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“Consumers, technology, new management and culture shifts will require those in the agriculture industry to focus on business fundamentals, and a proactive management skill set,” says economist David Kohl, scheduled to speak at the Farm Futures Business Summit Jan. 23-24 at Iowa City, Iowa.

Skill development: Summit offers help in tough farm economy

Early bird rate gives you best deal on premiere winter learning event

Sign up now and save $100 on the 2020 Farm Futures Business Summit registration, to be held Jan. 23-24 at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Iowa City, Iowa. It’s your chance to get high level marketing, business and management training and capitalize on ag opportunities during unsteady times.

“American agriculture is influenced by talk and tweets from global leaders creating volatility and uncertainty around every corner,” says Virginia Tech economist David Kohl, a featured speaker at the 2020 summit. “There will be more change in the next decade than the past 70 years.  Consumers, technology, new management and culture shifts will require those in the agriculture industry to focus on business fundamentals, and a proactive management skill set.”

Rich networking opportunities

The summit provides rich networking opportunities, lively debate and business training to help you navigate the increasing complexities facing farm owners and operators. This is your chance to upgrade skills and learn the secrets of high-level management from a 30,000-foot perspective right down to the farm gate. Some highlights:

-- Kansas State ag economist and policy expert Barry Flinchbaugh will offer his usual candid approach to policy, mixing legendary wit with wisdom to offer a unique look at today’s political climate and how it impacts farmers.

-- Why do some farms succeed while others fail? Farmer Mac executive vice president Curt Covington offers insights on what separates the best operations from others.

-- Millennials take over: a panel discussion, will offer a closer look at the business skills and values of younger operators as they move into senior management roles on the farm.

-- Is Brazil eating our lunch? Brazilian farmers and investors will share what’s happening in South America. How does Brazilian agriculture compare to U.S. agriculture?

-- Does ag innovation pay? Leading farmers and ag tech leaders will discuss the flood of recently introduced technology and how farmers can best capitalize on these tools.  

-- A good decision should be based on hard evidence. Iowa farmer and marketing consultant Chris Barron will be on hand to offer tips on data-driven farm financial decision-making. This topic was the number one request made by summit attendees at the 2019 event. He will also lead a session on margin management.

-- Building trust on your farm team: Management coach Tim Schaefer will teach you how to strengthen your farm team, work through conflict, boost commitment, build accountability, and focus attention on results.

Marketing skills

Marketing is one skill farmers say is the most difficult to master, so our 2020 agenda includes two leading voices in the grain marketing arena.  Dave Fogel, Vice President with Advance Trading, Inc., will share how to ‘profit from chaos,’ drawing on his 35 years of experience working with producers and grain elevator managers to squeeze profit from the markets. Matt Bennett, a Windsor, Ill., farmer and Channel Seed’s grain marketing consultant, will provide his take on 2020 grain market outlook.

Go to and follow the links to attend one of the nation’s best winter educational conferences, to be held Jan. 23-24 at Iowa City, Iowa. Check the site’s schedule regularly for updates.

See you in Iowa!

The summit is sponsored by by Pioneer, Anuvia, Advanced Trading Inc., Farmers Mutual Hail, Channel Seed, Farm Credit, Farmer Mac, Grinnell Mutual, BASF, Commstock Investments and FBS Systems Inc.
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