Farmers gathered in Bettendorf, Iowa, last week for a mid-year tune-up on their business skills at Top Producer Summer Seminar. More than 120 attendees from 13 states came to this new two-day event to hear a variety of speakers and network with fellow producers they made at the annual Top Producer Seminar held each January in Chicago, Ill.
“Producers directly asked us to host a summer event to help refresh what they learned during our winter seminar,” says Top Producer Editor Jeanne Bernick. “In a volatile market year like this one, it makes sense for farmers to tune up their business skills every few months.”
More than a dozen speakers covered a variety of farm business topics, including the 2011 market outlook, managing margins during growth, farm accounting tips and human resource management. Farmers also spent time networking with like-minded producers and business experts during breakout sessions and receptions.
“I was very impressed with the Farm Journal team, the work they put into the event, the caliber of speakers and the atmosphere,” said Chad Anzicker of Morton, Ill. “Concepts and products [were] explained to us—not a bunch of sales pitches.”
“One of the things I most enjoyed about Top Producer Summer Seminar was networking with producers from other regions and areas of agriculture,” said Mark Mueller, a corn and soybean grower from Waverly, Iowa. “The nice thing about a summer meeting is that we can refresh acquaintances made in Chicago before a year has gone by.”
The event included special breakout tracks for the Tomorrow’s Top Producer program, targeted at producers 35 years old and under, as well as plenty of networking time.
Sponsors of the 2011 Top Producer Summer Seminar were: Agrotain, Bayer CropScience, Genuity, John Deere, Kennedy and Coe, Michelin, SFP, Top Third Ag Marketing and Water Street Solutions.