What started more than four decades ago as the brainchild of Howard Doster and a few other ag economists still continues today, now considered one of the premier farmer training workshops in the county. It's the Purdue Top Farmer Crop Workshop, happening this year July 20-23 at Purdue University on the West Lafayette campus.
Approximately 150 farmers from all over the U.S. attend each year. Doster is now retired, and Bruce Erickson, a Purdue University Extension researcher heads up the effort. Running what if scenarios during the three days on your own with your own set of numbers from your operation are still a key part of the learning process.
This year's program begins with a talk by a husband-wife team from central Indiana. Lori and John Frey will talk abOut their double-entry accounting system. While it may seem basic, if not out of date in this computer crazy world, Erickson says it's still insightful because it helps them zero in on true expenses and which part of the enterprise accrued that expense.
Farm Progress' own Bryce Knorr also appears on opening night. He monitors market conditions daily, and will present his views about upcoming trends and factors to watch in these most risky but possibly most rewarding times.
The workshop is well known for a variety of topics. This year will be no exception. One pair of Indiana farmers will discuss how they trade equipment and labor to make things more profitable for both. An Iowa farmer will explain what attracted him to no-till, and why he stays with the system even on some rather non-traditional soils.
Participants will visit the new Beck Center at the Agronomy Research Farm and learn about the latest in crop happenings this summer form a team of Purdue experts, including Corey Gerber, head of the Purdue Diagnostic Training Center. The Beck Ag Center, opened last fall, is designed as a classroom for just such events, and allows instruction rain or shine.
To learn more about the program, contact your local Extension office. They should also have information concerning the cost of registration for the event. Lodging will be on your own. Lodging is typically available at the Union Club located in the Purdue Memorial Union in the center of campus. The Union is located next to convenient parking.