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Build your management skills at the 2017 Farm Futures Business Summit.

Mike Wilson, Senior Executive Editor

November 17, 2016

3 Min Read

Connect with your top mentors and network with the best farmers in the nation at the 2017 Farm Futures Business Summit Jan. 19-20 at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa. We’re moving the summit to a new location with a high-energy message for the future of your business.

Our theme, “Poised for profits,” will center on innovative ways for farmers to manage their business. The summit will focus on how to capitalize on future opportunities that may come. Sessions will be on multi-generation management, marketing, estate planning, taxes under a new White House administration, finance and new technology for the farm.

Improve your business skills


The summit will offer high-energy learning sessions from some of ag’s most influential specialists. Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures’ senior grain market analyst, will offer his insights on the global grain glut and the outlook for better prices.

Financial consultant and Idaho rancher Dick Wittman will challenge attendees with such questions as: Are you getting a passing grade in farm management? His session will highlight managerial practices that put professionalism and structure into closely held family businesses. He’ll outline consequences of not following these practices and demonstrate paths for putting processes into place to position your business for succession.

“We operate in a global environment where how we produce is becoming almost as important as what we produce,” says Wittman. “Farm managers who adopt a continuous business improvement culture are capitalizing on opportunities to streamline efficiency, promote safety, reduce job process uncertainty, access value-added markets, and standardize quality of products and services provided. They do this by paying more attention to process improvement disciplines.”

The summit also will focus on lifelong learning for progressive producers with a mindset of continued improvement, notes Virginia Tech economist Dave Kohl, who will offer his take on global and domestic economics, and trends that will shape the future ag economy.

“We are continuing to journey through economic, weather and marketing cycles, so this event is timely as the agricultural economic landscape is at a crossroads,” he says.

“While some in the agricultural industry are complacent, with a deer-in-the-headlights approach to management, others are making the necessary adjustments in business strategy to capitalize on these uncertain economic conditions where there are speed bumps and potholes around every corner.” 

Texas A&M ag economist Danny Klinefelter will share key management secrets that he has taught farmers for years through Extension and as director of TEPAP (The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers). He will discuss management characteristics farmers will need to be successful.

Breakout sessions will cover young farmers, off-farm investment opportunities, new data products and services, and where technology is taking agriculture. Also, award-winning farm broadcaster Max Armstrong will be on hand to emcee the always lively Bear Pit.

We’ll share updates to our agenda at For now, mark your calendars for Jan. 19-20. Set your phone mapping app to Bettendorf, Iowa. We’re looking forward to bringing you another excellent program in 2017. FF

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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