Farmer2Farmer is where the power of the FBN network comes to life—networking and building relationships to last generations, as well as special sessions, panels, consultations, tours and demos and the newest FBN products and special offerings available only at the show.
Even among all this, there were four big opportunities for farmers to dig into how they can take back control of their farms.
1. Crop Circles: In-person micro-networking
The cornerstone of FBN has always been a network of the most innovative farmers, coming together to share data and insights for better farm performance. At Farmer2Farmer, FBN members can connect, bringing the network effect to a peer-to-peer level. Members had an opportunity to join a Crop Circle, a small group of fellow premier farms to network, share ideas and develop individual and group goals. Think of it as an in-person, micro network and expert advisory board of elite operations, able to guide and push you to be your very best. Crop Circles discussed lessons learned, built personal and business networks in person, and gained new perspectives from each other's operations—helping to make the best better!
2. Five opportunities for free consultations to get business done
Our advisers give straightforward advice, leveraging anonymized and aggregated data from the 7,200+ farmers on the FBN network platform. Experts from across all of our product lines answered questions and helped farmers to plan and and determine the right products, inputs and opportunities to suit your strategies. There were five opportunities for free consultations at Farmer2Farmer IV:
- Crop marketing: Sessions with one of our expert Farm Marketing Advisor on how harvest went for you this year, how and when you plan to market what you’ve got, and your crop production and marketing plans for next season.
- Crop planning: Working with an expert to get an inventory list of products and volumes to purchase, revenue estimates, cost estimates and ROI analysis to put yourself in the best position to succeed this season.
- Crop insurance: Making sure you have the right coverage to protect your bottom line. Many farmers find they are overpaying on premiums, or under-compensating for risk. When's the last time you got a second opinion on your crop insurance?
- Health insurance: Bringing farmers more choice around their healthcare options with plans that are designed for them—straightforward, affordable and reliable health benefits with best-in-class service when you need it most.
- Organic production: We walked farmers through how organics could improve profits and diversification, as well as the impact of rampant consumer demand on price premiums, managing key challenges in organic production, and what organics (and the transition process) look like.
There is no cost for FBN members to attend Farmer2Farmer, and all of these consultations with our experts remain free to members now.
3. Ag Startup Competition reveals what’s coming next in ag
We launched a startup competition at Farmer2Farmer IV to showcase the latest in agriculture innovation to our farmer members, and to give startups the opportunity to get exposure and real-time feedback from their target customers, farmers. More than 70 companies ag startup companies entered to pitch their ideas, which we narrowed down to the best and most innovative, representing practical technologies that could provide real solutions for on-farm challenges. A panel of judges, including farmers, media, investors and the FBN product team selected Augean Robotics (AGR) and their Burro autonomous robot. The audience choice award went to Rogo Ag for their robotic soil sampling platform.
4. More than 55 speakers talking about the future of ag
From seed and input costs to crop marketing, crop insurance, technology, social media on the farm, women’s leadership, no-till and regenerative systems, healthcare on the farm, and more, Farmer2Farmer IV featured more than 55+ speakers, panelists experts, farmers and leaders around these topics. With this year's weak prices, trade volatility and industry consolidation, family farms are fighting for control of their future and independence. Now more than ever, farmers must take control of their markets, their costs and their business model to control their destiny—we’re facilitating challenging conversations and sharing opportunities for farmers to connect around how, where and when these new markets, tactics and technologies can be used today to help “future-proof” your farm.