Conference Program

Presentations are now availbale - please click on the speakers name to download their presentation.

Wednesday, November 4

6:00 - 7:30 PM Welcome Reception
sponsored by CHS Foundation, Minnesota Cooperative Education Foundation, NCFC Education Foundation, Ralph K. Morris Foundation, and The Cooperative Foundation


Thursday, November 5

7:00 - 8:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast
sponsored by iRely

8:30 Investing in Rural Infrastructure – Strong rural economies require strategic investments in infrastructure.
Mary McBride, President, CoBank 

9:15 Policy Update – An update on the policy environment and issues to follow in the upcoming year.
Chuck Conner, President and CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

10:00 Refreshment Break

10:30 Rural Broadband: Challenges and Opportunities – Modern agriculture demands modern digital connections. What’s on the horizon for high speed Internet access?

Ruth Bauer, Board Member, RS Fiber Cooperative
Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, National Telephone Cooperative Association

Jasper Schneider, Vice President - Member Relations, National Information Solutions Cooperative

11:45 - 12:45 Lunch – sponsored by GROWMARK

12:45 Support for Farmer-owned Cooperatives in Europe
Jos Bigman, Associate Professor, Management and Organization, Wageningen University

1:30 Governance: Focus on FrieslandCampina - FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy companies, with over 140 years of experience in cooperative governance.
Dr. Michael Boland, Koller Professor and Director, University of Minnesota Food Industry Center
Piet Boer, Board Chair, FrieslandCampina

2:30 Ag Input Markets and the Changing Supply Chain – An update on ag input markets and the most significant drivers of change in the supply chain.

Doug Brunt, Senior Vice President of Ag Customer Accounts, Land O'Lakes
Neil Fleishman, Senior Industry Analyst, Green Markets

3:30 Refreshment Break

4:00 Sustainability in the Value Chain - How can companies embed sustainability into the supply chain while creating value for members and customers?
Steve Peterson, Director of Sourcing Sustainability, General Mills

5-7:30 Cocktail Reception featuring a generous selection of appetizers - sponsored by CoBank

Friday, November 6

7:00 – 8:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast – sponsored by Land O’Lakes

8:30 Complacency Kills: The New Code of Cultural Conduct - Strategies for building a culture that can withstand aggressive growth targets yet be flexible enough to move with a changing marketplace.
Adam Holton, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, CHS Inc.

9:30 Big Data: Data Warehousing, Standard Setting and Legal Issues - What are the emerging issues for agriculture in this fast-growing field?
Matt Bechdol, Interim Executive Director, Agricultural Data Cooperative
Dennis Buckmaster, Professor, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Purdue University
Jay Mattison, CEO, National Dairy Herd Information Association
Todd Janzen, Partner, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun

10:30 Refreshment Break

10:45 – Noon Recent Trends in Cooperative Restructuring, Mergers and Acquisitions – Practical advice on successful strategies, from experienced advisors in agribusiness restructuring.
John B. Campbell, Managing Director, Ocean Park Advisors
Mark J. Hanson, Attorney/Partner, Stoel Rives LLP
Richard W. Sobalvarro, Attorney/Partner, Rajkowski Hansmeier Ltd.