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.
Christian Edmiston, Senior Director, Commodities, Milk Sourcing, and Risk Management, Land O’Lakes
Dr. Lee Schulz, Associate Professor, Iowa State University
Bruce Weber, Risk Management for Wheat Product Line, CHS Inc.

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.
Mike Mayhew, Chief Financial Officer, Countryside Cooperative
Tami Peterson, Tax Director, Land O’Lakes
Rebecca Smith, Director, Cooperatives, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP 

12:15 – 1:30 PM Lunch

1:30 – 2:45 PM International Co-op Spotlight: CRV Cooperative, The Netherlands
An interactive session with the CEO and Board Chair of CRV Cooperative, a Dutch-Flemish cooperative delivering herd solutions to 24,000 dairy and beef farmers.

Peter Broeckx, Board Chair, CRV Cooperative
Roald van Noort, CEO, CRV Cooperative

Dr. 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

Continuous Improvement in Farmer-owned Cooperatives
Farmers are no strangers to the ongoing challenge of trying to do more with less. This session will highlight the critical aspects of establishing improvement priorities, focusing on increasing value to owners, and empowering employees to make the supply chains more efficient.
Kevin Hall, Vice President, Transportation Terminals and Continuous Improvement, CHS Inc.

 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.
Tanner Ehmke, Manager, Knowledge Exchange Division, CoBank

10:15 – 10:45 AM Refreshment break

10:45 – 12:00 PM Updates on the E-Commerce 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 and how cooperatives are competing.
Dr. Will Secor, Assistant Professor, Ag and Applied Economic, University of Georgia
Bruce Vernon, Board Chairman, CommoditAg and CEO, The Equity

12:00 PM Adjourn