AMP Summer Webinar Series

There’s never been a better time to start taking steps towards a more secure future for your farm. The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) soybean checkoff’s Agribusiness Management Program presents a free webinar series featuring advice from agribusiness experts on topics like succession planning, grain marketing and more. Find more information on each session below.

AMP Summer Webinar Recordings

Miss out on the live webinars? Want to share with a friend? We've got you covered. All AMP webinars have been recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Expand the titles below for brief descriptions and links to the videos.

AMP Webinar Series Brought to You in Collaboration with Our Partners

AMP Summer Webinars - Dates and Speakers

July 8: Opening and Keynote Webinar 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. CT

Difference Makers - How to Run the Farm Like a Business

Good farm managers get strong yields, manage crop risk, and maintain the operation from year to year. Great ones scrutinize data, think in four dimensions, and effectively communicate their farm businesses to a variety of audiences. Hear from farm finance experts Zack Carpenter and Jackson Takach on these difference makers and more that can take your farm from good to great.

Jackson Takach, Chief Economist and Head of Strategy, Research and Analytics, Farmer Mac

A Kentucky native with strong ties to agriculture, Jackson Takach joined the Farmer Mac team in 2005 and has worked in the strategy, research, credit and underwriting departments. He is the lead author and creator of The Feed, Farmer Mac’s quarterly publication on the agricultural sector, and holds an MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University.

Zachary N. Carpenter, Executive Vice President – Chief Business Officer, Farmer Mac

Zack Carpenter leads the vision, development and go-to-market strategy of the Farmer Mac brand, as well as the company’s agribusiness activities for its foundational lines of business that provide agricultural lenders across the country with financial solutions and effective risk mitigation tools that allow farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses access to flexible and affordable credit. Zack earned a bachelor of science degree in economics with a concentration in corporate finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA with specializations in corporate finance, accounting and business law from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

July 15: Double Webinar 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. CT & 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. CT

Horror Stories of Farm Succession Planning and How to Do Better

This session will use real-life examples to help us learn from past mistakes made by farm families. Estate and farm succession planning are often avoided because of the uncomfortable conversations or legal fees that accompany them. But without a proper plan in place there can be unpleasant consequences and feuding family members that pull the farm apart and generate a lot of heartache and expense. We will also explore issues that arise when a plan is out of date. Remarriage, divorce, children’s shares of the farm—all these situations need to be accounted for in succession planning.

Polly Dobbs, Dobbs Legal

Raised on a farm in Miami County, Polly Dobbs worked at a law firm in Indianapolis for 12 years before returning home to her family farm with her husband and two children. She is passionate about helping farm families avoid the pitfalls of estate planning by focusing on the efficient transfer of their land, buildings and equipment to the next generation. Dobbs graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and is currently an attorney and owner of Dobbs Legal Group, LLC in Peru, Indiana.

Fun with the “T” Word

Let’s talk taxes! We all must address this issue on a yearly basis, so this session will aim to take the frustration and fear out of the equation. Topics will include what is new, different and unique about taxes in 2019 and 2020, and the pros and cons of using entity structures to change our tax situations.

Jessie Shoopman and Emily Carls, Illinois FBFM Field Staff

Jessie Shoopman and Emily Carls are Illinois FBFM Field Staff serving producers in Western Illinois. They provide farm business consulting, tax planning, financial statement review and analysis, education and outreach. Both were raised on livestock and row crop operations in Western Illinois. Jessie received her master’s in accountancy from the University of Illinois – Springfield. After graduating college, Jessie worked for a large accounting firm in St. Louis but felt the pull to get closer to home. Since August 2013, Jessie has worked with farm owners and operators as an Illinois FBFM Field Staff. Emily earned a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness and master’s in agriculture economics from Kansas State University, where her research focused on analysis factors that affected net farm incomes. Upon completion of her degree Emily moved back to Illinois and started working for Illinois FBFM where she has worked since January 2019.

July 22: Double Webinar 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. CT & 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. CT

Corn and Soybean Outlook

This presentation discusses the fundamental drivers of supply and demand for corn and soybean markets for the upcoming marketing year. A detailed discussion of topics will provide a clearer picture of the impact on market fundamentals and prices. The implications for marketing year average prices as well as the likely pattern of prices over the next year will be discussed.

Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois, ACE – Clinical Assistant Professor, Agricultural Commodity Markets

Todd Hubbs is an Agricultural Economist at the University of Illinois. His work focuses on commodity price outlook, risk management and price forecasting of agricultural sector variables. Todd received a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Purdue University.

Twenty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Twenty-One

This session will include observations, advice and life lessons from the School of Hard Knocks, learned from someone who has been around Illinois agriculture for a long time.

Paul Stoddard, University of Illinois, ACE, Senior Lecturer

Paul Stoddard is a senior lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer
Economics at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where he teaches courses in agricultural marketing, food and agribusiness management, personal financial planning and farm management. Paul is a resident of Monticello, Illinois, where he grew up on the family farm. In addition to his academic duties Paul operates a consulting, brokerage, management and appraisal business specializing in agricultural real estate.

July 29: Double Webinar 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. CT & 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. CT

Planning Strategies for the Farmer’s Toolbox

As the average age of producers continues to rise, the topic of conversation turns towards succession of the farm and the next generation of leaders. This panel discussion dives into what tools are available for producers throughout every stage of their career.

Brooke Starks, Meyer Capel Law Firm

Brooke Didier Starks is a shareholder attorney with the law firm of Meyer Capel in Champaign, Illinois, where she focuses her expertise on wills and trusts, wealth preservation, and farm and business succession to serve her clients. Planted firmly in the fertile Midwest, she especially enjoys counseling her clients in the ag sector. Brooke welcomes the opportunity to travel to speak to groups on a variety of topics. Audiences enjoy her down-to-earth approach to hard topics and she will likely be found using energy, humor and authenticity to facilitate her sessions. Brooke earned her B.A. from Monmouth College and her J.D. from the University of Illinois.

Kent Leesman, Illinois FBFM Field Staff

Currently employed as part of the Illinois FBFM field staff, Kent Leesman grew up on a family farm near Hartsburg, Illinois. He serves over 130 full-time farm accounts in southeast Logan County and serves on the Illinois FBFM leadership team as an area manager. Prior to FBFM, Leesman was a technical marketing representative for Caterpillar. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in crop science and agricultural business.

Look Beyond Cash Rent: Growing Your Leased Acres with Farm Managers and Investors

Growing your farm operations through leased acreage is more than winning a cash rent auction. This session will help you think about how to position your farm to be the farmer and counterparty of choice for farm managers and farmland investors. Presenting your farm operation and story, developing relationships with professional managers, and understanding the value you can bring beyond yield are all key to continuing to grow your operation. Learn more about what these opportunities can offer for your farm and how to pursue them.

Jonah Kolb, Moore & Warner

Jonah Kolb is Managing Member of Moore & Warner Ag Group, LLC in Clinton, Illinois, and manages its brokerage and farm management subsidiary Moore & Warner Farm Real Estate, LLC. Jonah leads business development and consulting initiatives, working with private and institutional investors to build direct farmland portfolios. He also advises start-ups, and private equity and venture capital funds pursuing opportunities in production agriculture and agribusiness. Jonah holds an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University where he was an Austin Scholar, and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College.

August 5: Wrap-Up and Keynote Webinar 10:00 am - 11:15 am CT

Planning for Success: G.R.I.T.

Farm families have long been respected for their hard work ethic. Today’s challenges require that plus G.R.I.T.—a grind to succeed, relationships that boost performance, innovation to create solutions, and talent to perform in business and production. This presentation will review the current farm financial condition and using G.R.I.T. to win the day.

Bob Rhea, Illinois FBFM Interim CEO

Bob Rhea has assisted farmers with accounting, tax and consulting services in West-Central Illinois through the Illinois FBFM Association since July 1, 1984. He prepares over 550 tax returns annually, completes business analysis reports each year for farm families, and prepares detailed financials for larger farm operations along with making approximately 300 farm business visits each year. As an instructor for the University of Illinois Tax School, Bob presents at farm and tax update seminars reaching an audience of over 1,500 tax preparers. Formal education includes degrees from John Wood Community College, Western Illinois University and the University of Illinois.

We'd like to thank our AMP Summer Webinar Series sponsors

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