Analysts

Leading global food and agriculture research.

Roland Fumasi, Ph.D. is the North American regional head of the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

Roland analyzes the U.S. and North American fresh fruit and vegetable industries, and general California agriculture. He combines a background in agribusiness research with international market development and finance experience in the agriculture industry. Roland’s research experience focuses on specialty crops and alternative energy (bio-fuel) productions, and he produced an award-winning thesis related to specialty crops.

Roland holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Agribusiness from the California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance, Roland was an active researcher at the Cal Poly California Institute for the Study of Specialty Crops. He served as a Senior Executive in the equipment industry, a Financial Advisor for Morgan Stanley, a Research Associate for the Agricultural & Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University, and as Marketing Director for  various firms.

Stephen Nicholson is a global sector strategist for grains and oilseeds at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

Stephen has over thirty years of experience in cash grain markets, hedging, commodity/ingredient procurement, commodity risk management and commodity analysis. Throughout his career, he has focused on procurement and trading of vegetable oils, corn sweeteners, starches and grain products, and worked on various consulting assignments. Stephen was involved in the creation of the first commodity risk management and governance policy framework for The Coca-Cola Company.

Stephen holds a bachelor’s degree in Farm Operations and Agricultural Education and a master’s in Agricultural Economics from Iowa State University.  Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance, he was Category Manager and Chief Economist with International Food Products. Stephen also served as a Senior Economist with Doane Agricultural Services as the oilseed analyst, Senior Buyer at The Earthgrains Company, now the Sara Lee Baking Group, and was the Senior Commodity Analyst in the Global Procurement and Trading Company at The Coca-Cola Company.

Mary Ledman is global sector strategist for dairy at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness Group.

Mary Ledman

Mary has over 30 years of experience in production agriculture, food processing, government service, agricultural policy, dairy risk management, market information and dissemination, and milk and dairy product price forecasting. Early in her career, she was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship to conduct comparative research on US and European dairy policies. Mary is a thought leader in the dairy industry, sharing extensive knowledge of domestic and international dairy markets and policy.

Mary holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Journalism and a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance, she held positions at the USDA, Kraft Foods, and Stella. She is the founder of Keough Ledman Associates, an economic consulting firm serving the dairy industry since 1995.

Lance Zimmerman is a senior beef analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

Lance is responsible for analyzing the U.S. and North American beef industry. With a strong background in the Latin American agricultural banking industry, he has spent over a decade conducting analysis on the agricultural sector. He has served the animal protein industry for 18 years, gaining recognition regionally and globally for his forward-looking thought leadership. His entire career has been focused on serving the food and agribusiness industry, with the majority of it dedicated specifically to agribusiness and animal protein industry research.

Lance was raised on a commercial cow-calf, backgrounding and diversified crop farm in northwest Kansas, and served as a Kansas FFA State officer. He has served as the Chairperson of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Young Producer’s Council and was selected as the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and Chicago Mercantile Exchange Beef Industry Scholar in 2003. He holds an M.S. in agricultural economics and a B.S. in agricultural communications from Kansas State University.

Christine McCracken is a senior animal protein analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group focusing on pork and poultry. 

Christine joined Rabobank following an 18-year career as a sell-side food & agribusiness analyst. Prior to Rabobank, Christine was a founding partner at Cleveland Research, a Cleveland-based equity research firm. Earlier in her career, the native Minnesotan held similar positions at several institutions including FTN Midwest Research, Vector Securities, and BioScience Securities. She had previously been named ‘Best on the Street Food Analyst’ by the Wall Street Journal and the top food analyst by Forbes.

Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in agricultural and natural resource economics from the University of California at Davis.

 

Owen Wagner is a senior grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group. 

 

Owen works closely with the global grains and oilseeds team in telling the story of North American agriculture. He applies a spirit of data-driven storytelling to help deliver on Rabobank’s value proposition to North American producers and corporate clients.  Owen’s 20-year agricultural career has spanned commodities, geographies and functions within industry, trade associations and the public sector. He has worked directly with both farmers and senior leadership of leading agribusiness firms and cooperatives.

Owen holds a master’s degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech. Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance he was with the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association where he has served as CEO for the three and half years. Before that, Owen was a senior economist for LMC International, where he focused on global markets for oilseeds and biofuels. Owen also spent time working in the cranberry industry of Southeastern Massachusetts and did a stint in Beijing as an intern with the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. He serves on the Board of the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, and recently won the business case study competition at the Rabobank-sponsored Executive Farm Management Program at NC State.

Lucas Fuess is a senior dairy analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

Lucas combines a practical dairy background, strong education, and relevant career experience to deliver a global perspective to North American dairy producers. Lucas holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Agricultural Education with a minor in International Agriculture & Rural Development from Cornell University, a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana University.

Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance, Lucas served as the Director of Dairy Market Intelligence at HighGround Dairy, where he was responsible for leading the dairy market analysis group and delivering maximum analytical value to global dairy clients through published market research and client engagement. Before joining HighGround, Lucas spent seven years at Glanbia Nutritionals as a dairy analyst and economist. He grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York and served as a New York State FFA officer. Lucas served as an Advocacy Intern for the National Association of Agricultural Educators, and as a Washington Leadership Conference Facilitator for the National FFA Organization. He was also on the student leadership board of the Alpha Gamma Rho Professional Agricultural Fraternity at Cornell University and served on Cornell’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Student Advisory Committee.

David Magaña, Ph.D. is a senior fruits and vegetables analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

David is responsible for analyzing the U.S. and North American fresh fruit and vegetable industries. With a strong background in the Latin American agricultural banking industry, he has spent over a decade conducting analysis on the agricultural sector. His research experience includes agricultural marketing integration under the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA), consumer trends in fresh fruit and vegetable markets, food security, food price dynamics, and other related topics.

David holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University and a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness from Universidad Autónoma Chapingo. Prior to joining Rabo AgriFinance, he served as deputy director of economic research for FIRA - Banco de Mexico and has experience as a professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Almuhanad Melhim is a fruits and vegetables analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group.

Almuhanad is a Fruit, Vegetable, and Tree Nut Analyst, with a focus on the North American market. He brings 25+ years of experience in the food & agribusiness and financial services industries.

Almuhanad has a robust combination of quantitative skills, practical F&A experience, and commercial client engagement. Before joining Rabobank, he managed the Credit and Statistics team at CNHi Capital, focusing on analytics and applied research and linking F&A markets to financial risk. Prior to that, Almuhanad helped clients along the fruit, vegetable, and tree nut value chain better understand the factors impacting their markets and businesses as a Senior Economist at IHS Markit.

Almuhanad holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Horticulture from Damascus University. He earned his second MS degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Washington State University.

 

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

 

Andrick covers grains & oilseeds in North American markets. Having a strong quantitative background, he supports RaboResearch's efforts in developing proprietary research and analytical tools.

 

Andrick graduated with a Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. During his time at the University of Missouri, he worked as a research assistant at the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI). His main focus was on policy and sugar trade between NAFTA countries, leading to presentations at top academic conferences. Prior to his work at FAPRI and the University of Missouri, Andrick was a risk analyst developing risk models for major banks in Mexico.

 

Samuel Taylor is a farm inputs analyst at Rabo AgriFinance in the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group focusing on fertilizers, agrochemicals, seeds, and the broader farm economy.

 

Sam has a decade of professional experience working in the agricultural industry in both the North American and European markets. Prior to joining Rabobank, he worked as an equity analyst for Cleveland Research Company, covering a portfolio of agribusinesses and commodities focused on the North American, South American, and European markets. Before moving to the US, he specialized in agriculture and renewable energy project finance, working on large stand-alone projects as well as integrated on-farm solutions for waste and energy capture.

 

Sam has been involved in agriculture throughout his life, having grown up in a large farming family with mixed crop, livestock, and broiler farms. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Manchester and a postgraduate degree in finance from Regent's University London.

 

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.

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