Local banks sponsoring Agricultural Business Conference


MENDOTA – First State Bank, Mendota, Pioneer State Bank, Earlville, and H.F. Gehant Banking Company of West Brooklyn announce a special conference for area farmers. The 20th Annual Community Bank Ag Conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 at the Mendota Civic Center.

Starting the program will be Kanlaya Barr, Senior Economist with John Deere & Company. Barr received her BA in Economics from Thammasat University, Thailand, Master of Economics and Master of Accounting from Iowa State University and her Ph. D. Economics from Iowa State University. Her presentation topic will be an economy perspective of today: Where are we? Where to next? She will cover progress in eradicating extreme poverty, key observations on current and agricultural economic conditions and where to go from here.

Following Barr will be Mark Schweitzer. Schweitzer is VP Economic Research for Archer Daniels Midland. He works with ADM business leaders to provide economic and market intelligence, and tools that enable better business and risk-management decision-making. With a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, his passion is helping develop the next generation of leaders through the FFA. His conference topic will be AG: The New Frontier. Schweitzer will also speak about the current supply and demand, and the future of agriculture.

The keynote speaker, back by popular demand, will be David Kohl, PH.D. Dr. Kohl received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. For 25 years, Kohl was Professor of Agricultural and Finance and Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. Kohl has addressed the American Bankers Agricultural Conference for 35 consecutive years, and has appeared before numerous state bankers’ schools and conferences in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and throughout the world. He has also been one of the top-rated instructors at the LSU and Colorado Graduate Schools of Banking, and is Chancellor of Farm Credit University, which has trained over 700 lenders using an online and face-to-face educational approach.

Area farmers are encouraged to contact any of the listed financial institutions prior to Saturday, Feb. 2, to confirm reservations for the event. ADM Grain Company, Mendota, and Holland & Sons, Inc., John Deere will serve as major co-sponsors of this event and will provide lunch for all those in attendance. First State Insurance will be sponsoring the morning coffee and donuts. Door prizes are being provided by several area businesses including Earlville Farmers Coop; Sublette Farmers Elevator Company; West Brooklyn Farmers Coop; Troy Grove Coop; Meriden Grain - Pioneer Seed Sales; Seedlink, LLC; Mendota Mutual Ins. Co.; Crop Production Services - Compton; Leffelman and Associates, Inc.; Peter Vaessen – Vaessen Implement and Repair, Inc.; Michael Vaessen – Sublette Mechanical; Wipfli; First State Insurance; Rodney Rod – Pioneer Seed Sales; Northern Partners Coop; Maplehurst Farms; Beck Oil Company; R-Equipment Co.; Sublette Toy Show; IL Fire Store; Norton Appraisals; Guilfoyle Law Firm; Vaessen Bros. Chevrolet; Cantlin Law Firm; Hornung Tiling, Inc.; Country Village Meats; Illinois Valley Cellular and Prescott Bros Inc. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram.