On Dec. 2-4, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) will host the Country Elevator Conference and Trade Show for the 47th time in St. Louis, MO, at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel. This three-day conference is catered to those who work at or with grain elevators. It features eight hours of trade show, nine and a half hours of education, two breakout sessions covering three topics and countless chances to connect with others in the industry. The conference will feature an economic outlook, trade show, education sessions and an emphasis on how to recruit and train employees. The goal of the education program at this year’s show is helping companies adapt to the rapidly changing business environment.
Critical points on the conference agenda include:
- State of the Elevator: 2019 Grain Elevator Outlook presented by Will Secor, economist, CoBank Knowledge Exchange, which will analyze the grain industry and what to expect over the following year.
- Building a Powerful and Effective Company Culture presented by Mitzi Perdue, author, speaker, and businesswoman, will tell the story of how Perdue Farms was grown from a father-and-son operation to an international corporation.
- Market Transformers! What the New Business Methods for Buying and Selling Grain and Farm Inputs Are All About presented by Ben Allen, head of Food & Fiber, Indigo Ag, Inc., Dudley Stephens, director, Crop Merchandising, Farmers Business Network and Brennan Turner, president and CEO, FarmLead. This roundtable will discuss how to incorporate new business into the grain industry framework.
- Elevate Your Business Through the Seeds of Adversity presented by Will Knecht, president, Wendell August. Learn how setbacks can be changed into opportunities and became the foundation for the future.
There will be two rounds of one-hour breakout sessions during the Country Elevator Conference covering three topics. Topics are repeated, so if attendees are struggling to choose — they can select two. Topics include:
- Merchandising Amidst a Sea of Unknowns presented by Curt Strubhar, commercial merchandising consultant and vice chairman, Advance Trading Inc. and Taylor Sauder, broker, Advance Trading Inc.
- Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About Hiring Top Talent but Didn’t Know Who to Ask presented by Dave Allen, president, AGRI-SEARCH; additional panelists to be announced.
- Digital Value Chains in Agriculture presented by Janette Barnard, sales & marketing director, DecisionNext
The Country Elevator Conference will also host several receptions, breaks and networking events to give attendees the chance to connect with each other and exhibitors. More information about the conference can be found at ngfa.org/cec. ❚