December 22, 2017

General Sessions

Luncheon and Keynote: Responding to the Threat to Distribution

As a manufacturer of specialized products, do you worry about your distribution channel?
The traditional tractor-dealer distribution channel for shortline manufacturers remains under threat by consolidation, OEM dealer policies, globalization, and technology.  In this interactive session, we’ll discuss distribution options, how to add more value to farmers & rural lifestylers, and ways to reinforce your traditional channels.

George Russell (far left) and Doug Griffin will team up to talk about what’s happening in the farm equipment marketplace and how members can respond. Russell founded Machinery Advisors Consortium, which provides consulting, training, coaching and best practice dealer group leadership. Griffin is a principal at Context Network, a global agribusiness consulting firm. He has worked in the agriculture space for 30 years.

General Session: Ag Economy

Jim Mintert, Purdue University

Jim Mintert, Ph.D., is a professor and extension economist in the Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics. He serves as director of Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. Mintert also leads the team that produces the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly sentiment index designed to provide a nationwide measure of the U.S. ag economy’s health. He will share with members in Omaha both a data analysis and personal insights into what lies ahead for the agriculture economy.

Mintert will lead a general session discussion at 10:30 a.m. Thursday

General Session: Technology in Manufacturing

Mark Sumner, Acieta

Mark Sumner is national sales manager for Acieta, an industrial automation plant. Acieta has installed more than 4,200 robotics systems in manufacturing plants in North America. Sumner will discuss the state of automation in manufacturing. After his 10 a.m. talk on Friday, Acieta will host a plant tour at its facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa.



Purchasing Track

Sue German, President of APICS Arkansas Chapter

Sue German, president of the APICS chapter in Arkansas, returns this year to again offer purchasing agents a session that provides three hours of professional credits. German will discuss the impact of technology in purchasing, blockchain technology, risk management, and how to recruit and develop candidates.



Breakout Sessions

Healthcare and Tax Reform

Ed Fensholt, Lockton Companies & Dave Burger, KCoe Isom

The U.S. Department of Labor has released a proposed rules for association health plans. The rules could reshape how we think about association-based health insurance and open the door to association-based health coverage that crosses trade or industry lines. Ed Fensholt, JD, and Shannon Demaree, an actuary, will talk to members in Omaha about what the plan may mean for their businesses.

Fensholt and Demaree represents Lockton Companies, a commercial insurance, risk management, and employee benefits company. Fensholt is a senior vice president and the director of Compliance Services for Lockton, which is an Association member company. Demaree is senior vice president and director of strategic consulting. She leads the company’s association health plan practice.

Dave Burger is from member company KCoe Isom. He will help members make sense of the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Expect Burger to focus on pieces of the law most relevant to the industry and respond to questions. Burger is a CPA who focuses on agricultural manufactures and guides family-run businesses in seizing opportunities and avoiding mishaps as they evolve and grow. He has a deep knowledge of tax programs specific to manufacturing.

Fensholt and Burger speak during a breakout session at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Product Liability

Greg Pellegrom, Sr., Sentry Insurance 

What would your customers do with your product. . .
if you didn’t tell them what to do?

Greg Pellegrom is a senior safety consultant with Association partner Sentry Insurance. He provides safety consultation services to policy holders in the Sentry/Farm Equipment Manufacturers Product Liability Insurance Program.

As product liability lawsuits and their related cost continues to grow, manufacturers must continue to warn and instruct in manuals, collateral materials, safety signs and in social media.

A product liability lawsuit can cripple your enterprise and severely harm your brand.  An effective Product Safety Program can increase user safety through accident prevention while reducing the potential for liability.  Greg will speak about the basis for product liability lawsuits and the prevention of user harm.

Pellegrom leads this breakout session at 9 a.m. Thursday.