From early December and running well into February, farmers and ranchers have numerous opportunities to catch up on the latest production strategies, market outlooks and wrinkles in government farm programs. Conferences, seminars and trade shows offer updates on new products as well as last chance to earn those coveted continuing education units (CEUs) necessary to keep applicators’ licenses current.
These winter meetings come at a time when farmers and ranchers are analyzing last season’s crops—figuring what worked well and what didn’t—and hoping to pick up a few new ideas to improve bottom lines for next year.
The social context can’t be ignored. The annual Beltwide Cotton Conferences, for instance, always seems part industry update and part family reunion. We always look forward to these winter meetings for the story ideas we gather, the friends we’ll see and the exotic locales we get to visit—Altus, Okla., and Childress, Commerce, College Station and Dallas, Texas.
Oh, and don’t forget the barbecue.
Here are a few images from the latest winter meetings we’ve covered in the Southwest.