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Local Extension conference aimed to help farmland owners stay competitive in current market

Pete Fandel presenting at a meeting

Modern agriculture is a complex, highly technical, and competitive business environment. In Central Illinois, a large percentage of farmland is owned by someone who does not farm the land and relies heavily on others to understand the details. University of Illinois Extension and Illinois Central College worked together to bring 24 agri‑business experts to the Farmland Owners Conference to allow local farmers and landowners to learn how to work together to improve the land’s profitability and their working relationship.

Over 190 landowners, farmers, and professionals attended the event on ICC’s East Peoria campus on November 20, 2023. Participants gained knowledge on how to better manage their farms through stewardship of the land as well as who to contact with questions on preserving their farm assets for future generations.

“The key to success is knowing how to best manage your farmland to stay economically competitive while also operating in an environmentally sound manner,” explained Kevin Brooks, Extension Educator serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties. “With Extension’s expansion of the state-wide agriculture team, our goal is to help farmers and land owners meet these needs.”

Conference Topics

  • Farmland Values
  • Farm Leases
  • Farmland Estate Planning
  • Cover Crops
  • Land Stewardship
  • Grain Marketing Outlook
  • Crop Insurance
  • Legal Issues
  • Weed Challenges
  • New Agriculture Technologies
  • Pipelines, Solar, and Wind
  • Soil Fertility
  • Climate and Farm Production
  • Land Surveys
  • USDA Programs
  • Crop Insurance
  • Farm Liability Insurance
  • Professional Farm Managers
  • Farmland Auctions
  • Farm Information Management

With the addition of local agriculture educators like Brooks, the farm public has easier access to University of Illinois research and recommendations, making our rural areas stronger and farms more profitable.

In addition to the speakers, participants were able to network with conference sponsors COUNTRY Financial, Pioneer, and Illinois Soybean Association, plus 16 additional vendors.


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Illinois Central College Professor Pete Fandel was one of 24 presenters at the 2023 Farmland Owners Conference in which 190 people gained valuable information to help them navigate the complex, highly technical, and competitive business environment of modern agriculture.

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.