2019 YF&R Leaders Conference

2019 YF&R Leaders Conference

As Kansas Farm Bureau celebrates 100 years, the Young Farmers & Ranchers Leaders Conference will honor traditions of the past while providing opportunities for attendees to cultivate progress in their agricultural careers. The 2019 YF&R Leaders Conference will provide tools, resources, information and networking for those establishing their lives in the agriculture industry. Join us in Manhattan Jan. 25-27 to learn, grow and connect through Kansas Farm Bureau's distinguished past and dynamic future.


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 rates and deadlines are as follows:

Regular$80January 8
Late$100January 16
Collegiate$80January 16
Child (only necessary for children who will need their own seat and plate at meals)$40January 16
Refunds, Cancellations & Substitutions

Kansas Farm Bureau will provide full refunds for cancellations made by 11:59 p.m. on January 16, 2019. Cancellations after this date will not be refunded as final meal counts for the event will be provided to catering on January 17. Counties/Chapters may substitute attendees at no charge up until 10:00 a.m. on January 26, 2019. All refund requests, cancellations and substitutions should be sent to

Registration Resources



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

Hilton Garden Inn (headquarters hotel)$113

Book Online Here


Call: 785-532-9116

Group Name: Young Farmers & Ranchers

December 31
Bluemont Hotel$95

Call: 785-473-7091

Group Name: KFB-Young Farmers & Ranchers

December 28
Candlewood Suites Manhattan$109

Call: 785-320-7995

Group Name: YFR

December 26
Fairfield Inn$104

Call 785-539-2400

Group Name: Young Farmers & Ranchers

January 2
Holiday Inn Express & Suites$109

Call: 785-320-7454

Group Name: YFR

December 26
Parkwood Inn & Suites$99.95

Call: 785-320-5440

Group Name: Young Farmers & Ranchers

January 10

Featured Speakers

Saturday Keynote

U.S. Ambassador Gregg Doud

Gregg Doud serves as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator, with the Rank of Ambassador, in the Office of the United States Trade Representative. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 1, 2018.

Prior to Ambassador Doud’s nomination, he was the President of the Commodity Markets Council, where he had served since 2013. Previously, Ambassador Doud was a Senior Professional Staff member of the Senate Agriculture Committee for Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Thad Cochran. He was part of the team that crafted the 2012 Senate Farm Bill, and his portfolio of issues included international trade, food aid, livestock and oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). 

Before joining the Senate Agriculture Committee staff, Ambassador Doud spent eight years as the Chief Economist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Washington, DC. During the past 25 years in Washington DC, he also worked for the U.S. Wheat Associates and the agricultural commodity consulting firm World Perspectives.

Ambassador Doud was raised on a dry-land wheat, grain sorghum, soybean, swine and cow-calf operation near Mankato in North-Central Kansas. He also owns part of the more than 100-year-old family farming operation that his parents continue to operate, and he is a partner in a commercial cow-calf operation.

Ambassador Doud was a 4-H member and a Kansas State FFA officer. He received a B.S. in agriculture (animal science) in 1989 and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1991 from Kansas State University, and he was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. In 2012, he was named the Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Kansas State University Agriculture Alumni Association, and in 2017, he received the Outstanding Alumnus award from the Department of Agricultural Economics.

Ambassador Doud and his family live on their horse farm in Lothian, Maryland.

Sunday Keynote

Matt Rush

The man who takes good and makes it… GOODER!

Matt says, “You can do more, be more and have more than you ever thought possible, you just have to be willing to get over yourself to get there.”  

From the time Matt was in the 8th grade he knew his life’s ambition was to help others become more than they ever thought possible.  Since then, his speeches, seminars and coaching have inspired thousands of people.

Having grown up on a farm in rural New Mexico he brings a common sense, “farm boy” logic and humor to his speaking.  Tom Ziglar, son of the late Zig Ziglar said, “Matt brings an energy and enthusiasm to his speaking and training that will leave you and your audience motivated and inspired. His ability to connect with people of all ages will make you feel like you have known him forever from the first time you meet. His message of encouragement will put a smile on your face and on your heart.  But here is the bottom line.  When I had a family emergency and needed someone to fill in for me, the first person I called was Matt Rush.  He embodies the Ziglar philosophy in every way.”

Matt has served as the former CEO of the New Mexico Farm Bureau and past president of the Ethos Leadership Group.  He has also previously served on the American Farm Bureau’s Foundation for Agriculture Board of Directors and the Berean Children’s Home Board of Directors.  

He has won state and national awards for his public speaking, Co-Authored several books on leadership and is authoring the upcoming book, The Power of an Inch.  He has been quoted in Bloomberg Business Weekly, NPR, PBS and ABC News. 

Rush is passionate about his values, helping others and is dedicated to the development of a strong, successful future for our current and upcoming generation.


The 2019 conference workshops will include the following.


Friday, January 25

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Collegiate Farm Bureau Registration Open

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Collegiate Farm Bureau Lunch

Meet Collegiate Farm Bureau members from around the state to network, learn about what other chapters are doing and hear from a panel of young agriculture leaders.

  • Amy France
  • Jacquelyne Leffler
  • Kyler Millershashki

1:30-3:30 p.m.

Collegiate Ag Quiz Bowl

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

4:00-6:00 p.m.

Collegiate Farm Bureau Industry Insight Events

Tour an ag organization and learn about the kinds of jobs they do and their role in the industry, grab some snacks and engage in a career-focused workshop. Transportation will be provided.

6:00-6:45 p.m.

Collegiate Dinner on Own

Please note that a heavy appetizer buffet will be served at 8:00 p.m.


6:00-9:00 p.m.

YF&R Registration Open

6:45-7:15 p.m.

First Time Attendee Workshop

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 p.m.

From the Land of Kansas Reception

Grab samples of food and drinks produced, processed or manufactured here in Kansas by From the Land of Kansas members 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 p.m.

Conference Kick-Off featuring Adam Capps

Kick off the weekend and relax with live music, games, heavy appetizers, a cash bar and friends, new and old.

Saturday, January 26

7:30-8:00 a.m.

Breakfast Lines Open

8:00-9:30 a.m.

Eggs & Issues

Farm Bureau is the Voice of Agriculture, but it takes work by members, leaders and staff to build and maintain relationships that allow our voice to carry weight. Join us for this session to learn about agricultural trade, state and national policy updates and KFB’s legislative priorities for 2019.

Special Guest Speaker: U.S. Ambassador Gregg Doud

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Workshop Round 1

  • Establishing a Farm
  • Land Values & Rental Rates
  • Market Volatility: Good or Bad? YOUR CHOICE! (Part 1)
  • Positive Risk Taking: Because You Don't Know Until You Try
  • Rump Roasts and Round Steak...Does Your Freezer Runneth Over?

10:30-4:00 p.m.

Ag Leaders Tradeshow

10:45-11:15 a.m.

Ag Leaders Networking Break

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

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Collegiate and YF&R Competitions

Exact competition schedule to be announced in January. Advanced application or entry required for participation in YF&R of the Year, Excellence in Agriculture and Discussion Meet. See competition information and deadlines here.

10:50 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Morning Tours

Tours to be announced in January. Space is limited and transportation provided. An online sign up form will be sent to all registered attendees 1-2 weeks before the conference.

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Workshop Round 2

  • Bookkeeping Do's and Don'ts
  • Embracing Change on Your Operation
  • Market Volatility: Good or Bad? YOUR CHOICE! (Part 2)
  • Represent!

12:30-2:00 p.m.

KFB Centennial Celebration Lunch

Kansas Farm Bureau is 100 years old! Help us celebrate at lunch with special tributes, a look back at the YF&R program and, of course, birthday cake!

2:15-3:15 p.m.

Workshop Round 3

  • Cattle Nutrition (Part 1)
  • It's Not All About That Beef
  • KFB's Mission for Affordable Health Care
  • The Impact of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act on Farming & Ranching

2:15-3:45 p.m.

Collegiate and YF&R Competitions

Exact competition schedule to be announced in January. Advanced application or entry required for participation in YF&R of the Year, Excellence in Agriculture and Discussion Meet. See competition information and deadlines here.

3:15-3:45 p.m.

Ag Leaders Networking Break

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

3:30-5:00 p.m.

Afternoon Tours

Tours to be announced in January. Space is limited and transportation provided. An online sign up form will be sent to all registered attendees 1-2 weeks before the conference.

3:45-5:00 p.m.

Workshop Round 4

  • 4R Nutrient Stewardship and Water Quality
  • Cattle Nutrition (Part 2)
  • Making Sense of Competing Priorities

3:45-5:00 p.m.

Meal Packing Event

Farm Bureau is all about community. Help us give back packing meals that will be donated to food pantries serving those who are food insecure in rural communities across Kansas.

6:00-7:45 p.m.

District Networking 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.

8:00 p.m.

After Parties

Not ready to call it a night yet but don't want to go out alone? The YF&R Committee members invite you to join them at three locations around town to keep the fun going. All costs are the responsibility of the attendee.

  • Line Dancing @ Dirty Dawg Saloon
  • Sports & Drinks @ Hilton Garden Inn Bar
  • Bowling @ Little Apple Lanes
Sunday, January 27

7:45-8:15 a.m.

Sunday Morning Worship

An informal gathering to worship together.

8:15-9:00 a.m.

Breakfast by Chris Cakes

Catch a pancake and fuel up for the final morning! 

9:00-10:30 a.m.

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, Matt Rush. 

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 26, 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 Sandi Cowdin at or 785-587-6119.

Thank you to the 2019 sponsors!