Joint Opening Breakfast Session:
The Credibility Advantage: Using Body Language to Sell Your Product, Your Service, and Yourself with Christopher Carter

Everybody is in sales. Because no matter what your job title or position, you’re always selling yourself! In this program, Christopher Carter shows how to identify when your prospect is ready to buy, and how to communicate so that they’re always buying YOU.

Carter is the body language expert that helps businesses build relationships. He shows sales and customer service professionals how to harness the power of body language to achieve astonishing results. And when he stresses the importance of “reading between the lines” of human behavior to build relationships, establish trust and credibility, and truly listen to the customer, he offers more than just words. People reading has never been this much fun! Sell more, create more loyal customers, and build more productive teams with one of the world’s most entertaining communication experts.

The Joint Opening Breakfast Session is open to members of both the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association and the Equipment Marketing and Distribution Association. It will take place on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.

General Session and Business Session:
Grain prices and Farm Income, Where Are They Headed and What Will Be The Impact on Farmers Purchasing Plans? with Richard Brock

Richard Brock is owner and president of Brock Associates, an agricultural marketing advisory service and publisher of The Brock Report, established in 1980. 

His firm, based in Milwaukee, WI, now has six offices, manages grain sales on over 800,000 acres throughout the U.S. and is an advisor on purchasing strategies for many large poultry, pork, dairy and food companies.  Brock grew up on the family grain and pork farm in central Indiana. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and his Master’s Degree from Cornell University.  He and his wife Cathy have three grown children and eleven grandchildren.

Brock will be speaking on Wednesday, November 1 at 1:00 p.m.

General Session: Emerging Technology Panel Discussion

Dr. John Fulton is a professor at Ohio State University whose research focuses on digital agriculture, machinery automation, and spatial data to improve crop production and the farm business. He works with precision ag services providers in North America on technology options to support farmers. 

Chris Hunsaker is co-founder and CEO of Acuitus Ag. He’ll discuss how their technology interacts with equipment and how the data gathered can help farmers become more efficient and productive.

Nick Guetterman will give us a his perspective as a farmer in East Central Kansas. Guetterman Brothers Family Farms is a 100% no-till row crop farm with corn, soybeans, and wheat as their primary crops. They utilize equipment technology to improve profitability on the farm.  

Don’t miss this session on Thursday, November 2 at 9:00 a.m.

Breakout Session: Getting the Most of Your Managers: The Difficulty of Moving from “Us” to “Them”

Whether you are an aspiring Manager or a long-time owner, the heart of a successful business lies in the effectiveness of management.  In this session, you will learn how to professionally manage a growing business.  We will dive into what it means to be an effective leader, all while managing employees who may be your family members or are your former peers.

Travis Free, Senior Manager at Pinion will be presenting. Pinion is a business advisory provider, ‘U.S. Top 100’ accounting firm, and global leader in food and agriculture consulting. With roots dating back to 1932, the firm has expanded upon traditional tax and accounting services to deliver increased value and growth for clients through its specialized advisory in the areas of sustainability, government affairs, farm programs, land/water management, financial management, succession planning, and business strategy – to name a few. Pinion provides insight and solutions for food and agriculture, biofuels, and manufacturing industries, as well as regionally-focused businesses. The firm serves domestic and international clientele from locations spanning the United States, and globally through partners and affiliates.

Breakout Session: Developing an Online Marketing Strategy in 2023

Michael Bird with Spindustry is returning to meet with members and discuss how to develop an online marketing strategy in 2023. As always, the digital landscape is constantly evolving and Spindustry is here to help you understand it!

Want to understand why GA4 is important for you? Not sure why Twitter is now called X and what that means? How does your website, social media efforts, paid advertising and SEO efforts all converge into one perfect marketing strategy? Spindustry will answer all of these questions and more during their presentation from 3:00 – 4:00 pm on Wednesday, November 1. From 2:00 – 3:00 pm and 4:00 – 5:00 pm, Spindustry will also be available to answer any questions about your marketing strategy.

Lastly, if you are interested in a website audit, please submit your website to them early so they can give it an in-depth review prior to the conference. You can submit your site to mbird@spindustry.com with Subject Line: FEMA-EMDA-AUDIT.

Michael will be speaking on Wednesday, November 1 at 3:00 p.m.

Breakout Session: Insurance Trends in Building Valuation & Cyber

This session will focus on recent insurance trends within commercial property and cyber insurance coverage and discuss ways to address them.  In the commercial property space, the cost of building materials and labor continuing to rise, where ensuring that your building limit is set to an appropriate value is critical to avoiding pitfalls coinsurance penalties – which can reduce the total amount that you may receive in a loss.

Dan Zastava leads a corporate underwriting and product development team at Sentry, where his team develops, implements and monitors commercial lines product offerings and results.  He began his career nearly 20 years ago as a multiline commercial underwriter before entering the product development space.  During that time, he introduced the company’s first data breach coverage in 2011 and has overseen their most recent product transition in cyber insurance during 2023.  In his current role, he also is responsible for arranging and purchasing the insurance coverage for Sentry’s day-to-day operations.

Breakout Session: Growth Hacking Techniques: Existing and New Customers

Are you like most manufactures who are sitting on a goldmine of opportunity, but don’t know how to mine it?  Come learn and leave with real tactics you can implement in your business the next day. We won’t be talking just about “What” you need to do, we’ll be talking about “How” to actually do it!  

Brandon Dempsey has been working with manufacturers and distributors for 18 years helping them grow through simple marketing campaigns that target your ideal prospects. His strategies and frameworks help companies see where they are missing on their messaging and execution when it comes to sales and marketing.  Brandon is a sales guy who uses marketing and lives to teach these methods to others.
You will work through real scenarios and leave with tools you can implement right away.

Brandon spends as much time exploring the world with his wife and daughters while/or riding a BMW motorcycle as he can. When he’s not riding he’s collaborating with the owners of industrial companies to help them reposition their company and unlock their growth. A serial entrepreneur, Brandon owns a marketing firm goBRANDgo!, actively develops real estate, and teaches at Washington University- St. Louis. He is a published author and regular keynote speaker. 

He’s not all business; locally Brandon helped found a high school entrepreneurship program that has doubled in size every year for 4 years and globally; he serves as the Global Membership Chair of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) working to bring entrepreneurial tools, community, and support to entrepreneurs all over the world.

Don’t miss Brandon’s session on Thursday morning, November 2 at 10:30 a.m.

Breakout Session: The Rural Export Center’s RAISE (Rural America’s Intelligence Service for Exporters) Program

Pinki Thakker serves as International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service in Kansas City, Missouri, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. She provides export counseling and international trade promotion services to the business community across Kansas and Missouri in key industry sectors (including advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, consumer goods, education, energy, and textiles and apparel).

The RAISE (Rural America’s Intelligence Service for Exporters) program provides rural U.S. companies with one-on-one market intelligence from a team who identifies customized industry-specific insights and contacts. Being informed before you go helps build confidence and knowledge, making your market entry more efficient.

RAISE intel can help companies with the following needs:

  • Determining if there is export opportunity, and where, including prioritized country rankings
  • Building a strategic export plan based on data and on-the-ground realities
  • Determining if a Trade Show, Trade Mission or overseas trip is a worthwhile investment
  • Developing a prospective buyer list, to see who is currently on the ground active in your industry segment
  • Amplifying your presence at a trade show by developing a contact list to do promotions prior to the trade show.
  • Preparing for a meeting with a prospective buyer by researching opportunities in advance of the meeting

This session will take place Thursday, November 2 at 10:30 a.m.

Technology Council Speaker: Colin Hurd, MACH Inc.

Colin Hurd serves as the CEO at MACH Inc, a leading provider of autonomous and automated technologies to OEMs in the off-highway machinery industry. Colin brings to MACH his extensive experience in agricultural technology, business, innovation and the equipment industry.

Exiting two prior agriculture startups, he has spent his professional career leading innovative tech companies. His specific expertise spans hardware and machinery development, digital agriculture, off-road automation, self-driving technology, and more. Colin serves on several boards aimed at advancing the technological capabilities of companies in agriculture. As a co-director of the Ag Startup Engine, the Midwest’s premier startup program for technology, he recognizes the challenges growing tech startups face, providing help to tackle those challenges.

Recognized as a visionary leader across the industry, Colin was awarded the Forbes “30 Under 30” in 2018, and the Iowa State University College of Agriculture Outstanding Young Professional in 2019. His leadership is expected to drive MACH’s purpose of making the work done with heavy machines safer, more efficient, and simpler for the people who produce our food, fiber, infrastructure, and natural resources.

Colin will be speaking at the Technology Council on Tuesday, October 31 at 3:00 p.m.