More than 690 country elevator managers, their key employees and those who supply goods and services to the industry have preregistered to attend the 40th anniversary edition of the NGFA's Country Elevator Conference.
Widely known as the 'meeting of the year' for country elevators and grain merchants, the event is scheduled for Dec. 11-13 in Chicago, Ill., at the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.
The day-and-a-half conference and trade show will feature business-focused sessions on the most important topics and issues confronting the industry in 2012.
Keynote speaker is former two-term Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who served as the state’s top official from 2003-11 and is a former country elevator manager and NGFA Country Elevator Committee member.
Perdue, now founding partner of Perdue Partners LLC, Atlanta, Ga., will offer his perspectives on top national policy issues and how the industry can better shape policy outcomes at the national and state levels. He also will share additional insights during an NGFA Grain and Feed PAC breakfast preceding his keynote address on Dec. 12.
Bankruptcy MF Global Inc
Also on Dec. 12, a special session on the MF Global Inc. bankruptcy will feature CME Group Chief Operating Officer Bryan Durkin and bankruptcy attorney George Angelich from the NGFA’s outside law firm of Arent Fox, New York, N.Y.
Durkin will provide an update on the exchange’s activities in the aftermath of the bankruptcy and its plans for reviewing potential changes that may be needed to better protect customer-segregated funds. Meanwhile, Angelich will update the status of the bankruptcy trustees’ actions and what country elevators and others with customer funds still not reimbursed should consider doing to protect their business interests.
The global and US economic outlook will be the topic addressed by Scott Colbert, director of fixed income management and senior economist at Commerce Bank of North America, St. Louis, Missouri.
New food and feed safety law
Meanwhile, the impact of the new food and feed safety law on country elevators and other grain-handling and processing operations will be discussed by one of the lead Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials involved in implementing the law – Dr. Dan McChesney, director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, Rockville, Md.
The Dec. 12 program will conclude with an informative and entertaining session featuring author Mark Stein.
The author of the New York Times’ best-seller – “How the States Got Their Shapes” that became the basis of a History Channel series of the same name – will share how the jigsaw-puzzle layout of the United States emerged, focusing on how agriculture and the need for transportation service literally shaped the states.
The half day on Wednesday will be filled with topics such as; The Market Outlook for 2012; Weather and Climate Change, and Their Impacts on US and World Agriculture; Managing commercialization of biotechcCrops and finally: Preparing for an OSHA Inspection – Your Rights and Obligations.
In addition, NGFA Chairman Hal Reed, president of the Grain and Ethanol Group at The Andersons, Maumee, Ohio, will discuss the NGFA’s top policy priorities for 2012.