Top Farmer Conference focused on management strategies

June 3, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Faculty from the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture and University of Illinois farmdoc team, along with industry experts, will discuss key farm management strategies for the changing business environment at the annual Purdue Top Farmer Conference, July 9-10 in West Lafayette.

The two-day conference is designed to focus on key management strategies farm managers can use to make their farm more successful, said Jim Mintert, director of Purdue's Center for Commercial Agriculture and a conference organizer.

"Operating margins have tightened dramatically compared to a couple years ago," Mintert said. "We have organized the conference sessions to help farmers improve their management skills so they can better compete in this challenging economic environment. This year's conference also includes sessions that focus on the outlook for the U.S. economy, agricultural commodities, land prices, and land rental rates."

Day 1 topics and presenters are:

* "When Will You See the Whites of the Eyes of Inflation? And What It Means for Agriculture." Jason Henderson, director of Purdue Extension and professor of agricultural economics.

* "Does Your Management Team Stack Up? 5 Ways to Improve." Mike Boehlje, professor of agricultural economics; Mike Gunderson, associate director of the Purdue Center for Food and Agricultural Business; and Michael Langemeier, associate director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.

* "Growth Strategies: Moving Beyond Adding Acres." Gary Schnitkey, professor of agricultural economics at the University of Illinois; and Boehlje.

* "What Does the Future Hold for U.S. Agriculture?" Chris Hurt, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue; Mintert and Langemeier.

Day 2 begins with a presentation of results from Purdue's June land price and rental rate survey and includes a panel discussion with leaders from the farm real estate sector. Additional sessions on day two focus on how your farm can compete for employees in today’s competitive environment and using interns to help fill the talent pipeline.

The conference concludes with an afternoon session devoted to using data and technology to increase margins on Corn Belt farms. Speakers include Bruce Erickson, professor of agronomy; Anthony Osborne of Climate Corporation; Tom Kahl of Granular Corp.; and Gary Wagner, a Minnesota farmer with extensive precision agriculture and data management experience.

The conference, now in its 48th year, will be held at Purdue's Beck Agricultural Center, 4540 U.S. 52 W, West Lafayette.

Registration is $350 per person, or $300 before June 25. Group discounts are available for teams of three or more people registering from the same organization.

For more information, visit or contact Lee Stanish at 765-496-3099,

Writer: Aspen Deno, 765-496-2384,

Source: James Mintert, 765-494-4310,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; 

Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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