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Calling all New Century Farmers

The exclusive, highly competitive New Century Farmer conference is open to college of agriculture students or recent college graduates who intend to pursue careers in production agriculture.

Those selected to attend the conference will experience interactive workshops with top industry leaders, field and operation tours, commodity and trade group meetings, and more. 

The program will also help students begin to develop a nationwide network of industry professionals and colleagues to whom they can turn for support when they begin their own operations. 

Quint Pottinger, a 23-year-old ag economics student at the University of Kentucky, can speak of the benefits of the New Century Farmer conference first hand. “I was a freshman in college and my adviser recommended that I apply,” he says. “I knew farming was my career path, so it made sense to go for it.”

Pottinger’s application was accepted, much to his delight. “There aren’t many opportunities to experience things at someone else’s expense,” he says. 

So many benefits

More than just a chance to travel, the conference itself is full of lasting memories. 

“It’s the only program I can think of that’s geared toward kids my age. The networking was great. I still talk to four or five guys from the conference,” he says.

“The sponsors treat you like kings,” he adds. “You’re going to leave with a written business plan to follow and contacts for all the speakers from the week. I talked to my dad about it and he said if something like this was available when he was young, he would have bypassed 10 years of mistakes.”

The conference is free to those students who are selected, and it will take place July 8-14 in Johnston, Iowa. The deadline for applications is March 15. Only 50 students will be selected to participate. Download an application at

The conference is sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business; Case IH; CSX Cooperation; and Farm Credit, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Successful Farming magazine is a media partner of the conference.

Informations sessions abound

Throughout the week, participants will partake in numerous informational sessions on topics, including:

  • Farm succession 
  • Ag marketing
  • International ag and marketing
  • New and immerging farm machinery
  • Ag finance
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Business plan development
  • Global ag and trade
  • National regulatory issues

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