Winter Conference 2022 Round-up
Fellowship and networking are two of the highlights of the FamilyFarms LLC conferences held annually for members. The FamilyFarms LLC Winter Conference, with a focus on keeping “Eyes on the Horizon,” was held in St. Augustine, Florida on February 7-10, 2022. Sessions and speakers focused on looking to the future and being prepared for what is coming.
This event is open only to FamilyFarms Group members, some of North America's top farming operations representing over 700,000 acres of crop production. FamilyFarms Group is part of Family Farms, LLC, which represents 1.7 million acres.
If the last several years have taught us anything, it is that we never know what is beyond the horizon, but we must always be prepared to adapt. Leaders from various sectors of the ag industry spoke of future opportunities they foresee for ag producers.
Opening General Session
Matt Crisp, CEO of Benson Hill, an entrepreneur and former venture capitalist has worked directly with emerging companies across the biotechnology industry. He kicked off the conference in the opening general session by sharing with members Benson Hill’s mission.
If you want a weather update and forecast like you've never before experienced, Principal Atmospheric Scientist at Nutrien Eric Snodgrass’s updates are just the ticket. This perennial conference favorite delivers long-range forecasts of weather that will directly impact agriculture worldwide while also making science fun. To stay up to date on weather impacting ag sectors across the globe, check out Eric's daily weather report.
Closing General Session
The DAWN Project (Dashboard of Agricultural Water use and Nutrient Management) is a grant-funded program sponsored by the University of Maryland and the University of Illinois. Using historical data and current weather conditions to help producers predict the weather in a more long-range format, the DAWN Project allows producers to make planning decisions based on weather predictions.
When it comes to updates on what is going on in Washington D.C. and how it may impact the ag sector, AlTank always has an inside look at policy changes that could be coming. Al talked about vital issues such as supply chain struggles and current status, carbon and carbon credit programs and policies, farm labor policy updates, and updates surrounding the upcoming Farm Bill.
Opening General Session
Nathan Kauffman from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City gave members a unique look at today’s ag economy compared to past years and moving forward into 2022. Of course, there are challenges still on the horizon, but Mr. Kauffman presented data from recent years and the current ag economic climate as he painted listeners a picture of what is to come.
FamilyFarms Charities Golf Tournament & FamilyFarms Charities Cooking Class
FamilyFarms Charities uses agriculture as a vehicle to positively change the lives of families and communities around the world. At this year’s Winter Conference, FamilyFarms Charities raised money to fund projects across the U.S. and around the globe which provide food, water, training, and tools to meet immediate needs and promote self-sufficiency.
Rise Against Hunger Service Project
Once a year, during the member conference, FamilyFarms Charities hosts a service project. This year they teamed up again with Rise Against Hunger, a growing global movement to end hunger by empowering communities, promoting healthy lives, and responding to emergencies. Participants packed meals for those in need due to crisis or food insecurity.
Closing General Session – The keynote closing speaker, retired astronaut Robert Springer, shared valuable insight on how to push forward during times of adversity. Attendees were encouraged to set goals beyond the stars and strive for success.
Part of looking toward the horizon is being prepared for the unknown. In 2020, FamilyFarms Group started the Practical Planning program to help members develop a solid yet flexible plan to guide them as they face the unknown and unexpected. At every conference, members review and update their plans. After a week of learning and pondering new ideas, members take time to reflect and plan application of what they have learned.