No matter if you are a beginning farmer, an experienced farmer or someone with hopes of farming in the future, the 2018 Farmers Networking Conference is for you. Scheduled for Feb. 10, this year’s conference will again be held at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. Wallaces Farmer is a longtime supporter of this event.
The conference is hosted by the Beginning Farmers Network, a student organization aimed at providing practical knowledge and experiences that will help young adults who are looking to pursue a career in production agriculture. More importantly, BFN provides a way for these young people to meet and be encouraged by others with similar interests. Once the student BFN members graduate from college, the organization provides these members with a network of individuals to correspond with and talk to about issues they are facing as young farmers.
Sessions of interest to established farmers
“The Farmers Networking Conference in the past has been specifically catered toward beginning farmers, but this year’s conference has sessions valuable to established farmers as well,” says Laura Novotny, a BFN conference committee member and one of the organizers.
With a lineup of relevant topics and interesting speakers, the conference gets underway at 8:30 a.m. with registration.
Leading off at 9 a.m. is Matt Helmers, ISU ag and biosystems engineering professor. He will discuss water quality, drainage management and cover crops.
At 10:30 a.m., Jim Knuth, senior vice president of Farm Credit Services of America will speak on financial services for ag producers. Making the transition of a farm from one generation to the next requires a good team, good teamwork and a solid plan, Knuth says. There are many factors to consider, including a systematic transfer of assets from the farm owner to the successor.
After lunch at the Scheman Center, time is allotted to network with businesses and companies sponsoring the event. At 2 p.m. Mike Pearson will close out the program, discussing commodity market trends. He is the co-host of the “Ag News Daily” podcast and former host of the “Market to Market” on Iowa Public Television.
12th annual BFN Conference
Cost to attend the conference is $20 per person, or $10 per person in groups of 10 or more (businesses, schools, community colleges). Contact Jamie Pudenz to RSVP or with any questions at 712-210-6609 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, visit ISU BFN’s Facebook page.
Dave Baker, an ISU Extension farm transition specialist, is faculty adviser for BFN. He works with farmers of all ages in establishing farm succession plans through the Ag Link program, matching non-related parties involved in business succession.
Baker helps match retiring farmers who are looking to pass along a farm to young farmers, as some farmers may not have family members to take over the farm.
“Putting together a team of advisers and establishing a solid succession plan are key steps to take in successfully transferring a farming operation from one generation to the next,” he says. “Family issues need to be addressed. The key to a good succession plan is being able to distinguish between the two.”
For more information, visit the ISU Beginning Farmer Center’s website.