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2018 FamilyFarms Group Winter Conference Recap!

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Shark Tank Theme.jpg

The 2018 FamilyFarms Group Winter Conference, themed “Shark Tank: Implantation is Everything,” held in Wesley Chapel, Florida on January 8-12 was a huge success! The conference is a highly anticipated event which is only open to members of FamilyFarms Group. FamilyFarms Group members are some of North America's top farming operations representing over 700,000 acres of row crop production. 

Each conference, FamilyFarms Group members have the opportunity to get together to network and share best practices, learn invaluable information from ag business leaders, talk with vendors to learn about the latest technologies, services, and products in agriculture, and catch up with old friends and make new ones. 

Opening Keynote Speaker

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The conference started off with some laughs when FamilyFarms Group welcomed business and agriculture keynote speaker and comedian, Damian Mason, onto the stage. Damian was raised on a dairy farm in Indiana and thoroughly understands the world of agriculture. Throughout his keynote, Damian delivered a crisp and witty commentary on the agriculture industry. Damian brought laughs but also some thoughts about generations coming back to the farm and what it is like for a modern farmer to work in an industry with so many conflicting viewpoints from its consumers.

Closing Keynote Speaker

A Shark Tank themed conference would not be complete without an appearance from an entrepreneur who has experienced the Shark Tank firsthand! Johnny Georges appeared on the show “Shark Tank” in 2014 on season 5 with his invention, the Tree-T-Pee. The Tree-T-Pee is a device that goes around the base of trees to help preserve water and protect trees from cold temperatures in typically warmer climates.

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Johnny left the Sharks both impressed and moved through his emotional pitch. For him it wasn’t about making money, it was about making products that would help farmers and help the environment through water conservation. Ultimately, Johnny made a deal with Shark Tank guest investor, John Paul DeJoria.


Breakout Sessions: Agriculture Solutions for Family Farms

Each conference is always packed full of great information that leaves members inspired and refreshed. This conference did not disappoint Over 25 breakout sessions packed full of invaluable information were led by ag industry leaders, FamilyFarms Group staff, members, and partners. 

  • John McGillicuddy, owner of McGillicuddy Corrigan Agronomics
    • An in-depth look at what could be limiting yields, soybean performance across different conditions and the balance between population and resource allocation.
  • David Buss & Gary Otte of Unity Farm Estate
    • What farms need to know about workers compensation: how it works, what does it cost, and insurance options for coverage.
  • Federal Tax Update
    • Update on the new Federal Tax changes for 2018. 

But wait, There’s more! 

Along with the great breakout sessions, attendees were able to tour Wish Farms in Plant City, Florida. Wish Farms has been growing strawberries for over 80 years. With farms in Flordia and Southern California, Wish Farms provides fresh Wish Farms.jpgstrawberries to consumers year-round. In addition to berries, Wish Farms grows raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Tour participants learned about how strawberries are grown and harvested by one of the leading strawberry producers in the southeast. 


We like to have fun, too! 


One of the added benefits of FamilyFarms Group Conferences is the fellowship. FamilyFarms 

Charities hosted a golf tournament along with a wine tasting and painting event. Participants were able to golf and paint all while enjoying the fellowship of their peers and friends. 

Join us this summer back in O’Fallon!

The next FamilyFarms Group conference will be held in O’Fallon, Illinois in July 2018.

Yes, each conference is always packed with lots of fun. But, all of these family farms are there to keep their family farm's legacy alive! These families are committed to working together, and to keep learning the steps they need to take to keep their family farms growing, thriving and positioned for long-term success. Contact FamilyFarms Group today to learn how you can start taking the steps to keep your family farm's legacy alive!

Did you miss what we did in 2017 in O’Fallon? Click here to catch up! Before you leave, make sure to schedule a visit to our headquarters in Brighton, IL and see how a partnership with FamilyFarms Group might benefit your operation. 

visit the corporate office


Written By

Ariel Weinman

Ariel Weinman

Team Marketing Specialist

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