The 2018 FamilyFarms Group Summer Conference themed “Building a Strong Team” that was held in O’Fallon, Illinois on July 16 – 19 was a grand slam! Exclusive to FamilyFarms Group Members, the FamilyFarms Group Summer Conference is a highlight of summer in the industry. 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 and peers, talk with vendors to learn about the latest technologies, innovations, services, and products in agriculture, and catch up with old friends and make new ones. FamilyFarms Group is a part a wider group of farm operation service companies that encompass financial, agronomic and insurance and represent up to 2 m acres across the US and Canada.
Opening Keynote Speaker
This summer, the conference was kicked off by Martin Barbre, newly-appointed Administrator of the Risk Management Agency (RMA) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Barbre, a Southern Illinois native, spoke to conference attendees about the 2018 Farm Bill, federal crop insurance, and his own history in the agriculture industry. Prior to becoming the RMA Administrator, Barbre was the president of the Corn Growers Association in 2014 and was a member of the USDA’s Illinois Farm Service Agency State Committee before his appointment as RMA Administrator.
Breakout Sessions: Training Camp 2.0
Each conference is always packed full of great information that leaves members inspired and refreshed. This conference did not disappoint with over 25 breakout sessions packed full of invaluable information were led by ag industry leaders, FamilyFarms Group staff, members, and partners.
- Good Day’s Work – Safety for Agriculture: Good Day’s Work did a live demonstration on combine fire safety and shared best practices on skid loader safety and road safety.
- AgVero – an agriculture enterprise recourse planning software, AgVero made it’s official debut at the 2018 Summer Conference.
- Unusual crops –Producers were able to learn about other crops but also learn about how they can diversify their operation by adding in something new to their crop mix.
Shari Rogge-Fidler Makes Conference Debut as CEO
In June, FamilyFams Group welcomed a new CEO to the company. Shari Rogge-Fidler made her debut to the FamilyFarms Group members at the summer conference. Over the conference, she was able to meet teams and made her first official address as CEO. Shari talked about her background and passion for agriculture and her goals for the company moving forward
Hall of Fame Induction
A trip to the St. Louis metro area isn’t complete without a trip to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Biergarten. Conference guests were treated to a brewery tour and dinner at the popular Biergarten. While being at the home of “The King of Beers,” it only seemed fitting that we induct the first ever inductee to the FamilyFarms Group Hall of Fame. Allen Lash, founder of FFG, was inducted into the FamilyFarms Group Hall of Fame on July 16. Lash was presented with a custom jersey, crystal baseball and a book of memories collected from clients and FamilyFarms Group staff members.
Feeding the Hungry One Meal at a Time
FamilyFarms Charities is the charitable arm of FamilyFarms Group. Using agriculture as a vehicle for change, FamilyFarms Charites is a way for the members of FamilyFarms Group give back to not only their local communities but to help people around the world. At the summer conference, FamilyFarms Charites organized a food packing service project with a goal of packing over 20,000 meals for people in need all over the world. The sealed meals were packaged in an assembly line style. Each dehydrated meal included rice, soy, vegetables and a packet of 23 essential vitamins and minerals. The summer conference attendees beat their goal when they packed 20,088 meals in just an hour.
For more information about FamilyFarms Charities, visit https://www.facebook.com/FamilyFarmsCharities
Closing Keynote Speakers
In the final inning of the summer conference, Mike Mock from CGB Grain Market Today and Ag Consultant at Mike Mock Consulting LLC provided our guests with a valuable market update and some invaluable in site on what the markets may do over the next several weeks and months. Mock delivers expert advice on marketing plans and the grain market daily through the CGB Market Solutions Grain Market today online to CGB customers.
Closing out the summer conference was John O’Leary. When John O’Leary was burned on 100% of his body during an explosion, doctors didn’t expect him to live and only gave him a 1% chance to live. Today, he uses his story to inspire others. His book, ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life, is a national best seller and has been printed in 12 different languages.
Pack your boots! We are going to Dallas!
The next FamilyFarms Group conference will be held in Dallas, Texas in January 2019.
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.
If you missed this opportunity to take your farm operation to the next level, DON'T WORRY you can still play ball!
To learn how family farms across North America are working together to keep their family farms alive, thriving and positioned for long-term success - Schedule a visit to our corporate offices, an on farm visit, or register for our next conference.