Farmland Forum Speaker Sessions

    To view the full speaker schedule, click here.

    2018 Illinois Farmland Values and Lease Trends
    Mike Morris, Compeer Financial

    A discussion on current farmland values in the Midwest and trends seen in the market. 

    Beekeeping & Native Pollinators: Managing Hive, Bee Health & Honey Production
    Jana Kinsman began Bike a Bee about 6 years ago in the City of Chicago. Since then she's learned about keeping bees and has solid advice on what it takes to start beekeeping in Chicago and the surrounding area. During this session she'll give an overview of her company, beekeeping, and tips for getting started. There will be plenty of time for questions, so bring your curiosity and ideas!

    Jana Kinsman
    Bike a Bee

    Earth, We've Got You Covered!
    Continuous living cover--cover crops, perennials, and pasture--build soil health and protect water. Farmers need markets to drive these practices. New initiatives like the Artisan Grain Collaborative are creating market opportunities for crops that promote regenerative agriculture by connecting farmers, millers, distributors, chefs, bakers and distillers to share information about what works best on the land and in the kitchen. This session will look at both short and long-term implications of these practices to promote food system resilience for future generations.

      Karen Lehman
    Fresh Taste 


    Grain Market Outlook & Asset Management
    Todd Gleason, University of Illinois Extension

    Improving Soil Health with Cover Crops
    Dan Towery, Ag Crop Consultant

    Insurance and Risk Management Considerations
    Scot Gudenrath, Country Financial

    This session will focus on common liability issues associated with Agri-Tourism/ Fall Festival operations, participation in farmers markets and road side stand operations. 

    NASS 101
    A look at the mission of the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service and how they derive the thousands of agricultural estimates each year and the importance of these estimates to the agricultural industry.

      Brad Summa
    USDA - National Agricultural Statistics Service 

    North America Bee Health System
    A discussion of pollinator health and Bayer’s efforts around bee health initiatives. 

      Eric Ifft


    Solar/Wind Power Panel
    Steve Sims, Enterprise Law Group, LLP & Dan Stokes, Attorney at Law

    Considerations for farmland owners when negotiating long-term solar or wind power leases or easement agreements.

    Trends in the Ag Economy and Your Farm
    This session will examine economic trends that affect every farm. The agricultural economy has seen both spectacular highs and distressing lows in the past decade. Come discuss the impacts for the Midwest and your farm.

      David Oppedahl
    Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 

    Urban Agriculture, Small Farms, Local Foods & Master Urban Farmer Training
    Zachary Grant, University of Illinois Extension
    Join University of Illinois Extension Educator Zack Grant as he introduces his Local Food Systems and Small Farms programs here in Cook County. He will cover the state of urban agriculture in Cook County and introduce the programming he has put in place to address the needs of this growing audience.

    What's New in Digital Ag and How It Can Help Your Farm
    The success of our farm depends on making the best agronomic decision as possible, therefore we use as much data as we have available to guide our decisions. Data driven decision making through the use of digital agriculture tools will allow growers to have better view into their operation and likely bring new knowledge to be successful. This presentation will highlight the basic tools we use on our farm and will also highlight some new digital agriculture tools on the market today. 

      Jeremy W. Wilson
    Crop IMS LLC