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ARA Concludes Annual Conference and Expo

Dec 05 2019

NEW ORLEANS, La. (Dec. 5, 2019) – Today the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) concluded its annual Conference & Expo in New Orleans, La., with a closing keynote presentation and panel discussion.

The closing general session began with the Competing Retail Models panel moderated by Margy Eckelkamp, editor of AgPro, and featured panelists Alexander Reichert, co-founder and CEO of AgVend; Dave Thomas, executive vice president of Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC; and John Demerly, CEO of CommoditAg.

The interactive discussion included the presentation of recent findings from a recent AgPro study on purchasing decisions which showed 63 percent of farmers have ordered a product or service for farming from a mobile device. Attendees learned how farmer demographics, technology, and customer expectations are changing their business.

“Ag retailers are responding to how they can better serve their farmer customers with new products, services and digital interactions,” said Eckelkamp. “Technology is a tool retailers are embracing as it has the power to enhance their roles as trusted advisors.”

Following the panel Major General Vinny Boles, U.S. Army (Ret.) took the stage for a final keynote presentation entitled, “Leveraging the Links in Your Supply Chain.” Drawing on his career experience, Major General Boles highlighted four critical issues that will snag a supply chain.

“This year’s conference and expo exceeded my expectations,” said ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock at the conclusion of the event. “The ARA members and industry partners in attendance walked away with knowledge they can leverage to improve their customer service, streamline their operations and address the issues they face each day.

“This event provided us an opportunity to reflect on the last year and renew our excitement for the coming year. I look forward to taking the information gained from our speakers and members and applying it to our work representing the ag retail industry.”

Learn more about the 2019 ARA Conference & Expo on the website or on ARA’s social media. Browse photos from the event. The 2020 ARA Conference and Expo will be held Dec. 1-3, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nev.