Conference Program

Every year, the Farmer Cooperatives Conference provides a forum that explores diverse perspectives on key issues and opportunities for agricultural cooperatives. As the program comes together, we see the following themes emerging:

Investing in Rural Infrastructure
A strong agricultural economy is critical to a strong rural economy. In this session, we will hear about rural investment strategies that will strengthen rural economies and build rural communities.

Creating a High Performance Culture in your Organization
In this session, attendees will learn strategies for building a culture that can withstand aggressive growth targets yet flexible enough to move with a changing marketplace, and immunize against complacency.

Meeting the Challenges and Opportunities of Big Data
Precision ag tools are becoming more available to farmer cooperatives and helping growers optimize their imputs and maximize their efficiency. In this session, we will explore the newest technology available and emerging issues related to its use.

Fertilizer Markets and the Changing Supply Chain
Fertilizer accounts for a large portion of farm operating costs and increased price volatility makes planning a challenge. In this session, we will review key factors that impact the fertilizer market and forecast for 2015. 

Governance: Focus on FrieslandCampina

In this session, Dr. Michael Boland will lead a question and answer session with Piet Boer, board chair of FrieslandCampina. FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy companies and has a cooperative tradition stretching back more than 140 years.


Last year, the Farmer Cooperatives Conference discussed sustainability from a broad perspective. This year, we will address how changes in the sustainability landscape will effect cooperatives and how cooperatives can get ahead of the curve to meet consumer expectations.

Tools to Support Successful Restructuring
As mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures become more common in the cooperatives community, it is important to be prepared for restructuring. Hear from cooperative peers on their experiences with restructuring and the tools that helped their cooperative along the way.

Agenda at a Glance

Thursday, November 5

7:00 - 8:30     Registration and continental breakfast

8:30AM - 5:00PM   Educational Sessions

5:00 - 7:30 Reception

Friday, November 6

7:00 - 8:30    Registration and continental breakfast

8:30 - 11:30  Educational Sessions