Find us on FacebookFind us on LinkedInFind us on TwitterFind us on YouTube

Back to Seminar

National Conference for Food and Agribusiness

November 6-7, 2018

Program Agenda

PDF of Agenda

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

8:00 – 8:15 a.m. (15 minutes): Welcome and Introduction
 Dr. Michael Gunderson, Purdue University
Dr. Jay Akridge, Provost and Executive Vice President

8:15 – 9:15 a.m. (60 minutes): Session 1 – The Sourcing Business Case
Patricia Stroup, Global Vice President and Head of Commodities, Nestle

Description: The slot will explore the role of sourcing in achieving transparency and generating trust in the FMCG industry. Taking the example of Nestle as a company, and the traceability and reporting requested by a virtuous triangle of stakeholders, Patricia Stroup, VP Head of Commodities Procurement, will disclose the solid sound business reasoning why transparency and trust matter as a business.

Learning objectives: Demonstrating how transparency generates trust regardless of the disclosure.

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. (45 minutes): Session 2  Implications of Market Drivers on Trusted Relationships
Dr. Michael Gunderson, Purdue University

Purdue’s Large Commercial Producer Survey has found in all of its iterations that honesty is consistently the most important characteristic of a salesperson. Honesty is one of the foundations of trust in a relationship between supplier and buyer. What about when there is no salesperson, but only a computer interface? How then is honesty determined and trust established?

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. (30 minutes): Networking Break  Poster Presentations

10:30 – 11:15 (45 minutes): Session 3 – Bringing Trust and Transparency to Ag Data Contracts
Todd J. Janzen, Attorney, Janzen Agricultural Law LLC 

In this session, Todd Janzen will discuss how the law addresses legal issues surrounding ag data collection, use, and sharing by ag technology providers. Todd will provide an overview of the non-regulatory efforts to address farmers’ concerns with data privacy, such as the Ag Data Transparent project and the EU’s Code of Conduct for Ag Data Sharing.  Todd will conclude by talking about the problems with current ag data contracts with farmers and explain how companies that sell digital tools to farmers can improve their contracts.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the legal and regulatory framework for collection, storage, and use of farmers’ ag data.
  • Understand national and international tools for improving ag data trust and transparency
  • Outline the components of a create a data use policy within your company, to govern collection, storage and use of data collected from farmers. 

11:15 – 12:15 (60 minutes): Session 4 – E-commerce and Transparency
Steve Byrne, Ph.D., CFA, US Chemicals Equity Research
Bruce Vernon, CEO, CommodityAg, LLC

In this session, Byrne and Vernon will review the availability, benefits, and limitations of online purchasing of crop chemicals and seeds. The discussion will also include the availability and impacts of data transparency for crop chemical pricing, seed pricing, yields by crop genetics, and agronomic practices. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the advantages and limitations of online purchasing of agricultural inputs
  • Understand the risks and benefits of price transparency for agricultural inputs
  • Understand the availability of yield data by seed genetics

12:15  1:15 p.m. (60 minutes): Networking Lunch 

1:15 – 2:00 p.m. (45 minutes): Session 5 – The Importance of Trust as an Agribusiness Advisor
Dr. Trey Malone, Michigan State University

In this session, Dr. Malone will highlight the real-world implications of a combination of multiple research projects. The goal of this session is to help conference attendees to learn how to focus their efforts on the most important aspects of developing trust with their clients. The audience will gain a deeper understanding of the climate of distrust and uncertainty that agribusinesses confront. The audience will also learn how to better gain the trust of the people they serve. 

Learning objectives:

  • Discuss the heterogeneity of beliefs regarding American agriculture
  • Identify how that confusion and uncertainty creates a deep need for trust
  • Describe relational trust influences agribusiness decision-making
  • Outline the attributes most important to developing trust as an agribusiness advisor


2:00 – 2:45 p.m. (45 minutes): Session 6 – Relational Trust in Agricultural Business: Researcher Panel
Moderator: Dr. Michael Gunderson, Purdue University
Panelists: Marcelo D. P. Ferreira, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil; Anil Giri , University of Central Missouri; Kishor Luitel, Angelo State University; Sankalp Sharma, Kent State University; Andrew Stevens, Mississippi State University

Expert agribusiness researchers from well-known universities have been invited to share practical applications of their recent studies on relational trust in agribusiness. They will provide insights on how the marketplace benefit from these research findings. The session will be followed by poster presentations.

PDF of Studies

2:45 – 3:15 p.m. (30 Minutes): Poster Presentations
Have one-on-one discussions with expert researchers standing by their study poster and gain deeper understanding of their research findings.

3:15  3:30 p.m. (15 minutes): Networking Break

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (90 minutes): Session 7 – Straight Talk Straight from Producers: Farmer Panel followed by farmer small group discussion
Moderator: Dave Downey, Purdue Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics and Executive Director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business
Panelists: Kasey Bamberger, Bryant Agricultural Enterprise; King Hickman, GPS Dairy Consulting, LLC; Paul Hodgen, Hodgen Farms

5:30  7:00 p.m. (90 minutes): Networking Reception

Wednesday, November 7, 2017

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. (60 minutes): Keynote – Relationship Economics: The Art & Science of Strategic Relationships in Agribusiness 
David Nour, CEO, The Nour Group, Inc.

Learning objectives:
In this highly engaging and entertaining interactive keynote speech, participants will:

  • Gain solid overview of the fundamental Relationship Economics concepts
  • Learn about specific business cases on the quantifiable and strategic value of business relationships
  • Gain practical and pragmatic tools to begin to think and lead differently when it comes to strategic, intentional, and quantifiable value of business relationships

9:00  9:30 a.m. (30 minutes): Networking Break

9:30  11:00 a.m. (90 minutes): Concurrent Sessions  Workshops 1- 3

Workshop 1: Developing a Trust Checklist
Dr. Scott Downey, Purdue University

Session Description:
In this workshop, Dr. Downey will look at how our understanding of trust in buyer-seller relationships has grown over time. Using this knowledge, Dr. Downey will recommend approaches that organizations can take to develop trust more quickly in relationships with prospects, or when there has been turnover in the sales force.  He will identify a trust checklist and metrics that sellers can use to ensure they are taking the steps needed to develop a deeper trust in relationships.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand how buyer/seller relationships evolve over time
  • Learn different ways buyers engage in the purchasing process
  • Identify the factors and consequences of buyer trust
  • Look at how these factors relate to buyer perceptions of value and loyalty
  • Develop a checklist for buyer trust

Workshop 2: Trust and Transparency: How To Respond
Dr. Mike Boehlje, Purdue University

Farmers are becoming more strategic in their farming practices and their buying behavior--more specificity and precision in farming requires more specificity and precision in selling. In this workshop, “Customer Value Proposition”, “E-commerce as a New Business Models”, and “Multi-Channel Distribution” will be discussed through engaging and interactive group discussions.   

This workshop will focus on how to add more specificity to your relationship with individual customers and respond to increasing expectations of transparency and tailor your programs to individual customer expectations. 

Learning Objectives:
In this workshop, you will learn about the following questions:

  •  What are the attributes/features that your customers value and are willing to pay for? 
  • Why do your potential customers not do business with you?
  • Is Farmers Business Network (FBN) or similar e-commerce business models a threat to your business and the traditional ag retailing business model?
  • What characterizes the customer who uses e-commerce offering?  
  • How to incent your sales force to not "give away" service to keep business when a customer wants you to price match a competitor who offers a lower product price and no service?  

Workshop 3: Improving Negotiation Skills: Integrative Tools for Trust Building and Problem Solving
Dr. Ben Dunford, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University

In this workshop through interactive role plays, lecture and class discussion, Dr. Dunford will help participants to gain practical skills to implement immediately in their work and non-work life.  For example, workshop attendees will learn how to effectively surface the interests of the other party, identify opportunities for mutual gains, unbundle issues for creative problem solving, and issue simultaneous offers for maximum value creation. 

Learning objectives:
By the end of the workshop, participants will understand:

  • The difference between distributive and integrative negotiation tactics and when each are appropriate.
  • The difference between claiming and giving value and why giving value may be in your best interest.
  • How and why low trust tactics often lead to leaving money on the table.
  • How to expand the pie in negotiations and problem solving to help you and your organization make the best deal. 

11:00  11:15 a.m. (15 minutes): Networking Break

11:15  12:45 p.m. (90 minutes): Concurrent Sessions repeat  Workshops 1-3

Workshop 1: Developing a Trust Checklist
Dr. Scott Downey, Purdue University

Workshop 2: Trust and Transparency: How To Respond
Dr. Mike Boehlje, Purdue University

Workshop 3: Improving Negotiation Skills: Integrative Tools for Trust Building and Problem Solving
Dr. Ben Dunford, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University

12:45  1:45 p.m. (60 minutes): Lunch 
Dr. Jayson Lusk, Department Head, Purdue Agricultural Economics

1:45 – 3:15 p.m. (90 minutes): Workshop 4: Co-Create Value – The Evolutionary Outcomes from Innovative and Strategic Collaboration

David Nour, CEO, The Nour Group, Inc.                          


This workshop will take preliminary ideas mentioned from the morning keynote and dive deeper of key success factors in strategic and innovative collaborations. David Nour will utilize the Co-Create Workshop and Canvas to take the audience through the three-phase, ten-step process to evolve their story/unique value-add via their collaborative efforts.

3:15 – 3:30 p.m. (15 minutes): Debrief and Closing
Dr. Michael Gunderson, Purdue University

*Schedule is subject to change. Please check back for updates.

For more information, contact:
Masi Keshavarz
Research Project Manager


Program Dates

November 6-7, 2018


Purdue University
West Lafayette, Ind.

Registration Fees

Day 1 only: $779/person (through Aug. 31)
                   $899/person (after Aug. 31)
Bundle: $1,195/person (through Aug. 31)
             $1,395/person (after Aug. 31)

Is this program for you?

We strongly encourage attendance in teams of three or more participants from each organization. For questions about registration fees and more information about the conference, contact:
Masi Keshavarz, Research Project Manager

Educational Credit

You can earn CEU and CCA credit at this program.

Registration fees include all program materials, refreshments and some meals. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the program is full, names will be added to a waiting list in the order in which they are received. Registration fees are due upon receipt of registration. Read the cancellation policy.

  "The National Conference for Food and Agribusiness provides broad insight into agricultural producers' needs, preferences and priorities, as well as marketplace trends. Benefits beyond research include access to the Center for Food and Agricultural Business economists and team. Networking with conference participants provides added value in contextualizing lessons through an applied lens focused on agriculture."  

Michael Stolp

Senior Vice President, Customer and Employee Education
Senior Family Business Advisor
Northwest Farm Credit Services