One thing Mike Flock includes on his resume is that he does his best to attend Purdue University's Top Farmer Conference each year. This year's workshop is July 9-10.
Flock, Ramsey, makes the trek form Harrison County each year because he believes he learns valuable information that helps him fine-tune his farming operation. He's found it's a good way to keep current on a number of topics, from agronomics to marketing.
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Howard Doster, former Purdue University ag economist, has head-up the program for years. His goal was to bring in speakers off the beaten path, who might challenge farmers with an idea few others had thought about. Could it work for them?
He also included speakers on markets – not only those predicting near-term markets, but those who understood how markets work, and what role weather and weather cycles play in markets.
Jim Mintert, director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture at Purdue, is in charge of the program today. He emphasizes the business side of farming, inviting speakers who talk about cutting-edge management issues, and who stimulate discussion on a variety of topics related to farming profitably in an environment of cheap grain prices and flat to rising input costs.
Key topics this year include how to use new technology to increase margins on your farm, plus looking at how your management team stacks up vs. others in your class.
Mike Boehlje of Purdue and others will offer five ways you can improve in this area. This year's session will also feature a discussion on how your farm can compete in the "war for talent" – bringing and keeping top-flight employees to your farm.
Registration is open now. Visit the Purdue University Top Farmer Conference website for details.
You can also contact Lee Stanish, project manager for this event, at 765-496-3099. The registration fee is $300 if you register by June 25, and $350 afterwards. The event will be held at the Beck Center at the Agronomic Research Center on U.S. Highway 52.