A new farm business conference June 14-15 in Nashville will explore how farm businesses of all sizes can benefit from partnerships in which producers retain ownership of assets while sharing resources, says Danny Klinefelter, Texas A&M University Extension economist, who is organizing the event. The conference precedes the Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference for young farmers, also in Nashville, happening June 16-17.
The practice, known as collaborative farming, is gaining traction among large, medium and small operations seeking to retain an edge in an era of rapid technological change, heightened consumer interest in traceability and tight margins. By forming an operating entity, farm owners and operators can maintain control over their personal farms and assets while managing activities such as planting, harvesting, commodity sales and asset purchases as a group.
“These arrangements don’t involve complete mergers,” Klinefelter explains. “Real estate and personal assets are kept separately. It’s just that operating entity leasing equipment, paying salaries to those who are part of it, making purchases together in volume.”
Every collaborative farming model is different. For example, Klinefelter says, he’s aware of:
- Dairies partnering to buy a feed mill in feed-deficit areas so trains can bring in feed without having to pay for trucking
- Farmers partnering to use and maintain a single machine shed
- Embryo transfer and AI partnerships on cattle operations
- Multi-state hunting land marketing and promotions
During the conference, Klinefelter and farmer-presenters such as Donald and Cheri De Jong, winners of the 2016 Top Producer of the Year Award, will explain how they have used collaborative farming. One speaker will even highlight the failure of a collaborative farming venture to show the risks and opportunities of the approach, Klinefelter notes.
Presentations will include:
- Collaborate to Survive and Thrive: Farming for the Future with Australian farmer John Gladigau
- Collaborative Farming: Our Personal Experience with Rob Retting and Rick Fruth of New Vision Farms in northwest Ohio
- Lessons Learned: When Bad Things Happen to Good Plans with Ron Beach of Rabo AgriFinance
- Multi-Generational Growth Model with Chris Barron of Carson & Barron Farms in Rowley, Iowa
- How Should Collaborative Farming be Structured with Paul Neiffer of CliftonLarsonAllen
- Formal Agreements Needed Between Stakeholders with Dr. Shannon Ferrell of Oklahoma State University
- Lender Panel with Scotty Elston of AgTexas Farm Credit Services; Ron Beach of Rabo AgriFinance; and Nate Franzen of First Dakota National Bank
Registration is $600.00 per participant, and the hotel room rate is $159.00 (single or double) per night. Space is limited to 120 participants. The event will be held at the The Inn at Opryland, A Gaylord Hotel, located at 2401 Music Valley Drive in Nashville.
To register with a credit card, call Klinefelter’s office phone number at 979-845-7171. Hotel reservations may be made by calling Marriott reservations at 615-889-0800 or 855-584-3466. The rooms are blocked under the Texas Extension Education Foundation reference #M-5ZNJF4Z.
Register now for the 2016 Tomorrow's Top Producer business conference happening June 16-17 in Nashville!