The Chicago Farmers Rebrands Farmland Fair

chi-farmThe Chicago Farmers annual Farmland Investment Fair has been rebranded for 2014 as simply “The Farmland Fair” with a continued focus on the connection of social media and farmland investment.

The Chicago Farmers 2014 Farmland Fair – “Where People Come To Learn, Connect and Understand Farmland” – will be held on February 1, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Joliet Junior College’s Weitendorf Ag Facility. The Fair will feature social media expert Jeff Korhan, author of “Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business,” which delivers proven methods for converting social marketing best practices into profitable outcomes. Korhan is a small business marketing specialist who helps businesses use social media and internet marketing to create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth.

Farmland Fair co-chairman Jeff Martin notes that The Chicago Farmers organization has been helping people with an interest in farmland connect face-to-face with each other since 1935. “This year we’re going to teach people how to connect and learn about farmland on-line and further increase their business opportunities on the farm,” said Martin, who is a past president of The Chicago Farmers, a farmer from Mount Pulaski, Illinois and nationally-recognized expert on conservation practices. Interview with Jeff Martin, The Chicago Farmers

Read more here and watch one of Jeff’s videos from The Chicago Farmers website below where he talks about the fair.

Zimfo Bytes

    Zimfo Bytes

  • American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl announced plans to step down this summer after a five-year term as the head of the nation’s leading farmland conservation organization.
  • Glysorita LLC, introduces two dry granular glyphosate formulations based on an ammonium salt, new to the United States market.
  • Deadline for Murray Wise Foundation Ag scholarships set for March 31.
  • Registration Now Open for Annual Farmland Investment Fair.

Illinois Ag Leadership Foundation

Mark BloomIt’s okay to talk about Mark Bloom. I think he’s actually in Brazil right now with an Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation group. Mark is one of the staff members of IALF and he was exhibiting at the recent Chicago Farmers Farmland Investment Fair.

Mark says it’s a great time for IALF since they’ve got an overlap in last year’s leadership class with the international seminar group that is touring in Brazil and Argentina. He says it’s the second time they’ve been at the Farmland Investment Fair. He says it’s interesting that he’s found that other exhibitors are really good prospects for the IALF program.

You can listen to my interview with Mark below.

Chicago Farmers Farmland Investment Fair Photo Album

Land Values

Mike ShaneFarmland values was a very important topic of discussion at the Farmland Investment Fair put on by the Chicago Farmers. One of the educational sessions on the topic was conducted by Mike Shane, First Farm Credit Services.

Mike told me they focused on what land values are now and what drives them. They can’t predict them of course. He says they’ve see a leveling off of values in recent years and decline in certain areas like the Dekalb, Kane and McHenry county areas around Chicago but if you go further south in the state they’re more flat or even higher. Land is still available and they’ve seen some land sell for as much as $8K in those areas. Interest rates were a question they got asked a lot and right now they’re about as low as they’re going to go.

You can listen to my interview with Mike below.

Chicago Farmers Farmland Investment Fair Photo Album

Joliet Junior College

Bill JohnsonJoliet Junior College and specifically the Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center was the location of the Chicago Farmers Farmland Investment Fair. I spoke with one of their faculty, Bill Johnson (pictured left), about the school. Bill is one of the many volunteers who work to put on the Fair.

He says that the College started that state’s first ag program in 1954 so it has the oldest ag program and it’s still the largest. They draw students from all the surrounding states. He says they’ve got 102 acres of farmland on the campus which is operated by the ag department. The Weitendorf Center is located across the highway from Chicago Motor Speedway. He says this is the third year they’ve held the fair in the facility.

You can listen to my interview with Bill below.

Chicago Farmers Farmland Investment Fair Photo Album

Talking With Chicago Farmers

The President of the Chicago Farmers is my good friend Colleen Callahan. I joked with her that I appreciated her wearing my Gators orange and blue but she’s actually going to an Illini basketball game later.

Colleen conducted one of the presentations here at the Farmland Investment Fair in her role as USDA, Rural Development, Illinois Director. I spoke with her afterward about the organization. She says Chicago Farmers was developed to assist absentee land owners and connect them with the farm industry. They meet monthly and hold this annual event outside Chicago to draw a wider audience of people who either have land to sell or are looking for farmland to buy.

You can listen to my interview with Colleen below. I also produced a video clip of the Fair so you can see what you missed if you weren’t here.

Chicago Farmers Farmland Investment Fair Photo Album

Farmland Investment Fair

The annual Farmland Investment Fair put on by the Chicago Farmers is underway in Joliet, IL at the Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center.

I’ll be doing back to back presentations on social media this morning with the first one starting momentarily. Please feel free to tweet us using the #ChiFarm hashtag. I appreciate it.

Later on today I’ll have some interviews for you from the event so see you then.

Chicago Farmers Farmland Investment Fair Photo Album

Chicago Farmers Reminder

chic-farmers-fair-10This is just a reminder that I’ll be attending and presenting at Saturday’s Chicago Farmers Farmland Investment Fair. It will be held at the Joliet Junior College Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center.

I’ll be conducting two morning sessions on social media before heading to Dallas, TX for the National Biodiesel Conference where I’ll be the Biodiesel Blogger again.

If you haven’t registered for the Farmland Investment Fair it’s not too late.

Chicago Farmers Thoughts On Social Media

chic-farmers-fair-10I’m going to be talking about social media and networking at the upcoming Chicago Farmers Farmland Investment Fair. But before getting there I talked about it with Rich Schell,, who is a member and committee organizer for the fair. He’s also an Attorney, Author & Agri-preneur, Wagner & Schell, LLP.

Rich says that since the purpose of the Fair is to communicate, they see social media mechanisms as just a new channel to communicate with people interested in farmland and specifically investing. That’s why I’ve helped them create a Chicago Farmers Twitter account and will be assisting with online coverage of the Fair in addition to presenting a session on social media. Rich sees the target audience for the Fair busy on their Blackberry’s and he thinks they’re pretty savvy when it comes to using the internet. My session will help those who haven’t started with social networks and want to.

Please feel free to listen in on my conversation with Rich below: