Agriculture News

August 18, 2016

National Conference for Food and Agribusiness to focus on two new research initiatives

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Center for Food and Agricultural Business and Center for Commercial Agriculture have teamed up to present the 2016 National Conference for Food and Agribusiness, focused on two new research initiatives.

The conference, which is themed "Driving Data to Insights," runs Nov. 16-17 at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station. Purdue researchers will provide information on farmers' decision-making processes through the Multi-Generational Farm Study and an in-depth look at the health of the overall agricultural economy through the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

The Multi-Generational Farm Study is a research partnership between the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and Agri Studies, Inc., led by Purdue's Scott Downey and Agri Studies, Inc.'s Justin Funk. The research has been driven in part by the fact that, although roughly two-thirds of sales come from large-scale family-owned farms, little is known about the informational needs and decision-making processes of these multi-generational farms.

"We know it is extremely important for agribusiness professionals to have access to the information they need about the farmers they serve," said Downey, associate director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and an associate professor of agricultural economics. "This study is a comprehensive review of the needs and decision-making processes used by the members of multi-generational farms in North America."

The National Conference will be the first time Purdue and Agri Studies, Inc., unveil their findings. Downey and Funk will help participants understand how the information can be used to develop better marketing and sales strategies.

The second component of the conference features information from the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which is the only ongoing nationwide measure of the health of the U.S. agricultural economy. It's based on a monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers. Quarterly, researchers also conduct an in-depth survey of industry thought leaders to supplement information garnered from the barometer data.

The project's principal investigator is Jim Mintert, director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture and professor of agricultural economics. Additional researchers are David Widmar, agricultural economics senior research associate, and Michael Langemeier, professor of agricultural economics.

"Numerous factors influence production agriculture - from weather to commodity prices," Mintert said. "Agribusinesses need insight into the agricultural economy and producer sentiment at all times so that they have a better understanding of the challenges their customers face."

Other conference highlights include a panel of farmers from multi-generational operations who will discuss their business management practices, a look at producer plans related to investments and purchases, and an in-depth presentation from futurist Tom Hertel, who is a distinguished professor of agricultural economics at Purdue. There also will be time for networking with agribusiness colleagues and Purdue faculty experts.

Registration is $1,095 per person through September 30. After that, the rate is $1,295 per person. Learn more about the conference and register at

Writer: Jennifer Stewart-Burton, 765-496-6032,

Sources: Scott Downey, 765-494-4325,

Jim Mintert, 765-494-4310,

Aissa Good, business development manager, 765-496-3884,        

Related website:

Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics:

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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