National Conference for Food and Agribusiness

Register Now!

National Conference for Food and Agribusiness

Data on Data: How the Food and Agribusiness Value Chain is Evolving

The 2019 National Conference topic is “Data on Data: How the Food and Agribusiness Value Chain is Evolving,” and will focus on how collected data and information are used across different levels of the agricultural and food business value chain. Purdue faculty conducted two surveys: farmer and non-farmer research studies surveying six levels of the value chain: (1) Ag Input Manufacturers, (2) Ag Retailers, (3) Farmers, (4) First Handlers/Food Processors, (5) Food Manufacturers, and (6) Food Retailers. The aim is to document how the agricultural and food business value chain is evolving on data collection and analytics. Faculty experts will provide insights and implications relevant to agricultural and food business professionals.

National Conference 2019

The National Conference for Food and Agribusiness brings together professionals from across the agricultural and food business value chain to gain industry and business insights, network, share ideas, grow professionally and discover solutions to today’s challenges. The goal of the conference is to help agricultural and food businesses shape their organizations and customer interactions for optimal success.

Join us at Purdue University’s West Lafayette, IN campus for the best of what matters most to you.

Why should you attend?

It’s the people that provide the return on investment for your time at a conference. In our busy social media crazy world, we often forget the importance of being in a live face-to-face setting with others from the business community. The value in conferences comes from the human-to-human connections we make. Often, people cite the serendipitous “hallway conversations” that they have with other attendees as the most valuable part of attending an event.

At the 2019 National Conference for Food and Agribusiness:

  • Learn findings of the most recent research study on data analytics across the value chain.
  • Connect and network with peers, expert speakers and conference guests.
  • Gain insights, implications, new strategies and tools.
  • Present your ideas and get feedback from others.
  • Become inspired to put new concepts into action.
  • Expand your knowledge in a new space.

Who should attend?

This conference brings together people representing all facets of the agricultural and food business value chain, including crop and livestock inputs, equipment manufacturers and dealers, banking institutions, food processors and universities. Participants come from a wide range of roles such as sales, management, marketing, market intelligence, executive positions and more.

Register together!

Instituting new managerial practices can be more effective when approached with help from one or two other colleagues. Consider attending as a team of three or more.

“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

Program Agenda

A printable pdf of the agenda is available for download here.
*Please note that Indiana is on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) during this conference.

Data on Data: How the Food and Agribusiness Value Chain is Evolving

Purdue University faculty will share results and insights from recent farmer and non-farmer research studies. The studies were conducted to obtain input from each segment of the food and agricultural business value chain on the extent to which their organizations are collecting and using data. The results will be shared by value chain segment. Each presentation will be followed by a panel debrief featuring industry experts.

Farmer Sessions


The aim of the farmer survey was to explore producers’ use of farm data and its impact on decision making. Dr. Nathan DeLay will share survey results over the types of data producers collect, the tools used to manage and analyze data, the decisions driven by data, and their assessment of data driven decisions. The presentation will also feature findings on the sharing of producer data with outside service providers such as agronomists and input suppliers for the purpose of providing recommendations.

Following the results, Dr. Dave Downey will moderate a panel of data savvy growers sharing their experiences implementing data into their operations. The conversation will be of interest to growers, input suppliers, agronomists and any farm-facing stakeholder interested in improving farm outcomes with data-driven insights.

  • Understand the types of data farmers collect
  • Reveal the channels through which farm data leads to actionable insights
  • Assess producers’ level of satisfaction with their data-driven decisions
  • Identify how farm-facing service providers can better serve producers’ data needs

Non-Farmer Sessions


The non-farmer research study focused on five levels of the value chain, including:

  1. Ag Input Manufacturers
  2. Ag Retailers
  3. First Handlers/Food Processors
  4. Food Manufacturers
  5. Food Retailers

Findings from the non-farmer survey will focus on the collection of data happening at each level of the value chain, how they are using data and the impact it has on each segment.

Faculty experts will discuss how the value chain is using data to drive decision making in organization as well as help customers to improve their decision making. Additionally, they will consider how data usage differs across the various segments.

Survey participants were asked their perception of data collection and analytics and the value it creates for their organizations. Specific questions from the survey covered to what extent food and agricultural businesses are collecting, using and exchanging data with farmers. Data collection challenges and expectations for future data usage were also analyzed.

Results from each segment will be shared through a presentation followed by a panel discussion with industry experts. Participants will hear from various organizations from ag input manufactures to food processors and food retailers. They will gain an increased understanding of practical ways data is being used, the challenges of incorporating data into decision processes and experiences specific firms have faced in overcoming barriers to create value.

  • Reveal how data usage and analytics differ across the agricultural value chain
  • Gain insights on incorporating data into better decision making
  • Assess where value is currently being created and understand where data will create value in the future
  • Understand what data collection and sharing with farmers will look like in the future

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Welcome and Introduction
Dr. Michael Gunderson, Director and Professor, Purdue Center for Food and Agricultural Business
Dr. Jay Akridge, Provost and Executive Vice President, Purdue University 

Opening Keynote: Data and Analytics

Food Retailers Survey Results and Insights
Presenter: Dr. Brady Brewer, Assistant Professor

Networking Break 

Panel Discussion: Food Retailers
Moderator: Dr. Brady Brewer, Assistant Professor 

Food Manufacturers Survey Results and Insights
Presenter: Dr. Michael Gunderson, Director and Professor

Networking Lunch

Panel Discussion: Food Manufacturers
Moderator: Dr. Michael Gunderson, Director and Professor

Ag Retailers Survey Results and Insights
Presenter: Dr. Scott Downey, Associate Director and Professor 

Panel Discussion: Ag Retailers
Moderator: Dr. Scott Downey, Associate Director and Professor 

Networking Break (15 minutes)

Farmers Survey Results and Insights
Presenter: Dr. Nathan DeLay, Assistant Professor 

Farmer Panel Discussion
Moderator: Dr. Dave Downey, Executive Director and Professor Emeritus
Panelists: Brian Houin, Homestead Dairy, LLC , Plymouth, Indiana
                  Pat Duncanson, Duncanson Growers, Mapleton, Minnesota

Networking Reception

Thursday, November 7, 2019 

Welcome and Overview of College of Ag
Dr. Karen Plaut, Dean, Purdue College of Agriculture 

First handlers / Food Processors Survey Results and Insights
Presenter: Dr. Michael Gunderson, Director and Professor 

Panel Discussion: First handlers / Food Processors
Moderator: Dr. Mindy Mallory, Associate Professor 


Ag Input Manufacturers Survey Results and Insights
Presenter: Dr. Luciano Castro, Clinical Associate Professor 

Panel Discussion: Ag Input Manufacturers
Moderators: Dr. Luciano Castro, Clinical Associate Professor
                      Dr. Carson Reeling, Assistant Professor
Panelists: Trent Wimmer, Sustainable Solutions Lead, Syngenta
                  Elizabeth Conzo-Kershner, Analytics Leader, John Deere 


The Value Chain Implications
Presenter: Dr. Brady Brewer, Assistant Professor 

Closing Keynote
Do consumers care about (all, some, none of the) data collected in the Food Value Chain?
Presenter: Dr. Jayson Lusk, Department Head and Distinguished Professor

Conference Debrief
Dr. Michael Gunderson, Director and Professor

Conference Location

Purdue Memorial Union North and South Ballrooms
101 N. Grant St.
West Lafayette, IN 47906


We will provide lunch as a group each day. Coffee, soft drinks, and refreshments will be available throughout each day, as well. There will be a welcome networking reception following the conference on Wednesday, November 6.

What to Wear

Attire for the conference is business casual. November in Indiana is generally cold. Layers are recommended.


Notebooks, paper and other materials will be furnished for you throughout the program. All of the presentations will also be available on our website, following the program.

Parking Facilities

Parking is available in the Grant Street Parking Garage located directly across the street from the Union Club Hotel. For those of you staying at the Hilton Garden Inn West Lafayette or driving in to the program, we will have parking passes available upon registration.

Hotel and Travel

We have also secured a block of rooms for you for the nights of November 5 – 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn West Lafayette. Please call and make your reservations ahead of time and ask for the National Conference for Agribusiness rate (group code NC19) to receive the $103.00 per night room rate. Room availability is first come first serve. All room rates subject to local sales tax and occupancy taxes (12%).

Hilton Garden Inn
356 E. State Street, West Lafayette, Ind.
(765) 743-2100
Distance from campus: 0.65 miles

Directions and maps

Please refer to our travel and hotel accommodations for directions from the three major airports closes to Purdue University.

You may find the sites below helpful, as well:
Purdue Visitor Information
Purdue Maps
Restaurant Guide


If you would like to take a shuffle from the Indianapolis Airport to the Hilton Garden Inn, we recommend that you contact:

Lafayette Limo/Shuttle Service
Star of America Shuttle Service
Toll free: 800-228-0814

For more information, contact:

Danielle Latta
Program Manager

Program Cancellation Policy

If a participant is unable to attend a Purdue University Center for Food and Agricultural Business program, the participant may choose to: 1) transfer their registration fee to another participant within the same company, or 2) choose to receive a credit for the same program or another program that takes place within the 12 months following the originally booked event. However, a request to use a credit must be received no less than 30 days prior to the program start date, otherwise the credit will not be valid. No refunds will be issued regardless of cancellation date.

The Center for Food and Agricultural Business reserves the right to cancel a program due to low enrollment or other circumstances which would make the program non-viable. If a program is cancelled, registrants will be offered a full refund. Should circumstances arise that result in the postponement of a program, the Center for Food and Agricultural Business has the right to either issue a full refund or transfer registration to the same program on the new future date. The Center for Food and Agricultural Business will not be responsible for reimbursement of any participant expenses related to the cancellation or postponement of an event.