Speakers

Keynote: Building an Influential Brand

John Hall

John Hall is a speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and author of Top of Mind, a business book that explains how consumer needs and expectations have changed, and what that shift means for companies interested in building long-lasting, trustworthy, and influential brands. He has been listed by Forbes magazine as a No. 1 “must-see” keynote speaker and featured in Inc., Harvard Business Review, Fortune, The Washington Post, Mashable, and more.

His presentations focus on how to stay top-of-mind with customers, gain their trust, and influence their decisions. Hall will customize his presentation in St. Louis to explore strategies for shortline manufacturers seeking to raise their visibility with farmers and farm equipment dealers.

John Hall will speak on Thursday at 10:30 pm.


State of the Industry: What’s Ahead for Ag?

Neil Caskey, National Corn Growers Association

A representative from the National Corn Growers Association will open the convention with an assessment of the state of the industry as it relates to trade, commodities, and policy, and offer well-informed speculation of what’s ahead for agriculture. Neil Caskey is vice president of communications for the National Corn Growers Association. Caskey’s career began on Capitol Hill, and through roles as employee or consultant, he has worked with organizations such as the American Soybean Association, Monsanto, and the USDA.

The joint industry opening session will be on Wednesday at 8:00 am.


In Pursuit of the Autonomous Farm

John Anderson, Cory Beaujot, and Colin Hurd

A panel of ag tech experts will talk with the audience about the various pathways to autonomous farming and discuss what this emerging reality means to the shortline industry.

John Anderson is the president and founder of JCA Electronics, which he began in his parents garage in 2002. He is an engineer with a background in mobile equipment design. After earning his MBA, he gained experience working with a number of OEMs in a variety of capacities and industries prior to starting this company. JCA has 100 employees and more than 30 engineers. It offers expertise in advanced control systems and autonomous technology, as well as electronics and wire harness manufacturing for the farm equipment industry.

Cory Beaujot is managing director of marketing, sales and communications at SeedMaster Manufacturing and Dot Technology Corp. He is also an owner with the rest of the Beaujot family. In 2017, the company brought to market the Dot Power Platform, which is an autonomous farming apparatus designed to operate in conjunction with a variety of farm implements.

Colin Hurd has founded two agriculture companies since graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in agriculture and business in 2013. His first company developed the planting product TrackTill. He eventually sold that company and founded Smart Ag to solve the labor crisis in production agriculture. SmartAg aims to give farmers the technology that allows them to do what is best for their farms without consideration of available labor, brands of equipment or the cost of larger machinery.

This session will be on Wednesday at 1:00 pm.


The Future of Digital Marketing

Osborn Barr

Representatives from Osborn Barr will talk to attendees about what’s ahead in digital marketing. Among topics they’ll explore are research tools, data analytics, content trends, and influencers. The marketing agency focuses exclusively on agriculture and rural issues.

This session will take place on Thursday at 9:00 am.


Ask the Lawyer: Workplace Policies on Social Media, Marijuana

David A. James, Nilan Johnson Lewis

David James is a shareholder in the labor and employment group at Nilan Johnson Lewis, which serves as a resource to members seeking legal counsel. James will discuss employers’ most commonly asked legal questions about social media use among employees and workplace policies in an environment in which more states legalize marijuana for recreational use.

David James will speak on Wednesday at 3:00 pm.


Tillage Council

Cory Beaujot, who is part of the “In Pursuit of the Autonomous Farm” session, will also speak to the Tillage Council. He will discuss the Dot Power Platform and how the company envisions the integration of third-party tillage equipment.

The Tillage Council  meets from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday.