South Central College Hosts Ag Symposium – Monday, February 25, 2013

Experts to share the latest trends with area agribusiness producers

North Mankato, Minnesota - Today’s agricultural producers are adapting to a landscape that is constantly changing. They are expected to be economists, commodity specialists, financiers, brokers, mechanics, transportation logisticians, managers, and more. South Central College’s Foundation is providing a one-day professional development opportunity to assist area farm families with keeping a finger on the pulse of their dynamic industry.

South Central College Foundation is proud to announce the fifth annual New Tools for New Rules Agricultural Symposium. This regional professional development opportunity is designed for all agricultural producers.  New Tools brings world-class speakers to the campus of South Central College for a day of cutting-edge presentations and discussion. The event is scheduled for Monday, February 25, 2013, from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. South Central College, located at 1920 Lee Boulevard in North Mankato, MN, will host all activities in its John Votca Conference Center.

Scheduled to appear are Dr. Michael Swanson, Rick Dusek, and Dr. David Kohl. All are experts in their respective field and will introduce conference attendees to the ‘new rules’ facing 21st century ag producers. They will also be providing attendees with “new tools” to address these challenges, making them more productive and profitable farm managers. A brief bio of each speaker follows.

Attendees will be also be allowed to customize their learning with relevant break-out sessions that range from topics including social media, human resources, financial communications, water quality and more.

The principal sponsorship for “New Tools for New Rules” is provided by CHS and CHS Foundation.

Cost for the one-day symposium is $119 ($99 if you register by February 15, 2013). All proceeds from New Tools for New Rules go toward agribusiness scholarships and program advancement, as well as general support for the SCC non-profit Foundation. Lunch is included in the ticket price.

For more information, contact Tami Reuter, SCC Foundation Executive Director at 507-389-7342. For tickets, visit

 Speaker Bios

Rick Dusek

Rick Dusek is vice president of CHS Grain Marketing, a division of CHS Inc. He is responsible for all North American commodity trading and risk management for the Grain Marketing business. In his 23 years with CHS, Rick has held a series of progressively responsible positions within Grain Marketing. Beginning as a procurement merchant, Rick moved into domestic wheat trading; from there he managed the wheat export trading desk. He was director of merchandising for Grain Marketing from 2006 through 2011, and was named vice president in January of 2012. Rick also serves on the board of directors of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

Born and raised in Grafton, North Dakota, Rick graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics.



Dr. David Kohl 

Dr. David Kohl received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. Dr. Kohl has traveled over 6 million miles throughout his professional career. He has conducted more than 5,000 workshops and seminars for agricultural groups such as bankers, Farm Credit, FSA, and regulators, as well as producer and agribusiness groups. He has published four books and over 500 articles on financial and business-related topics in journals, extension, and other popular publications. Kohl regularly writes for Farm Journal, Top Producer, Ag Lender, and Soybean Digest.

Dr. Michael Swanson

Michael Swanson, Ph. D., is an agricultural economist and consultant for Wells Fargo, the largest commercial agricultural lender in the United States. Based in Minneapolis, his responsibilities include analyzing the impact of energy on agriculture, forecasting for key agricultural commodities, such as wheat, soybeans, corn, and cotton, and livestock sectors, such as cattle, dairy, and hogs. Additionally, he helps develop credit and risk strategies for Wells Fargo’s customers, and performs macroeconomic and international analysis on agricultural production and agribusiness. Michael received undergraduate degrees in economics and business administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and both his master’s and doctorate degrees in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Minnesota. His doctoral thesis, which the National Research Institute and the Norwegian government sponsored, showed how to use value-added tax data to better estimate key components of economic activity.