2018 YF&R Leaders Conference

2018 YF&R Leaders Conference

Ad astra per aspera, meaning "to the stars through difficulty," is not only the Kansas motto, it's the way of life for our state's farmers and ranchers. Through uncertainty, disaster and difficult years, farmers and ranchers adapt and find a way to survive. The 2018 YF&R Leaders Conference will provide tools, resources, information and encouragement for those building a foundation for their operation and the many who are considering a career in agriculture. Join us in Manhattan on January 26-28 to connect with industry resources, network with peers and be inspired by speakers. Talk to your county board or coordinator about attendance and sponsorship opportunities today.


The  Manhattan Conference Center, located in downtown Manhattan, Kansas, will be the host of this year's conference. With comfortable and spacious meeting rooms, easy access from I-70 and Hwy 24, and a location convenient to top-notch hotels and restaurants, this venue is the ultimate place for attendees to meet and connect in Manhattan.


Attendees must be registered in advance for the YF&R Leaders Conference. Registration deadlines and rates are as follows:

Regular $80January 4
Late$100January 17
Collegiate$80January 17
Child (only necessary for children who will need their own seat and plate at meals)$40January 17
Online registration has closed. If you have registration questions or changes, please contact

Registration Resources:


Kansas Farm Bureau has blocked rooms at several area hotels with affordable, negotiated rates.

HotelPrice (tax not included)Booking InformationBooking Deadline
Hilton Garden Inn$113Book online here or call 785-532-9116 and reference the event name, "2018 Young Farmers and Ranchers"December 26
Bluemont Hotel$95Call 785-473-7091 and reference the block name, "Kansas Farm Bureau - Young Farmers and Ranchers"December 27
Candlewood Suites Manhattan$99-$119Call 785-320-7995 and reference the block name, "Young Farmers and Ranchers 2018"January 3
Fairfield Inn $104Call 785-539-2400 and reference the block name, "Young Farmers and Ranchers"December 25
Holiday Inn Express & Suites$109Call 785-320-7454 and reference the block name, "Young Farmers and Ranchers"January 1
Parkwood Inn & Suites$91Call 785-320-5440 and reference the block name, "Young Farmers and Ranchers"January 1

Featured Speakers

Saturday Keynote

Kevin is a leading expert in Agricultural marketing and analysis, he also produces an award-winning and world-recognized daily industry Ag wire called "The Van Trump Report." With over 20 years of experience trading professionally at the CME, CBOT and KCBOT, Kevin is able to 'connect-the-dots' and simplify the complex moving parts associated with today's markets in a thought-provoking yet easy to read format. 

With thousands of daily readers in over 40 countries, Kevin has become a sought after source for market direction, timing and macro views associated with the agricultural world. Kevin is a top featured guest on many farm radio programs and business news channels here in the United States. He also speaks internationally to hedge fund managers and industry leading agricultural executives about current market conditions and "black swan" forecasting. Kevin is currently the acting Chairman of Farm Direction, an international organization assembled to bring the finest and most current agricultural thoughts and strategies directly to the world's top producers. The markets have dramatically changed and Kevin is trying to redefine how those in the agricultural world can better manage their risk and better understand the adversity that lies ahead. 

Learn more about Kevin and The Van Trump Report here and follow him on Twitter @KevinVanTrump.

Sunday Keynote

Kelly Barnes was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Oklahoma, and his message is centered around the stories, life lessons and virtues he learned growing up. 

Kelly has spoken to more than 1,000,000 students, teachers and business leaders all across the U.S. His message is entertaining, inspiring and most importantly… SIMPLE. As one client put it; “Kelly is the best speaker we have had in 23 years we have had this conference. His has the rare ability to weave important life lessons through personal stories that will take you on a roller coaster of emotions. He is a great storyteller. One that will make you laugh, make you think and above all, help you create great moments in your personal and professional life.” 

Kelly is an accomplished leader, entrepreneur, business coach and inspirational speaker who is equipped with the life lessons and experiences that truly develop the leader within those around him. 

Kelly’s ability to relate to his audience comes from his years serving as an elected leader and entrepreneur. Kelly served the Oklahoma FFA association as the 2002-03 State Vice-President and the 2003-04 State President. In 2005 he was elected to serve as the Vice-President of the Oklahoma State University Student Government Association where he received his degree in Leadeship. 

When he is not speaking, Kelly enjoys running marathons, watching baseball, reading and most of all spending time with his beautiful daughter, Bowen. 

Learn more about Kelly here or follow him on Twitter @kellybarnes or Instagram @kellybarnes83.


Workshops offered at the conferce will include the following (titles and speakers are tentative):

  • Being a Doer Not a Poser: How to effectively engage in a rural community - Ashley Hutchinson, Cloud Corp
  • Benchmarking Farm Financials During Challenging Times - Robin Reed, Kansas State University
  • Dicamba - How to Avoid Causing Drift and Where the Technology is Going - Dr. Dallas Peterson, Kansas State University
  • How Many is Too Many? Running Multiple Prescriptions on a Single Area - Cory Gilbert, On Target Ag Solutions
  • Manage Risk by Understanding Insurance Coverage, Requirement & Selection - Amy Roeder & Steve Vollrath, Agraview
  • Options for Stock Water Development - Herschel George, K-State Research & Extension
  • Precision Ag's ABCs of ROI - Cory Gilbert, On Target Ag Solutions
  • Preparedness, Response and Recovery - Approaching Emergency Management from a Rural Perspective - David Hogg, Kansas Department of Agriculture
  • Small Changes that Impact Yield - Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti, Kansas State University
  • The Importance of Local Advocacy - Jill Casten, Kansas Farm Bureau
  • Tracking Profitability in a Beef Herd - Mike Kasten, Quality Beef by the Numbers
  • Translating Farm Bureau Involvement into Personal Success - Kansas Farm Bureau Member Panel
  • Women in Agriculture Roundtables - Various Table Leaders


From Friday to Sunday, this conference is packed with speakers, workshops, and opportunities to connect that you won't want to miss. Schedule subject to change.

Friday, January 26

11:30 AM-12:00 PM

Collegiate Farm Bureau Registration

12:00-1:30 PM

Collegiate Farm Bureau Lunch & Huddle

Join Collegiate Farm Bureau members from around the state to network, learn about what other chapters are doing and hear from a speaker.

1:30-3:30 PM

Collegiate Ag Quiz Bowl

Collegiate Farm Bureau members test their ag knowlege and engage in friendly competition. Learn more about the event here.

4:00-6:00 PM

Collegiate FB Future of Agriculture Event @ Kansas Farm Bureau

Explore the future of agriculture with industry leaders. Offsite event.

6:00-6:45 PM

Collegiate Dinner on Own

6:00-9:00 PM

YF&R Registration

6:45-7:15 PM

First Time Attendee Session

New to Farm Bureau? Never been to this conference before? Let us give you a quick overview of what to expect so you can make the most of your weekend.

7:15-8:00 PM

From the Land of Kansas Reception & KFB District Networking

Grab samples of food and drinks produced, processed or manufactured here in Kansas while you connect with your state YF&R Committee representative, Board of Directors representative, District Administrator and other attendees from your part of the state.

8:00-10:00 PM

Conference Kick-Off Event featuring Adam Capps

Be here at 8:00 for a special presentation to kick off the weekend and then relax with live music, games, heavy appetizers, a bar and friends, new and old.

Saturday, January 27

7:30 AM

Breakfast Lines Open

8:00-9:30 AM

Business & Bacon

Enjoy breakfast while gaining insight into ag trends, risk management strategies and operation management in turbulent times.

9:45-10:45 AM

Workshops: Round 1

Focus on crops, livestock, ag technology and rural life.

10:30 AM-4:00 PM

Ag Leaders Trade Show

10:45-11:15 AM

Ag Leaders Networking Break

Grab a mid-morning snack and network with your peers, business contacts and event sponsors.

10:45 AM-12:15 PM

Collegiate & YF&R Competitions

Schedule to be announced in January. Advanced application or entry required. See competition information and deadlines here.

10:45 AM-12:15 PM

Morning Tours

Tours to be announced in January. Space is limited. Pre-event online registration required.

11:15 AM-12:15 PM

Workshops: Round 2

Farm finance, advocacy and Farm Bureau involvement sessions.

12:30-2:00 PM

YF&R Policy Lunch

Kansas Farm Bureau is the Voice of Agricutlure, but how does that happen? Gather for lunch, engage in discussion about local, state and national policy and hear from an elected official. 

2:15-3:15 PM

Workshops: Round 3

Farm finance, advocacy and Farm Bureau involvement sessions. Sessions repeat from round two.

2:15-4:00 PM

Afternoon Tours

Tours to be announced in January. Space is limited. Pre-event online registration required.

2:15-4:00 PM

YF&R Competitions

Schedule to be announced in January. Advanced application or entry required. See competition information and deadlines here.

2:15-5:00 PM

Collegiate Farm Bureau Event at Kansas State University

Connect with K-State faculty, students, staff and alumni. Event held on the KSU campus. Transportation or parking passes will be provided. 

3:15-4:00 PM

Ag Leaders Networking Break

Grab an afternoon snack and network with your peers, business contacts and event sponsors.

4:00-5:00 PM

Workshops: Round 4

Focus on crops, livestock, ag technology and rural life.

6:00-7:30 PM

District Dinners

Join other attendees from your KFB district for dinner and networking at local restaurants. Locations to be announced in January. Dinner on own unless otherwise indicated by YF&R Committee representatives.

Sunday, January 28

7:45-8:15 AM

Sunday Morning Music & Devotions

An informal gathering to worship together.

8:15-9:00 AM

Breakfast by Chris Cakes

Catch a pancake and fuel up for the final morning!

9:00-10:30 AM

Closing Keynote & Competitive Event Awards

Join us as we recognize the accomplishments of Collegiate and YF&R members and leave empowered by the final keynote speaker.

10:30 AM


Competitive Events

The YF&R Conference will feature five competitions for collegiate and YF&R members. Click on the links below to learn more about each event and their respective prizes.

Ag Leaders Trade Show & Sponsors

On Saturday, January 27, the conference will include a trade show featuring KFB partners, conference sponsors, member benefit organizations, and other groups relating to agriculture and the interests of YF&R members. If you're interested in purchasing a booth or sponsoring part of the conference, please contact Laton Dowling at or 785-587-6000 x6108.

Thank you to the 2018 sponsors!