The 2017 FamilyFarms Group Summer Conference, themed "The Farming Show Starring Jimmy O'Fallon," held in O'Fallon, Illinois on July 10-13 was a huge success! The conference is 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
Michael Swanson, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Ag Economist at Wells Fargo, opened up the general session with an interesting, captivating and entertaining keynote. Dr. Swanson talked about:
- These challenging economic times for farmers, meeting growing demands for food and the costs for meeting those demands
- How the market pays one price for commodities but producers have many different costs for supplying it
- The difference in costs of producing corn and soybeans in the U.S. and what drives those differences
- Understanding that how successful agribusiness producers perceive the problems they face makes a lasting difference in the solutions they choose
Closing Keynote Speaker
The conference came to an end with a fun and entertaining keynote by Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers. The Peterson Farm Brothers create social media content, specifically parody music videos, to promote agriculture. Their YouTube videos have received over 45 million total views. In addition to showing some of his most popular videos, like I'm Farming and I Grow It (Sexy and I Know It Parody), and Farmer Style (Gangnam Style Parody), Greg shared his knowledge and perspectives he has gained from traveling around the world and getting to tour farms of all different types.
Breakout Sessions: Agriculture Solutions for Family Farms
This conference featured invaluable information at over 25 breakout sessions led by ag industry leaders, FamilyFarms Group staff, members, and partners.
- John McGillicuddy, owner of McGillicuddy Corrigan Agronomics
- Fast and easy field evaluations, technology to verify the performance of your agronomic treatments, and nitrogen results.
- Dr. Emerson Nafziger, professor at University of Illinois
- Research regarding the effect of nitrogen management on soil nitrogen levels and the potential for nitrogen loss.
- Dr. James Rhodes of Trestle Energy
- Intriguing value-add ideas for farmers producing corn to benefit from carbon credits and advanced biofuels credits being offered by the government.
All the Fun Stuff!
As mentioned previously, the theme of the conference was "The Farming Show Starring Jimmy O'Fallon"; an obvious play off of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." The tonight show theme was carried out throughout the entire conference and Dave Bryden, Manager of Business Development, played the part of the host, Jimmy O'Fallon.
All the presentations during general sessions were done in a tonight show style with guests being welcomed by Jimmy O'Fallon and interviewed over a cup of coffee and sitting on a couch. The conference even featured bits which mimicked those on tonight shows including, "Carnac the Magnificent", "Jimmy Fallon's Thank You Notes", "Box of Lies", "Top Ten Lists", and even a live, on-stage "Lip Sync Battle".
In addition to all the fun throughout the conference, part of what makes attending so fun for members is that they have the opportunity to get together with other family farming operations who are often described as their "extended families." Members attended a great welcome reception, a family fun night at Centerfield Park, and an awards dinner at Gateway Classic Cars.
Join Us in Tampa in January 2018!
The next FamilyFarms Group conference will be held in Tampa, Florida in January 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!