Industry Trends, Networking Highlight Annual ARA Meeting

Mark your calendar now for an essential event for agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers. Join industry leaders and key decision-makers for three days of networking and professional development at the ARA Conference and Expo, Nov. 28-30, at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

This year’s program features a wide array of keynote speakers, panels and breakout sessions.

Consolidation in Agribusiness

Jim Collins, executive vice president with DuPont, will discuss the DuPont-Dow merger, his perspective on strategic developments within the industry and current acquisition trends. Upon completion of the merger, Collins will become the chief operating officer for the DowDuPont agriculture business.

Global Economic and Business Trends

Geopolitical strategist and author Peter Zeihan will offer a keynote on the realities of geography and populations to help you navigate today’s complex risks and opportunities. Zeihan, a global energy, demographic and security expert, keeps a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines. His irreverent approach transforms topics that are normally dense and heavy into accessible, relevant takeaways.

Alternative Business Models

Purdue Professor Emeritus Dave Downey will moderate this panel discussion with Steve Watts, partner with Farrell Growth Group, and Amol Deshpande, CEO of Farmers Business Network. Watts, an ag retail veteran whose resume includes The McGregor Company and an instrumental role in launching Aligned Ag Distributors, will help retailers consider what FBN’s market presence means for them.

Coming to a State Near You

Michigan Agri-Business Association President Jim Byrum will lead a panel of state executives from Florida, California and Oregon in a discussion about state and local ballot measures on issues such as GMO seeds and pesticide applications, as well as activist initiatives moving through state legislatures, regulatory agencies and local councils and boards.

How to Protect You and Your Company from Applicator Liability

In this breakout session, David Leath, partner with Petrie Dorfmeier, in Fresno, Calif., will offer his expert advice on protecting yourself and your company from liability against crop loss, off-target application, spray drift, exposure and other issues associated with crop protection applications. He focuses his practice in civil and business litigation for agricultural law and has developed significant expertise in the field of agricultural litigation.

We Won! What’s Next?

Agriculture won several major regulatory and legislative battles in the past year, but the war is not over. Attorneys from Faegre Baker Daniels will provide their perspective on what might happen next on key regulatory and legislative industry issues facing ag retailers, distributors and suppliers.

In addition, ARA has invited Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, to address conference attendees.

Conference registration and lodging will open in July. Make plans now to attend. For the most up-to-date information, go to


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