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Friday, January 6, 2012

Farm Futures Summit Day One

I spent the last 2 days in St. Louis attending the Farm Futures Summit put on by Farm Progress Publications.  Why do I attend?  You may have gathered that most of the meetings I attend are related to the technical aspects of production agriculture.  This program concentrates more on the business aspects of agriculture.  We had the opportunity to listen to some of the great thinkers. 

One of the highlights was getting to meet some of my twitter friends.  My favorite speaker was Dr. David Kohl of Virginia Tech.  Dr. Kohl brings energy to any room he enters.  His message was about the Trends and Issues that might affect agriculture in the coming years.  He looked at the United States economy in comparison to some of the other economies in the world.  We are stronger than many.  Not as strong as some.  He sees housing starts and Unemployment as the biggest negatives in the economy.  He pointed out that many of the leading index's are pointed in the right direction. 

Danny Klinefelter of Texas A&M discussed peer advisory groups. 

Dick Wittman discussed ways of passing the farm business on to a new generation.  He said that Ownership of land is a separate issue from management and labor needed to run the farm business. 

The highlight of the conference is the Bear Pit panel after dinner.  All the speakers field questions from the audience in the style of a townhall meeting.  MC for the event was Max Armstrong.  Land prices and the debate over a land bubble was a highlight of the bear pit.  One of the speakers said " just because everyone is messing up does not mean they are not all wrong." 

I hope to see more of you at this program next year.

Willie Vogt did a good job putting together a precision ag program.  More on that Monday.

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