With an expanded workshop schedule and additional Trade Show hours, the American Farm Bureau’s 2020 Annual Convention and Trade Show will provide attendees even more opportunities to explore and learn about the issues and insights at the heart of AFBF’s theme for the year, 2020 Vision: Sustaining America’s Agriculture.
Though a handful of Annual Convention activities are traditionally scheduled for the days leading up to the event’s opening general session, in 2020, the gathering will kick-off in earnest on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m., when the Trade Show opens to all registered attendees.
As in the past, Trade Show exhibitors will showcase the latest in agricultural technology, tools and services. In addition, the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee will host a forum on the Trade Show’s Cultivation Center stage at 4 p.m., which also marks the start of the Celebration of Grassroots reception on the Trade Show floor. All attendees are invited to enjoy food and drink stations at the reception, which recognizes the hard work and accomplishments of Farm Bureau’s grassroots members. The Trade Show will close at 5:30 p.m.
In addition to the earlier Trade Show opening, Annual Convention changes include the addition of 18 workshops to the schedule on Saturday. Six concurrent workshops will run for 45 minutes each at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. These workshops, which cover topics ranging from blockchain technology and the farm economy’s impact on wellness to Clean Water Act developments and the craft beer and spirits supply chain, will repeat on Monday, Jan. 20, at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
“We’ve heard from many attendees over the years that Annual Convention offers so much, they have trouble deciding which of the educational workshops to attend,” said John Hawkins, AFBF managing director of conventions and operations, “Plus, hours could be spent at the hundred-plus booths or at the Cultivation Center stage on the Trade Show floor. We can’t discount the value of the time attendees spend networking, with each other, the exhibitors and the workshop presenters at the Trade Show. The expanded schedule we’re offering in 2020 will give attendees more chances to really dive into the topics, products and people they come to Convention for.”
The opening two rounds of the popular Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet will also take place on Saturday, Jan. 18. This event simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant.
Also on Saturday, Jan. 18, Annual Convention attendees interested in exploring the greater Austin area can opt for one of four tours highlighting agriculture in the region. Additional tours are available on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Pre-registration is required.