2014 Growing Michigan Agriculture Conference

Emerging important issues will prompt valuable discussion at the 2014 Growing Michigan Agriculture Conference during Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week.

There’s no doubt that agriculture plays a vital role in Michigan’s economy. In April 2012, Michigan State University (MSU) researchers announced that through the food and agriculture supply chain, the industry contributes an estimated $91.4 billion to Michigan’s economy – an increase of nearly 50 percent from 2004 to 2010.

New and evolving issues such as changes in technology, weather and public expectations continue to challenge Michigan farmers. Michigan State University Extension has brought together farmers and agricultural professionals who work within Michigan’s wide-ranging agricultural commodities to assist the state’s farmers in learning more about potential changes on the horizon.

The third annual Growing Michigan Agriculture Conference will take place Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at the Kellogg Center on the MSU campus during Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week.

The one-day conference is packed with timely information from MSU experts and nationally renowned speakers that will help Michigan producers maximize their farms’ potential.

The 2014 conference also offers concurrent breakout sessions that focus on specific areas of agriculture including animal production, field crops and specialty crops.

At last year’s Growing Michigan Agriculture Conference, more than 70 participants learned about labor management, precision agriculture, food safety, risk management, soil management and the Farm Bill. Participants at the conference included farmers, farm employees, agribusiness professionals, consultants, Extension personnel and government representatives.

Attendees came from farms of all sizes and reported that attending the program was valuable to their farm operations. When asked what they gained, respondents indicated that they would be able to apply what they learned to their businesses, and they also reported an increase in management skills. Participants appreciated the global perspective that they received.

In 2014, the Growing Michigan Agriculture Conference takes place in conjunction with Michigan Farm Bureau’s Statewide Commodity and Marketing Conference. The new partnership promises to provide excellent educational sessions for Commodity and Marketing Conference farmer attendees, and it will allow the Growing Michigan Agriculture Conference to continue to build on its reach to Michigan farmers.

The Growing Michigan Agriculture Conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on March 5, followed by the Michigan Farm Bureau Statewide Commodity and Marketing Conference beginning at 5:30 p.m. on March 5 and continuing on March 6.

“We are looking forward to having knowledgeable speakers presenting to such a diverse agricultural audience,” said Dale Rozeboom, MSU professor and Extension specialist. “So often we have great speakers at our individual winter commodity meetings. This conference allows people from all agriculture sectors to come together in one setting, hear the very best speakers and get the latest information on a variety of important topics.”

This year’s topics and speakers include:

Registration information is available at http://bit.ly/GrowingMichigan. The cost for the conference is $75 by Jan. 28, 2014; $85 by March 3, 2014; and $95 at the door. To find out more information or to learn how to become a sponsor, contact ANR Event Services at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 517-353-3175.