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. 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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
Briana Wyatt grew up in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State University, earning her Ph.D. in soil science in 2019. She is currently a professor at Texas A&M University. Dr. Wyatt’s work focuses on soil water availability and the impacts of soils in regulating water movement throughout the environment. Her interest in international work began in 2013 when she spent the summer at Haramaya University in eastern Ethiopia tutoring students. She is thrilled to be working in Ethiopia again!
Media Outreach Manager
John grew up in Coweta, Oklahoma, attended Oklahoma State University, and has earned degrees in secondary education chemistry, aerospace engineering, and mechanical engineering. John and his wife, Dr. Briana Wyatt went to Ethiopia and participated in the October 2021 workshop. He served as the trip photographer and joined the BAA team in December 2021. John is very involved in his local church, serving as the worship director and missions coordinator.