Marriott Louisville Downtown | Louisville, KY
The CEC is the premier conference built for your business and the issues you face every day. Held for the first time in Louisville, KY, this meeting is an easy drive for much of our membership, and an exciting destination for all.
Arrive Sunday afternoon in time to sit-in on the Country Elevator Committee meeting before hitting the Trade Show Welcome Reception. Monday starts with an engaging “30,000 ft. view” of the world economy and then attendees will get up and get moving to four rounds of interactive breakout sessions focusing on merchandising, operations, management, legal, safety, and/or marketing. Be sure to visit our evening Trade Show Reception before heading out to dinner with your colleagues, clients and friends. On Tuesday, enjoy our BRAND NEW programming format featuring a plated breakfast and dynamic keynote speaker – and be on the road by 11:00 a.m.! Paired with our 100+ vendor trade show, the 2017 CEC is the annual meeting for your entire team.
Come to the Next Gen Barrel Room after dinner on Monday night to sample some of Kentucky’s signature spirit and network with other professionals in the grain and feed industry. All conference attendees are welcome, 21+.
Program Session Details
- Monday General Session Keynote | Global Economic Conditions and Impacts on U.S. Grain, Feed, Processing and Export Sectors
- Session A | We Need to Talk: How to Have Difficult Conversations in the Workplace
- Session B | Engaging Farmers in the 21st Century
- Session C | Hashtag Nation: How Your Company Fits into the Social Media Landscape (And Why You Should Care)
- Session D | Stay Safe Out There: War Stories from the Grain Fields and Battle Fields
- Session E | How Your Business Can Profit From the Changing Landscape of Global Ag Trade
- Session F | Electronic Communications, Trading and Contracting: Know the Basics
- Tuesday General Session Breakfast Keynote | I’m Farming and I Grow It: An AgVocating Success Story
Global Economic Conditions and Impacts on U.S. Grain, Feed, Processing and Export Sectors
Global policy and market challenges with implications for interest rates, equities, currency, and energy along with thoughts on the grain markets from a big picture perspective.
Dr. Blu Putnam, Chief Economist & Managing Director, CME Group, Inc.Bluford (Blu) Putnam has served as Managing Director and Chief Economist of CME Group since May 2011. He is responsible for leading economic analysis on global financial markets by identifying emerging trends, evaluating economic factors and forecasting their impact on CME Group and the company's business strategy. He also serves as CME Group's spokesperson on global economic conditions and manages external research initiatives. Prior to joining CME Group, Putnam gained more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry with concentrations in central banking, investment research and portfolio management. He most recently served as Managing Partner for Bayesian Edge Technology & Solutions, Ltd., a financial risk management and portfolio advisory service he founded in 2000. He also has served as President of CDC Investment Management Corporation and Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer for Equities and Asset Allocation at the Bankers Trust Company in New York. His background also includes economist positions with Kleinwort Benson, Ltd., Morgan Stanley & Company, Chase Manhattan Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Putnam holds a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Florida Presbyterian College (later renamed Eckerd College) and a Ph.D.in economics from Tulane University. He has authored five books on international finance, as well as many articles that have been published in academic journals and business publications
We Need to Talk: How to Have Difficult Conversations in the Workplace
Keywords: Merchandising; Operations; Management
This session features managers from within the grain industry 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. Be ready to laugh and learn from their successes (and failures).
Dustin Toberman, District Manager, Bunge North AmericaAs a district manager for Bunge North America, Dustin Toberman oversees Bunge’s assets along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers as well as interior facilities in Illinois and Indiana. Toberman comes from a family with a long tradition in agriculture and spent his early years working for the family grain and feed business at the National City Stockyards. He joined Gavilon at their Sauget, Illinois facility in 2003, and his career as a merchandiser and manager for Gavilon took him to multiple states and facilities throughout the Midwest. In 2014, he became a commercial manager for Bunge and has since become a district manager. Toberman obtained a Bachelor’s degree in 1998 from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois and is a 2000 Dale Carnegie graduate.
Kevin Green, Operations Manager, Bunge North AmericaKevin Green is the Operations Manager for the Southern District Grain Division of Bunge North America. Bunge North America is an agribusiness and food ingredient company dedicated to improving the global food supply chain. Kevin is responsible for managing the operation of 16 grain facilities in the Mississippi, Louisiana and Southern Arkansas areas. Kevin started his role in agriculture in 1994 when he started his farming operation. In 2003, Kevin started with Bunge. Throughout his career, Kevin spent time as elevator worker handling everyday task at the Lake Providence, LA location. In 2006, he became the Asst. Plant Manager at Greenville, MS.
Engaging Farmers in the 21st Century
Keywords: Merchandising; Management
For merchandisers and risk management professionals, effectively communicating with producers and assisting them with marketing their crops is a continuing challenge -- especially smaller to medium-sized operators. Over the last few years, bushels sold at profitable margins have declined as marketing has become more challenging. Today, elevators and end users have a unique opportunity to become leaders and help strengthen their local agriculture communities. This presentation is a high level, big picture, and paradigm-shift discussion designed to help merchandisers better understand the farmer's perspective and to offer education and tools focused on helping farmers.
Michael Shawver, Vice President, New Business Development, Commodity & Ingredient Hedging (CIH)As vice president of new business development, Michael introduces CIH’s price and margin management methodology to agricultural producers, processors and end-users. He currently focuses on developing and maintaining relationships with grain originators and commodity buyers across the U.S. Michael joined CIH in 2005 as an account executive responsible for helping end users identify, prioritize and address their commodity price risk. During his tenure, he has been instrumental in developing CIH’s suite of client tools and expanding the firm’s presence in the U.S. poultry, dairy and cattle sectors, as well as in Latin America. Michael holds a B.A. in economics from Northwestern University and a Series 3 License and speaks Spanish fluently. He is an avid sailor and cyclist. He frequently rides his bike to work, regardless of weather.
Ryan Walsh, Manager, Grain Origination Source, Commodity & Ingredient Hedging (CIH)Ryan developed and currently manages CIH’s risk management capabilities for grain originators. Prior to joining the firm in 2016, he served as a consultant for a grain origination company, where he designed specialized OTC strategies to help clients leverage their grain storage to manage price and spread risk. His experience also includes a role as risk manager at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). Ryan holds a B.S. in quantitative agricultural economics from Purdue University, a Series 3 License and a Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) license. With roots in South Boston, Ryan is a diehard fan of the Red Sox and always on the hunt for great BBQ.
Hashtag Nation: How Your Company Fits into the Social Media Landscape (And Why You Should Care)
Keywords: Merchandising; Marketing; Management
During this session, you’ll examine how you and your company fit into the ever-growing social and digital media landscape. How can you use your limited time and resources to create an effective digital presence? How should you be using the most popular social media platforms? Use this session to interact with our digital engagement expert and your industry colleagues. Leave with recommendations on how to gauge and leverage your digital presence.
Julie Scheife, Director of Digital Engagement, Land O’Lakes Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota
Stay Safe Out There: War Stories from the Grain Fields and Battle Fields
Keywords: Safety, Operations, Management
Safety starts at the top; everyone is a safety officer; every hazard you walk by is a standard you just set. These safety principles are straight from the U.S. military – and equally applicable at the elevator. Join several of your fellow NGFA members – who are also military service members – as they take these and other military safety truisms and illustrate how they can be applied to the grain and feed industry. This engaging session will feature real world stories meant to show just how important it is to actively maintain your organizations safety standards, as told by individuals who are uniquely qualified to speak on safety matters from the military and grain industry perspectives.
Jim Seibert, Manager of Regulatory Affairs, Education and Training, NGFA, Grand Island, Nebraska; U.S. Army Major, Nebraska National Guard
Mike Schon, Grain Department Manager, Pro Cooperative, Pocahontas, Iowa; U.S. Army First Lieutenant, Iowa National Guard
Chris Kernahan, Vice President of Operations, Pro Cooperative, Pocahontas, Iowa
How Your Business Can Profit From the Changing Landscape of Global Ag Trade
Keywords: Merchandising; Marketing; Management
By now we have all heard that the growing world population, expanding middle class and pursuit for clean, cheap fuel are increasing demand for value added products, such as meat and biofuels. Consequently, this is boosting demand for grains and oilseeds. This presentation will shed light on the ways in which your business can participate in the resultant agricultural trade expansion.
Brian Burke, Principal, John Stewart & Associates, St. Louis, MO
Electronic Communications, Trading and Contracting: Know the Basics
Keyword: Merchandising; Legal; Management
This session will feature a panel of expert attorneys sharing their legal opinions on electronic communication in grain trading, with special focus on NGFA trade rules and arbitration. Is a text message a binding contract? What constitutes a valid electronic signature? Find out, and then be ready to test your knowledge with a lively group Q&A.
Simon (Chip) Buckner, Corporate Counsel, Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO
Mary Turke, Partner, Turke & Strauss, Madison, WI
I’m Farming and I Grow It: An AgVocating Success Story
Join Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers for a story that’s entertaining, inspirational, and motivational for people of all ages, farmers or not. The Peterson Farm Bros produce entertaining and educational videos on their YouTube channel and post continuous farming and video updates to their social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and, as Greg says, "Ever since we began producing content, we have continued to realize a need to inform people about what we do in farming and in agriculture as a whole. There are many misconceptions about modern day farmers and we feel it is our calling to help correct some of those misconceptions." Listen to Greg as he tells the story of how the Peterson Brothers got started making videos, the power of communicating through social media, and the lessons learned in advocating for agriculture online.
Greg Peterson, Peterson Farm BrothersGreg Peterson is a 2013 graduate of Kansas State University where he majored in Agricultural Communications and Journalism. He grew up and still works on a family farm near Assaria, KS with his parents, 2 brothers, and sister. In 2012, Greg founded the “Peterson Farm Brothers” with his siblings. The videos that have resulted have reached over 45 million people in 5 years and have led to an increased role in agricultural advocacy for Greg. He has now given over 300 speaking presentations in 40 states and 8 countries and is passionate about the future of the agricultural industry.
The National Grain and Feed Association is hosting its second annual photo contest for NGFA members. The winners will be announced at the 2017 Country Elevator Conference in Louisville, December 3-5. Participants are asked to submit a photo in one of three categories: technology; teamwork; weather. Each participant may submit one photo per category. Cash prizes for first, second, and third place, and all entered photos will be used in NGFA marketing during the 2018 calendar year. Show us what you’ve got!
Thank you to our Sponsors!
Western Milling LLC
Advance Trading Inc. | Agri-Business Insurance Services | Arizona Grain | Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth | CCS Group | Cofco International | Envirologix | Frisbie Construction Co. Inc. | Hoffmann Inc. | Growmark Grain | Union Pacific Railroad | West Side Salvage