With COVID-19 restrictions still preventing many public gatherings, the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership and Policy Committee (ISA) staff have moved the annual Indiana Corn and Soybean Forum to a virtual format. Instead of a one-day event, this year’s Forum will offer daily online presentations from Monday, Nov. 30 through Friday, Dec. 4.
“Of course we miss getting together in person to discuss the policy issues that are important to farmers, but this online format does have its advantages,” said ICGA board member Scott Smith, who farms near Noblesville, Ind. “With an online event, there isn’t the time and trouble involved with travel for both the attendees and speakers.”
The keynote presentation of the week will happen on the afternoon of Dec. 4 as YouTube sensation Welker Farms broadcasts from their Montana farm. Welker Farms has hundreds of thousands of followers on YouTube, and their audience continues to grow.
Welker Farms is located in North Central Montana and has been in the family since 1912. Third generation farmer, Bob Welker, along with his two sons, Nick Welker and Scott Welker, strive to carry on the family legacy. Using large machinery and the latest in technology, the Welkers manage more than 10,000 acres and grow spring wheat, winter wheat, yellow peas and garbanzo beans.
Welker Farms has become a common name throughout the agriculture world due to their YouTube channel, which began when Nick Welker thought it would be entertaining to celebrate 100 years of family farming with a video. Since then, Welker Farms has amassed throngs of faithful fans and has been featured in various ways such as Rural Montana Magazine, the National Geographic Channel, RFD-TV, Progressive Farmer Magazine, Norwegian Magazine Traktor, Montana Ag Network (KRTV) and Welker Farms Farming Simulator 17 & 19 by Mappers Paradise.
For more about their family farm, visit welkerfarmsinc.com
The rest of the week should be informative, too. The schedule includes:
- Monday, Nov. 30, 10-11 a.m. EST – Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler will discuss challenges and opportunities for Indiana farmers for the next year.
- Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2-3 p.m. EST – ICGA President Mike Beard, ISA board member Mark Legan and Courtney Kingery, who is the CEO for ISA, ICGA and ICMC, will explain the details of the new three-year strategic plans for the corn and soybean checkoffs.
- Wednesday, Dec. 2, noon to 1 p.m. EST – Nathaniel Doddridge, vice president of fuels for retailer Casey’s General Store, and Kathy Bergren, NCGA Director of Public Policy and Renewable Fuels, will cover policy issues related to biofuels.
- Thursday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m. to noon EST – ISA and ICGA staff members Ed Ebert and Steve Howell will join Amy Cornell of the AgriBusiness Council of Indiana to take a look at ag commodity markets and talk about grain buying issues.
- Friday, Dec. 4, noon to 1 p.m. – Nick Welker will speak on faith, family and farming from their home in Montana.
The Forum will be available on Zoom, and there is no charge. To register, visit indianasoybean.com/forum