment and development and national farm policy. In addition to Farm Bureau, he has research experience in the crop seed industry with Pioneer Hi-Bred in Johnston, Iowa, and livestock with Smithfield Foods in Milford, Utah.

Liddell earned a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University in Business and Agricultural Business. He also earned a Master of Business Administration in Food Chain Management from The Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, United Kingdom.

Stephen Nicholson is a grains and oilseed analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

Nicolson has more than thirty years of experience in cash grain markets, hedging, commodity/ingredient procurement, commodity risk management and commodity analysis. A native of Iowa, he holds a bachelor’s in Farm Operations and Agricultural Education and a master’s in Agricultural Economics, both from Iowa State University. 

Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance, Nicholson was most recently Category Manager and Chief Economist with International Food Products, a trader and distributor of food ingredients. Responsibilities included procurement and trading of vegetable oils, corn sweeteners, starches and grain products, along with consulting assignments.

From 2001 to 2007, he was a Senior Economist with Doane Agricultural Services in St. Louis as the oilseed analyst.

Nicholson also has nearly fifteen years of experience in the food and beverage industry. He has served as Senior Buyer at The Earthgrains Company, now the Sara Lee Baking Group, in St. Louis. From 1988 to 1997, he was the Senior Commodity Analyst in the Global Procurement and Trading Company at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. While at Coca-Cola, he was involved in the creation of the first commodity risk management and governance policy framework for the company.

Aga Dobrowolska Perry is a dairy analyst in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness department, based in St. Louis.

She will help extend Rabobank’s research of the U.S. dairy industry through her expertise as an econometrician and agricultural research specialist. Prior to joining Rabo in early 2017, Perry worked for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, and for Farm Accountancy Data Network in Poland. She was also a research assistant at the University of Missouri – Columbia for the first three and a half years of her doctoral program.

Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Perry is completing her doctorate in agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She currently holds a bachelor’s in agriculture and a master’s in agribusiness and marketing, both from Warsaw University of Life Science in Warsaw, Poland. Additionally, Perry holds a non-degree international master’s in agroecology. The program was organized jointly by ISARA – Lyon in France and Norwegian University of Life Science in As, Norway, Perry’s focus was on agricultural policy.

Several other members of the global RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness team visit frequently with Rabo AgriFinance clients and attend Rabo AgriFinance events. Information about these and other analysts can be found on the RaboResearch website.

Media Availability

To inquire about booking an interview or appearance with a RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness analyst, contact Rabo AgriFinance Vice President of Communications and Public Relations Sarah Kolell.

Sarah Kolell
Office: (816) 350-4811
Cell: (913) 424-6845

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Media Contacts

Sarah Kolell
Vice President, Public Relations and Communications
Office: (816) 350-4811
Cell: (913) 424-6845

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