Joint Breakfast & Opening Session: Business as Unusual: How to Future-Proof Your Business in Transformational Times

Jack Ulrich

Jack is a futurist and author who helps organizations gain critical foresight to create success. His work is based on principles of unlearning, or freeing yourself from obsolete knowledge and assumptions as a strategy to survive and thrive. His talk will focus on change management, technology, and leadership.

The Joint Breakfast & Opening Session will take place at 8:00 am on Wednesday.

General Session & Business Meeting: Navigating the Labor Shortage

Gene Marks

Gene spoke in Little Rock in 2017 and was a hit. He is a consultant and writes on issues relevant to small businesses. He will focus on labor in the context of politics and the economy, offer strategies he’s seen clients use to find and keep employees, and discuss lower-cost technologies that have reduced the need for labor.

Gene Marks will speak on Wednesday at 1:00 pm.

Sponsored by K Coe Isom

Breakout Session: Operational Excellence

Steve Wilson

We continue our five-part instructional series on continuous improvement intended to offer a deep dive into the work.

Wilson is a consultant, coach, and trainer who has worked with hundreds of companies, including Deere, Union Pacific, and Heinz. He’s also worked as an operations manager with Federal Express, a service manager in the automotive and IT industries, and a quality improvement manager for a healthcare provider.

Steve Wilson will speak on Wednesday at 3:00 pm.

Breakout: Accessing Trade Markets

Heather Andrea Ranck, U.S. Department of Commerce

Heather Ranck and Marcus Verner represent the United States Commercial Service, which is part of the Department of Commerce. They support small- to medium-size businesses in their pursuit of building their export opportunities. Marcus is based on Oklahoma and Heather in North Dakota. She specializes in the farm equipment export business. The session will explore resources available to shortline manufacturers seeking to enter the global trade market as well as tips for researching export markets and optimizing your website to globalize your sales.

Heather Ranck will speak on Wednesday at 3:00 pm.

General Session: Survey Results: How Dealers market and How Manufacturers Support Them

Michael Bird, Spindustry; Susan Baier, Audience Audit; John Anderson, Fastline Marketing Group

As a follow up to the Farmers Buying Journey survey Spindustry presented in Spring 2021, Michael from Spindustry, Susan from Audience Audit, and John from Fastline will present the results of a survey of Dealers. We asked dealers how they market to farmers and compared it to what the farmers said. We also ask if the dealers feel supported in marketing efforts by their manufacturers.

Bird is CEO of Spindustry, a premier digital agency focused on e-commerce, SharePoint portals and enterprise websites. He is also is the author of two books and a frequent speaker at regional and national events. He’s been named CIO of the Year in Iowa and oversees a company that the Des Moines Register rated a top spot to work in Iowa.

Susan Baier is an audience and marketing strategist and researcher with Audience Audit. Baier is one of the most sought-after attitudinal segmentation researchers in the U.S. She offers a unique and insightful approach to quantitative research and helps organizations better understand their customers and prospects based not on their demographics or company profiles but on their attitudes about buying..

John is the president of Fastline Marketing Group, an agricultural marketing agency providing a comprehensive suite of integrated marketing solutions to help dealers and manufacturers connect with the agricultural industry. Fastline has served this community for 43 years and prides itself on truly listening to the needs of its customers to develop tailored solutions that deliver results.

This session will take place on Thursday at 9 am.

Breakout Session: Product Liability

DJ Warden, Nilan Johnson

DJ Warden is an attorney with Nilan Johnson Lewis who specializes in defending product liability cases and commercial litigation. He will talk to members about risk management, specifically field management strategies and design, manufacturing, and compliance practices.

DJ Warden will speak on Thursday at 10:30 am.

Breakout Session: Cybersecurity

Josh Linton, Enquiron

Josh Linton is a market strategist with Enquiron, which is providing a new cybersecurity benefit to Association members. Linton will discuss the risks of a cyber attack and detail the comprehensive resources that soon will be available to members to support them in preventing a cyber attack and recovering from one.

Josh Linton will speak on Thursday at 10:30 am.

Tillage Council

Brad Baker will facilitate this roundtable. Conversation will explore the labor shortage, supply chain delays, product availability, and how to market in the current environment.

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