Networking is an important part of running any business, and it is no different when you are running an agriculture business. It’s also important to keep up-to-date on the most efficient and effective agricultural practices to ensure your business is running as smoothly as possible. Attending one of these agricultural events or conferences (or several of them) will help you meet experts in the field and expertly operate your business.
Note: this is not a comprehensive list.
Local & Regional Events/Conferences
International Crop Expo
When: Wednesday, February 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. & Thursday, February 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Alerus Center, 1200 S 42nd St, Grand Forks, ND
The International Crop Expo is a two-day event full of educational seminars about crops farmed in the Midwest like potatoes, soybeans and small grains. The event is developed and presented by North Dakota State University Extension and Minnesota Extension Services and takes place in Grand Forks, ND, at the Alerus Center. Keynote speakers for 2023’s conference include Rob Sharkey, an Ag expert and grain farmer who hosts two farming podcasts and a PBS farming show, and Brian Carroll, director of the Grand Farm.
Facing The Future Together Energy and AG
When: Thursday, February 23, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Where: Courtyard by Marriott, 1080 28th Ave S, Moorhead
Registration Cost: $40 virtual $40 in advance $50 at the door
Part of the “Eggs & Issues” series, “Facing the Future Together: Energy and Ag” will cover “the recent history and trends of ag and energy, how the two industries advance together and depend on one another, and what lies ahead in the coming months and years.” The speakers will also be “unpacking each industry, how foreign conflict has or has not affected our region, economic drivers, new and innovative efforts, and what activities and initiatives will need to launch, continue, or evolve if we are to remain a healthy and powerful region.” Speakers include Dr. David Ripplinger, Associate Professor at NDSU; Mike Keller, President of Green Bison Soy Processing; and Monte Peterson, U.S. Soybean Industry Expert. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Greg Lardy, VP of Ag Affairs at NDSU. There are options for both in-person and virtual viewing.
Minnesota FFA Alumni and Supporters Annual Conference
When: Friday & Saturday, March 3 & 4
Where: Central Lakes College, 1830 Airport Rd, Staples, MN
Registration Cost: $15 Adult Track (Friday) $10 Student Track – Led by Past State Officers (Saturday) $25 Adult Track (Saturday) $50 Adult After Conference Tour & Social (Saturday)
The Minnesota FFA Alumni and Supporters Annual Conference is a dedicated event for Alumni and Supporters of the Minnesota branch of Future Farmers of America (FFA). The conference includes leadership and personal development workshops, networking opportunities and entertainment. The keynote speaker of the weekend is Tim Eggebraaten, a retired police officer whose presentation “Finding Your Beat, the Rhythm of Life” focuses on creating balance in stressful careers and situations. You can also catch Eggebraaten performing his one-man music and comedy show for the conference on Friday night!
Space AG Conference
When: Tuesday, April 4, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
Registration Cost: $50
The Space Ag Conference hosted by the University of North Dakota Space “seeks to explore the potential of advanced agriculture technologies to transform the AgTech industry in space, with the understanding that solutions to space-based challenges can often be applied to those on Earth.” At the 2023 conference, there will be a focus on getting the younger generations interested in agriculture—especially Space Ag. Look to the cover story for more info!
Peak 2023 – Where North American Poultry Connects
When: Monday-Thursday, April 10-13
Where: Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
Registration Cost: Farmer-Processor – $50 (onsite $75) Government/University/Poultry Organization – $50 (onsite $75) Supplier – $300 (onsite $350) University Students and Press – Complimentary Spouse and/or youth under 18 (with a paid registrant) – Complimentary
PEAK, which stands for Profitability, Experience, Advancement and Knowledge, is the Midwest Poultry Foundation’s annual conference that emphasizes on-farm poultry production. Conference events include education tracks, Poultry Ted Talks, networking events, PEAK Unhatched and the Student Careers Program. The programs are designed to give the audience the tools they need to operate a successful farm/company, foster community and cultivate their communication skills.
Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
The Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology is hosted by the American Meteorological Society and focuses on how meteorology/weather impacts agriculture. Potential topics for the conference include advances in top-down and bottom-up approaches for constraining biogeochemical fluxes at ecosystem and regional scales and emissions and deposition of reactive gases and aerosols in the terrestrial biosphere; development and application of new instruments and techniques for studying surface-atmosphere biogeochemical fluxes; emissions and uptake of reactive compounds from terrestrial ecosystems; measurements and modeling of turbulence transport and diffusion in and above plant canopies; monitoring the interactions between vineyards and orchards and their environment; plants and ecosystems’ water use strategies under limited environmental conditions and disturbances; progress in remote sensing of surface-atmosphere exchange; radiative fluxes in forest and agricultural systems; and revisiting the energy balance closure issue using the Eddy Covariance Technique.
The Future of Food USA Conference
When: Wednesday & Thursday, May 31 & June 1
Where: Graduate Minneapolis, 615 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN
Registration Cost: NGO/Academic Pass – $1,150 Standard Corporate Pass – $1,350 Service Provider Pass – $1,650
The theme of 2023’s Future of Food Conference is “Future Fit Food: How Food and Drinks Brands Can Tackle Scope 3 Emissions, Scale Regenerative Practices and Drive Supply Chain Resilience Through a Nature-Positive Approach.” Speakers at the conference include Chris Adamo, Vice President of Public Affairs & Regenerative Agriculture Policy at Danone North America; Jess Newman, Senior Director of Ag & Sustainability at McCain Foods; Gina Asoudegan, Vice President of Mission and Regenerative Agriculture at Applegate; Scott Herndon, President of Field to Market; Katie Anderson, Director of EDF+ Business and Resilient Food and Forests at Environmental Defense Fund; Nira Johri, Vice President of Global Inclusion & Sustainability at Rich’s; Wayne Honeycutt, President & CEO at Soil Health Institute; Samantha Werth, Executive Director at US Roundtable of Sustainable Beef; Kelli McCune, Director of Freshwater & Food Transformation at the World Wildlife Foundation; and more!
When: Tuesday-Thursday, August 15-17
Where: 2300 E Spruce St, Mitchell, SD
Registration Cost: At the gate – $10 Prior to the event – $7 Kids 17 and under – Free
Dakotafest is an agricultural festival with a goal to help regional farmers grow their agribusinesses. The festival offers educational opportunities, the option to network with top agribusiness professionals and live demonstrations of various ag products to help producers excel at their craft. This event also offers agricultural item giveaways, family fun events and food vendors throughout the venue!
Minnesota Crop Insurance Conference
When: Wednesday & Thursday, September 13 & 14
Where: Mankato City Center Hotel, 101 E Main St, Mankato, MN
Registration Cost: TBA
The Minnesota Crop Insurance Conference is “one of the largest continuing education conferences for crop insurance agents in the Midwest.” Continuing education credits are available to crop insurance agents in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Industry speakers will address topics directly relevant to crop insurance agents.
Idaho AG Summit
When: Monday & Tuesday, February 20 & 21
Where: Boise Centre West, 850 W Front St, Boise, ID
Registration Cost: $100 per person $70 Young Farmer/Rancher (Under 40)
Though the focus of the Idaho Ag Summit is Idaho-based farming, there are topics relevant to all kinds of agriculture. The key speaker at the summit is Mark Limbaugh, the President of The Ferguson Group in Washington, D.C., who “provides strategic federal policy and legislative guidance to clients on water, irrigation, production agriculture, and other natural resource management and policy issues.” There will also be presentations from local ag experts and an award ceremony with Idaho Governor Brad Little.
Southwest AG Summit
When: Tuesday-Thursday, February 21-23
Where: Arizona Western College, 2020 S Ave 8 E, Yuma, AZ
Registration Cost: $125 per person
The Southwest Ag Summit is “the desert Southwest’s premier agriculture industry show.” The event provides “current content that growers will directly apply to their present cultural and management practices.” Presentation topics include irrigation management, immigration reform, fresh produce safety, crop protection, energy conservation and new cropping technology.
Iowa Specialty Producers Conference
When: Wednesday & Thursday, February 22 & 23
Where: FA Enrichment Center, 1055 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy, Ankeny, IA
Registration Cost: $220 for full conference; $150 for single day
The Iowa Specialty Producers Conference is “an educational event for Midwest specialty crop producers to gather, network and grow in knowledge and experience.” The keynote speaker for both days of the conference is Jolene Brown: a farmer in Eastern Iowa, a contributor to Successful Farming magazine’s family business column, author of two books and an inductee into the Council of Peers Award for Excellence Speaker Hall of Fame. Her keynote addresses will focus on the business aspects of farming, including common mistakes that break up family businesses and factors that influence the attitudes of customers.
Nebraska Women In Agriculture Conference
When: Thursday & Friday, February 23 & 24
Where: Holiday Inn Convention Center, 110 2nd Ave, Kearney, NE
Registration Cost: $175 per person
The Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference is “an annual two-day event designed to educate and uplift women involved in any aspect of Nebraska’s agricultural industry.” The conference helps women in agriculture in five key risk management areas: production risk, market risk, financial risk, human risk and legal risk. The keynote speakers for the conference are Kiah Twisselman Burchett, a former California cattle rancher who is now a life coach, and Paul Stoddard, senior lecturer in the agricultural and consumer economics department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
When: Monday & Tuesday, February 27 & 28
Where: Caesar’s Forum Convention Center, 3911 Koval Ln, Las Vegas, NV
Registration Cost: $1095 full access $100 expo floor only for farmers/growers $1595 full access $600 expo floor only for all others
Indoor Ag-Con is the largest event for vertical farming and controlled-environment agriculture in the country. At this year’s convention, they are striving to expand and offer new opportunities for indoor farmers and supply chain stakeholders to connect and learn from each other. Presentation topics include the technology of growing crops in indoor systems and using hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic techniques. The keynote speakers of the conference include Arama Kukutai, CEO of the indoor vertical farming company Plenty, and Dave Chen, CEO of the sustainability-driven asset management firm Equilibrium.
Microbiome Movement/Agbiotech Summit
When: Tuesday-Thursday, February 28-March 2
Where: Sheraton Raleigh, 421 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC
Registration Cost: $3,496 for conference + 3 workshops (industry pricing) $2,671 for conference + 3 workshops (academic pricing) $4,596 for conference + 3 workshops (solution provider pricing)
The Microbiome Movement/AgBioTech Summit covers all avenues of agbiologic development. The summit brings together agbiologic developers, distributors and end-users/growers to learn from each other. Topics of discussion include navigating the agbiological regulatory landscape and understanding requirements for product approval; understanding the grower’s perspective with regards to adopting novel farming technologies; overcoming the formulation, manufacturing and scalability bottleneck without compromising product quality; leveraging the commercial landscape of the agricultural industry and paving your way to market; and exploring the fundamentals of the plant-soil microbiome and its implications for novel agbiologic development.
AG Food & Policy Summit
When: Monday, March 20
Where: The National Press Club, 529 14th St NW, Washington D.C.
Registration Cost: In Person Subscriber – $197 Virtual Subscriber – $97 In Person Non-Subscriber – $497 Virtual Non-Subscriber $397
The Ag Food & Policy Summit will focus on the 2023 farm bill, what types of federal farm programs are important and how funding should be distributed to support farmers, ranchers and the consumers who rely on them. At the summit, speakers and attendees will look at some of the ideas under development that will drive policy discussions for those involved in agriculture. The summit will also cover the topic of the availability and sustainability of crucial resources like land, water, and crop protection chemicals.
Water for Food Global Conference
When: Monday-Wednesday, May 8-10
Where: Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center, 2021 Transformation Dr, Lincoln, NE
Registration Cost: $500 regular in-person rate $50 virtual rate
The Water for Food Global Conference will focus on “innovative ways to improve water and food security by increasing farmers’ resiliency to a changing landscape.” The conference will “provide a platform to explore win-win scenarios to support improved water use in agriculture and increase productivity at a variety of scales—from smallholders, collectives and coops to commercial farm operations—while preserving water resources for other human and environmental needs.” Presentation topics include climate change, technology to improve productivity and protect agroecosystems, water policy and management, capacity development, and people, animals and health.
Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference
When: Wednesday & Thursday, June 7 & 8
Where: Grand River Center, 500 Bell St, Dubuque, IA
Registration Cost: $150 per person
The Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference “presents the latest research on issues concerning the dairy industry including feed efficiency, calves and transition cows.” It is hosted by the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison extension programs.