Conference Program

Thursday, November 6

7:00 - 8:00     Registration and continental breakfast

8:00 - 9:30     What's Happening in Agriculture?   
Trends, challenges and opportunities for cooperatives on a local, regional and national level.

Deborah Atwood, Executive Director, AGree: Transforming Food & Ag Policy, Meridian Institute
Catherine Woteki, Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, United States Department of Agriculture

9:30 - 10:00     Refreshment Break

10:00 - Noon     Exploring Non-Qualified & Unallocated Equity
Are these alternative strategies the right choice for your cooperative? What is the right balance between growth and member-owner rights?

Art Duerkson, CEO, Farmway Cooperative, Beloit, KS
Brent Hueth, Associate Professor and Director, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
Phil Kenkel, Professor and Bill Fitzwater Chair, Oklahoma State University
Doug Ohlson, General Manager, Frenchman Valley Cooperative

Noon - 1:00     Lunch

1:00 - 2:15    Governance and Growth in a Global Market
An interactive discussion on growth globalization and international memberships.

Åke Hantoft, Chair, Arla Foods, Denmark
Michael Boland, Koller Professor; Director, University of Minnesota Food Industry Center

2:15 - 3:15    Assessing and Managing Risks in the Global Market
Risk management has become an essential part of managing a cooperative. Increasing your cooperative’s capacity to identify and manage risk is imperative to effectively protect your brand and reputation. In this session, participants will assess risks faced by cooperative firms and will leave with the tools to better understand and act on these risks.

Andrea Bonime-Blanc, CEO & Founder, GEC Risk Advisory

3:15 - 3:45    Refreshment Break

3:45 - 5:00    Incorporating Sustainability into Your Strategic Plan In today’s consumer-driven market, sustainability and environmental responsibility are increasingly important. What steps can your cooperatives take to ensure that it is prepared? Hear from industry experts that have developed a long-term sustainability strategy and the impact on their business.

Bill Buckner, President & CEO, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Chuck Conner, CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Greg Wickham, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Dairy Farmers of America

5:30 - 6:30 Reception

6:30 - 8:30 Dinner and Speaker

Rod Snyder, President, Field to Market


Friday, November 7

7:00 - 8:00    Registration and continental breakfast

8:00 - 9:30   Evaluating the Risks and Benefits of Big Data
Data-driven technologies are proliferating all aspects of business and agriculture in no exception. This session will explore the trends and impacts of big data on farmer-owned cooperatives.

David Muth, Senior Vice President of Analytics, AgSolver
Mike Vande Logt, EVP & COO, Winfield, Land O'Lakes


9:30 - 10:00    Refreshment Break

10:00 - 11:00    Transportation, Infrastructure, and Impacts

Transportation is paramount to the success and profitability of U.S. agriculture. Industry experts will assess the impact of transportation challenges on the distribution system. Cooperatives leaders will share their unique experiences overcoming transportation and logistical challenges.

Patrick Hessini, Vice President, Transportation & Distribution, CHS Inc.
Todd Ludwig, CEO, Watonwan Farmers Service Co.
Dan Mack, Vice President Rail Transportation and Terminal Operations, CHS Inc.

11:00 - Noon     Food, Agriculture and Consumer Trust

Research findings suggest that there is public skepticism of the food industry. Cooperatives will learn about new consumer trends, implications for the agricultural industry and steps to rebuilding the public’s trust through transparency.

Terry Fleck, Executive Director, Center for Food Integrity

Adjourn