Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC)



June 6-8, 2022 | St. Louis, Missouri



In light of the continuing public health situation with COVID-19, the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is be postponed until June 6-8, 2022.


The good news is that you do not have to wait until next year to join us for a special virtual CUTC session. ICYMI, the May 13, 2021, 90-minute panel discussion, “Funding for Research, Development and Commercialization” was recorded, and available below. The session featured panelists who speak to a wide range of funding opportunities and mechanisms. See their bios below.




Timothy Connor, Ph.D.

USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture Acting Deputy Director, Institute for Bioenergy, Climate and Environment 

Dr. Timothy Conner is the Acting Deputy Director for the Institute of Bioenergy, Climate and Environment and the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition within USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  He also has NIFA oversight of the Center for International Programs, the USDA Small Business Innovation Research program and the AFRI-Sustainable Agricultural Systems program.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Arkansas, a Master of Science degree from the University of Kentucky, and the Ph.D. degree in Genetics from the University of Minnesota.  In 1987, he became a NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Georgia.  In 1990, Conner joined the Monsanto Company as a Senior Research Biologist and was Visiting Scientist at Rockefeller University’s Lab of Plant Molecular Biology.  Conner’s earlier contributions at Monsanto included program director leadership in two organizations: Biotechnology, and Genomics, where he...

Learn More
John May

Managing Director, Hamilton Clark Sustainable Capital, Inc.

John May is a career investment banker who specializes in all forms of debt (taxable, tax-exempt, government-guaranteed) and project finance. He is a seasoned project finance investment banker who has financed a significant number of projects and companies in his 25-year banking career. He is credited with having pioneered the use of bonds as a form of project finance debt in the renewables market. In the past 10 years, he has become one of the top renewable energy bankers in the country, having developed a national practice in renewable energy finance focusing on biofuels, biomass, biochemical and bioproducts.

Learn More
Eric McAfee

CEO Aemetis

Eric McAfee is founder of eight public companies including Aemetis, an advanced renewable fuels company; Pacific Ethanol; Evolution Petroleum and World Waste (now Vertex).  Chairman of McAfee Capital in Cupertino, CA which has venture-funded more than 25 companies.  Eric is experienced in all modes of startup and growth financing for renewable energy investments and can speak to innovative ways to fund capital programs.

Learn More
Valerie Reed, Ph.D.

Department of Energy Acting Director, BioEnergy Technology Office

Valarie Reed, Ph.D. is the Acting Director of Dept. of Energy BioEnergy Technology Office.  BETO is a major extramural funding organization for industrial biotech Research.  As the Deputy Director for the Bioenergy Technologies Office, Dr. Valerie Sarisky-Reed oversees efforts to improve performance, lower costs, and accelerate market entry of advanced biofuels and bioproducts.   She has more than 24 years of experience in addressing energy and environmental issues faced by the United States and globally. In addition to her programmatic activities, she is a founding member of the Metabolic Engineering Working Group, which is an interagency effort to advance metabolic engineering technologies for industrial, agricultural, and human needs. She had the honor of serving the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, helping to build bridges between the two agencies. Science has been a key component of her professional career and education. She came from a family devoted...

Learn More
Karla Thieman


Prior to joining the Russell Group in 2017, Karla Thieman served as the USDA Chief of Staff to Secretary Tom Vilsack. Karla first joined the USDA in 2014, serving as a Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary Vilsack and later as Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden. Previously Karla also worked for the Senate Agriculture Committee for more than five years, serving under three Chairs of the Committee: Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Blanche Lincoln, and Senator Debbie Stabenow. As senior professional staff on the Agriculture Committee, she handled a portfolio that included livestock, food safety, dairy, energy and climate change. Karla previously served in leadership positions on the campaigns of Senators McCaskill, Udall and Bennet. Karla grew up on a third-generation family farm in central Missouri where her family raised cattle, corn and soybeans. She has a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri.

Learn More

Thank you to our sponsors!