National Conference for Food and Agribusiness

Register Now!

National Conference for Food and Agribusiness

We’ve watched what’s unfolded over the last year; we’ve listened; and we’re bringing you the most impactful National Conference for Food and Agribusiness experience yet. In 2021, we’re delivering results from the seventh iteration of the Large Commercial Producer Survey like you’ve never seen them before.

The Large Commercial Producer Survey explored the fundamental attitudes of commercial producers and how these attitudes affected buying decisions. This year’s National Conference for Food and Agribusiness’ blended model experience will give you the flexibility to view survey data at your convenience, time to consider themes and develop questions for our faculty experts, as well as an in-depth understanding of survey insights, implications and potential actions.

Program Timeline

National Conference 2021 TimelineSurvey Results – September: Access to pre-recorded videos by expert faculty for self-paced review of survey results
Key Insights – October 8 (Online): Live, online session exploring survey insights and themes and answering participant questions. Download Agenda
Implications – November 2-3 (In-Person/Live Streamed): In-person sessions (also livestreamed) focused on survey implications and leveraging insights to better serve customers and maintain organizational success. (Agenda coming soon!)

1,700 U.S. farmers representing 43 states were surveyed to bring you the opinions, preferences and results that matter most.

The Large Commercial Producer Survey establishes a valuable understanding of commercial producers’ decision-making processes and how these processes have changed over time. Conclusions drawn from survey insights shed light on the agricultural supply chain and aid agribusiness professionals in better serving their customers and increasing their organization’s odds of success.

Ways to Attend

This year, you can join us fully online from your remote location or select our blended model approach. The online option will provide access to pre-recorded videos and information for self-paced review. You’ll then join us online for a live session on October 8, and finally, tune in to a live stream of the in-person sessions held November 2-3. 

The blended model will provide the same access to pre-recorded videos and information for remote self-learning and you’ll also join us online for the session on October 8. However, instead of tuning into the live stream on November 2-3, you’ll join us in-person here in West Lafayette, Indiana!

Why Should You Attend?

Professionals from across the agricultural and food business value chain will be in attendance to gain industry and business insights, network, share ideas, grow professionally and discover solutions to today’s challenges.

Purdue faculty will share results and insights from the Large Commercial Producer Survey by topic area. Each presentation will be followed by a panel debrief featuring industry experts.

Session Topics

The Large Commercial Producer Survey focuses on U.S. producers of: corn/soybeans, wheat/barley, cotton, fruit/nuts/vegetables, dairy, hogs and cattle. 

As in past Large Commercial Producer Surveys, our researchers placed a focus on:

  • Producer Strategies to help agribusinesses understand how to provide the right mix of strategies for an effective customer buying process;
  • Buying Preferences to learn about the impact of factors such as price, quality of service and relationship/trust on farmer preferences and if/how these factors convert to loyalty; and
  • Information and Salesperson Preferences to better understand farmer preferences regarding sources of information.

New in 2021, the survey also placed a large focus on e-commerce and sustainability.


With the increase of electronically-conducted agricultural transactions, this session will look at the research around farmer preferences of online buying and answer:

  • What experiences farmers have when buying online
  • What farmers’ attitudes are toward these experiences
  • What motivates farmers to purchase or not purchase online
  • If buyers make a distinction between shopping online and buying online 

Data/Tech Adoption and Sustainability

Focused on the opportunities for value creation in the supply chain using farm data, this discussion will cover farmers’ data collection and sharing practices, along with the barriers and opportunities of transferring data to downstream partners. Additionally, several food and agribusinesses are developing tools for collecting farm-level data on sustainability practices. This session will overview the opportunities and obstacles facing these tools, and survey results about farmer data collection/sharing and sustainability will be shared in regard to:

  • Farmers’ current data sharing practices
  • Sources of value from farm data
  • Incentives to increase farm data value and shareability
  • Farmer perception of costs and opportunities for improving sustainability data collection

Who Should Attend?

The National Conference for Food and Agribusiness 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 and receive a $150 discount/person. Get your team discount code by contacting Aissa Good at or 765-496-3884.

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.

Schedule at a Glance

Tuesday, November 2

7:30 am
Registration and Coffee

8:00 am
Welcome and Overview
Scott Downey and Dave Downey, Purdue University

8:30 a.m.
Opening Keynote: E-Commerce and Digital Agriculture

9:30 a.m.
Networking Break

10:00 a.m.
Producers’ Growth Expectation and Business Strategy
Allan Gray, Purdue University

11:00 a.m.
Producers’ Buying Behaviors and Preferences
Brady Brewer, Purdue University

12:00 p.m.
Networking lunch

1:00 p.m.
Sustainability and Conservation Practice Adoption
Carson Reeling and Meilin Ma, Purdue University

1:45 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Sustainability and Conservation Practices Adoption

2:45 p.m.
Refreshment Break

3:00 p.m.
Online Purchasing Preferences
Scott Downey, Purdue University

4:00 p.m.
Farmer Panel: Straight Talk Straight from Producers
Moderator: Dave Downey

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Networking Reception

Wednesday, November 3

8:00 a.m.
Stage Setting: Day 2

8:15 a.m.
Producer Technology Adoption and Data Use
Nate DeLay and Jim Mintert, Purdue University

9:00 a.m.
Technology and Data Use: Where is the Industry Going?
Mike DiPaola, Chief Commercial Officer, Taranis

10:00 a.m.
Refreshment Break

10:15 a.m.
Salespeople and Information Preferences
Scott Downey, Purdue University

11:15 a.m.
Roundtable Discussion: Reflection and Debate on the Implications
Brady Brewer, Purdue University

12:15 p.m.
Networking Lunch

1:15 p.m.
Roundtable Discussion Debrief
Brady Brewer, Purdue University

2:00 p.m.
Industry Panel: Deliberation on the Next Steps for Agriculture

3:00 p.m.
Closing Session
Michael Boehlje, Purdue University

3:30 p.m.

Travel and Information

*Effective Monday, August 2, 2021, Purdue University is requiring all individuals to wear a mask while inside on-campus buildings, regardless of vaccination status. This protocol will be enforced during all Center for Food and Agricultural Business programs until further notice.

Conference Location

Beck Agricultural Center
4550 US-52
West Lafayette, IN 47906


Lunch will be provided both days of the in-person sessions (Nov. 2-3). Coffee, soft drinks and refreshments will be available throughout each day as well.

What to Wear

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


All presentations will be made available following the conference.


A block of rooms has been secured at the Hilton Garden Inn West Lafayette November 1-3. You can click on this link to make your reservation, or if calling, please ask for the National Conference for Food and Agribusiness room rate of $115.00 per night (group code NC21). Room availability is first-come, first-served. All room rates are subject to local sales tax and occupancy taxes (12%).

Hilton Garden Inn
356 E. State Street, West Lafayette, Ind.
(765) 743-2100
Distance from Beck Agricultural Center: 8.9 miles

Directions and maps

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

You may also find the sites below helpful:
Purdue Visitor Information
Purdue Maps
Restaurant Guide

For more information, contact:

Danielle Latta
Senior 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.