MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — More than 1,000 people gathered at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort last week to attend the 2017 Great Lakes Crop Summit. The event featured expert speakers from universities and industry on a wide range of topics, including agronomy, new technology, marketing and communication.
“The Great Lakes Crop Summit was a huge success this year, and we had another record year for attendance,” said Gail Frahm, executive director of the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. “From the trade show, to the networking opportunities, to the high-quality speakers – we know this conference provides growers with a lot of new ideas that they can take back to the farm.”
Speakers at the conference focused on actions that farmers can take that will ultimately help make their business more profitable – a goal that is even more important when the farm economy is going through a downturn. These topics included Chad Colby with Colby Ag TECH, who discussed how drones and remote sensing equipment are changing the future of farming. Mike Mock, with Mock Consulting LLC, gave farmers tips for managing financial risk and developing marketing plans. Two farmer panels closed out the event, giving real-world advice about using manure as fertilizer and variable seeding rates for corn and soybeans.
“One of the shared missions of our three checkoff organizations is to give our farmers access to research and education that will help grow their businesses,” said Jody Pollok-Newsom, executive director of the Michigan Wheat Program. “The crop summit is a chance for our growers to learn more about management practices, new technology and marketing tactics that can ultimately grow their bottom line, which is especially important with today’s prices. We put together a fantastic program this year, and we’ve heard lots of positive feedback about the value of the event from growers.”
On Wednesday morning, Dr. Kevin Folta of the University of Florida, Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers, and Kim Bremmer of AgInspirations, spoke about how important it is for farmers to communicate with the non-farm public about our industry. This is even more important as consumer opinions are shaping market demands and pushing regulations that have a direct impact on the farm.
The event is a joint effort of the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee and the Michigan Wheat Program.
“Working together with the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee and the Michigan Wheat program is great because there’s a lot of overlap in farmers who grow corn, soybeans and wheat,” said Jim Zook, executive director of the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan. “Having all three commodity groups meet in one place really amplifies the value of the crop summit and allows us to bring in top notch speakers with valuable information to share. That’s why the Great Lakes Crop Summit is the premier event for Michigan farmers.”
Next year’s Great Lakes Crop Summit will take place January 31 – February 1, 2018 at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant.
The 2017 Great Lakes Crop Summit was made possible by the generous support of 64 sponsors and exhibitors. A list of sponsors, the full speaker list and information about past years are available at www.GreatLakesCropSummit.com.
— Great Lakes Crop Summit
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