Farmers across the Midwest are interested in new opportunities in agriculture. Growing demand by consumers for unique agriculture products has opened doors for farmers interested in diversifying their production and adding new revenue streams while other farms are finding opportunity in reviewing their current production practices for increased efficiency.
Compeer Financial and University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension are partnering to host the Resilient Farms Conference, a one-day event for farmers interested in increasing resiliency for their farms through new business ideas.
At the conference, on Thursday, December 12 at the Kalahari Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in more than two dozen sessions to gather information, resources and tools to help in exploring ideas for increased farm revenue and added flexibility over time. More than 20 industry experts, including farmers who have successfully implemented alternative or additional enterprises, also will be available for one-on-one consultations and networking.
This year’s conference emcee, Pam Jahnke, shared her excitement for the event: “Resilience is something more of us in agriculture need to think about- what’s the long-term play? This conference is unique in how it pairs producers who have followed their passion and ideas for their farm with those who are still thinking about it. They will be there in a one on one way to help coach you through the process and leave you feeling good about your future.”
Speakers include Tom Arnold, of Arnold’s Farm in Elizabeth, Illinois. Arnold began exploring new markets and farm enterprises more than twenty years ago, and will share his insights and stories from his experience in how he’s embraced resiliency within his operation. Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons, will discuss legal resiliency with business structures, insurance and liability, HR management and partnership opportunities.
“These are challenging times for agriculture, and farmers realize that within challenge there is often opportunity,” said Trisha Wagner, outreach program manager for Extension’s Farm Management Program. “Farmers are trying new ideas for their business, utilizing resources and skills of family members that haven’t been realized in the past. The Resilient Farms Conference is an opportunity to hear from farmers from around the state who have learned how to navigate the times, and have created success.”
Breakout sessions will include topics on value-added dairy, income opportunities from the woods, resiliency in cash crops, leasing options, understanding an individual farm’s unique assets and more. Additionally, sessions will be available for direct marketing, creating a practical commodity marketing plan, succession planning and basic farm financials. Click the link below to view the full agenda.
“The program encourages farmers to look broadly at all of the assets on their farms and think creatively about ways in which they can use those assets to add cash flow. The conference offers a positive, supportive environment to bounce around some ideas.” Paul Dietmann, Compeer Financial Sr. Lending Specialist
The conference is a farmer-to-farmer, peer-to-peer learning opportunity for people who are brainstorming and exploring new business ideas for their farms. Session topics will include examples of farms that added new revenue streams to their operations, including value-added production ideas, and marketing and business strategies. Sessions will also be available for business planning and analysis, along with guides to regulatory and licensing processes.
The 2019 Resilient Farms Conference is Thursday, December 12, from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Kalahari Resort. Extension Winnebago County is hosting a livestream of the event at their office, 625 E County Rd Y #600, Oshkosh. The registration fee is $20, which includes lunch. To register or for more information click the link below: