Gain a Competitive Edge at Top Producer Seminar

November 15, 2017 04:40 PM
Chris Koch

Farmers across the country could use a little encouragement given the valley many are walking through. Who better to do that than someone who has overcome adversity and remains positive? Say hello to Chris Koch.

Koch was born without arms and legs into a farming family in Nanton, Alberta, in Canada. He learned to adapt farm work to suit his needs.

“My family could have treated my disability like a total tragedy but instead chose to take it all in stride and make the best of the situation,” Koch says. “After all, I still had a good head on my shoulders … and with that, anything is possible.”

He grew up with the normal experiences of most small-town kids, he says. He played hockey and baseball, and he operated equipment on his grandpa’s farm.

Koch will inspire attendees of the 2018 Top Producer Seminar to overcome any challenge life throws their way. His presentation, scheduled for lunchtime on Thursday, Jan. 25, is sponsored by BASF.

Master Class. The seminar takes place Jan. 23–26 at the Hilton Chicago Hotel. Join more than 800 farm executives from the U.S. and Canada to discover business opportunities, gain valuable insights and increase your competitive advantage.

Over these few short days, you will hear from nearly 30 challenging and inspiring speakers who will help take your farm to the next level.

During the opening day on Wednesday, Farm Journal’s Washington policy analyst, Jim Wiesemeyer, will discuss policy issues that should be on your radar.

On Thursday morning over breakfast, Tyne Morgan will host a live taping of “U.S. Farm Report” with panelists including “Market Rally Radio” host and Farm Journal economist Chip Flory, Peter Meyer of S&P Global Platt, Matt Bennett of Bennett Consulting and Brian Splitt of Allendale.

Among the educational sessions will be a panel called “Ag Lender Expectations, Wants and Needs.” Flory will moderate the conversation, which will explore how you can be a better borrower in 2018. Panelists will include Ashley Arrington of Agri Authority, Tim Holman of Rabo AgriFinance and Nate Franzen of First Dakota National Bank.

On the last day of the conference, University of Illinois meteorologist Eric Snodgrass kicks off the day with a weather preview. Then Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group, will wrap up the conference with a market outlook.

To register, go to


Food Executives To Join Top Operators At Seminar

Producers arriving early for the 2018 Top Producer Seminar are invited to attend a VIP reception 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel. Join fellow farm leaders along with executives from food and beverage companies, food retailers, restaurants, agribusinesses and conservation nonprofits. The reception takes place at the conclusion of the inaugural Trust In Food™ Symposium. The Symposium, a daylong invitation-only event from Farm Journal Media, will bring together stakeholders from across the food supply chain to begin the process of restoring consumer trust in the food system.

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