Complete Story


Annual Industry Conference Navigates the Future of Ohio Agriculture

The conference addressed key topics in today’s agriculture industry

More than 375 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative discussion and learning at the organization’s annual Industry Conference, Jan. 31 – Feb. 1 at the Columbus Marriott Northwest. The conference helped participants to “chart their course” in the ever-changing agricultural industry through a variety of sessions presented by well-respected speakers from across the country.


“This year’s OABA Industry Conference allowed participants to navigate the trends and issues influencing Ohio agriculture and map their course to a successful 2019 and beyond,” said Christopher Henney, OABA president and CEO. “It was energizing to be surrounded by our members and other industry professionals who have such great vision and a passion for investing in the future of the agricultural industry.”


The conference addressed key topics in today’s agriculture industry, such as nutrient management, economic and trade outlook, trust and transparency, climate trends and more.


Keynote speaker Tom Balzer, president & CEO of the Ohio Trucking Association (OTA), explored leadership lessons learned through a most unconventional method during his keynote “Leadership Lessons I Learned by Being a Couch Potato.” Using YouTube as a guide, Balzer kept attendees laughing while sharing lessons hiding in plain sight.


Other notable speakers at the two-day conference included Director Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture; David Fikes, Food Marketing Institute; Arlan Suderman, INTL FCStone; Christopher Henney, Ohio AgriBusiness Association; Jerry Hatfield, USDA; and Jess McCluer, National Grain & Feed Association; plus several educators and researchers from University of Illinois, Pennsylvania State University, University of Missouri and The Ohio State University.


At the Industry Dinner and Annual Meeting on Jan. 31, OABA recognized the recipients of the 2019 OABA Industry Excellence Awards. Kevin Brinkman of United Equity, Inc. received the Excellence in Customer Service Award; Kevin Fall of Rosen’s, Inc. received the Achievement as an Emerging Leader Award; Jason Nowakowski of Centerra Co-op received the Excellence in Safety & Stewardship Award. More information on the OABA Industry Excellence Awards, including recipient information and feature videos, is available at


The eighth annual OABA Industry Conference will be Jan. 29-31, 2020.

Printer-Friendly Version