UT Martin to host 25th Agriculture Finance Conference

The 25th Mid-South Agricultural Finance Conference will be held Aug. 9 in the Watkins Auditorium in the Boling University Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Martin.

The conference is mutually hosted by the UT Martin Gilbert Parker Chair of Excellence and the Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking.

Featured speakers for this year’s conference will be:

• Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus from Virginia Tech, sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America

• Eric Snodgrass, principal atmospheric scientist for Nutrien Ag Solutions, sponsored by Nutrien

• Richard Brock, Brock & Associates

Kohl will kick off the 25th anniversary event by discussing some of the commonalities and un-commonalities of business success. Before unveiling these traits, he will take attendees on a journey globally with stops in China, India, Europe and the United States to provide a real-time insight on the economic fortunes of the future.

Dr. David Kohl has taken part in all 25 Mid-South Agriculture Finance Conferences and will be a featured speaker at this year’s conference, taking place Aug. 9 in Watkins Auditorium at UT Martin’s Boling University Center.

The Mid-South Agriculture Finance Conference was begun in 1998 by Sara Dunagan, the family founder of the Dunagan Chair of Excellence with a small group of lenders, producers and agricultural rural stakeholders. Today, it is the go-to summer event for the latest information for agricultural finance.

“It started with just 20 ag lenders,” said John Clark, the interim director of the Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking. “As it grew, Dr. Joey Melhorn (professor and dean of graduate studies in the UTM Department of Agriculture, Geoscience and Natural Resources) got involved 20 years ago and has been involved ever since.”

Clark added that over the years, 50% of the participants are people who are lending officers who deal with extending agriculture credit to agriculture businesses and producers.

“We have a lot of producers now who participate – 106 took part in last year’s conference,” he said. “Also, there are attorneys and real estate professionals. We’ve grown the audience and want to continue to grow the audience with individuals who have investments in agriculture.”

Clark said that seven high schools brought their FFA officers and chapter members to take part in last year’s conference.

For the last quarter-century, the Mid-South Agricultural Finance Conference has provided the most up-to-date and relevant information needed to grow agricultural bottom lines. 

The mission of the conference is to deliver high-quality, timely, practical financial tools and economic information to anyone with significant investments in agriculture. 

This conference has the most renowned and respected agricultural finance, economic, and weather experts in the U.S.

The annual conference attracts farmers, ag business owners, managers and family members who serve important roles in these operations, and is open to the public to attend.

Registration for this year’s conference will run through July 31. Registration information for the Mid-South Agriculture Finance Conference can be found at its page at www.utm.edu/agconference.

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