President and Director
Warren grew up on a diversified family farm in North Dakota. He attended Wheaton College, receiving a B.S. in chemistry. A pivotal moment in his life was a summer mission program in southern Sudan where he saw intense poverty and food insecurity issues first-hand. This prompted Warren to apply to agricultural graduate schools and he obtained his M.S. and PhD degrees in the area of soil science from Iowa State University. From 1980 to 2016, Warren was a faculty member at The Ohio State University (OSU) focusing his teaching and research efforts on the biochemistry and microbiology of soils and on sustainable agricultural and environmental practices. He currently serves as an Emeritus faculty member at OSU.
In 2010 Warren traveled to Ethiopia on a fact-finding trip and then in 2012 he recruited three other people to serve on a board with him (see below). The result of this effort was the creation of Bethel Agricultural Association as a non-profit organization officially recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service.
“I believe my experiences and expertise make me uniquely qualified to direct the activities and goals of Bethel Agricultural Association. I am excited about what can be accomplished in Ethiopia and other developing countries to improve people’s quality of life.”
Mekael is an expert in the areas of international and macroeconomics as well as political economy and international relations. Core competencies include macroeconomic forecasting, development economics, econometric modeling, industry analysis, geopolitics and financial markets and commodities. Mekael currently is employed as vice president and senior regional officer of the Pittsburgh Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He was born in Ethiopia and received a BA from Taylor University (IN) and a MA from Vanderbilt University (TN). Mekael has a passion to see Ethiopia, as well as other developing countries improve the quality of life of the people.
"If you empower people with the necessary knowledge and tools, they can overcome any economic challenge."
A professor at Auburn University, Gobena has impacted the trajectory of many students via his teaching, research and laboratory expertise related to soil fertility and nutrient management. Gobena was born in Ethiopia and received his BS in chemistry from Addis Ababa University. His MS and PhD degrees are from Auburn University. Gobena has extensive experiences and passion for international agriculture. He has a burden to support deserving women at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, through a charity he helped establish called Chaltufoundation.org that provides scholarships. He is active professionally and was director of the Soil Testing Laboratory at Auburn University for many years. He is also active in his local community and church.
“I believe there is enough goodness and knowledge instilled in each of us to change this world for better if we recognize our oneness and universal needs.”
Ed is a senior research scientist with Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa, Canada. His research focus is soil health and carbon cycling in the context of sustainable agriculture. He obtained his BSc in agricultureand MSc in soil science from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada and his PhD, also in soil science, from the University of Guelph, Canada. Ed was a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Third Assessment Report, for which the IPCC received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He has conducted research around the world, including the Arctic and Antarctic, led a multi-year agricultural development project in Vietnam, and currently advises agricultural graduate students and scientists at various universities and institutes in northeast China. He currently serves as editor of the Journal of Environmental Quality. Ed came up with the motto, “Train a Farmer – Feed a Nation”, which we use to promote our main effort in Ethiopia — the creation of Bethel Environmental and Agricultural Association and Training Center (BEAUTC).
“Information transfer in the classroom and technology transfer in the field are vital ways for farmers in Ethiopia and other developing countries to enhance their agricultural production while reversing land degradation and responding to the vagaries of climate change. Acquiring knowledge and putting it to work in practical ways at the community level will make the difference.”
Aron was raised on a Montana Ranch homesteaded by his Grandparents in the early 20th century. Growing up with 5 brothers and sisters gave him a good understanding of human nature and hard work. His family was busy feeding cattle, planting wheat, harvesting wheat, and fixing farm equipment. Later, he had an opportunity to study environmental science at Arizona State University where he received his undergraduate degree in 1985. Aron fell in love with soil science there and has made his living as an agricultural consultant ever since. He has served on industry boards including the National Forage Testing Association and California Certified Crop Advisor Board. It is his pleasure to work with Dr. Warren Dick and the BAA board. He is looking forward to assisting growers in Woliso, Ethiopia to help them produce higher yields and better quality agricultural products through modern farming techniques.
Kaylee grew up in Carnesville, Georgia. Through working on her family farm and her involvement in the National FFA Organization, she learned the importance of agriculture. Kaylee completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia where she majored in horticulture, receiving a B.Sc. in Agriculture (2015). During her undergraduate studies, Kaylee’s interest was captured by greenhouse production and research, which led her to graduate school at The Ohio State University (OSU) to conduct research in floriculture crop improvement. She obtained her Ph.D. in Horticulture and Crop Science from OSU in 2020. During her graduate studies, Kaylee also found her passion for teaching through serving as an instructor for an undergraduate greenhouse production course. Kaylee is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at OSU. She was captivated by BAA’s mission, knowing the immense impact it would have. She began volunteering with BAA, helping with fundraisers beginning in 2017. In November 2020, she was hired on as BAA's Project Manager.
Social Media Manager
Julia grew up in Berkley, Michigan. She attended Western Michigan University, receiving a B.A. in English (1979) and an M.S.L. in Librarianship (1981). She worked from 1982-2017 as a reference/research/outreach librarian at The College of Wooster. Now that she is retired, she enjoys her 3 adult children as they advance in their own professional careers and grow their own families. She joined BAA as a volunteer in August 2018, helping Warren Dick with many behind the scenes activities such as tasks related to fundraising, helping with setting up some of the online technologies used by BAA, and helping to get the BAA web site launched. In November 2020, she transitioned to be a Social Media Manager for BAA.