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Continuing to run a business is not without risk, but the Delaware Farm Bureau (DEFB) and the University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension are hoping to make that a little easier to come by for farmers in the First State. 

Now in its second year, the Risk Management Conference focuses on information farmers need to minimize the risks in their industry. This free event is scheduled for Monday, March 4 from 8-4 p.m. at the Harrington Fire Hall. 

Kent County Farm Bureau President Jim Minner said events like these can provide business-saving information to farmers from around the region. 

“The Risk Management Conference is a definite win. People really should be involved in that. The way this economy is right now, there’s no room for error so you need to have your toolbox full of ammunition so you know when you’re going to strike and what your bottom line is so you know when you’re making a profit,” he said. 

“I think anybody that’s dealing with any kind of commodities that we’re going to discuss will benefit. You’ll get a lot of things out of this conference. We discuss the world outlook and that’s something that not everybody is on the up and up on. For example, we’ll discuss shipping and trade updates and how it really does affect everybody. It can be overwhelming, but that’s what the Risk Management Conference is for so we can understand these world events so we know what we’re going to do and we can make plans. If it’s going to affect my bottomline, I need to know how to handle that,” Minner added. 

Topics for this year’s event include: 

  • 2024 Commodity Crop Enterprise Budgets
  • USDA Farm Services Agency Update
  • USDA Risk Management Agency Update
  • Fertilizer Market Update
  • Grain Market Update
  • Dryland Yield Modelling for Crop Insurance
  • Delaware Solar Farm Development Update

“This event highlights the power of an industry-based organization. The Farm Bureau not only works to educate the public, but our farmers, as well. It’s important to get together and remember the risks of our work and how to navigate that in our everyday practices. This conference is a great opportunity to do just that,” DEFB Executive Director Don Clifton said. 

Nathaniel Bruce, Farm Business Management Specialist at the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension’s Georgetown office, said this conference makes a difference in how farmers move forward in Delaware’s agriculture industry. 

“It’s an event that the Delaware Farm Bureau and Cooperative Extension came together last year for because there were a lot of questions in agriculture with the way input costs and grain prices were. . . there was just a lot of uncertainty. That hasn’t changed really in the last year because what’s going on in the farming economy is different from year to year,” Bruce said. 

The hope, he added, is that the conference gives producers more information on production risks such as markets, returns, money and crop insurance to name a few and where each of those topics are headed for the year. 

“We want to give them the tools before they get into planning so they know what they’re getting into for the year,” he said. “I hope when they leave, they go home and wonder, ‘Am I doing that on my operation currently,’ or, ‘How do I improve on my operation?’ I think in farming, in general, a lot of those skills are handed down from generation to generation. So a lot of producers don’t have that experience where they’re getting new information or going to a class on business management.”

Both groups hope producers come out of the event with a new perspective on just that and feel better equipped for the year ahead. 

“Last year, we covered so many facets of marketing that are crucial to running a successful business. The marketing was presented in a way that the layman could understand. Somebody that is not fully up on it, they really could understand the information presented last year,” Minner said. “Anybody who doesn’t understand marketing and world events in our current ag economy could be in peril because they can’t make plans and that’s what we want to address.”

To register for this free event, visit www.defb.org or call the DEFB state office at 302-697-3183. For questions, contact Nathaniel Bruce at nsbruce@udel.edu or 302-362-7619.

Post Author: Jenn Antonik

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