The 2019 Wisconsin Corn•Soy Expo marked the end of a notable year for many Wisconsin soybean, corn and pork producers. Despite the negative 25 degree temperatures, farmers, exhibitors and speakers from throughout the region gathered at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells January 31st and February 1st for two days of learning, networking and fun. With a nearly record-breaking number of attendees, speakers and exhibitors, this year’s event was a great opportunity to connect with fellow Midwest farmers.
Learning, networking and fun
The expo kicked off with keynotes from important figures in the agriculture industry. During her presentation, “The Talk vs. The Truth About Agriculture…Can We Win?,” Kim Bremmer, Owner of Ag Inspirations, discussed how the agriculture community can combat the spread of misinformation by taking time to educate the general public. Following, David Kohl, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management at Virginia Tech, presented on the current state of the US economy, politics and the steps farmers should take to effectively manage their operations during his keynote, “Straight Talk, Straight Actions: Agriculture in a Changing Economy.”
Later in the day, educational breakout sessions gave attendees the chance to learn more about topics applicable to their operational challenges. Breakout sessions such as “Cover Crops and Tillage Practices,” presented by Jason Cavadini and Heidi Johnson, provided research and best practices for improved on-farm sustainability. In addition, sessions like Rodrigo Werle’s “Waterhemp and Giant Ragweed Management from the Ground Up” provided tips for avoiding and managing the outcomes of serious crop diseases.
Perhaps most notably, Soybean and Wheat Extension Specialist at UW Madison, Shawn Conley, shared a few beers and opened the floor to attendee questions during his educational breakout session, “Coolbeans! A Beer and Bull Session with Conley et al.” Whether it was the promise of beer or Shawn’s reputation, this session was packed to the brim with engaged attendees. During the Q&A, both Shawn and his colleagues, Rodrigo Werle and Damon Smith, answered questions on a range of crop production topics.
The first day of the Corn•Soy Expo ended with a delicious meal at the Taste of Elegance. This event is a culinary competition designed to inspire innovative uses of pork. Attendees were able to watch the chefs and enjoy the final results of this friendly competition.
Save the date: February 6-7, 2020
This year’s Wisconsin Corn•Soy Expo was an event to remember and next year’s expo will be even bigger and better! The 2020 Wisconsin Corn•Soy Expo will be held in the Kalahari’s brand new convention center and promises even more opportunities to learn from and connect with leaders in the agriculture industry.