Changes, Challenges and Opportunities– the ASFMRA Annual Conference

The ASFMRA Annual Conference, Nov. 13 to Nov. 17, 2017, will be hosted in historic Savannah, Ga., at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, which sits on the Savannah River. The city, known as “The Southern Belle of the Georgia Coast,” was first spared by the Union army and more recently by Hurricane Irma. It offers a lot to see and learn.

Not-to-Miss Speakers

Terry Barr, a nationally recognized economist and senior director for CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, will set the stage. U.S. and global economic transitions are creating new challenges for the U.S. food, fiber and agriculture system. Pressures for changes throughout the system’s supply chains are forcing realignments in business structures and valuations. Come and learn about the end of the commodity super cycle and hear how rising geopolitical uncertainties will signal a period of even greater uncertainty ahead. 

Marty Clarke, a wickedly funny and painfully honest professional speaker, will lead a dynamic session on the reality of dealing with irate customers and identifying specific strategies to handle them successfully. Clarke will describe and discuss the opportunity and strategies for making a lasting positive impression on a client who is in a highly emotional state. Clarke will also reinforce the critical role that the customer experience plays in your revenue chain and explain specific behaviors that can destroy as well as enhance customer loyalty.  

Stephen Frerichs, founder of AgVantage LLC, will provide a primer on crop insurance. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation is the preeminent risk management program for farmers. Nearly 90% of the acres that are eligible for crop insurance participate in the program. Crop Insurance 101 will provide a basic understanding of how the program works for farmers, crop insurance agents and the private companies that deliver the program. This session will also include a discussion about current policy questions as they relate to the upcoming farm bill debate along with a discussion about how crop insurance subsidies can influence land values. 

Bruce Sherrick, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will explore the changing landscape of technologies and its impact on the management of cultural assets. Explore disruptive innovations in the farm management software space and new asset valuation and appraisal tools to better understand changes and suggest possible future paths for our professions. 

David Kohl, emeritus agricultural economist at Virginia Tech, will wrap up the conference by providing a view of global and domestic economic trends and insights on how the current administration will influence the income statements and balance sheets of the agricultural landscape. Kohl will also provide his insight on the practices and characteristics of the top 40 profitable businesses. 

Local Flavor

Of course, the ASFMRA conference would not be complete without bringing in some local flavor, so make sure to join us for presentations on the Port of Savannah as well as informative talks on local produce, nut farming and poultry.

Georgia’s agriculture is so rich and diverse. DuPont Pioneer will once again host its Farm Management Ag Tour. And there will be plenty of time for networking and visiting the trade show to learn about the latest products and services from exhibitors.

There is so much more—come and visit “America’s First Planned City”! Learn more and register for this year’s conference at