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Program | Agricultural Bankers Conference


2024 Schedule

We’re working on this event’s program. To see the types of sessions you can expect, check out the 2023 program.

2023 Program

All times are in Central Time.


  • Sunday, Nov 5

  • Monday, Nov 6

  • Tuesday, Nov 7

  • Wednesday, Nov 8

Sunday, Nov 5

12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Registration Open

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Cowboy Up: Can Your Customer Make the 8 Second Ride

FINPACK and FarmerMac are teaming up again to offer an action-packed pre-conference session on Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4:00 pm. What does the transition from high commodity prices mean for farm profitability in this cycle? The session will focus on your customers and their financial prospects for 2024 and beyond. What will it take for your customers to stay in the saddle? We discuss best practices and take homes for managing the risk in this uncharted landscape. Dr. David Kohl will be back with his view from the road.

  • David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Virginia Tech
  • Dale Nordquist, Economist, Center for Farm Financial Management, Professor, Department of Applied Economists, University of Minnesota
  • Jackson Tackach, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Research and Analysis, Farmer Mac, Washington, DC
  • Pauline Van Nurden, Economist, Center for Farm Financial Management; University of Minnesota
  • Robert H. Craven, Associate Director, Center for Farm, Financial Management Professor, Applied Economics, University of Minnesota

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Women in Ag Banking Seminar and Networking Reception

Engage with fellow women ag bankers and allies during an enlightening conversation on the leadership landscape that will inspire you to reach new heights.

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Grand Opening Reception

Join us for a warm welcome to Oklahoma City at The Jones Assembly, located on historic "Film Row." Opened in 1923 as the Fred jones Ford Model T assembly plant, it is now a top-rated restaurant and concert space.

Monday, Nov 6

7:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Registration Open

7:15 AM - 8:00 AM

Continental Breakfasts

Navigating Agricultural Credit
Risk: A Deep Dive into Robust Risk Management

Explore pressing agricultural market challenges, risk implications, and crucial considerations for banking organizations and supervisory staff. You’ll gain insights into the critical factors that examiners prioritize when evaluating agriculture-related credits and monitoring a borrower’s repayment capacity during unpredictable events. This session underscores the urgency for banks to hone robust risk-management and capital planning practices to accurately gauge agriculture-related credit risks and ensure capital adequacy against potential market and economic hardships.

  • Zach Englert, Manager, Abrigo Advisory Team

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Power Breakfasts

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM


Conference Chair's Welcome

  • Anthony "Tony" Hotchkiss, Executive Vice President, Director of Agricultural Banking, Regions Bank

Oklahoma Bankers Association

  • Adrian Beverage, President & CEO, Oklahoma Bankers Association

ABA Leadership

  • Julieann Thurlow, President and CEO, Reading Cooperative Bank, Reading, MA
  • Rob Nichols, President & CEO, American Bankers Association
  • Kirsten Sutton, Executive Vice President, Congressional Relations & Legislative Affairs

An Inside-the-Beltway Look at Agricultural Policy

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson will offer updates on agricultural policies including the Farm Bill and share what bankers need to know going into 2024.

  • Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-Pa.), House Agriculture Committee Chairman

    10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    Coffee Break

    10:30 AM - 11:30 AM


    New Ag Banker Track: The Invaluable Benefits of Agricultural Leadership Programs

    Pick up any book written by an industry leader, and you'll read about "that one thing" that transformed and elevated their ability to think and lead. In this panel discussion, you'll hear how agricultural leadership programs are "that one thing" banking leaders cite as the source of their success.

    • Edmond Bonjour, Director, Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program, Oklahoma State University
    • John Thaemert, Senior Vice President & Trust Officer, Citizens State Bank & Trust Company
    • Thomas Walraven, Assistant Vice President, BancFirst
    • Jill Zimmerman, President, Kansas Ag & Rural Leadership Program

    What’s Good for the Goose… Risk Management for Farmers and Bankers

    Join 24-year veteran ABA speaker Mark Gold for his annual update on farm risk management. This year, he’ll be joined by special guest Josh Cannington of StoneX. In this session, you’ll learn how to help your farmers manage risks more effectively, how to make loan origination more attractive to your clients and how you can manage interest rate risk in a volatile interest rate environment.

    • Josh Cannington, Vice President, Interest Rate Risk Management, StoneX Markets, LLC
    • Mark Gold, Founder and Lead Strategist, Top Third Ag Marketing

    Farm Service Agency’s Vision for Guaranteed Loans

    FSA’s Guaranteed Farm Loan Programs have played a vital role for bankers, enabling producers to maintain and expand their farm and ranch operations. In this session, FSA will share its perspective on the loans’ future and how it aims to meet the evolving needs of these customers. Bring your questions and suggestions!

    • Dana Richey, Assistant Deputy Administrator for Farm Loan Programs
    • James Jackson, Loan Making Division Director
    • Steven Ford, Guaranteed Loan Making Division
    • Tim Reimer, Guaranteed Loan Servicing Branch Chief
    Speed, Innovation and Relationships: Prepare for the Next Rush for Lower Rates

    Consumer demand for ag real estate loans continues to evolve. Borrowers have come to expect top service and ultra-competitive loan products. The new name of the game as we head into the next interest rate cycle is speed. In this session, discover how bankers are innovating and competing for customer relationships with faster credit analysis and collateral valuation tools.

    • Bill Miller, Senior Manager, Business Development, Farmer Mac

    Additional sessions to be announced

    11:30 AM - 1:25 PM

    Innovation Showcase

    This fast-paced networking session delivers hard-hitting insights from industry providers in just five minutes.

    Luncheon with Guest Speaker

    How Soft of a Landing for U.S. Ag Profits?

    The U.S. economy appears to be getting ready for a soft landing — lower inflation with slow economic growth. Will U.S. agriculture follow a similar path as farm profitability eases? What are the risks to the outlook? This session will explore the impacts of higher inflation, trade and farm policy, and other market demand and supply forces on future farm profitability.

    • Jason Henderson, Vice President for Extension Outreach, Professor and Agricultural Economist, Iowa State University
    • Brady Brewer, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

    1:30 PM - 2:30 PM


    Beef, Cattle — A Producer’s Perspective

    Raising cattle is complex, requiring bankers to have a clear understanding of all aspects of the business. Gain a broad perspective of the industry so you can better evaluate business opportunities for your bank.

    • Clay Burtrum, Vice President/Owner, Farm Data Services
    • Mike Burtrum, President/Owner, Farm Data Services

    Ask the Regulators

    Have your questions ready! Gain useful insights from regulators on agricultural lending issues so you can plan accordingly.

    • Jim LaPierre, Regional Director, FDIC
    • Joseph Hoge, Commercial Credit Lead, Expert South and Southeast Regions Community Bank Supervision, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
    • Kitty Ryan, Senior Vice President, Fair and Responsible Banking, American Bankers Association

    What's Next in Rural Development?

    The current administration’s funding priorities support the USDA’s commitment to helping traditionally underserved and economically challenged rural areas. Gain insights into some of the innovative USDA programs helping the economy in rural America thrive.

    • Mark Brodziski, Deputy Administrator’, Rural Business & Cooperative Services (RBCS), US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC

    New Ag Banker Track : The Business Case for Conversational Intelligence

    Business at its core is about people connecting with people through conversations. As ag bankers, you know the amount of mutual success depends on how effective you are in creating powerful conversations that build trusting relationships. But sometimes authentic communication can be a challenge, and if done poorly, can lead to miscommunication, lack of trust and poor collaboration. This session will help you expand your conversation skills so you can generate buy-in for your ideas, make more informed decisions and obtain committed action from others.

    • Nan Gesche, Collaboration Expert, Nan Gesche Consulting

    Additional sessions to be announced

    2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

    Coffee Break with Exhibitors

    3:15 PM - 5:15 PM


    ABA/Farmer Mac Ag Lender Survey Results

    Join us as we explore results from the 2023 ABA/Farmer Mac Agricultural Bankers Survey. Gain insights from the experts on the state of the agricultural banking.

    • Tyler Mondres, Senior Director, Research, American Bankers Association
    • Jackson Takach, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Research and Analysis, Farmer Mac

    Ag Banking Through the Windshield and Rearview Mirror

    As the agricultural landscape evolves, bankers might get stuck between the past and what’s ahead. Join our seasoned panel of experts as we explore where ag banking is going and what you need to know to prepare for the future.


    David M. Kohl, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management Entrepreneurship, Virginia Tech


    • Jim LaPierre, FDIC
    • Sam Miller, Agribusiness Advisor
    • Chris Peacock, CEO, Agcor

    AI in Agriculture: Amazing Innovator or Automated Imitator?

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to be a game-changer for agriculture. AI is already solving problems in crop and livestock farming, and more AI applications are being tested. While these advances are exciting, we have a lot to learn about AI: Is it truly innovating to solve problems or just completing simple, repetitive tasks? This session will explore the expectations and limitations of AI.

    • James Koltes, Ph.D. , Assistant Professor, Animal Breeding and Genetics, NRSP8 Bioinformatics Co-Coordinator, Department of Animal Science, Iowa State

    5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

    Reception with Exhibitors

    Say “Cheers!” to conference exhibitors and sponsors with our very own Ag Beer! Grab a can of custom ale and mingle with the best in the industry at the exhibit hall. And ever wonder how cigars are made? Come find out!

    Tuesday, Nov 7

    7:00 AM - 5:15 PM

    Registration Open

    7:00 AM - 8:15 AM

    Continental Breakfast

    7:30 AM - 8:10 AM &
    8:20 AM - 9:00 AM

    Outlook Tuesday! (Commodities) Sessions

    Hear from the top economic forecasters in the country on specific agricultural commodities. Each 40-minute session will be repeated so you'll be able to attend at least two of the four sessions.


    • Kim Anderson, Emeritus Faculty, Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

    Southern Crops (Cotton, Rice, and Peanuts)

    • John Robinson, Professor and Extension Specialist for Cotton Management, Texas A&M


    • Mike North, President, Producer Division, EverAg

    Protein (Animal)

    • Bernt Nelson, Economist, Government Affairs

    9:00 AM - 10:15 AM


    The Emergence of the Carbon Credits Market

    The rapid rise of carbon markets is one of the most significant opportunities for agriculture in decades. At the same time, ESG and reporting requirements are reshaping global supply chains. In this session, explore carbon market and ESG trends, their effects on agricultural supply chains and how the agricultural community can engage in opportunities that affect worldwide agricultural value chains.

    • Giulia Stellari, Director, Fall Line Capital
    • Jamie Burr, Chief Sustainability Officer, National Pork Board

    10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

    Coffee Break with Exhibitors

    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


    Surviving the Coming Legal Storm

    Rising interest rates, variable commodity and livestock prices, and soaring input costs can create legal problems related to debt and cash flow for the bank and its customers. Gain practical tips to prepare for these tough conversations and successfully resolve distressed debt.

    • Wes Smith, Partner, Stevens Brand

    New Ag Banker Track: Current State of Crop Insurance and What the Future Holds

    Learn the basics of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and then take a deeper dive into the inner workings of risk management and the federal crop insurance program. We’ll look at data from the Risk Management Agency’s Summary of Business, including trends of different policies. We’ll also discuss how the Farm Bureau is ensuring producers are seeing increased risk management opportunities that will reduce the need for ad-hoc disaster assistance.

    • RJ Layher, Director, Government Affairs, American Farm Bureau Federation

    Wind and Solar: The Fine Print

    With the push of renewable energy, rural landowners are being flooded with offers from both wind and solar companies to sign up for land easements, wind towers and solar arrays. Gain insights into what landowners should be looking for in these contracts, and what bankers need to consider when the land is their collateral.

    • Tom Jennings, Partner, Livingston, Barger, Brandt & Schroeder LLP

    How to Leverage SBA in Rural Small Business Lending

    The SBA guarantees loans issued by its lending partners will be repaid, which offers benefits to lenders that standard loans do not. An SBA guaranty enables you to work with borrowers you typically wouldn’t lend to, as well as offer lower rates and longer terms. Join us to learn more about SBA’s lending products that fit your clients’ agricultural and rural needs.

      Brenda Chavira, Lender Relations Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration
      Dustin Allen, Lender Relations Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration
      Fernanda Pedraza-Schmitt, Acting District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration
      Ted James, Regional Administrator for Region VI, U.S. Small Business Administration

    Additional sessions to be announced

    12:00 PM - 1:25 PM

    Luncheon with Guest Speaker

    The Social Side of Agriculture

    There are many misconceptions about modern-day farming, but the Peterson Farm Brothers have made it their mission to get the truth out there. Join them for an entertaining and educational look into their world — and gain insights on how you can advocate for agriculture online too!

    1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

    Coffee Break with Exhibitors

    2:15 PM - 3:15 PM


    New Ag Banker Track: Building a Strong Ag Credit Analysis Culture

    In this informative and practical session, attendees will discuss why a strong AG credit culture is important and identify the tools available to build and maintain it.

    • Anthony "Tony" Hotchkiss, Executive Vice President, Director of Agricultural Banking, Regions Bank

    The Thought Leaders' Perspective on New Tech and Ag

    Join Dr. David Kohl and Doug Johnson from Moody’s Analytics for a thought-provoking discussion on new technologies and potential scientific impacts on the agricultural economy. New challenges, including AI, ESG regulations, protein displacement and the changing workforce will present risks and opportunities ahead. Gain insights that will challenge your comfort zones and push you to think broader and longer term.

    • Doug Johnson, Director – Ag Strategist, Moody’s Analytics
    • David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management, Virginia TechAgriVisions LLC

    Back to the Future: A Rerun with a Twist

    For many producers, 2022 marked the best net farm income since 2012. Yet the top producers continue to outshine other producers each year. Why? What should you focus on with your customers? What are the expectations for 2023 and beyond? Who will struggle and why? In this session, we’ll look at the numbers from FINBIN, a summary of over 3,300 farming operations.

    • Robert H. Craven, Associate Director, Center for Farm Financial Management, Professor, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
    • Katherine Wilts Johnson, Extension Economist, Center for Farm Financial Management, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota

    Become the Most Powerful Banker in Town with Transition Planning

    Up to 370 million acres of farmland could change hands in the next 20 years, as over 40% of the nation’s farmland is owned by people over age 65. This means transition planning is inevitable, and the bankers who learn to be an asset during the process will stand out from the competition. Learn the transition planning process that has worked for 3,000 families and understand what to look for when assisting your client through the most exciting, challenging and rewarding time for their family and business.

    • Cassie Monger, Business Planning Consultant, Ascent Financial
    • Jared Holt, Co-founder & CEO, Ascent Financial

    Additional sessions to be announced

    3:30 PM - 5:15 PM


    American Agriculture in a Global World

    U.S. agriculture plays such a vital role in so many countries that the importance sometimes gets lost to producers who are concerned about production on a smaller scale or local level. This session will discuss several factors around international agriculture — including trade (TPP, TTIP, etc.), food accessibility, cultural differences, technology and responses to the Coronavirus pandemic — that will highlight the connection between producers and the global world.

    • Delaney Howell, Host, Ag News Daily Podcast

    Five Questions about the Future of Agriculture and Climate


    • Maggie Monast, Sr. Director, Climate-Smart Agriculture


    • Justin Knopf, Farmer, Knopf Farms
    • Chris Peacock, CEO, Agcor
    • Jordan Sabine, Manager, US Sustainable Sourcing, McDonalds
    • Jackson Takach, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Research and Analysis, Farmer Mac

    What questions should every agricultural banker ask about the future of farming? This session features a panel of industry and policy experts who will discuss five big questions to consider when it comes to the future of agriculture. Expect a lively conversation among these esteemed experts who are actively involved in the future of ag.

    • Maggie Monast, Senior Director, Climate Smart Agriculture, Environmental Defense Fund

    5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

    Networking Reception

    Get a taste of Oklahoma City at local watering hole Social Capital, located on the other side of the beautiful Scissortail Park near the Convention Center. Join us for local fare and drinks — you'll connect with old friends and make some new ones!

    Wednesday, Nov 8

    7:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    Registration Open

    7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

    Continental Breakfast

    8:00 AM - 10:15 AM


    Future-Proof Your Agricultural Business

    The changing agricultural banking landscape is full of opportunities — and challenges. Dr. Kohl will separate the wheat from the chaff, offering his outlook on the global economy for the next year and what you need to know to make the right decisions for your customers and your bank.

    • David M. Kohl, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management Entrepreneurship, Virginia Tech

    How Weather Is Influencing Global Ag Production Prices

    Long-term changes in weather patterns have had an exorbitant influence on global agriculture. Understanding these longer-term cycles with historical statistics helps discern longer-term trends in ag investments. In this session, explore these short, intermediate and longer-term cycles; why they happen; and the historical data on how the cycles affect production and prices. Discover why price volatility means opportunity for those involved in the ag food chain.

    • Shawn Hackett, President & CEO, Hackett Financial Advisors

    10:15 AM - 10:30 AM

    Coffee Break

    10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

    Closing General Session

    Hall of Fame Coach Sherri Coale

    Collaboration is how the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Teams work when they are built and fueled purposefully, when individual roles, goals, and objectives are clearly defined, and when group dynamics are prioritized. But, teams work best when the individual members of the team keep getting better together. Collaborative environments that are intentionally constructed and maintained are the secret sauce of healthy organizations that consistently produce outstanding results. Through examples of her career in sports, Sherri illustrates what collaboration looks live in an achievement track.

    11:30 AM

    Conference Adjourns

    This program is subject to change. Please bookmark this page to check for continuing updates. Read ABA Conference and School Policies to help answer additional questions.