There's little doubt 2020 will be a year to remember -- and one we would soon rather forget. The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated our daily lives and resulted in devastating economic consequences for many throughout farm country. Throw in multiple hurricanes, a Midwest derecho, pockets of drought and West Coast fires, and it all adds up to one heck of a year.
Farmers' and ranchers' resiliency has been tested like never before. Many have had to pivot from their original plans. We are no exception. As we started preparations for this year's DTN Ag Summit, the pandemic presented unprecedented challenges. It was impossible to project what the situation would look like in December in Chicago. With attendees' health and safety our top priority, there was only one responsible action to take: change the event from in-person to virtual.
But, while the format is different, you can expect the same high-level lineup of speakers and timely sessions to challenge your thinking and tactics of managing your business. "Farm Strong: Strategies to Build Resilience" is this year's theme. How fitting in light of the challenges agriculture faces this year.
The Ag Summit will be held Dec. 7 through 9. You will be able to access the virtual event through a user-friendly online platform. The fast-paced agenda is designed to mainly run in the morning hours during the three days, with a bonus workshop for young farmers on Dec. 8.
While we can't gather in Chicago, you won't be disappointed in this year's program. Here are a few highlights:
> Best-selling author Jon Gordon will inspire you with his powerful presentation on how to overcome negativity during challenging times through the power of positive leadership.
> Looking for insights on a post-COVID world and what it means to agricultural trade around the world, supply chains, farm input prices and more? IHS Markit Senior Vice President Ken Eriksen will share his perspective.
> Microsoft has a vision on how the company will use data, IoT (Internet of Things) and other tech tools to help transform farming. You'll hear from Ranveer Chandra, chief scientist of Azure Global, who leads Microsoft's focus on agriculture.
> U.S. Ambassador Kip Tom uses his experience as an Indiana farmer and agribusiness leader to bring invaluable perspective in his role as United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome. He'll discuss food security and how innovation will help meet the world's demand for food.
> David Horsager, CEO of the Trust Edge Leadership Institute, returns for a second year to challenge you on how to use trust to build formidable profitable partnerships in an ever-changing business environment.
> DTN experts Todd Hultman (lead analyst) and Bryce Anderson (senior agriculture meteorologist) will provide their outlooks for commodity markets and weather for the 2021 growing season.
> The 2021 Class of America's Best Young Farmers and Ranchers will be announced, as well as the equipment manufacturers that came out on top in the Progressive Farmer Reader Insights Awards.
Attendees can also select from several Fast 15 breakout sessions focused on farm finances, employee management, taxes, grain marketing and more. In addition, multiple profit sessions will showcase the latest services and products from our Ag Summit sponsors.
There will also be opportunities to interact with speakers and other farmers who register for the event.
No matter the format, you don't want to miss the 2020 DTN Ag Summit: agriculture's premier, producer-focused business conference. Visit www.dtn.com/agsummit to get the complete agenda and to register.
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