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American Society of Agricultural Consultants (ASAC)
Tomorrow’s Agriculture…Today: Annual Meeting Of The American Society Of Agricultural Consultants

Tomorrow’s Agriculture…Today: Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural Consultants

Annual Meeting CollageJoin us in Memphis, Tennessee, November 1-3, for our annual meeting! Now you can reserve your spot online for the first time. Just fill out the following form and complete payment using the button at the bottom of the page.

Click here to see the agenda. (Download the full agenda in PDF format or download our 1-page Agenda-at-a-glance.)

Get information on hotel accommodations here.

(You can also register by mail if you print, complete, and return this form.) Please complete the online registration form so we have your contact information right away, even if you intend to pay by mail.





Sunday, November 1

11:00 AM – Registration Opens

2:00 PM – ASAC Board of Directors Meeting (Open to all)

4:00 PM – Strategic Planning Brainstorming Session (Open to all)
The board is seeking member input in a number of areas, including:

    Membership & Member Recruitment
    Value of Certification

5:30 PM – Networking Dinner (Open to all)

Monday, November 2

7:00 AM – Breakfast

8:00 AM – Jamie Eichorn, Head of Technical Services, Syngenta (Read bio).
Title: What’s your field footprint? A case study in sustainable agriculture
Synopsis: Growing more crops using fewer resources is not only good for the environment, it’s good for farm productivity and for business prosperity. Learn how data, collaboration, measurement and management strategies are leading to innovation, productivity and sustainability on the farm. Jamie Eichorn, head of Technical Services for Syngenta in North America, will share the story of some growers who are outperforming in their fields and in the marketplace.

9:00 AM – Nick Braden, Sales Lead Eastern US, Precision Planting
Title: Farming from here forward
Synopsis: Precision Agriculture continues to expand at a rapid pace. We will talk about where we are today and how we see farming from here forward using technological advancements.

10:00 AM – Bill Zweigbaum (Read bio).
Title: New Operational Guidelines
Synopsis: Review of regulations that affect management and financial decisions on farm operations.

11:00 AM – Todd Doehring
Title: Financial Regulations

Noon – Past Presidents’ Luncheon

1:00 PM – Dr. Jim McLaren (Read bio).
Title: Key Technology Advances in Agriculture

Synopsis: For the past 100 years, science and technology have allowed the creation of a more secure and convenient lifestyle, with high levels of mobility, enhanced network communications, and a continuously improving food supply. Some say that life has never been so good while others yearn for the romantic notions of the “old ways”. There has always been debate about the advantages and the potential dangers of new technologies and that struggle between progress and fear of the future may be a human characteristic that will continue. However, we find ourselves in a time where 10 billion people struggling with each other for a declining amount of finite resources looks to be a possible future.
The data clearly shows that crop yield has continually increased, and crop protection has dramatically improved, allowing a higher overall level of food production, with more efficient use of resources. Will that continue?

While genetics and engineering have made significant contributions, biotechnology has been a large part of the improvements over the past 30 years. Some reports conclude that biotechnology has now gathered the low hanging fruit and progress has stopped. Others point to a host of new technologies, some within biotechnology itself, that will result in further amazing improvements. This presentation will focus on the status of crop production, the pros and cons of technology applications, the myths and realities, the new advances that have been made, and the extent to which these can fulfill the needs of the next 50 years. If we can’t find a solution then what will the outcome be?

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2:30 PM – Roy Ferguson, CMC/CAC (Read bio).
Title: Nine Financial Requirements for Consistently Profitable Operations

4:00 PM – Paige Gilligan (Read bio).
Title: Have You Been Hacked Yet?

Synopsis: Three areas that should make you think twice about your information systems: security breaches, increased pressures from the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and good old fashion hackers.  Why should I be concerned with information loss?  Will small business need to act like big business in the world of cyber security?  This is one question that is yet to be answered.

6:00 PM – Banquet

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Tuesday, November 3

7:00 AM – Breakfast Session: Dr. Regina Wixon, South Dakota Ag Labs

8:00 AM – Bill Helming (Read bio).
Title: The Economic and Financial Outlook for U.S. Agriculture
Synopsis: U.S. farmers, livestock producers and most Ag lenders (bankers) are today typically underestimating the financial, economic, commodity market and farmland value risks that prevail now and that will likely prevail in the months and years ahead.

9:30 AM – John Roach
Title: US Markets Outlook

11:00 AM – Robert Mehrle
Title: Developing Your Practice

Noon – State of the Society Lunch
Norm Brown, ASAC President

1:30 PM – Sam Bartee (Read bio).
Title: ASAC’s Core Ethics: Keeping Focus Amid Our Daily “Whirlwinds”

Synopsis: We will review and explore ASAC’s core ethic statements as they become tested in today’s fast paced working environment.

2:30 PM – ASAC Business Meeting

4:00 PM – ASAC Annual Meeting Adjourns

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Jamie Eichorn

Jamie Eichorn is head of Technical Services for Syngenta in North America. In this role, Jamie is responsible for coordinating the development of the Syngenta technology and innovation story, working with the company’s 70-plus agronomists and communicating the value of Syngenta’s broad portfolio to key external and internal stakeholders.

Prior to his current appointment in February 2014, Jamie was head of Specialty Crops. He has held a variety of sales and marketing roles over his 20-year career with Syngenta and legacy companies, including customer marketing head, brand manager, crop manager, district sales manager, sales trainer and sales representative.
Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration for agriculture from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. He is based at Syngenta’s Greensboro, N.C, facility.

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Bill Zweigbaum

Bill provides services to client-members in the areas of business transfer, budgeting, tax planning, estate planning, business organization, labor management, diversification, expansion and profit-maximizing strategies. He specializes in dairy industry analysis and heads up the Dairy Benchmark® program evaluating profitable dairy management on a group of farms that produce 2.5% of the total U.S. milk supply.

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Dr. Jim McLaren

Dr. Jim McLaren is the Founder and President of StrathKirn Inc., a 20-year old consulting firm based around new technologies and emerging markets, ranging from primary crop production inputs to downstream value-chain impacts, with a special focus on biotechnology and its applications to improve global food production.

Originally from a farm in Scotland, Jim obtained his B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Aberdeen and his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from the University of Nottingham, England. An initial academic career in the UK was followed by various industry positions in Belgium and the US, where he managed a number of leading-edge research programs followed by several product development roles with global responsibility.

Jim has over 40 peer-reviewed publications, several US and international patents, and has made over 400 presentations on new technologies in agriculture. He is also a member of several Advisory Boards and has been a competitive grant reviewer for the USDA, the DOE, the corn and sorghum check-off programs, and the Missouri Life Sciences Trust Fund.

Jim and Anne have lived in St. Louis since 1984, have four boys in various careers, and are active in leadership of local organizations including the St Andrew Society, The St Louis Scottish Games, and Forest Hills Golf Club.
More information at

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Roy Ferguson, CMC/CAC

Roy is the president of The Ferguson Group, which has 11 associates in eight states. Specializes in business turnarounds, strategic planning for expansion, and market penetration. Is both a Certified Management Consultant and a Certified Agricultural Consultant. Served clients in 60 different types of industries, businesses, and professions located in 42 states, Canada, and abroad. Pioneered financial ratio/index guideline procedures for analyzing and managing agricultural firms, Roy is a certified agricultural consultant.

Successful Farming magazine stated…”Roy Ferguson is U.S. agriculture’s financial evangelist.” He has conducted financial management workshops to more than 33,000 attendees throughout the U.S. and Canada. Roy is a former director, officer, & president of ASAC, and currently a director. In 2013, he was selected as one of four ASAC members who have made the greatest impact on the organization during its 50-year history.

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Paige Gilligan

Paige Gilligan was born and raised in a rural setting in the Midwest, but now resides in the Central Valley of California. For the past six years, Paige and her family have called Fresno home. She is currently employed as a senior vice president for Rabobank, N.A. and is the Director of Collateral Valuation and Field Services. In Paige’s current position, she is charged with the oversight of collateral risk for the bank. This includes all residential, commercial, and agricultural appraisal and environmental due diligence along with the oversight of personal property collateral verifications and crop inspection needs for agricultural and commercial clients. Maintaining independence throughout the due diligence process is a main focal point for Paige in her daily activities.

Prior to joining Rabobank, Paige managed her own agricultural consulting firm in Arizona for many years. The company’s main areas of service were collateral verification, project management, and advertising/marketing.

Paige earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics/Agricultural Business Management from Purdue University in 1993 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2003. She is currently an active member in the American Society of Agricultural Consultants (ASAC), American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), California Women for Agriculture (CWA), Society of Chief Appraisers (SCA), and the Risk Management Association (RMA).

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Bill Helming

Bill Helming has more than 50 years of extensive experience with the U.S. cattle feeding and beef production industry and with agribusiness generally, including the pork, poultry and grain production sectors of the American agricultural and food industry. He has a thorough knowledge of the large-scale cattle feeding industry relative to supply and demand market outlook conditions, feedyard values, total investment requirements, bank financing, cost structure, profit margins, and other key feedyard business, financial and operational metrics.

Since 1972, Livestock Business Advisory Services initially and subsequently Bill Helming Consulting Services, based in the Olathe, Kansas, has focused on:

(1) The U.S. and global economic outlook, and
(2) The key supply, demand and price outlook conditions for beef cattle, hogs, chicken and grain, feedyard values, total investment requirements, bank financing, cost structure, profit margins and other key beef and competing protein production, financial and operational, supply, demand and price trends.

Bill is considered by many to be one of the top and most respected U.S. macro economists and experts with one of the most accurate and impressive forecasting, macroeconomic, big picture and beef industry outlook and analysis track records in the U.S. today. Bill was the first chief economist of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association from 1965 through 1971 and was the founder of the NCBA Cattle-fax Program.

He holds BS and MS degrees in Agriculture Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno (1964-1965). Bill also served ASAC as president in 1984 and received the ASAC Distinguished Service Award in 1991. Bill was honored by the University of Nevada Board of Regents with the Centennial Alumnus Award in 1988. The meaning of this award is that the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada (in 1988) considered Bill Helming to be the outstanding graduate of the university within the past 100 years. He gave the commencement address in May of 1988. Bill received the College of Agriculture Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2014 from the University of Nevada, Reno, on October 2, 2014.

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Sam Bartee

Sam joined ASAC in 1983, currently making him a member of this outstanding organization for over sixty percent of ASAC’s existence. He obtained his a B.S. in Soil Science and a M. S. in Plant Physiology from Texas Tech University. When Sam joined ASAC, he had just formed his one-person consulting company focusing on agronomy and general crop production. He thoroughly enjoyed his thirty-one year career as a ‘solo’ consultant in helping many agrichemical firms and countless producers grow more efficient and better crops in the US, and numerous other countries. In November, 2007, Sam took on the role as Division Agronomist for Helena Chemical Company, where he enjoys providing technical expertise in many crop production parameters. Sam and his wife Carole have been married for forty -five years; have three children, and three grandchildren. They reside in Olathe, KS.

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