2019 Conference Program

Wednesday, November 6

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM  Pre-con: NCERA-210 Annual Meeting
NCERA-210 is a regional research project that promotes research and education on agricultural cooperatives. It also provides a forum for decision-makers and analysts from industry, government, and universities to discuss research results and their implications.

For more information about the NCERA-210 Annual Meeting, please click here.

5:00 PM – 7:30 PM  Registration open

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM   Welcome Reception 

Thursday, November 7

7:00 AM – 8:30 AM  Registration and Continental Breakfast 

8:30 – 10:00 AM    Policy Update
This session will highlight the trends, challenges, and opportunities for farmer-owned cooperatives with a focus on policy.
Chuck Conner, President and CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

10:00 – 10:30           Refreshment Break

10:30 – 11:30 AM  Agricultural Trade in a Time of Uncertainty
Nearly 70% of U.S. agricultural exports are to countries that are currently in trade negotiations or disputes with the U.S. In this session, we will examine the impacts of the current trade environment on the soy, pork, and dairy markets.
Matthew Fanta, VP of Global Dairy Ingredients, Land O’Lakes
Lee Schulz, Associate Professor, Iowa State University

11:30 – 12:15 PM Understanding and Communicating Section 199A
As cooperatives implement changes made to agricultural tax law, they need to strike a balance between the co-op’s needs and their members’ needs. In this session, we will explore how farmer co-ops are implementing the new tax laws and how they are communicating the “how” and the “why” to their membership.
Rebecca Smith, Director, Cooperatives, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP 

12:15 – 1:30 PM Lunch

1:30 – 2:45 PM International Co-op Spotlight
Mike Boland, Professor and Director, University of Minnesota Food Industry Center

2:45 – 3:15 PM Break

3:15 – 4:00 PM CEO Performance Management
The appraisal of a cooperative’s CEO or general manager is one of a cooperative board’s most challenging and important tasks. This session will highlight processes cooperatives are using to evaluate their CEOs and best practices in CEO performance management.
Beth Ostrem, Vice President Consulting, Farm Credit Foundations

4:00 – 5:00 PM Strategic Collaboration in Farmer-owned Cooperatives
This session will explore how cooperatives are collaborating in new and unique ways to deliver value to members and be better prepared to meet current and future challenges in agriculture.

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Cocktail Reception

Friday, November 8

7:00 AM – 8:30 AM  Registration and Continental Breakfast 

8:30 – 9:30 AM Leveraging Technology to Increase Board Participation
As co-ops grow larger and more sophisticated, how can boards leverage technology to increase participation, quality of decisions, and attract younger directors?
Mark Cade, Board Chair, Compeer Financial
Tom Swearingen, Director of Talent Management, GROWMARK

9:30 – 10:15 AM Blockchain: Benefits and Implications for Agriculture
The emerging technology promises supply chain efficiencies including reduced transaction costs, optimized logistics, increased traceability, and enhanced data management.

10:15 – 10:45 AM Refreshment break

10:45 – 12:00 PM Updates on the E-Commerce and Digital Customer Experience Landscape
E-commerce is a growing segment of the agriculture retail marketplace and is poised to disrupt traditional ag retailers. In this session, we will review the e-commerce landscape, the importance of the digital customer experience, and how cooperatives are competing.
Bruce Vernon, CEO, CommoditAg

12:00 PM Adjourn