Farm Progress

Loaded lineup, power breakouts designed to help farmers make money despite tough times

Mike Wilson, Senior Executive Editor

December 2, 2016

4 Min Read

If there’s one meeting you don’t want to miss this winter it’s the Farm Futures Business Summit, scheduled to take off Jan. 19-20 at the Quad-cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa ( We’ve put together a top speaker lineup to engage and provoke new thinking in farm management, marketing and business planning.

Our theme, “Poised for profits,” will center on learning benefits for farmers looking for innovative new ideas to manage their business. We’ll focus on how to capitalize on future opportunities that may come along as you network with your peers and nationally-recognized experts in farm management. Sessions will focus on global grain outlook, family business governance, financial management and new technology for the farm.

Here’s a sampling of what’s in store:

Management secrets - The 2017 summit features high-energy learning sessions from some of agriculture’s most influential minds. Texas A&M’s Danny Klinefelter, considered one of the greatest ag economists of our generation, will share key management secrets he has taught farmers for years through extension and as director of TEPAP (The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers). He will also share management characteristics farmers will need to be successful.

Where are grain markets headed? – The Farm Futures Marketing roundtable, sponsored by Channel, will pair Farm Futures’ senior market analyst Bryce Knorr with University and farm grain marketing experts in a roundtable debate on the future of grain markets. This session will provide a wide swath of opinion on the grain markets, and offer attendees a chance to pose questions to some of the best marketing minds in the business.

Global trends impacting your business – How will interest rate changes impact ag and land values? When will global demand ramp up? You’ll get the 30,000-foot perspective from Virginia Tech economist Dave Kohl as he dishes on trends that will shape the future ag economy.

Are you getting a passing grade in farm management? - Financial consultant and Idaho rancher Dick Wittman will share proven managerial practices that put professionalism and structure into closely held family businesses.  In a separate breakout, Wittman discusses process improvement and the best ways farmers can make improvement part of their daily routine.

Closer look at data services and products – Attendees can attend a breakout where companies and farmer users share pros and cons of the latest ag data products and services. We’ve invited some of the leading data companies to answer your questions on these cloud-based services. You’ll also hear from Willie Vogt, our tech guru, as he shares his insider look at where technology is taking agriculture.

Conflict-resolution in a family farm business - Tim Schaefer, a Farm Futures blogger and certified professional business coach, will share his experiences in working with multi-generation family farms and how to manage tough communication issues. Good family business governance starts with communication and an open mind.

Should you join a peer group? Schaefer will share his experiences as farmer peer group leader and facilitator. What can you gain from joining a peer group?

New president, new tax rules? – Jim Rein, with consulting firm K-Coe Isom, offers advice on new tax proposals resulting from a new administration. The new President’s tax proposals could complicate the rules on taxing estates by reducing or eliminating the estate and gift tax benefits of certain types of trusts. How do new proposals differ from current tax policy?

What young farmers need to know now – In this breakout session Jerry and Jason Moss, farm managers, marketing consultants and Illinois farmers, will provide rules of thumb and common sense that will help young farmers get to their ‘wisdom years’ in record time.

Time is running out

Early bird discount deadline is Dec. 16, so you still have time to save hundreds of dollars on your registration at the Farm Futures Business Summit website. Early bird registration is just $399 per person and $349 for additional farm partners; After Dec. 16 the fee is $499 and $449 for additional partners. Remember to reserve your hotel rooms for just $69.99 a night at the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf, in Bettendorf, Iowa. If you’re interested in boosting your farm financial IQ, join us a day early for the Ag Finance Boot Camp, a workshop focusing on the most important financial skills needed to run your farm business. Just click on the boot camp tab at the Farm Futures Business Summit website.

Set your mapping app to Bettendorf, Iowa. We’re looking forward to bringing you the ‘can’t-miss’ meeting of the winter.  

The 2017 Farm Futures Business Summit is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, K,Coe-Isom, Channel, John Deere, FarmerMac, and Grinnell Mutual

About the Author(s)

Mike Wilson

Senior Executive Editor, Farm Progress

Mike Wilson is the senior executive editor for Farm Progress. He grew up on a grain and livestock farm in Ogle County, Ill., and earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Illinois. He was twice named Writer of the Year by the American Agricultural Editors’ Association and is a past president of the organization. He is also past president of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, a global association of communicators specializing in agriculture. He has covered agriculture in 35 countries.

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