Industry Calendar

Event Details

Resilient Farms Conference
Dec. 12 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
December 12, 2019 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Program Features
Opening Keynote, Tom Arnold, Arnold’s Farm
Tom Arnold is a 4th generation farmer on a diversified livestock farm in Northwestern Illinois. Tom grew up as many Midwestern farm kids did, helping in his family’s multi-faceted operation that included milking cows, feeding out dairy steers, farrow to finishing hogs, tending a large flock of laying hens, and raising all feed for these animals. After high school, he went on to the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, pursued a 10 year career in performance music, and eventually ended up as operations manager of a regional food service distributor in San Diego, CA. In early 1988, Tom returned to the family farm and developed a direct – to – consumer meat sales enterprise to add value to the established livestock business. Tom’s wife, Jessica, and their three children have all been involved to various degrees on the farm as it continues to serve a growing base of customers choosing to connect directly to sources of locally raised food.

2019 Resilient Farms Presentation Topic and Summary:
What Was He Thinking!? One Man’s Perspective on Developing Alternative Enterprises.
Ever wonder how people find a path to pursue? How do they think outside the box? Often just hearing another person’s story will trigger fresh ideas to an old problem. 4th generation farmer Tom Arnold relays thoughts on his journey to add value to a traditional Midwestern livestock farm. He will describe his family’s history, influences that shaped his life, and what he thinks people should look for in developing a path to follow their own dreams.

Speed Breakout Sessions
In these fast-paced, 20-minute breakout sessions you will hear from peers and experts on ideas and best practices in creating resiliency.
Value-added dairy
Marketing new opportunities with a focus on hemp
Legal issues
Understanding your farm’s unique assets
Income from woodlands
Resiliency in cash crops
Grant opportunities
Leasing options
Intensive Topic Breakout Sessions
A deeper dive with 50-minute interactive breakout sessions.
• Farm financials, Paul Dietmann, Compeer Financial
• Direct marketing 101, Lois Federman, WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
• Creating a practical commodity marketing plan
• Succession planning for the incoming generation, Joy Kirkpatrick, UW Center for Dairy Profitability

Industry Trade Show
*Only available on-site at the Kalahari.
Connect with industry organizations to learn more about how they can support you in your farm’s journey to long-lasting resiliency.

Curbside Consultants
*Only available on-site at the Kalahari.
Sign up for one-on-one time with experts to talk specifics about your farm and get your questions answered. Experts will be available to talk about:

Business planning
Farm diversification assessment
Crop and dairy insurance
Direct to consumer marketing
Value-added processing
Financial analysis

Enterprise Matching Tool
Local Food Processing Guide
Business Planning Tools
Local Food Marketing Guide
Financial Worksheets and Tools
Local Industry Resources
Panel Discussion: Create your Resiliency Plan.

After a day full of ideas and resources, what do you do now? Our panel of farmers and industry experts will address what you can do over the next 90 days to keep the momentum going and develop a full resiliency plan for your farm. Panel to be moderated by Pam Jahnke, Farm Director, Farm Report.

What to Expect
Fast Pace. We provide quick bursts of exposure to a wide range of topics. Our goal is to keep you moving and thinking; you never know what nugget of information you’ll find in a surprising field.

We know you’ll find sessions you’ll want to spend more time in than we have on the agenda. Make note of those speakers and peer connections and follow up with them later. As organizers, we’re always happy to help make connections.

Action. Going to a conference is invigorating and you’ll leave with a notebook full of brilliant notes and an incredible new network of people. Be sure to stick around for the last session of the day where you’ll begin to put together a real action plan to keep those notes from collecting dust.

Access to recorded sessions and presentations. Focus on taking notes that are meaningful to you. Sessions will be recorded and presentations will be available following the event so you can go back and review any details you may have missed.