ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. – The National Grain and Feed Association's (NGFA) 46th annual Country Elevator Conference and Trade Show will feature expert insights on the global agricultural economy as well as educational sessions on safety, facility operations, management and social media strategy.
The 2017 Country Elevator Conference and Trade Show (CEC), held Dec. 3-5 at the Marriott Louisville Downtown, in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., will focus on real-world issues that country elevators face on a daily basis, with networking, educational sessions and vendor visits at the trade show accessible for NGFA member companies’ entire teams.
“Our Country Elevator Conference program is renewed with every year that passes, and this year, I think we’re more targeted than ever on the most important — and varied — issues that our member companies face,” said Mitch Dawson, NGFA’s Country Elevator Committee chairman and director of grain operations for MFA Inc., Columbia, Missouri, U.S. “I view this event as a great opportunity to introduce younger members of the industry to a career path in the grain industry. Plus, CEC is one of the best NGFA member perks, because we have exclusive access to the customizable set of educational sessions, the exhibitor trade show and great networking events.”
Keynote speakers include Blu Putnam, chief economist and managing director at CME Group, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, U.S., who is responsible for leading economic analysis on global financial markets by identifying emerging trends, evaluating economic factors and forecasting their impact on companies' business strategies. Attendees also will hear from Greg Peterson, who founded the “Peterson Farm Brothers” with his siblings and created videos promoting modern production agriculture that have reached more than 45 million people in five years.
These keynote speakers are only the tip of the iceberg; the CEC includes a full day of interactive breakout sessions led by industry experts with NGFA members and staff, including:
A session featuring Bunge North America managers sharing first-hand experiences on the art of having difficult conversations with coworkers and customers, and the importance of resolving issues before they become problems;
Commodity & Ingredient Hedging (CIH) experts leading a session designed to help merchandisers understand the farmer’s perspective and offer education and tools focused on helping farmers;
Julie Scheife, director of digital engagement at Land O’Lakes, leading a hands-on workshop designed to familiarize members with various social media tools and how best to use (or not use) each to enhance communications;
NGFA members — who are also military service members — illustrating how military safety principles can be applied to the grain and feed industry;
A presentation that will shed light on the U.S. role in facilitating the agricultural trade expansion and identify the hurdles to overcome to increase U.S. competitiveness and further grow the U.S. agricultural economy; and
A panel of expert attorneys sharing their legal opinions on electronic communication in grain trading, with special focus on NGFA trade rules and arbitration.