The American Farm Bureau hosts a full day of virtual programming today, focused on the future of the farm economy, key social and technology issues affecting rural communities, innovations in agriculture and a keynote address from a Navy SEAL commander who is also a bestselling author and actor.
Attendees will hear from industry leaders, farmers and policy experts at both live featured workshops and on-demand sessions. The virtual convention is free to all, and registration remains open throughout the event.
On Tuesday, Jan. 12, attendees can choose from six live workshops beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, YF&R Excellence in Ag Presentations at 11:00 a.m. ET, the YF&R Discussion Meet Sweet 16 starting at 3:00 p.m. ET and the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Final Four at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Tuesday’s general session at 6:00 p.m. will feature an engaging and inspiring keynote address from Navy SEAL Commander Rorke Denver, who has run every phase of training for the U.S. Navy SEALs and led special-forces missions in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Denver has written two books on his experiences and starred in the hit film Act of Valor, which is based on true SEAL adventures.
Tuesday’s featured workshops will focus on the farm economy outlook for 2021, rural mental health, rural broadband, conservation, generating business revenue and achieving sustainability goals.
2021 Farm Economy Outlook, 11:00 a.m. ET: Dr. John Newton, American Farm Bureau Federation’s Chief Economist, will discuss the outlook for U.S. crop and livestock production, how the election could affect farm policy and the many factors that will influence U.S. farm profitability in 2021.
Farm State of Mind – Responding to the Challenges of Rural Mental Health, 11:00 a.m. ET: This session will feature diverse perspectives on the issue of rural mental health and information about Farm Bureau’s efforts to respond to this key moment in agriculture. Speakers include Meredith Bernard, a North Carolina farmer and YouTube influencer; Randy Roecker, a third-generation dairy farmer from Wisconsin; Marshal Sewell, a fifth-generation agriculturalist from Florida; and Chad Vorthmann, executive vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau.
Staying Connected in a Virtual World, 12:30 p.m. ET: Led by moderator Lorenda Overman, a North Carolina farmer, State Women’s Committee Member, American Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Member and Vice President of the NC Pork Council, this panel will explore the barriers to universal broadband service, discuss the impact of the pandemic and offer potential solutions to bridge the digital divide.
How a Beef with Burger King Started a Conversation on Conservation, 12:30 p.m. ET: When Burger King announced their Cows Menu campaign with a video blaming cows for methane emissions, Iowa farmer Michelle Miller, well known on social media as Farm Babe, reached out to the company to offer perspective. Miller joins Andrew Wheeler, public relations manager for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Fernando Machado, Global CMO at Restaurant Brands International for a discussion about sharing farmers’ and ranchers’ compelling conservation story.
Pivoting Your Business: Generating New Revenue Streams, 2:00 p.m. ET: Farming operations today do not look like they did a decade ago, as farmers have diversified their operations based on market conditions, consumer demands and the regulatory environment. This panel showcases farmers from coast to coast on why and how they pivoted their operations to generate additional revenue streams as well as available resources to make it happen.
Farmers and Food Supply Chain: Partners in Sustainability, 2:00 p.m. ET: This workshop will explore how Nestle Purina, Corteva, The Nature Conservancy and similar companies and organizations are supporting farmers in pursuit of their shared mission of providing a safe and reliable food source and achieving their sustainability goals.
All sessions will also be available as on-demand content post-airing to all registered attendees. The full schedule and free registration information can all be found at annualconvention.fb.org.