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ABA National Agricultural Bankers Conference

November 12-15, 2017  •  Hilton Milwaukee City Center and Milwaukee Center  •  Milwaukee, WI

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​General Sessions

Updated as of 11/7/17. Please note that the program subject to change.

Monday, November 13

8:00 am 
–  10:00 am 

 Welcome Remarks
  • Edward A, Coates, Senior Vice President, NBT Bank NA, Norwich, New York
  • Daryll Lund, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, Wisconsin Bankers Association, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Kenneth L. Burgess, Jr., ABA Chairman, FirstCapital Bank of Texas NA, Midland, Texas 
ABA President and CEO Remarks
  • Rob Nichols, President & CEO, American Bankers Association, Washington, D.C.​
Trendspotting: Finding the Signal Through the Noise
The rate of change in financial services continues to accelerate. It has become increasingly difficult to focus on what forces are truly driving change from those that are distractions. Our speaker will lead you through the trends that he believes will have the greatest impact on small business and ag banking. Based on the original "voice of the customer" survey research prepared exclusively for this conference, you'll learn what's coming in the next cycle.
  • John Barlow, Barlow Research, Minneapolis, Minnesota
General Session
3:15 pm  ​4:15 pm

The Next Cyle - Trends in Land Values
Many different organizations produce estimates on farmland values. What effect will the next cycle have on your ability to finance your customers? This session will explore the factors driving future farmland values and you will learn the methodologies used to produce estimates. Our expert panel will discuss future trends that will help get you prepared.
  • Nate Franzen, President/Ag Division, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, South Dakota
  • Steve Bruere, President, Peoples Company, Clive, Iowa
  • Randy Dickhut, AFM, Senior Vice President, Real Estate Operations, Farmers National Company, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Fred Hepler, AFM, AAC, Director of Acquisitions, AgVictus Capital Management, Edmond, Oklahoma
General Session
4:15 pm  54:15 pm

Ag Policy Review: The Current Administration and Congress
Flinchbaugh will discuss (with his usual blunt and humorous demeanor) the major ag policy issues of the day including trade, immigration, deregulation, genetic engineering, science-based agriculture, USDA budget and food programs’ inclusion in the farm bill.
  • Barry L. Flinchbaugh, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

Tuesday, November 14

General Session
8:30 am  10:00 am

Emerging Cybersecurity Threats: Best Practices for Banks and Customers
As more bank and customer information is stored in digital form, the consequences of a data breach become more significant. Organized crime groups continue to develop new ways to uncover and exploit security weaknesses and bank customers are looking for practical solutions. This informative session will provide an overview of key cybersecurity issues and provide valuable best practices and guidance for taking a proactive and comprehensive approach to understanding and managing these threats.
  • ​Jack Vonder Heide​, President, Technology Briefing Centers, Inc., Oak Brook, Illinois 
​The Bruning Award Presentation

General Session
3:00 pm  ​4:00 pm

Economic Outlook – Let’s Talk Economy, Ag and Trade
Curious about the strength of consumer spending in rural economies or how the recent increase in interest rates may impact banks and agricultural producers? Thinking through the changes in trade policy and what they may mean for your customers? During this session, our panel of economists will present their views on the health of the U.S. economy, this country’s agricultural economy, and the global agricultural economic landscape. Find out how the vitality of each component will impact bankers and farmers alike.
  • Tyne Morgan, Host, ​U.S. Farm Report, Farm Journal Broadcast, South Bend, Indiana
  • Nick Sly, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Daniel Sumner, Ph.D., Director, Agricultural Issues Center and Frank H. Buck Jr. Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, California
  • Jackson Takach, Economist, Farmer Mac, Washington, D.C.
General Session
4:00 pm  ​5:15 pm

Alpha Pup Farmers: An Update
We first met these “alpha pup” farmers at the 2014 conference. Now they’re back providing a unique vantage point of managing business, family and personal lives in an extreme economic environment. What are some of the lessons learned? What are they proactively doing to position themselves for the next cycle? Come prepared with questions for these producers representing the future of agriculture.
  • David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Ryan Brodersen, Randolph, Nebraska
  • Casey Coulter, Brusett, Montana
  • Josh Larson, Columbia, South Dakota

Wednesday, November 15

General Session
8:00 am  ​9:00 am

Driven to Deliver: Outstanding Guest Experiences
In a marketplace that has moved to immediacy and online deliverables…it has become more important than ever to deliver a genuine guest experience.  For Bergstrom Automotive, executing and separating oneself as a brand and experience their guests see as the only option was key.  Every morning, Bergstrom Automotive staff is driven to deliver outstanding guest service, quality cars and trucks and make a difference in their communities.  Executing this plan took a small Chevy store in 1982 to the largest dealer group in the State of Wisconsin putting Bergstrom Automotive in the Top 50 in the U.S.  This session will have takeaways you’ll be able to implement right away to make a difference with your bank customers.
  • Tim Bergstrom, President & COO, Bergstrom Automotive, Neenah, Wisconsin
General Session
9:00 am  10:15 am

The Professor's Lessons for the Next Cycle
Dr. Kohl will provide lessons for weathering the challenging opportunities that roller-coaster cycles can present, drawing upon his five decades of experience working with customers, agribusinesses and ag lenders. From the board room to the front line, everyone will benefit from his tips, tools and twists on the old rules.
  • David M. Kohl, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
The Blanchfield A​ward Presentation

10:30 am  ​11:30 am​

Collective Impact: The Power of Community

Justin Ag17-Closing.jpgSkeesuck and Patrick Gray have been best friends for the last 40 years. During that time, Justin developed a neurological disease in which he would slowly lose control of both his arms and legs leaving him wheelchair bound. One day Justin asked Patrick if he would like to hike the famous 500-mile pilgrimage through Northern Spain to the Camino de Santiago. Patrick’s answer was simple and direct: “I’ll push you.”

For 35 days Justin and Patrick relied on the power of others to get them through their pilgrimage. Their adventure has been chronicled in a book, I’ll Push You, as well as a film coming this fall. Justin and Patrick will share their experiences of “collective impact” and you’ll learn the power of what you and your team can achieve when everyone comes together to achieve common goals.

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Program Questions? Please contact Cynthia Watkins for more information.