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Loaded lineup for Farm Futures Summit

Packed agenda includes Dave Kohl, Jolene Brown, Howard Buffett, Rob Saik, and many more.

Mike Wilson

December 8, 2022

3 Min Read
Farm Futures Business Summit Speakers

We’re thrilled to invite you to the 2023 Farm Futures Business Summit, to be held Jan. 19-20 at the Hyatt Hotel and Conference Center just outside Iowa City. Here’s just a sample of the packed speaker lineup ready to meet you:

Kicking off the conference is an entertaining yet informative session from Jolene Brown, an Iowa farmer, business consultant, and champion for agriculture. Jolene’s presentation, “If your kitchen table could talk,” includes real-life stories and take-home solutions on how to solve a family farm’s most common problems. You’ll learn how to ratchet up communication skills and establish a transition plan, two keys to building a ‘business first’ family farm.

This Week in Agribusiness anchor Max Armstrong will sit down for a conversation with philanthropist and farmer Howard G. Buffett, who recently returned from Ukraine and will share observations about the conflict there. Buffett is CEO of one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States. He also manages a 1,500-acre family farm in central Illinois and operates a 400-acre farm in Nebraska. He oversees multiple Foundation-operated research farms in Arizona, Illinois, and Nebraska totaling 9,500 acres. He has traveled to over 150 countries and authored eight books on conservation, wildlife, and the human condition, including two New York Times bestsellers, 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World and Our 50-State Border Crisis: How the Mexican Border Fuels the Drug Epidemic Across America

Rob Saik, a Canadian futurist and ‘serial entrepreneur, will offer the evening keynote session based on his most recent book, ‘Food 5.0: How We Feed the Future.’

“While denominations such as paleo, vegan, and organic debate which is ‘the way,’ we’re ignoring a truth that affects us all:  to support a population nearing 10 billion by 2050, agriculture must become infinitely sustainable,” says Saik, CEO and founder of AgVisorPRO, an online technology platform that connects those seeking agricultural advice with trusted experts who can provide answers now. In 2021 Saik was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 50 Most Influential Agriculture Leaders and was named one of Canada’s Top 10 Ag Mentors.

“To feed the world, we have to grow 10,000 years’ worth of food in the next thirty years, which means farmers worldwide must increase food production by 60 to 70 percent,” he says. “This book is about the small percentage of those ‘farmers of consequence’ being called upon to grow the vast majority of the world’s staple food supply. While mighty in their ability, they need support from a general public that increasingly has no idea how they operate.”
Wrapping up the conference is Virginia Tech professor emeritus David Kohl, who offers his unique perspective on global supply and demand issues farmers will face in the coming year. Kohl has keen insight into the agriculture industry gained through extensive travel, research, and involvement in ag businesses. He has traveled nearly 10 million miles, conducted more than 7,000 presentations, and published more than 2,500 articles in his career. Kohl’s talk, “Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable,” is chock full of best practices to manage the business risks every farmer will face during the growing season.

Wait, there’s more

Our own market analyst Jacqueline Holland will offer insights on 2023 crop budgets and fertilizer prices. Financial consultant Mike Downey will offer two sessions: the Pros and Cons of passive income and investing off the farm; and Managing farmland cost risk with flexible leases. Other sessions focus on technical analysis in marketing, ROI in ag drainage, a live equipment demonstration, two farmer panels, geopolitical conflicts to watch, and farmland values in light of higher interest rates.

Just go to to get registered and nail down your hotel reservations. Go to our registration page and check out the full agenda for the summit as well as the one-day Ag Finance Boot Camp that takes place at the same venue a day earlier.

See you in Iowa!

About the Author(s)

Mike Wilson

Executive Editor, Farm Futures

Mike Wilson is executive editor and content manager at 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.

“At our goal is to get readers the facts and help them analyze complicated issues that impact their day-to-day decision-making,” he says.

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