U.S. Agriculture: A discussion on policy, sustainability and investment

A conversation with former Governor Jeb Bush, former Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, and AgAmerica Lending CEO Brian Philpot

Jeb Bush
Former Governor of Florida
Advisory Board Chairman, AgAmerica Lending

Adam Putnam
Former Commissioner of Agriculture
CEO, Ducks Unlimited
Advisory Board Member, AgAmerica Lending

Brian Philpot
President & CEO, AgAmerica Lending

Hosted by Linda Bestepe, Head of Referral Lending Solutions at UBS, and James Jack, Head of Business Owner Segment at UBS

Monday, June 21, 4:00 p.m. ET

A conversation with former Governor Jeb Bush, former Commissioner of Agriculture and Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam, and AgAmerica Lending CEO Brian Philpot.

Find out:

  • How current agricultural policy changes, including farm labor, trade, and immigration reform, affect the U.S. agricultural market
  • How sustainability and climate change impact the future of agriculture in the U.S.
  • Current risks and benefits of agriculture and rural land investments

Guest speakers and hosts

Special Guest

Jeb Bush

Former Governor of Florida
Advisory Board Chairman, AgAmerica Lending

Governor Bush was the 43rd governor of the state of Florida, serving from 1999 through 2007. During his two terms, Governor Bush remained true to his conservative principles, cutting taxes, vetoing earmarks and championing major reform of government programs.

Under his leadership, Florida was on the forefront of consumer healthcare advances, led the nation in job growth, and launched and accelerated restoration of America’s Everglades. In education, Florida raised academic standards, required accountability in public schools and created the most ambitious school choice programs in the nation. As a result, Florida students have made the greatest gains in academic achievement and Florida is one of a handful of states to significantly narrow the achievement gap.

Prior to and after his tenure as Florida’s chief executive, Governor Bush was actively involved in the private sector, helping to build the largest full service real estate company in South Florida and owning and operating successful consulting and investing businesses. Governor Bush is a co-founder and Chairman of Dock Square Capital LLC, a merchant bank headquartered in Miami and focused on principal investments, strategic advisory services and joint ventures.

Governor Bush maintains his passion for improving the quality of education for students by serving as the chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a national non-profit organization he founded to work with education leaders, teachers, parents and advocates to develop and implement reforms that lead to rising student achievement.

Governor Bush has written three books, Profiles in Character; Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution; and Reply All: A Governor’s Story 1999-2007.

Special Guest

Adam Putnam

Former Commissioner of Agriculture
CEO, Ducks Unlimited
Advisory Board Member, AgAmerica Lending

Adam Putnam serves as CEO of Ducks Unlimited – only the 6th executive staff leader in the organization’s 82-year history. A lifelong farmer and rancher, he has dedicated much of his career to agricultural and natural resource conservation.

Prior to joining Ducks Unlimited, Adam served as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture where he worked to protect and promote the state’s $120 billion agriculture industry, managed 1.3 million acres of state forests, and spearheaded the protection of 50,000 acres of working agricultural lands. From 2001-2011, Adam represented central Florida in the US House of Representatives. During his tenure on the Hill, he was a member of the Agriculture, Financial Services, and Rules Committees, as well as Republican Policy Chairman. Adam also served as Chairman of the Republican Conference, the third-ranking position in the Congressional Leadership.

Special Guest

Brian Philpot

President & CEO, AgAmerica Lending

Brian Philpot is the CEO and Principal Owner of AgAmerica Lending, with headquarters located in Lakeland, FL. His background includes extensive experience in real estate investing, agriculture lending, real estate law, market analysis, and negotiation.

AgAmerica developed from Brian’s long-time investment company, Land South Group. Founded in the late 1990s, Land South Group was an investment firm with a particular focus in timberland, agricultural, and conservation real estate across the southeastern U.S. Land South Group also made value investments in residential development, industrial real estate, manufactured housing, office properties, mitigation banks, broadcast towers, and distressed real estate debt.

Your Host

Linda Bestepe

Executive Director, Head of Lending Referral Group, UBS

She oversees Client Experience within the Structured Lending team and is Head of the Lending Referral Group, the platform of referral lenders providing financing to our prospects and clients including luxury asset – art, yacht, aircraft — loans, small business loans, student loans and agricultural lending. Before assuming this role in February 2020, Linda led Field Engagement Messaging for the Banking sales team and the execution of new product launch strategy including the Bank USA Commercial Real Estate Lending Program and Bank USA Core Savings Program.

Prior to rejoining UBS, Linda was at Morgan Stanley Private Bank, N.A. and held the position of Vice President, Sales and Business Management, where she had oversight of strategic banking and lending initiatives within National Sales. During her initial tenure at UBS, Linda held a variety of positions including Director, Marketing and Communications and served as Director of Sales Strategy and Communications within the National Sales organization at UBS. She began her career at PaineWebber in the Managed Accounts area and also held leadership roles in product marketing for retirement, insurance and mutual funds.

Linda earned both a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fordham University and a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing and Management from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business. She is a registered securities professional with Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Your Host

James Jack

Executive Director, Head of Business Owner Segment, UBS

James Jack is the Head of the Business Owner Client Segment within the Strategic Client Segments team, taking the role at its creation in 2018. James has been with UBS since 2006 where he has worked in the WMA Banking Group to build banking, cash and lending solutions that meet the needs of High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth individuals and the Financial Advisors that support them. As the Head of the Business Owner Segment, James focuses on assisting Financial Advisors on bringing the resources and capabilities of UBS to bear in order to provide comprehensive services and advice to business owners.

James holds a BS in Finance and Economics from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Outside of UBS, James is a member of the board of directors for the Bronx Academy of Letters Foundation, supporting a public grammar school in the poorest congressional district in the US, and enjoys experiencing travel and cultures different from his own. He also holds FINRA Series 7 license and Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®) designation.

Learn more about the UBS Lending Referral Group

At UBS, we want to offer you a variety of ideas that may help you reach your vision, wherever those ideas may come from. The Lending Referral Group has several referral lenders that may help you pursue a wide variety of your specialized borrowing needs.


Past events

March 15, 2021

The State of Small Business Lending

A conversation with CEO Barry Sloane of Newtek Business Services Corp.

Equal Opportunity Lender. Equal Housing Lender.