Mark your calendar for Jan. 7-8, 2014 and set your GPS for the Hilton Ballpark hotel at St. Louis. The 2014 Farm Futures Business Summit can help you step up to the plate and discover what you need to do to lead a championship farm business.
The summit will take a look at the future with presentations by Lori Lennard, CEO at AgProVise, a human resources consulting firm, and Kevin Bearley, estate planning specialist at Kennedy and Coe.
Lennard, a regular Farm Futures blogger and manager at her family's farm in Ida, Mich., will focus on skillsets for the next generation.
"Every generation has to acknowledge that the techniques that made the prior generation successful will not necessarily work for them," she says. "What should the next generation be focused on? Where should their time be spent?"
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She breaks it down into five areas: research and networking; marketing and branding; best management practices; building the ideal team; and future labor challenges.
"The way our society communicates and shares knowledge is changing more rapidly than the generation before," she notes. "The next generation will have to be excellent at learning and applying current knowledge, and strong at networking with others."
Bearley, director of tax research for farm consulting firm Kennedy and Coe, will lead participants through steps needed for successful estate planning - one that minimizes tax consequences. You'll learn the latest IRS rules and how to manage conflict and avoid family and employee disputes.
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Ag economist Dave Kohl, a featured speaker at every summit since Farm Futures launched this event eight years ago, will lead off the summit and set the tone with a presentation titled, "How to become a peak performer." Topics will go in-depth on today's best finance, marketing, personnel and production practices. A farmer panel will share ideas that work in the real world.
Sessions will teach you to benchmark your business against others and set yourself apart from the pack. University of Minnesota Ag economist Bob Craven will be on hand to talk about the secrets of successful operations - what lenders like and don't like financially about fast-growing, large-scale farmers. He will also talk about accounting and what attributes farmers have that push them into the top or bottom 20% in terms of financial performance.
We'll also bring back the 'Bear Pit' – that free-form after dinner debate where everyone gets a chance to voice their opinion.
The summit will be held at the Hilton Ballpark hotel in St. Louis. Registration is $449 per person; early bird registration is just $299 and $249 for partners, a savings of $150 off full rates. Early bird discount expires Dec. 1, 2013. Student rate remains at just $199 per person. A special room rate of just $85 per night has been negotiated for Farm Futures participants.
We'll be updating details over the next few weeks. Turn your browser to www.farmfutures.com/summit2014 to get the latest agenda, speaker bios, registration details and other summit-related plans.
Get the latest advice from the leading agribusiness experts on the planet. Join us for a learning opportunity that will help you hit one out of the park in 2014! – the 2014 Farm Futures Business Summit is sponsored by Kennedy and Coe, John Deere and FarmLink/MachineryLink.