YF&R Leaders Conference

YF&R Leaders Conference
Click here for the online 2020 YF&R Conference Program

Join more than 500 young men and women from across the state at the 2020 Young Farmers & Ranchers Leaders Conference. The weekend will focus on connecting you with practical tools and resources to add value to your daily work, expanding your peer and professional network and providing encouragement and motivation to keep pushing forward in a tough time for agriculture. Regardless of the crops you grow, animals you raise or off-farm role you play, this conference has something for all young people connected to agriculture and will empower attendees to return home with the tools and knowledge to make positive changes for their farms, families and communities. 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.



Online registration for the 2020 conference is closed. No refunds will be given after January 24. For cancellations, substitutions, or to inquire about whether space is available for additional attendees, please email



Kansas Farm Bureau room block deadlines have passed. Conference hotels include:

  • Bluemont Hotel - 785-473-7091
  • Comfort Suites - 785-539-9449
  • Fairfield Inn - 785-539-2400
  • Hampton Inn - 785-539-5000
  • Hilton Garden Inn - 785-532-9116
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites - 785-320-7454



Click here to access the conference program.


Pre-Conference Trainings

New for 2020, we’re offering in-depth pre-conference trainings to help attendees take away skills, plans and knowledge to implement back home. All trainings will take place at Kansas Farm Bureau (2627 KFB Plaza) starting at 10:30 a.m. and ending no later than 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Preregistration and a $25 participation fee are required.

Register Here


Session Speaker Location

Marketing and Branding Your Farm

In this session, we will cover the foundation of marketing and branding your farm, including developing a brand, creating a website, managing social media and basic photo and video. In this in-depth workshop, you will walk away with executable plans and tools that you can use to market your farm starting tomorrow. 

Topanga McBride

502 Marketing

Frontier Meeting Room, 4th Floor

Opportunities in the Beef Industry

Learn about issues and opportunities for beef production and increased revenue on your ranch.

Dr. Dan Thomson

Kansas State University

KFB Auditorium C, 1st Floor

Winning the Game: Launching your Pre-Harvest Corn Marketing Plan

In this three and ½ hour marketing workshop, we’ll briefly review common preharvest marketing tools, such as futures, options, along with forward, basis and hedge-to-arrive contracts. Our main focus though, is to examine the key elements that make up a preharvest marketing plan, fitting in crop insurance, setting target prices and using seasonal trends to set decision dates, all culminating with the opportunity to implement a pre-harvest marketing plan, and testing these marketing tools in a realistic market-simulation game. Our goal is to give participants the knowledge and confidence to develop and implement their own preharvest marketing plan for 2020. 

Mark Nelson

Kansas Farm Bureau


Dan O'Brien

Kansas State University 

Corporate Training B, 2nd Floor

Introduction to QuickBooks

This hands-on session will introduce participants to QuickBooks as a farm business record keeping program. Participants will receive a printed manual and will work with an example farm to learn how to add bank accounts, loans, vendors and customers as well as enter checks or deposits.  Designed for a novice user, participants who complete this session will be ready to begin using QuickBooks for farm bookkeeping.  Laptops will be provided for workshop participants. 

Mark Dikeman

Kansas Farm Management Association 

Corporate Training A, 2nd Floor



Featured Speakers

Saturday Keynote
Jay Hill

For Jay, what started as 10 acres and a John Deere 4020 tractor has grown into a multi-layered commercial operation of diversified crops in West Texas and Southern New Mexico. Jay strives to continually implement new practices and the latest technology to best utilize his resources and farm as sustainably as possible. He actively advocates for the industry he loves on social media, using this platform to give a true glimpse into the life of a farmer.

Sunday Keynote
Jim Morris

Jim Morris' Cinderella story is testimony to the power of dreams and their ability to inspire and transform human life. His story is the subject of the blockbuster film from Walt Disney, "The Rookie," starring Dennis Quaid which won the ESPY for Sports Film of the Year.

Originally a top prospect, Jim Morris's career in baseball was derailed by injuries and immaturity at the age of 24. He got married, raised a family and eventually became a high school physics teacher and baseball coach in southwest Texas. At the age of 35, Jim made a bet with his struggling high school baseball team: If they won the district championship, then he would go try out for a major league team. Miraculously, his team won the district championship and Jim went to a tryout, where he threw twelve consecutive pitches at 98 mph.

Three months later, Jim realized his long-lost dream of becoming a major league player when he struck out All Star Royce Clayton in his first major league appearance in front of family and friends back in Texas.

Jim Morris is a polished public speaker and uses his story in combination with the goals of his customer to inspire and motivate. Imagine having Tom Hanks over at your house for a cup of coffee. That's what it's like having Jim Morris speak with your group. Jim also has a great sense of humor that will make your group laugh and inspire them at the same time.



This year's tours feature two types of farms outside what we traditionally think of when we talk about agriculture in Kansas and are the perfect fit for anyone who is naturally curious or just anxious to get out of the workshop room and into a field or greenhouse. All tour buses will depart from outside the East Foyer of the Conference Center. Tours are free, but attendees must be pre-registered.

Morning Tour (10:50 a.m.-12:20 p.m.)

Kaw Valley Greenhouses

Kaw Valley Greenhouses has been family grown since 1967 when Leon and Pat Edmunds’ family of 11 and their St. Bernard Bozo outgrew their home in Manhattan. A little farm outside the city limits where the kids had room to run was the perfect relocation for the Edmunds. Using the old greenhouse on the property, cultivating their built-in workforce of nine children and Leon’s PhD in Plant Pathology, the family business was born. Now Kaw Valley Greenhouses operates half a million square feet of greenhouse space and sells more than 12 million plants annually. 


Afternoon Tour (3:30-5:30 p.m.)

Liquid Arts Winery & Estate

Liquid Art Winery was founded in 2014 by Kansas natives Dave & Danielle Tegtmeier. It is comprised of a 20-acreestate vineyard, tasting room, full-production winery and event center. The estate is perched on top of an ancient mountain range in an area of the Midwest known as “The Flint Hills.” The  terrain of the area replicates the soil profile and terrain of some of the most prominent grape-growing regions in  the world, allowing us to craft premium wine with old-world grape varietals using sustainable viticulture.  Following a conversation about the winery, Angie Danner, KFB District 1 Administrator, will lead the group in a wine pairing demonstration. Must be 21 to participate.

Sign up here.


YF&R & Ford Give Back

There will be two opportunities to give back at this year's conference:

  1. Meal Packing: Ford is generously sponsoring a Meal Packing Event on Saturday, February 8 from 3:45-5:00 p.m. in the Konza Prairie, Kings & Flint Hills rooms of the Conference Center. Attendees will be packing more than 8,000 meals to donate to food pantries around the state. Participants will be encouraged to take a box of meals back to their community's food pantry so we can distribute meals across the state.
  2. Fill a Ford Penny Drive: Normally, we also ask attendees to bring donations to fill a Ford vehicle with food for our communities as well. However, this year, we’re asking attendees to participate in a penny drive competition between districts to raise money for the Jill Casten Memorial Fund. Jill was committed to Young Farmers & Ranchers and we hope aid in continuing her legacy of inspiring, equipping and stretching Kansans by developing them as thought leaders and exposing them to a broader world. All U.S. change, dollars and checks are accepted. Deposit your donations in the appropriate box next to the Ford Ranger between 6 p.m. on Friday and 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Competitive Events

The YF&R Conference will feature five competitions for collegiate and YF&R members, including:

  • YF&R of the Year Award
  • Excellence in Agriculture Award
  • YF&R Discussion Meet
  • Collegiate Discussion Meet
  • Collegiate Ag Quiz Bowl

Click here to learn more about these opportunities to have fun, be recognized, receive cash prizes and win a trip to a future American Farm Bureau event.


Ag Leaders Trade Show & Sponsors

On Saturday, February 8, 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.