The National Grain and Feed Association will hold the 2010 edition of the 39th annual Country Elevator Conference and Trade Show Dec. 5-7 in Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown Hotel. According to NGFA, the event is the single largest gathering of country elevator and feed manufacturer personnel, estimated to draw more than 500 industry members are expected to attend the day-and-a-half conference and trade show. The major trade show, which will occur Dec. 5-6 during the conference, is nearly sold out, and will feature 86 exhibits showcasing products and services essential to the grain, feed and processing industry. Also conducted in conjunction with the conference is an annual Leadership Conference with State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations affiliated with the NGFA, as well as a meeting of the NGFA’s Country Elevator Committee.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has been confirmed as the keynote speaker. Frequently mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, Daniels has served as Indiana’s 49th governor since 2004 and was reelected to a second term in 2008, receiving more votes than any candidate for public office in the state’s history. He previously served as chief of staff to Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., was senior adviser to President Ronald Reagan and served as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget in the first term of President George W. Bush.
Daniels also served as chief executive officer for the Hudson Institute and was president of Eli Lilly and Co.’s North American Pharmaceutical Operations. As governor, Daniels led the state in 2005 to its first balanced budget in eight years, without a tax increase, and turned a $600 million deficit into a $370 million surplus within a year.
Other major topics to be addressed at this “meeting of the year” for country elevator managers and their key employees include a session on how to prepare for an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has increased its oversight of grain and feed facilities significantly in recent months. Confirmed featured speaker is Jonathan Snare, a former OSHA official and partner in the labor and employment practice group at Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP, Washington, D.C. Also featured during this program session will be a presentation on how to avoid grain engulfment incidents when entering grain bins and other enclosed structures, where occurrences both on-farm and in commercial facilities have increased and drawn renewed attention from OSHA. Confirmed speaker is Paul Luther, environmental, health and safety manager for Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LLC, St. Louis, MO.
Other major sessions will focus on:
- The U.S. and world financial situation and the market outlook for grains, oilseeds and grain products in 2011.
- How to recruit, retain and reward the next generation of employees in rural agribusiness operations.
- How to manage contract risks, including when doing business with limited liability corporations (including producers), the pros and cons of master marketing agreements and the impact of bankruptcy filings on existing contracts. Featured speakers will be David C. Barrett Jr., partner with Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Esselgroth LLP, Dublin, Ohio; Jacob Bylund, attorney with Faegre and Benson LLP, Des Moines, Iowa; and Lowell Bottrell, a bankruptcy attorney with Anderson, Bottrell, Sanden & Thompson, Fargo, N.D.
- The impact of the November congressional elections on national agricultural, environmental and trade policies important to the grain, feed, grain processing and export industry, as well as its implications for the 2012 presidential election. Confirmed featured speaker is James Wiesemeyer, vice president, policy and trade issues, Informa Economics, Washington, D.C., and Washington correspondent for ProFarmer Newsletter.