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ABA Agricultural Bankers Conference

November 10-13, 2019 • Hyatt Regency Dallas • Dallas, Texas

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Overview  |  Registration  |  Program  |  Hotel & Venue  |  Activities  |  Sponsors & Exhibitors  |  New Ag Banker

Look Back: 2018 Program

Sunday, November 11, 2018
8:00 am – 11:30 am Farm Service Agency Guaranteed Lender Meeting
Does your bank currently participate–or plan to participate–in the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Guaranteed Farm Loan Program? Meet with local, state and national USDA and FSA representatives to discuss important topics about the program in an open forum.

Hosted by Farmer Mac
12:00 pm – 6:30 pm Registration Open
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm PRE-CONFERENCE SEMINAR

Sinkholes, Landslides, Volcanoes: How Can Your Customers Survive an Evolving Landscape?

FINPACK and Farmer Mac are teaming up again to offer an action-packed pre-conference session on Sunday afternoon. This year, they will focus on identifying where your customers are with continued tight margins and the impact on community banks. There will be a discussion of best practices and take-homes for managing the risk in this evolving landscape. Dr. David Kohl will be back with his view from the road.
  • Brian Brinch, Senior Vice President, Business Strategy & Financial Research, Farmer Mac, Washington, DC
  • Curt Covington, Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, Agricultural Finance, Farmer Mac, Washington, DC
  • Robert H. Craven, Director, Center for Farm Financial Management and Professor, Dept. of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
  • David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA​
  • Dale W. Nordquist, Assistant Director, Center for Farm Financial Management and Dept. of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Hosted by FINPACK and Farmer Mac
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Spouse/Companion Hospitality Suite Open
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Grand Opening Reception

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Monday, November 12, 2018
7:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration Open
7:00 am – 8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00 am - 9:00 am WELCOME ADDRESSES
  • Richard Baier, President and CEO, Nebraska Bankers Association, Lincoln, NE
  • Shan L. Hanes, Conference Chairman, President and CEO, Heartland Tri-State Bank, Elkhart, KS
  • Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association, Washington, D.C.
  • Jeffrey M. Szyperski, ABA Chairman-Elect, Chairman, President and CEO, Chesapeake Bank, Kilmarnock, VA
9:00 am – 10:00 am

U.S. Agricultural Trade in Uncertain Times
Since 2001, global agricultural trade has tripled in value and more than doubled in volume. Almost sixty percent of global trade is now accounted for by developing countries, including China and Brazil. Dr. Glauber has thirty years at the US Department of Agriculture, most recently as Chief Economist (2008-2014), and will discuss trends as well as recent trade policy concerns and how they affect American farmers.
  • Joseph W. Glauber, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Market, Trade and Institutions Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
10:00 am – 10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30 am – 11:30 am WORKSHOP SERIES I

How Technology is Changing the Business Landscape of Agriculture
Nebraska has become a hotbed for ag-tech start-ups. Hear how three of these companies have developed technology services and solutions which can greatly impact the profitability of producers. These include: cattle ear tags that can identify numerous health issues in a herd days before it is evident to even the most-trained cowboy, a hand-held DNA sequencer that allows producers to check their respective herds for animal illnesses, new pharmaceutical products that use a basic root which grows well in more arid climates of the country and more. Learn how technology is changing the way ag producers make decisions about future investments and cash flow.
  • Daniel Hoffman (​Moderator​​), CEO, Invest Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
  • Heather Piscatelli, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, MatMaCorp, Lincoln, NE
  • Vishal Sigh, Co-Founder and CEO, Qualified Ag, Lincoln, NE
  • Steve Tippery, Co-Founder and CEO, RealmFive, Lincoln, NE​

Succession Planning: Preparing Today's Customers for Tomorrow's Challenges
As the agricultural industry evolves in a changing economic environment, the goals and challenges around succession planning are also shifting. Finding the balance between business continuity and family wealth preservation is more critical than ever for ensuring the health and long term viability of both farm businesses and family relationships. Lenders can play a key role in helping businesses and families address these issues proactively. 
  • Anna Richards, Dairy Farm Business Specialist, Cornell PRO-Dairy, Cornell University - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Ithaca, NY​
Risks and Rewards of Informal Co-Operative Farming
This panel will discuss potential benefits that producers might gain from entering into co-operative farming arrangements. The session will: highlight the risks associated with such arrangements for both producers and lenders as well as define informal co-operative farming arrangements. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? How can lenders protect themselves if a dispute develops within the co-operative? These questions–and more–will be answered within this session.
  • Kevin Holland, Owner, Holland Farms, Atmore, AL
  • Rachel Holland, Senior Vice President, Agricultural Lending, United Bank, Atmore, AL
  • Andrew Muller, Partner, Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Kansas City, MO
Helping Your Clients Evolve into Better Marketers
Join 20-year conference veteran Mark Gold to discuss how farmers market their grain and what they can do to improve their bottom line. Gold will discuss what ag lenders can do to help farmers become better marketers, provide marketing suggestions for today’s climate and remove risk factors your clients continue to face.
  • Mark Gold, Managing Partner, Top Third Ag Marketing, LLC, Chicago, IL
New Ag Banker Track
The Changing Landscape of Producers and Bankers – Lessons Learned
A panel of bankers will talk about living through multiple ag cycles and their philosophy on building successful customer relationships. Hear lessons learned from surviving the farm crisis of the 80s, what trends and traits to look out for, and how to build value in your brand.
  • Samuel J. Miller, Managing Director, Group Head, Agricultural Banking, BMO Harris Bank National Association, Appleton, WI
  • Keith Knudsen, President and CEO, Security Bank, Laurel, NE
11:45 am – 1:25 pm ABA Endorsed Solutions Luncheon with Guest Speaker

From Farm to Fork to the Future 
Beth Ford, President and CEO of Land O'Lakes, will share her perspective on the challenges facing food and agricultural today and the unique benefits that Land O'Lakes' cooperative, farm-to-fork model that helps meet them. 
  • Beth Ford, President and CEO, Land O'Lakes, Arden Hills, MN
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm WORKSHOP SERIES II

Tax Reform–What's in it for Ag Bankers?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) represents the largest re-write of federal tax law in over 30 years. Join our panel as they help you make sense of the pertinent changes for your bank and your customers. You’ll hear how TCJA impacts financial institutions, changes to the relevancy of the S corp vs C corp analysis, what planning opportunities it provides for agribusinesses and the impact to your customers and more.
  • James Anderson, BKD, LLP , Lincoln, NE
  • Tad Goodenbour, CPA, Partner, BKD, LLP,  Lincoln, NE
Serving Evolving Credit Needs – From the Farm Gate and Beyond
Meet the leadership of Rural Development (RD) programs and learn about enhancing loan portfolios through partnering with RD loan guarantee, loan and grant programs. Hear how RD programs can expand relationships and serve the credit needs of diversifying agricultural markets, rural businesses, essential community facilities and rural infrastructure development.
  • Joel Baxley, Administrator, Rural Housing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
  • Alton Kimura, Community Programs Specialist, Community Facilities, Rural Housing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.​
  • Christine Sorensen, Midwest Regional Coordinator, Innovation Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
  • Deb Yocum, Northeast Regional Energy Coordinator, Energy Program, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.  

Prescription for the Next Cycle in Agriculture
What are the time-tested tools, techniques and new additions that are appropriate for an economic cycle when the margins are thin and volatility is high? What will be the focus of this year's renewal season? Join Dr. Kohl and Doug Johnson for their annual house call at this year's Moody's Analytic's session, They will be pulling no punches concerning lending and customer practices that result in either the high or low road of profitability and long-term viability in the industry.
  • Doug Johnson, Director, Sales Management, Moody's Analytics, Omaha, NE
  • David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA​​
New Ag Banker Track 
Navigating Social Media Policy and Practice
From text messages to Twitter, your customers and employees are communicating using various social media platforms – with or without your knowledge. Can (or should) you conduct bank business via these platforms? The panel will discuss the pros, cons and best practices related to social media use in banking and detail the importance of social media policies to help ensure compliance.
  • Caleb Hopkins, Chief Lending Officer, Westside State Bank, Westside, IA​
  • Kelli Lieurance, Partner, Baird Holm, Omaha, NE
  • Heather Malcolm, Vice President, Bank of the Rockies NA, Livingston, MT
2:30 pm – 3:15 pm Refreshment Break and Exhibit Hall Preview
3:15 pm – 5:15 pm GENERAL SESSIONS

The Future of Ag Banking
What role will an ever-evolving technological landscape play in the business of ag banking? This interactive panel discussion with representatives of all experience levels from institutions of all sizes will explore the answers. From meeting the financing needs of a changing ag customer base, to gaining a competitive edge, to promoting ag marketing, hear best practices and strategies you'll be able to implement when you return to the bank.
  • Jeff L. Plagge, (Moderator), President and CEO, Northwest Financial Corp., Arnolds Park, IA
  • Kreg D. Denton, Senior Vice President, First Community Bank of the Heartland, Clinton, KY
  • Nate Franzen, President/Ag Division, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, SD
  • Jason R. Smith, Market President, F&M Bank, West Point, NE
The Trust Edge – What Top Leaders Have 
As a business strategist and author, David Horsager has learned firsthand how the world's most successful people gain and keep the trust of their customers and colleagues. Delivering educational presentations to a wide-range of audiences, Horsager has made it his mission to help develop trusted leaders and and organizations. Join Horsager as he provides his take on today's most pressing leadership issues and integral strategies to incorporate into your everyday life. 
  • David Horsager, Author, The Trust Edge
5:15 pm – 6:15 pm Reception with Exhibitors

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018
7:00 am – 4:30 pm Registration Open
7:00 am – 8:15 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
7:15 am – 8:25 am
OUTLOOK TUESDAY! (Commodities Sessions)

  • Christopher B. Swift, Swift Trading Company, Nashville, TN
  • Kathleen Noble, Senior Economist and Research Specialist, Blimling & Associates, Inc., Madison, WI
  • Steve Georgy, President, Allendale, Inc., McHenry, IL
Pork and Other Livestock
  • Matt Meiners, Director, Institute of Agriculture, Food and Resource Management, Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, IA
NEW! Super Commodity Session: Permanent Plantings, Rice and Cotton
  • (Rice) Michael A. Deliberto, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Farm Management and Agricultural Policy, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA
  • (Cotton) John R. C. Robinson, Professor and Extension Economist, Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
  • (Permanent Plantings) Matt W. Dusi, ​Sector Manager, Fresh and Frozen Fruit and Vegetable Processors, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Templeton, CA
8:30 am – 10:00 am GENERAL SESSION

Global Financial Markets and Impacts on Ag
As economies in the US and Europe strengthen, higher inflation expectations and shifts in global financial markets occur. But, if commodity prices rise, is it real or fool’s gold? Knowing whether price movements are market-driven or dollar-driven can make a difference in your plan. Learn about what interest rate activity could mean for ag in both markets, and how this atypical cycle can affect the strength of the dollar.
  • Jason Henderson, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Director of Extension, College of Agriculture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
10:00 am – 10:30 am Coffee Break with Exhibitors
10:30 am – 11:30 am WORKSHOP SERIES III

Understanding Trends in Land Values 
With land comprising over eighty percent of balance sheet assets for agriculture, understanding trends in land values is important for both bankers and producers. Interest rates, commodity prices, and trade economics are influencing today's land values. Join two leading land brokers who will give their views on current and future land prices. 
  • Randy Dickhut, AFM, Senior Vice President, Real Estate Operations, Farmers National Co., Omaha, NE
  • Rex (R.D.) Schrader, II, President, CAI, Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co., Inc., Columbia City, IN
FSA Guaranteed Loan Program: How We Can Help You Navigate the Evolving Landscape 
Find out how using USDA Farm Service Agency's Guaranteed Farm Loan Program helps farmers and ranchers buy farmland or finance agricultural production at reasonable terms. Last year, FSA guaranteed over 10,000 loans. Learn about the benefits banks and other lenders gain when using these programs. Join us for an interactive session with bankers and FSA representatives. Bring your questions and gain valuable knowledge about ways you can expand your farm/ranch lending using it. 
  • Mark Wilke (Moderator), Farm Loan Chief, Nebraska State FSA Office, Lincoln, NE
  • Kelly Cape, Farm Loan Specialist, Fall River Country FSA Office, Hot Springs, SD
  • Doug Demers, Executive Vice President, Washington County Bank, Blair, NE
  • David Hansen, Farm Loan Manager, Cedar County FSA Office, Hartington, NE
  • Jeff Wolfgram, Senior Vice President, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, SD
Top Farmers: How Do They Do It?
Last year marked the fifth year of low median net farm income. Yet, the top twenty of producers are continuing to do very well. How many producers stay in the top twenty percent every year? In this session, we will look at the numbers from FINBIN and the results of a survey that has been conducted with the Minnesota producers in the database.
  • Robert H. Craven, Director, Center for Farm Financial Management, Professor, Dept. of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota
New Ag Banker Track
Cutting Costs to Address Repayment Problems 
During periods of low commodity prices, a common remedy suggested to producers is to simply cut costs. The effectiveness of cutting costs is not uniform, however using data for comparative ratios can help identify the right costs to cut. Learn to properly evaluate your options using a spreadsheet method.
  • Freddie L. Barnard, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Agricultural Biological Weapons
Learn about biological threats that, if introduced into the United States, could severely impact U.S. agriculture. Dr. Higgs of Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute will highlight examples of threats to plants and livestock production, as well as illustrate potential counter measures that may be used to protect US agriculture.
  • Stephen Higgs Ph.D., Director, Bioseucrity Research Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm WORKSHOP SERIES IV

Financing Multiple Entities: Best Management Practices for Lenders
Financing farming operations is becoming more complex every year. As lenders work with operations that are either owning and/or transferring the business or have more than one entity for operating, it’s extremely valuable to understand which best practices should be followed to protect the bank—while providing the best financing structure and service to the customer. In this session, hear solutions to reduce risk to the bank where multiple accounts and multiple entities are involved in one operation.
  • Freddie L. Barnard, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Michael S. Dove, Attorney, Gislason & Hunter LLP, New Ulm, MN
How Do the Regulators View Agricultural Banking?
Join representatives from the OCC, FDIC and a state agency to hear their views on the overall implementation of any recent new regulations and their perspectives on the impact on banking in general—specifically agricultural and rural lending—now and in
the future.
  • ​Karen Boehler, Risk and Operations Officer, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Denver, CO
  • Kelly Lammers, Deputy Director, Nebraska Department of Banking, Lincoln, NE
  • James D. LaPierre, Regional Director, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Kansas City, MO
Behavioral Tools to Protect Balance Sheets
Learn new ways producers can insure their inputs and improve gross margin performance. Understanding cost structures is important and creating the right mindset is key. We'll discuss new ways to drive on-farm improvement while helping the banking partner sleep at night.
  • Grant Kosior, President and CEO, Global Ag Risk Solutions, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Next Generation: New Bankers, New Strategies
Meet the new faces of successful ag banking—young, energetic and full of cutting-edge ideas. See how rising bankers are attracting new farmers and ranchers to their institutions, and hear what tools they use to keep their customers loyal and grow their ag lending portfolios. Regardless of your generation, you’ll return home with concrete ideas.
  • Bill Miller (Moderator)Senior Relationship Manager, Farmer Mac, Washington, DC
  • Derek Armstrong, Senior Vice President, Agricultural Lending, Legacy National Bank, Springdale, AR
  • Nick Luchsinger, Loan Production officer, Dakota Mac, A Division of First Dakota National Bank, Columbus, NE
  • Andy Ludeking, Vice President, Ag & Business Banker, Cresco Bank, A Division of Decorah Bank & Trust Co., Cresco, IA
New Ag Banker Track
Clause and Effect – Proper Covenant Structure in Loan Documentation
Loan documents contain various types of covenants and agreements by the borrower. This session will outline the importance, purpose and use of properly-drafted loan covenants, including financial covenants.
  • Steven C. Turner, Baird Holm LLP, Omaha, NE
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm GENERAL SESSION

Transforming the Future of Farming with Financial Services Innovation
Mobile ubiquity, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Big Data and Cloud Computing have transformed the financial services industry over the past decade. Whether in rural East Africa or in the heartland of the US, rural farmers will continue to have unprecedented access to financial services through the mobile phone by alternative tech-progressive providers. Led by these providers, the financial services industry has begun to reinvent business models, solutions, and customer value propositions. Where are we headed, and how might farmers increasingly benefit from these trends in the future?
  • Menekse Gencer, Senior Vice President, Digital Trnasformation, Business Banking Group, Wells Fargo, N.A., San Francisco, CA
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Farewell Reception with Exhibitors

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018
7:00 am – 11:00 am Registration Open
7:00 am – 8:00 am Continental Breakfast

Own It: Being a Woman in Banking
Being a woman in banking isn't easy. Hear how a fifth generation family farmer and third generation banker has navigated the waters of the male-dominated industry of banking while working as an advocate for women in banking through her blog, "The Girl Banker".
  • Natalie Bartholomew, "The Girl Banker", Bentonville, AR
8:15 am – 9:15 am GENERAL SESSION

Mega Shifts in the Agricultural Landscape
What ten defining paradigms will shape the future of agribusiness and lending between now and 2030? Dr. Kohl is back to discuss intellectual capital and how management and leadership skills are becoming increasingly critical to long-term viability. What will these changes mean for analyzing risk and opportunity, working with individual customers and the overall agricultural portfolio?​
  • David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
9:15 am – 10:15 am GENERAL SESSION ​

Amazon and Agriculture – What's the Connection?

This session will focus on how to strengthen business continuity. Learn about Amazon's culture, development of cloud technology and interest in the agricultural industry. Hear success stories and learn how using a cloud services platform can benefit business operations.
  • Cameron Holbrook, Head, Global Business Development, AgTech, Amazon Web Services, Seattle, WA
10:15 am – 10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30 am – 11:30 am CLOSING GENERAL SESSION

Never Give Up on Your Dreams
Jim’s Cinderella story serves as testimony to the power of dreams and their ability to inspire and transform human life. His meteoric rise from 35-year old high school teacher to flame-throwing major league pitcher in three months made cinematic history with the release of the movie The Rookie. After pitching for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Jim Morris signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and retired from baseball in 2001.Through humor, he shares his journey of failures and successes while chasing his dreams and overcoming life’s obstacles.
  • Jim Morris, "The Rookie, San Antonio, TX
11:30 am Conference Adjourns

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