Editors' Notebook

Farm Strong at Ag Summit

Gregg Hillyer
By  Gregg Hillyer , Progressive Farmer Editor-in-Chief
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Ten years ago, DTN Executive Editor Marcia Zarley Taylor was charged to put together a conference dedicated to helping farmers look beyond their own fields. A summit, if you will, where leading experts inside and outside of agriculture would challenge conventional thinking, present insights and intelligence from the U.S. and abroad, and provide strategies and solutions to take home and apply to your own farming business. Additionally, it had to provide the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with your peers from across the country.

Thus was launched the DTN/The Progressive Farmer Ag Summit. It was an immediate success. Thanks to Marcia's leadership, our annual get-together has grown every year, evolving into agriculture's premier producer-focused business conference.

I want to personally invite you to our anniversary celebration and to join us Dec. 5 through 7 in Chicago at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel. You'll find all the details and registration at www.dtnagsummit.com. For additional information or questions, you can call toll-free 888-576-9881 or email teri.thiele@dtn.com. Today (Nov. 21) is the last day to get the early bird registration special deal and save $100 on the price.

"Farm Strong: Build Endurance for Commodity Cycles" is this year's theme.

The program is filled with speakers and subjects to build your fortitude in today's challenging ag environment.

We'll start things off with DTN University. The optional pre-Summit sessions on Dec. 4 will do a deep dive on two topics that affect every farming business.

"The Art of Profitable Negotiation" is a business-school-quality workshop to help you learn the principals, tools and skills to reach mutually beneficial agreements with landowners, suppliers, business partners and even your family. The instructor has more than 20 years of experience teaching skills to clients in Fortune 500 companies.

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"Best Strategies to Enter and Exit Ag: Avoid Estate and Business Bungles" addresses tax and financial strategies for shifting farm ownership to the next generation, especially in light of recent threats from the IRS limiting discounts for family business transfers.

Ag Summit officially kicks off Monday morning, Dec. 5, with the Early Bird Profit Sessions. Learn about the latest services, products and technologies from our exhibitors. You can also stop by their booths during Ag Summit for more details and information.

An all-star lineup of speakers begins Monday afternoon and lasts throughout the conference. Here's a sample:

-- Curt Hudnutt, chief commercial officer, Rabo AgriFinance, and Jerry Lehnertz, senior vice president for credit, AgriBank, will team up to discuss "Checking Ag's Vital Signs."

-- Chuck Conner, CEO of National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and former USDA deputy secretary will share his thoughts on "The Path for Farm Safety Nets and Farm Bills."

-- Paul Pittman, CEO of Farmland Partners, oversees one of the nation's first cropland-only real estate investment trusts. Bruce Sherrick, director, TIAA Center for Farmland Research, is a renowned authority on land economics. Both will discuss "Not Your Father's Farmland Market."

-- Mark von Pentz, Deere and Co. president, Ag and Turf-Europe, CIS, Asia and Africa, operates from offices in Mannheim, Germany. He's flying in specifically to attend Ag Summit and speak on "Precision Farming's Global Future."

-- Mike Mullane completed three space missions and logged 356 hours beyond Earth's gravity before retiring from NASA and the Air Force. The astronaut and author will be our keynote speaker: "Countdown to Teamwork."

-- DTN Senior Analyst Darin Newsom presents his highly anticipated remarks on commodity prices: "2017 Market Outlook: To the Abyss and Back." And DTN Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson provides his 12-month forecast: "2017 Weather: Does the Streak Continue?"

In addition to the terrific speaker lineup, we'll announce and honor the seventh class of America's Best Young Farmers and Ranchers. And there will be a few surprises to commemorate Ag Summit's 10th Anniversary.

You can watch our DTN Reporter's Notebook video Marcia did recently at http://bit.ly/… to find out more about the Ag Summit.

Come join the celebration!

Gregg Hillyer can be reached at gregg.hillyer@progressivefarmer.com

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