Top Of Mind: Executive-Level Education

November 25, 2015 02:34 AM

I’m a sucker for a good quote and am continually amazed how powerful a few words can be when strung together. 

Try this one on for size: “When you achieve one dream, dream another. Getting what you want is only a problem if you have nowhere to go next. Dreaming is a lifetime occupation.” 

That moving statement was made by Rudy Ruettiger, the University of Notre Dame football player who, against all odds, lived out his dream of playing for the Fighting Irish. As we prepare to welcome Ruettiger as our keynote speaker at the 2016 Top Producer Seminar, his story is instructive and inspiring for farm executives reaching to achieve incredible goals. 

An Uphill Battle. Amid a humble upbringing, dyslexia and a diminutive stature, Ruettiger earned a spot on the legendary team. He suited up for one game and hit the field in the last 27 seconds of a matchup versus Georgia Tech. Yet he made it count, sacking the opponent’s quarterback. 

Ruettiger’s game-changing play became one of the greatest moments in sports history and inspired the hit movie, “Rudy.” Just like today’s business-minded farmers, Ruettiger isn’t one to be easily daunted by endless obstacles, pessimism or hard work. 

Invitation To Learn. He’s not the only top-notch speaker in the queue Jan. 27-29 in Chicago. Nearly 30 experts will challenge you to make your operation even better. Our theme, “Cultivate Every Opportunity,” will remind you to look forward. Here are a few of the speakers on tap: 

  • “Position Your Farm Business for Long-Term Success” by Jason Henderson, director of Purdue University Extension Service
  • “The Road Ahead: Crop, Weather and Price Outlooks” by Bill Kirk, CEO of Weather Trends
  • “What’s Ahead for Land Values and Rental Rates?” a panel moderated by LandOwner newsletter editor Mike Walsten with panelists Jim Farrell, Farmers National Company; Stephen Kenney, Hancock Agricultural Investment Group; RD Schrader, Schrader Real Estate and Auction
  • “Rich Niemann—Retailer & Producer…Connecting the Dots” by Richard Niemann, CEO of Niemann Foods and National Grocers Association chairman
  • “Tales from a Gray-Haired Banker: Best Practices for Managing through Today’s Shifting Economic Times” by Curt Covington, senior vice president of agricultural finance for Farmer Mac

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