Indiana: Top Farmer Conference, West Lafayette, Jan. 9

    Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture will present the 50th Top Farmer Conference on Jan. 9 at the Beck Agricultural Center in West Lafayette. A pre-conference workshop will be held on Jan. 8 at the same location.

    The Top Farmer Conference, one of the longest-running and most successful management programs designed specifically for farmers, encourages farmers to think about the future of agriculture and how they can position their farms for success in the years ahead. Experts from Purdue and Kansas State universities will lead sessions at the daylong conference.

    “The Top Farmer conference is a program tailored to meet the needs of today’s farmers and to help them prepare for the future,” said James Mintert, center director and Purdue professor of agricultural economics.

    “This year’s program starts with a focus on changes in consumer demand for food and the opportunities and challenges that creates for producers. From there, participants will examine strategies they can use on their farm operations to manage their way through today’s challenging economic environment.

    “The afternoon will start with Art Barnaby from Kansas State University, a principal developer of crop revenue insurance, challenging producers to rethink their risk management strategies before making their 2018 crop insurance decisions. The conference concludes with Purdue’s top crop production scientists discussing ways to reduce production costs without reducing yield potential.”

    In addition to Mintert and Barnaby, the conference features the following Purdue speakers:

    • Jayson Lusk, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and a distinguished professor whose research is focused on the evolution in food demand.
    • Jason Henderson, director of Purdue Extension and a former economist with the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.
    • Michael Langemeier, cropping systems economist and professor of agricultural economics.
    • Nathan Thompson, risk management economist and assistant professor of agricultural economics.
    • Chris Hurt, grain marketing economist and professor of agricultural economics.
    • Robert Nielson, corn specialist and professor of agronomy.
    • Shaun Casteel, soybean specialist and associate professor of agronomy.
    • Bill Johnson, professor of botany and plant pathology specializing in weed science.

    In addition to the main conference, two optional pre-conference workshops are available, which will allow participants to choose whether they want to deep dive into financial management or succession planning.

    The pre-conference workshops will offer chances for participants to evaluate their farms’ debt payment capacity, gauge the impact of changes in income and expenses, explore various options in buy-sell agreements, and identify and manage conflict styles within the family farm.

    The one-day conference is $150 per person. Participants can register for both a pre-conference workshop and the Top Farmer Conference for $175 total. The cost to register for just a pre-conference workshop is $50 per person. Learn more and register.

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