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MKC Hosts Fifth Annual Emerging Producer Program

2/28/2018

On February 2, more than 125 producers, guests, and employees attended the Fifth Annual Emerging Producers Program in Manhattan, Kansas. Over the two-day event, attendees gained information from industry professionals on key topics in agriculture. The event provided many networking opportunities for young farmers to gain insight on succession planning for their operations.

During day one, Chuck Conner with National Council of Farmer Cooperatives shared updates in agriculture from Washington D.C.

“I think anytime you bring together young farmers you have a great potential for things to happen,” Conner said. “My message to those farmers is to not only make sure you have time for farming but to be aware of what is going on in Washington.”

Jolene Brown, a speaker for agriculture and family business, shared her tips and stories on farm succession in a business-first family operation. Agriculture economist and consultant with Wells Fargo and Company, Michael Swanson, discussed everything from corn to consumers to technology to marketing.

To conclude the evening, comedian Jerry Carroll shared his agricultural experience and related to many of the producers through engagement and laughter.

“The topics discussed throughout the program were engaging as well as the networking opportunity presented,” said Jason Unruh, a farmer near Peabody. “As farmers, we have the winter months to attend a lot of meetings. I really like the Emerging Producers Program because we talk about business structure, succession planning as well as liability management which has been very valuable as a producer.”

Day two of the program began with comments from Dave Spears, senior vice president and CMO. This led into two young speakers that talked about their viewpoints in advocating for agriculture and expanding your network.

Director of Millennial Engagement with Monsanto Company Vance Crowe shared his experience with building a tribe and reaching out to other producers that share the same views. Bernard (Chubbyemu), a YouTube Host, talked about posting to all social media platforms with “growth” in mind, being able to know who your followers are and how to build your reach in the industry.

“On Saturday, we listened to Vance and Bernard talk about being advocates for Agriculture,” said Willie Swartz, master agronomy advisor. “I think this is very important as we move forward in agriculture and continue to educate people on its importance.”


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