By Mike Wilson
Taking charge of change will be the focus at the 2018 Farm Futures Business Summit, to take place Jan. 18-19 at the Coralville Marriott Hotel just outside of Iowa City, Iowa.
Over the course of two intense yet entertaining days, attendees will gather for a series of keynotes, panel discussions and interactive power sessions that will make farm management come to life. Plus, you’ll be networking with some of the best farmers on the planet.
Here are a few of the speakers and presentations that are lined up for the event.
“The Great Grain Market Debate” An expert commodity marketing lineup guarantees to present a lively, fun and valuable debate on grain markets and marketing strategies. Questions they’ll answer include: How long can the demand for soybeans continue to grow? What about the future of ethanol and corn demand? Production costs and price trends — will margins ever improve?
Plus: What does it take to be a good grain marketer? “The Great Grain Market Debate” is brought to you by Channel Seed.
“Tactics for Tight Margins: Are You Ready for 2018?” After four years of shrinking profit margins, farmers must continue to analyze costs and revenue. University of Minnesota ag economist Robert Craven is on hand to help. His session will help you focus on how to make changes to improve margins and profits.
“What’s Driving Agriculture in the Year Ahead?” Get ready to laugh and learn as the summit’s keynote, “Market to Market” host Mike Pearson, takes you on an entertaining journey, including a look ahead at farm markets and global trends impacting these markets.
“Global Grain Markets: Turning a Corner, or Duck and Cover?” Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior market analyst and an authority on grain markets, will offer his insights on where markets are headed. Are they turning a corner or just rolling over? He will discuss key areas to watch for potential game-changing developments. In a separate session, Knorr will discuss pricing strategies for both new and old crops. Knorr’s presentation is brought to you by Farmers Mutual Hail.
MARKET ROLLER COASTER: Are markets turning a corner or just rolling over? Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior market analyst, will discuss key areas to watch for potential game-changing developments, plus he’ll cover pricing strategies for both new and old crops.
“Farm Succession Planning — Up Close and Personal” Financial consultant and Idaho rancher Dick Wittman has helped countless farm families pass the farm to the next generation. Now, in a never-before-seen presentation, he will share with summit-goers the challenges of implementing his own advice working through transition on his own ranch. It’s a session that is sure to be both moving and informative.
“The Inside Scoop on Trade, Policy and the Next Farm Bill” Want to find out how Capitol Hill will impact your business in 2018? Get the inside scoop from Roger Bernard, ag policy analyst with Informa (Farm Futures’ parent company). In his first appearance at the Farm Futures Business Summit, Bernard will share insights on ag trade, energy, farm policy and the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Seeing Red: How China Influences Your Grain, Livestock Prices” With 62% of U.S. exported soybeans going to China, its importance to U.S. agriculture cannot be overstated. Wendong Zhang, ag economics professor and Extension specialist at Iowa State University, will help you understand what is really going on in the Chinese ag economy, and the implications for America’s crop and livestock industry.
“Is Your Farm Financially Healthy?” With tight margin pressure, farmers must learn to use financial indicators to keep their business going in the right direction. University of Illinois ag economist Paul Stoddard has 30-some years of wisdom helping farmers in everything from marketing to management to finance.
“Collaborate to Maximize Profit Potential” Should you go it alone or farm with others? In this presentation, Iowa farmer and management consultant Chris Barron shares the economic and quality-of-life advantages for multigenerational farms working together with other producers. You’ll learn key benefits, such as expansion opportunities for younger producers, time management and quality of life, tax advantages, equipment costs and efficiencies, and the economic benefits of reaching “critical mass.”
“Young Farmer Panel Discussion: How to Grow Into Management” Young farmers face greater pressures as they work to improve management as operations grow larger. Illinois young farmer and Farm Futures blogger Maria Cox will moderate this important session showcasing tips for young farmers as they climb the management ladder.
Put Jan. 18-19, in Coralville, Iowa, on your calendar. Register by Dec. 15 to capture the early bird discount registration fees and lock down hotel rooms.
Wilson is executive editor of Farm Futures magazine.