seal  Purdue News

July 28, 2003

Ag conference offers insight, attitudes of top ag producers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University will release a survey of the opinions of 2,300 commercial agricultural producers during the National Conference for Agribusiness on Nov. 19-20.

"The Commercial Producer Project survey is one of the largest surveys of its kind and is much anticipated by the agribusinesses that interact with these producers," said Allan Gray, associate professor of agricultural economics at Purdue.

The survey includes large commercial U.S. agricultural producers representing each of the following marketplace segments:

• Corn and soybeans
• Wheat, barley and canola
• Cotton
• Vegetables
• Swine
• Dairy
• Beef

Gray said survey responses come from every part of the United States and focus on those operations with more than $500,000 in annual gross farm income. The survey questioned producers about their business decision-making processes; the role of key influencers; and the importance of price, service and product performance. Additional questions probed how brands affect input decisions and how commercial producers view the role of dealers and distributors.

The survey is the third conducted by Purdue's Center for Food and Agricultural Business, with earlier studies completed in 1993 and 1998.

Serving Commercial Producers: Meeting Needs, Adding Value is the title for this year's National Conference for Agribusiness, which will be on Purdue's West Lafayette, Ind., campus.

Conference topics will address how commercial agricultural producers are changing and what these changes mean in terms of products, services and information. Another topic to be discussed is how manufacturing consolidation has affected marketing.

"During the conference we will dig into the challenge of serving multiple market segments simultaneously – a key element of success for a customer base in transition," said Scott Downey, associate director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business. "Also, the conference facilitators will discuss innovative ways of dealing with complex key accounts as value is built through the sales process.

"This national conference will bring in a couple hundred ag business professionals who are anxious to learn about the marketplace, the changing attitudes of commercial producers and what that means to their businesses."

Cost for the conference is $695 for registrations received by Oct. 1, and $795 after that date. This fee includes two breakfasts and several educational sessions. Additional program and registration information is available online.

For more information, contact the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at (765) 494-4247,

Writer: Meggie Issler, (765) 494-8402,

Sources: Scott Downey, (765) 494-4325,

Allan Gray, (765) 494-4323,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

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