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SDSU Extension to host Precision Ag Conference Feb. 15

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension and area partners will host the 18th Annual Precision Ag Conference in Huron on Feb. 15, 2017. The event will be held at the Huron Event Center (100 4th St SW) and begins at 8 a.m. with registration.

"This conference was designed to bring research and industry together to highlight new technologies and farm management in precision agriculture," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

Gared Shaffer, SDSU Agronomy Weeds Field Specialist, said he hopes the change in venue will draw in some new participants. "The conference has been held in Aberdeen for the last 17 years. We are hoping to reach some producers and students who have not been able to attend in the past."

The theme for this year's conference is Precision Ag Economics. Invited speakers will discuss return on investment in precision ag technologies, grain marketing, nutrient management with low commodity prices, and other related topics.

Edwards and Shaffer are on the conference planning committee which also includes: Aaron Franzen, SDSU Precision Ag Assistant Professor; Brent Weisenburger, South Dakota Wheat Growers; Curtis Jandel, North Central Farmers Elevator; and Rick Hansen, Precision Ag Solutions.

Pre-registration is $30 per person if received prior to Feb. 13, 2017. After Feb. 13or at the door, registration will be $35 per person. Registration can be found at

Event schedule:

8 a.m. Registration, trade show open

8:30 a.m. Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist

9:30 a.m. Kraig Schultz, Autonomous Tractor Co.

10:00 a.m. Break, Trade show

10:30 a.m. Jim Mintert, Purdue University Agriculture Economics

11:00 a.m. Precision Agriculture Farmer Panel

11:30 a.m. Jessica Michalski, USDA Conservation Stewardship Program

Noon Lunch

1 p.m. Elaine Kub, Mastering the Grain Markets

2 p.m. Break, Trade show

2:30 p.m. Break out #1

3 p.m. Break out #2

3:30 p.m. Door Prize Drawings

Break out sessions will include presentations by several industry representatives. This year's sessions will highlight new technologies from John Deere, Intelligent Ag Solutions, Butler Machinery, Ag Leader and Precision Planting. Attendees will be able to visit with the companies in small groups to hear about their latest products.

Speaker information

Jim Mintert, is a professor and extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. Mintert serves as director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture. Mintert joined Purdue's faculty in 2009 and served as the assistant director of Extension for agriculture and natural resources before taking on his director responsibilities at the Center.

Prior to his time at Purdue, Mintert spent 23 years at Kansas State University where he was a professor, livestock marketing economist and Extension state leader in the Department of Agricultural Economics. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University and a doctorate from the University of Missouri.

Elaine Kub, is the author of "Mastering the Grain Markets: How Profits Are Really Made" - a 360-degree look at all aspects of grain trading, which draws on her experiences as a futures broker, market analyst, grain merchandiser and farmer.

Before earning an engineering degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and a Master's of Business Administration from the University of California San Diego, Kub grew up on a family farm in South Dakota, where she is still active in grain and livestock production.

Along with sharing her ag market insights on television and various farm radio programs, Kub also focuses on quantitative analysis in a regular column for DTN The Progressive Farmer.

Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist has worked with SDSU Extension for nearly 30 years. He also spent two years as lab manager for AgLab Express of Sioux Falls. Bly has a farm near Garretson, S.D.

Kraig Schultz, has been a management consultant, advising executive teams at both large-cap and emerging growth companies for nearly 20 years. He started his career in sales and marketing at Ogilvy and Mather and then joined the partnership at Marakon Associates and Leerink Swann.

Schultz ran Leerink Swann's consulting business for several years and then joined Ernst and Young as a partner in New York focused on supporting transactions (M&A, financing emerging growth companies, divestitures, etc.) He advised dozens of companies on transactions, finance, R&D and commercial operations. Schulz also spent four years in the Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa, teaching agricultural practices and construction.

He was a founding investor in ATC in 2012 and has worked with the company since its inception. Mr. Schulz holds a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arizona.