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Feed & Grain LIVE '19 Shaping Up to Be the Best Yet

Programming, venue offerings, excited attendees make for a worthwhile event

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Participants for the third Feed & Grain LIVE, scheduled for Jan. 8-10, 2019, are registering early, sponsors are lining up, workshops and sessions are being confirmed and venue personnel say they are ready to see LIVE attendees again. Early registrants are getting a great value, too. The rate is $99 until Dec. 8. After that and on site, the rate is $149. Easy registration is available at

The conference will take place at Prairie Meadows Casino and Hotel in Altoona, IA. A special room rate of just $119 nightly matches well with travel budgets to allow several team members from a location to attend. See sidebar, “Feed & Grain LIVE ’19 Venue Can’t be Beat.”

The sponsor lineup is strong and growing. Already signed up to support and exhibit include: Walinga, APEC, The Essmueller Co., CPM Roskamp Champion, Extron Co., Maxi-Lift Inc., 4B Components Ltd., Neogen, Pneumat Systems Inc., WEM Automation LLC, AgVision Software, CEI Equipment, Comco, and WL Port-LAND Systems Inc. More are coming on board weekly.

“We appreciate the enthusiasm exhibitors are sharing,” says Arlette Sambs, Feed & Grain publisher. “Smaller conferences like ours are growing in popularity because they give exhibitors opportunities to truly get to know attendees. They’re not rushed. Educational sessions are less crowded than those in larger venues and they present more opportunities for presenters and participants to interact. Plus, Prairie Meadows is a great meeting facility and is an easy drive from most surrounding states.”

New and returning participants

Returning and new attendees are expressing enthusiasm about LIVE ’19 and the sessions that have already been confirmed.

Doug Cropp, executive vice president of the grain division with Landmark Service Cooperative, Cottage Grove, WI, was a panelist, as well as a participant in LIVE ’17.
“I was excited to be a part of the panel discussion,” he says. “But, I think the best part was during the trade show when a lot of people came up and asked me questions. We were able to go more in depth in our conversations than we were in the sessions.”

Discussion doesn’t end there. Cropp says being able to have worthwhile conversations with vendors is another advantage that LIVE offers.

“It seems there are more and more events you can go to each year in this industry,” he says. “LIVE is different. It’s one that encourages conversations with vendors, which is always a plus. The educational and breakout sessions have always been filled with current topics that are important to our business. There has always been plenty of time to network with other attendees, too.”

Nick Steinbach, safety coordinator and location manager at Two Rivers Co-op in Pella, IA, says the agenda of the last LIVE event appealed to him. Plus, he was able to put what he learned from some sessions directly to work on his return home.

“The workshop led by Dr. John Foltz interested me enough to sign up,” Steinbach says. “He presented information about onboarding and I still refer to the notes I took then. Frankly, it was worth the time and investment just to pick his brain after the session.”

LIVE ’19 won’t be all event veterans, though. Menno Beiler, vice president of the board of directors for Kentucky Organic Farm and Feed Inc., Guthrie, KY, was one of the first to register for his first LIVE event. He is ready to meet peers and learn.

“A lot of our members started out as dairy farmers,” Beiler says. “Now they have backyard chickens and goats. A number of our customers run smaller operations and some drive about three hours to buy feed from us. We also service some larger poultry houses nearby.

“Our business is growing 25% each year,” he adds. “I have never been involved in something that is growing so fast. There are innumerable opportunities as more people look to source their own food.”

“I noticed LIVE in Feed & Grain last year,” he says. “We built a mill with 90% used equipment. We’re always looking for equipment and upgrades. Plus, we want to learn more on the milling side.”

Program shaping up

Kicking off LIVE ‘19 will be a mycotoxin testing workshop sponsored by Neogen at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8. This hands-on, hard-working session will be led by Dr. Erin Bowers, associate scientist with Iowa State University. One of the more highly rated programs from the last LIVE, Bowers has a mycotoxin overview planned followed by groups working together running analyses using a rapid testing system.

“One thing we’ll focus on is what type of weather is conducive to promoting various types of mycotoxins, which are produced by fungus,” she says.

“Another item we’ll cover is the basis for how testing kits work,” Bowers says. “Just because a test kit is available doesn’t mean you can use it for any test. Some tests, for example, are only applicable for use testing specific grains or grain products.

“At a time when the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is coming into play, mycotoxins are important to all types of operations including ethanol producers and grain handlers as they must keep track of how they handle mycotoxins. This workshop will build a general level of understanding so that participants will know the right questions to ask to determine what’s right to do.”

Presenting the 2019 Feed Industry Outlook will be Leah Wilkson, vice president of public policy and education, American Feed Industry Association, Arlington, VA. She will outline opportunities, challenges and important regulations for the industry.

Nick Treblik, business operations director for Cargill Feed & Nutrition USA, is slated to present a talk about Cargill’s industry-renowned safety culture and share practices that can be put into place at your own location.

Dr. John Foltz, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, will return to present. Foltz is the co-author of Feed & Grain’s “Manager’s Notebook” column, which covers human resources, training and recruitment for feed and grain businesses. His session will be geared especially for up-and-coming managers.

Jim Wyckoff, owner of Jim Wyckoff on the Markets trading advisory service, will use technical charts to analyze grain and livestock futures markets and the factors that impact ag market prices. As a bonus, every LIVE ‘19 attendee will get a free download of his e-book, “62 Rules Used by Profitable Futures Traders.”

Additional presenters are being added. Check and watch your email for updates. ❚

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