I’m excited to tell you about an event my family and I will be attending in a few weeks down in Memphis. It’s being called “Davos on the Delta” and is hosted by a good friend of mine Carter Williams, CEO of iSelect. This will be the first year for the conference, but we are considering it a sister-event to our annual show in Kansas City on December 6th. The reason I’m so excited is because I will be getting a firsthand look and hearing updates from some of the biggest and most important start-ups in the ag space. I truly believe the agricultural ‘value chain’ is about to be reshaped in a manner like we’ve never seen in the past. Technology and transparency are going to forever change our industry. To make certain we all understand the massive shifts and changes that are upon our doorstep, we decided to bring together a select group of agricultural leaders in one setting to openly discuss the future. What’s awesome is the fact the worlds largest BBQ contest is going on at the same time, “Memphis in May,” and my good friend Andy Daniels, who has a huge tent at the event and has been in the contest for 11-years, is welcoming all of us to attend that evening for BBQ and networking with some of the biggest names in the business. If you’ve never been to the BBQ event, the setting is absolutely amazing, as the contest is held right along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi. Sunset on the Mississippi with great friends, great food, great drinks and great conversation is extremely tough to beat! My wife and I have been attending the BBQ event for several years and helping Andy raise money for St. Judes Childrens Hospital. A group that helped save his daughters life and is very dear to our hearts. This event is truly a win-win for all involved. If you believe you are an agricultural innovator, leading ag executive, forward thinking producer, agricultural investor, ag lending institution or commercial ag related entity, you and or part of your staff need to attend this event. I’ve listed below some the highlights and who will be presenting at this special two-day event, which is being held at the historic Peabody Hotel May 17th-18th. Because of the venue seats are extremely limited. If you are interested in attending you can use my promo code “kvt17” to save -$250 off the conference price. I look forward to seeing many familiar faces and introducing my friends. Click HERE to see additional details…

Presenters You Do Not Want To Miss!

Gaylon Lawrence, CEO, The Lawrence Group – For those who don’t know, the Lawrence Group operates an extensive farming enterprise, some say he’s the largest owner of farmland in the country totaling over 180,000 acres of cultivated ground. He is also listed by Forbes as one of our nations wealthiest. From what I understand Mr. Lawrence and Richard Hussey, Director and Head of Mid-South Agriculture for the Lawrence Group, will be discussing the opportunities and challenges driving technical innovation in agriculture.

Kevin Van Trump, CEO, Farm Direction – I will personally be presenting following Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Hussey. This is certainly a tough act to follow but I will do my best, discussing the future of agriculture and some of the challenges and opportunities producers are going to face as the industry evolves.

Barry Knight, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, Indigo Ag –“Fighting Drought Through Microbe Engineering” – Farmers looking to boost yields may find Mr. Knights presentation extremely interesting and a new tool to add to their arsenal, as seed-coating manufacturer, Indigo Ag, has demonstrated that the right “microbes” can dramatically improve and enhance yields.

Chris Harbourt, CEO, Agrible – Consumers are behind emerging trends in nutrient content, environmental sustainability and food safety, causing shifts in the supply chain. Chris is going to tell us how we can better position our farms and business to take advantage of these trends? Agrible connects consumer brands directly to farmers providing valuable, actionable insights and improving profitability throughout the supply chain.

Roger Beachy,Chief Science Officer, Kultevat – Solutions are being sought to use sustainable, plant based alternatives for things like rubber, industrial dyes and high value hydrocarbons. Kultevat extracts high-value rubber from Russian Dandelions that can be grown in 42 states. Beachy will tell us where the industry is headed and what other industrialized crops are coming down the pipe.

John Killmer, CEO, Apse, Inc – “Killing Pest s Without Pesticide” – APSE has developed technology to enable cost-efficient production of RNA for broad acre topical RNAi and benign, sustainable RNAi products for urban-structural pest control.

Todd Mockler, Ph.D., Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, CTO Benson Hill Biosystems – Genome editing is an emerging technology that is about to revolutionize our industry. Mr. Mockler will explain how genes that cause unwanted traits can be knocked out, genes for preferred traits from the same species can be knocked in, and new products will be getting to market faster and faster.

Below Are Some Topics That Will Be Discussed

Supply Chain – How are changes in inputs, consumer demand, and producer profitability going to change the supply chain?

Farming For Profits – Is your farm considering all of its options? How others are starting to make money growing industrialized crops?

Seed – Do we fully understand were the seed industry is headed?

Inputs – Will the latest changes in probiotics and biologicals revolutionize the input markets to improve sustainability and reduce the cost of organic?

Gene Editing – How will the latest in gene editing reshape crops, supply chain, and ag economics and how will it ultimately shape public perception?

Distribution – Do you fully understand the shifts in distribution models?

Consumer vs. Producer – Who is driving this conversation and the shift we are about to experience, the producers or the consumers?

Special Bonus Event… “Farm Tour in Wilson, Arkansas” – If you can make it in town by Tuesday at noon you can jump on a bus with the rest of us and go out and visit Wilson, Arkansas and see firsthand what Gaylon Lawrence and his team are using in regards to technology and private investment to transform and reinvigorate one of the largest farming operations in the area. The bus departs the Peabody at 12:30pm and returns at 4:30pm. Good stuff!

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