ABA National Agricultural Bankers Conference

November 9-12, 2014  •  Hilton Omaha & CenturyLink Center Omaha  •  Omaha, NE

Ag Bankers Conference WebBanner 

Overview  |  Registration  |  Program  |  Venue  |  Activities  |  Exhibitors/Sponsors

2014 Program*

Sunday  |  Monday  |  Tuesday  |  Wednesday  |  Farmland the Movie


Sunday, November 9
12:00 pm–6:30 pm Registration Open
1:00 pm–5:00 pm Pre-Conference Seminar​: Turbulent Times Require Better Data
  • Robert H. Craven, Director, Center for Farm Financial Management, Professor, Dept. of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
  • David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, AgriVisions LLC, Blacksburg, VA
  • David Buman, Director of Credit Operations, Farmer Mac, Washington, D.C.
  • Jackson Takach, Economist, Farmer Mac, Washington, D.C.
FINPACK, Farmer Mac and Dr. David Kohl are partnering to offer an action-packed pre-conference event. "The times they are a changin'!" Do you have a plan to manage the risk in your portfolio during turbulent and less profitable times? This session will look at the current ag credit environment with a focus on what is happening with your farm customers and early warning tools that will position you to be proactive.

We will take a look at key components in analyzing ag credits and current observations. What will it take to be a successful ag lender in turbulent times? What can we learn from past history? Where does cash analysis work and where doesn't it work? What steps can you take to mitigate risk in your portfolio? Dr. Kohl joins in with his view from the road and his vast experience going back to previous times of financial stress.

The session will have takeaways for everyone, even if you do not use FINPACK or Farmer Mac.

3:00 pm–4:00 pm Spouse/Companion Hospitality Suite Open
6:00 pm–7:00 pm Opening Reception

Monday, November 10
7:00 am–4:30 pm Registration Open
7:00 am–8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00 am–10:00 am Opening General Sessions

Conference Chairman's Welcome
Nate Franzen, President/Ag Division, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, SD

Nebraska Bankers Association Welcome

ABA Chairman's Welcome
John A. Ikard​, ABA Chairman Elect, President & CEO, First Bank Holding Co., Lakewood, CO

General Session
Big Data
Lowell Catlett, Regent's Professor, Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business and Extension Economics and Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruses, NM

Dr. Catlett has a unique, future-oriented perspective on emerging big data issues. He is the author of numerous books and articles and works nationally and internationally with corporations and organizations doing futuristic planning concerning the impacts of technology on careers, lifestyles and the economy.

10:00 am–10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30 am–11:30 am Workshop Series I
  • ​When "Yes" Is Not the Best Answer
    Laurie Richards, Laurie Richards Associates, McLean, VA

    It's not enough to be good at what you do... you have to be able to tell people about it - in a way that makes an impact with them. Unfortunately, what you mean is not always what they hear! In this session you'll learn how to effectively and efficiently communicate with your customers and your co-workers so that you can get what you need. Learn to say 'No' without alienating others or losing customers. Ask for what you need, and eliminate the frustration and wasted time caused by misunderstanding. ​

  • Which Way Will They Go?
    Robert H. Craven, Director, Center for Farm Financial Management, Professor, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
    Dale W. Nordquist, Assistant Director, Center for Farm Financial Management, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN ​

    For many farms, it looks like we are turning the corner on the extreme profits and high working capital of the past several years. Has it been a while since you saw a bad loan? Will you know one when you see one? How can you use the data you have to foresee credit problems before they happen?

  • When Can You Have Too Much Data?
    Mark Gold, Managing Partner, Top Third Ag Marketing, Chicago, IL

    Join 16 year veteran ABA speaker Mark Gold, as he discusses the impact of Big Data on agricultural marketing. Will all of today’s data inputs including weather, supply and demand, yields, acres, and GPS technology help the American farmer or cause a data overload? How will this data affect your clients? What, if anything, is the ag lender’s role in helping the ag producer manage this data? Of course, as always, Mark will present his current marketing recommendations. If your clients left a lot of money on the table this past marketing year, this is your chance to help them avoid the same mistakes next year.​

  • Inspired Questions for Perpetuating the Generational Farm
    David Specht, Advising Generations LLC, Connell, WA

    This session will explore penetrating and crucial questions that every family-owned farm must answer to navigate the generational transition. You will come away from this session knowing how to help your farm customers start talking about these challenging issues. This will be the catalyst they need to initiate the planning necessary for them to stay a family and perpetuate their farm legacy.
11:45 am–1:25 pm Luncheon with Guest Speaker: The Stine Seed Company Store
Harry Stine, President & Founder, Stine Seed Company, Adel, IA

The name Harry Stine is synonymous with many titles – innovator, businessman, entrepreneur – but the title holding the most significance to him and those who know him well is Farmer. The consummate researcher, Stine’s interest in seed breeding started when he found some unusual soybean plants in one of the company fields. He saw the value and additional profit opportunities that breeding, developing and growing newer, higher-yielding soybean varieties would have for his company, as well as farmers. While yield checking the soybean lines, he came to understand what a conventional breeding program could bring to the soybean industry and to growers.

Today, Stine is a member of the American Society of Agronomy and the American See Trade Association. In addition, he also serves on the board of directors of the Trees Forever Foundation, the Iowa Arboretum and the Brenton Arboretum.

1:30 pm–2:30 pm Workshop Series II
  • ​Cultivating the Next Generation and Legacy Generation of Farmers
    Moderator: David Specht, Advising Generations LLC, Connell, WA
    Panel: Nate Franzen, President/Ag Division, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, SD​
    Fred D. Bruning, President, Bruning State Bank, Bruning, NE
    Gene Copenhaver, Vice President, Regional Supervisor, Agricultural Lending, First Bank and Trust Company, Abington, VA
    The future of agricultural banking will depend on how well we cultivate the next generation of farmers and respond to the needs and concerns of the legacy generation of farmers. This session will explore implementing programs for beginning farmers, succession and Estate planning and effectively communicating with the “new” generation and the legacy generation in meeting their unique business needs.

  • There is More Debt Out There Than You Think
    Allen Featherstone, Ph.D., Interim Head, Professor and Director of the Master of Agribusiness Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

    Allen Featherstone has studied farms within the Kansas Farm Management Association. He found that in 2010 the average debt-to-asset ratio was higher than it was in 1979. If commodity prices take a dive downwards, the future for some farmers will be far less “golden.” Ever since Professor Featherstone released his research he has been widely quoted and widely seen as the holder of the opposing (negative) view on the farm balance sheet.

  • Financing Multiple Entity Businesses
    Moderator: Jacqueline Pueppke, Partner, Baird Holm, Omaha, NE
    Panel: Curt Covington, Senior Vice President/Senior Risk  Manager, Bank of the West, Fresno, CA
    Neal Wietgrefe, Senior Regional Credit Officer, Credit Administration, ND/SD Regions, Wells Fargo Bank, NA​, Aberdeen, SD
    Wayne Williamson, Senior Vice President of AG Finance, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, SD

    Multiple entity operations are becoming more and more prevalent and bring with them complications in credit analysis, added counterparty risk, and sometimes internal communications problems. Learn about credit analysis procedures to monitor the financial performance of complicated entities and risk management procedures to manage global risk related to these operations. An experienced banker could discuss they work with these complicated operations to pull together the entire financial picture and put in place loan policies to manage bank risk experience.
2:30 pm–3:15 pm Refreshment Break and Exhibit Hall Preview
3:15 pm–4:30 pm General Session
  • ​The Farmer Decision: ARC or PLC
    Moderator: Nate Franzen, President/Ag Division, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, SD
    Panel: Gary D. Schnitkey, Professor, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
    Myles Watts, Ph.D., Professor, Agricultural Economics, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT​
    Chad E. Hart, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics, Crop Markets Specialist and Extension Economist, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

    The new farm bill introduced new types of crop support programs and crop insurance options available. Some require a five year commitment on the part of the farmer. How does the farmer decide which one is best?  What could the farmer be giving up by choosing one particular option over another? Learn about Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) vs. Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and how to weigh the options. There is ARC for the county and ARC for the individual. A producer can also purchase supplemental coverage option (SCO). Learn what factors should be considered before a choice is made.​
4:30 pm–5:30 pm Reception with Exhibitors

Tuesday, November 11
7:00 am–5:00 pm Registration Open
7:00 am–8:15 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
7:15 am–8:25 am

Two 30 minute sessions:
7:15-7:45am and
Outlook Tuesday! (Commodities Session)
  • ​Land Values: Michael Duffy, Ph.D., Professor of Economics (Emeritus), Iowa State University, Ames, IA

  • Beef/Livestock: Gary Brester, Ph.D., Dept. of Agricultural Economics & Economics, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

  • Crops: Gary D. Schnitkey, Ph.D., Professor, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

  • Dairy: Marin Bozie, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Dairy Foods Marketing Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

  • Pork: Christopher A. Hurt, Ph.D., Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
8:30 am–10:00 am General Session
  • ​Are the Good Times Still Rolling?
    Jason R. Henderson, Associate Dean and Director of Purdue Extension, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
    Brent Goy, Founding Director, Center for Commercial Agriculture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

    Purdue University economists Jason Henderson and Brent Gloy were a sensation last year when they talked about the current boom in the farm economy and compared it to the past. Find out if we are at the turning point in this economy and connect the dots between the past booms in the agricultural economy and the present one. There really is no “new” normal when you consider what is happening today – we have been to this rodeo before.​

  • The Bruning Award Presentation
    Join us as we celebrate the memorable career of Matthew H. Williams, President, Gothenburg State Bank, Gothenburg, Nebraska.​
10:00 am–10:30 am Coffee Break with Exhibitors
10:30 am–11:30 am Workshop Series III
  • The Elephant in the Room – Credit Risk in Secured Ag Lending – A Survey of Recent Case Law and What it Means to Bankers​
    David L. Bracht, Partner, Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Omaha, NE
    Barkley Clark, Partner, Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Washington, DC
    Aaron Johnson, Partner, Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Omaha, NE
    James M. Pfeffer, Partner, Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Omaha, NE

    ​This session will explore the risks in agricultural lending, some of which may not be particularly evident considering the high prices agriculture producers have enjoyed during the last several years. We’ll summarize some of the most recent and interesting bankruptcy cases that highlight bankruptcy risk and important points for securing ag products as collateral and take a look at issues such as:
    • Competing claims between bank lenders and bankruptcy trustee or account creditors
    • Vendor (like grain companies) that try to retain title to grain until payment
    • Grain products sold to large commercial users like ethanol plants and cattle feed yards 
  • Repayment Risk in a Variable Price Environment
    David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, AgriVisions, LLC, Blacksburg, VA
    Freddie L. Barnard, Ph.D., Professor, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
    Doug Johnson, Vice President, WebEquity Solutions, Omaha, NE

    What is ahead for 2015? Who knows, but our agriculture past tells us we better be ready to assess the repayment risk for each of our borrowers and then know the effectiveness of using the various tools we have available in our financial toolbox to reduce repayment risk. The impact of higher interest rates, combined with lower commodity prices and increasing input costs, on the term debt coverage ratio will vary across farm borrowers with different degrees of leverage.​

  • Straight Talk on the Farm Service Agency Guaranteed Farm Loan Programs
    Moderator: Randi Sheffer, Chief, Guaranteed Farm Loans Branch, USDA, Farm Service Agency, Washington, DC
    Blake Howsden, President & CEO, Nebraska State Bank, Oshkosh, NE
    Kent E. Ketteler, Sr. Vice President and Chief Lending Officer, Bank of the Valley, Bellwood, NE
    Maureen Mausbach, Farm Loan Manager, USDA, Farm Service Agency, David City, NE
    Tim Reimer, Farm Loan Specialist, USDA, Farm Service Agency, Lincoln, NE

    The USDA, Farm Service Agency guaranteed farm loan program has been a remarkable success. Nearly $12 billion in farm and ranch loans are made by banks and other lenders that are guaranteed by the USDA. There are nearly 43,000 loans outstanding. The program has grown over the past five years, with less than $9 billion outstanding at the close of FY 08 to nearly $12 billion today. In this session representatives from the National Office, State Office, and bankers who work with these programs will answer your toughest questions about how it works and how you can expand your farm lending by using these programs.
11:45 am–1:30 pm Luncheon with Guest Speaker: Agriculture at a Crossroad: The Impact of the Federal Reserve's Normalization Process
Ed Seifried, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Lafayette College, Seifried & Brew LLC, Bethlehem, PA

Over the year, Dr. Ed Seifried has touched the hearts and minds of almost every director and CEO of community banks across the nation. While recognized for his keynote speeches, Dr. Ed is a valued educator for community bank directors, CEOs, senior management, and up and coming community bankers.

Carrying on his tenure as Professor Emeritus of Economics and Business at Lafayette College, Dr. Ed has led the educational programs as Dean for the West Virginia Banking School and the Virginia School of Banking. He has been on the faculty of many banking schools including Stonier and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. We are honored to have him come to the conference to share his keen insights on the economy.
1:30 pm–2:30 pm Workshop Series IV
  • Managing a Social Media Policy at Your Bank
    Kelli Lieurance, Partner, Baird Holm, Omaha, NE

    Social media is here to stay and it is how many of your customers and employees communicate with each other and with the rest of the world. Do you need a social media policy in your bank? If you don’t think so, you definitely need to come to this session! Bring your questions and you will find out what all of the fuss is about.  Even if you don’t Facebook, tweet, or pin, this session is designed to help you sort all of it out.

  • Women As Financial Decision Makers and Marketers
    Linda Cruikshank, Progressive Farm Marketing, Arcada, NE

    As farm operations continue to grow larger, women are becoming more involved as financial managers. This changing demographic is important for lenders to understand. Learn more about the dynamics of the increasing role of women in the financial planning process and  the benefits of effectively communicating with husbands and wives as they navigate the farm business decisions together.

  • Farmer Mac: A Vital Part of Your Bank’s Equation After Big Data Analysis
    Patrick Kerrigan, Director, Business Development, Farmer Mac, Washington, DC
    Mark A. Litton, Executive Vice President & Chief Credit Officer, BankWest, Inc., Pierre, SD
    Rodger Dean, Executive Vice President, First National Bank of Omaha, Columbus, NE
    Caleb Hopkins, Loan Officer, Westside State Bank, Westside, IA

    Analyze bank and producer data with our panel of savvy ag bankers. Explore winning strategies that will grow your ag lending portfolio. Offer a wide variety of competitive loan products that will improve the financial strength of your farm customers and the bank. Find out why banks of all sizes are successfully using Farmer Mac to expand market share and increase customer loyalty.​

  • When Theory Meets Reality – The Professor Goes Farming
    Brent Gloy, Founding Director, Center for Commercial Agricultural, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

    Top rated speaker from past ABA National Ag Bankers Conferences, Brent Gloy, late of Purdue University, made a life changing decision in 2014 – he and his family has returned to the family farm operation in Nebraska. In this session, Brent tells us he will discuss a variety of topics such as, “the top five things I learned about farm management this year”, “the trends that are going to shape my future in farming”, and “the bright lights of Walmart never looked so welcoming before.”
2:30 pm–3:00 pm Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
3:00 pm–5:15 pm General Sessions
  • ​Alpha Pup Farmers – Farming Bigger, Stronger, Faster and Smarter Than Any Generation of American Farmers in History
    Moderator: David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, AgriVisions, Blacksburg, VA​
    Casey Coulter, Brusett, MT
    Ryan Brodersen, Randolph, NE
    Mike Dreyer, Red Oak, IA
    Josh Larson, Columbia, SD

    Alpha, both as a symbol and term, is used to refer to or describe a variety of things, including the first or most significant occurrence of something. Those of us who have heard David M. Kohl many times are familiar with his term “Alpha Farmers.” For this first-time session (we hope to follow these pups over the coming decades) we combed the Midwest to find the youngest, toughest, smartest and most successful young farmers that we could find. Then we will turn them over to Kohl to be interviewed about how they see the future; how they use technology; how they market their production; what their short, intermediate and long term goals are; and what they think about their banker. We call them “alpha pups” because they are leading everyone who farms or ranches into the 21st century. If you don’t understand them, don’t know them, or don’t want to bank them, you won’t survive in this market.​

  • "The American Farmer"
    Paul Mobley, Author/Photographer

    An award-winning photographer, Mobley has traveled the world over to capture and celebrate humanity. In 2005, Mobley set out to capture the soul of rural America. Traveling across the country with his camera, he was welcomed into the homes of over three hundred farm families who shared their personal histories. The result is his book, American Farmer: The Heart of Our Country. Vividly telling the story of America’s farmers through compelling photography that will make you even more proud to finance America’s heartland.​
5:15 pm–6:15 pm Reception with Exhibitors

Wednesday, November 12
7:00 am–11:00 am Registration Open
7:00 am–8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00 am–10:15 am General Sessions
  • Sustainability – A Real Deal?
    Chuck Cruickshank, Consultant, Driving Consumer Confidence in America’s Dairy Producers and Dairy Products, Ham Lake, MN

    Sustainability and animal welfare are important and consumers are demanding it. Agriculture is ultimately a consumer driven business. Farmers and buyers of farm products will have to meet consumer expectations.

  • Straight Talk and Straight Actions
    David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, AgriVisions, Blacksburg, VA​

    Every year we track down David Kohl and ask him the perennial question: “Dave, what are you going to talk about at the conference this year?” This year was no exception when we finally caught up with him at a Kum and Go 24-hour store outside of Spearfish, S.D. When asked, Dave paused and stared off to the west, toward Wyoming, and said, “We are nearing the end of the greatest boom in agriculture in my lifetime, and in the lifetimes of everyone who will be at the conference this November. I want the audience to know that when it does end, that is when the value of ag bankers will never be greater to the farmers and ranchers who are their customers. The future will require straight talk and straight actions.” With that he jumped in his rental car and took off down I-90 into the sunset. It happened just like that. Go Dave, go. ​
10:15 am–10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30 am–11:30 am Closing General Session
Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying
James Olson, Author, Professor, George Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

A career officer in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency, Olson is the author of the book, Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying. In his book, Olson uses fascinating true intelligence operations to illustrate how murky the moral choices can be for a clandestine service member. He asserts that guidelines on what is or is no permissible behaviors should come from the American public and not from within the intelligence community. Born in LeMars, Iowa, the CIA assigned Olson to the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M where he remains today teaching courses in Cold War Intelligence, U.S. National Security and International Crisis Management.​
11:30 am Conference Adjourns

*Program subject to change.

​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Program Questions? Please contact Cynthia Watkins for more information.