The Agribusiness Council of Indiana gathered the best and brightest around the state last week to tackle major issues for agriculture in the year ahead.
The theme for this year’s ACI’s Conference was simple: big issues. big solutions. As farmers are presented with challenges, so too are the businesses that serve their operations says President Beth Bechdol.
“This is an opportunity with this program where we get to kind of showcase and put all of those issues on the table and let the agribusiness community in Indiana kind of debate, talk about, learn about what those issues have as far as impact on their businesses.”
From sustainability to innovation, Bechdol says agribusiness can be a juggling act.
“How do you manage through all of them? Because, right? They’re not all independent of one another and we’re not just dealing with one of them. We’re dealing with all of them, hitting us, drinking from the fire hose all at the same time.”
Bechdol says the ACI challenged each of their guest speakers not only to address industry issues, but to think creatively about solutions to the problems.
“It’s what do we need to do collectively? Not just as agribusiness, but with farmers, with our customers, with other parts of food and agriculture, with policymakers to figure out how we work more proactively through each one of these so they don’t feel like burdensome, cumbersome, ‘oh my gosh, the industry is under attack.’ We’re trying to really flip a lot of these issues around and focus on how we capitalize and take advantage of finding solutions to work through them.”
Five years ago, this conference drew right around 93 people. Bechdol is proud of the immense growth and willingness to collaborate in recent years – this year’s conference drew over 400 people from all facets of agriculture.
“We’ve really retooled, re-crafted, rebranded a lot of ways this particular conference to make it interesting and accessible and to have information that’s impactful for everybody in food and agriculture.”
Creating discussions for all sides of agriculture really took form this year with a market panel, discussions from Chris Novak at NCGA and even a talent pipeline session that showed agribusinesses what young talent is doing to mold themselves for the future of the industry.
You can get more information at www.inagribiz.org.