Despite our best efforts, we could not beat the snow and crippling cold.
After months of preparation we were all set to hold our first ever Ag Finance Boot Camp this week here in St. Louis - a one-day training session to help farmers learn more about how to handle finances. Everything was falling into place: the speakers, the hotel, the sponsors – and a list of farmer attendees far larger than we first expected.
Yes, the only thing that did not cooperate was the weather. It turns out meeting planning is a lot like farming. The best laid plans can and will go awry when Mother Nature gets uppity. And boy did she. Blizzard conditions across the Midwest have made roads in Illinois, Missouri and other states nearly impassable. Dozens of flights have been cancelled.
I drove in to St. Louis early Saturday night to avoid the trouble and be ready for both events: the Ag Finance Boot Camp, to be held Monday, followed by the Farm Futures Business Summit, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday (and will continue, as scheduled.)
Earlier today we were readying materials and setting up meeting rooms when I started getting a steady stream of emails from disappointed farmers telling me they couldn't risk the weather to get to the event. I even had one tell me he had been looking forward to this meeting more than the National Farm Machinery Show.
Well, so was I. And right up until mid-day Sunday we had every intention of holding the meeting. But when I got the call from three of our presenters saying they were stuck in Minneapolis indefinitely with no immediate way to get to St. Louis, I knew the jig was up.
But all is not lost. We know there is a strong desire for this kind of training for farmers, and we are responding to that desire. We are working with our presenter friends at the Farm Financial Standards Council to determine a new date for the Boot Camp, sometime in mid-February.
This presents a fresh opportunity for those of you who wanted to attend but could not make it the first time. Watch www.farmfutures.com for the new date.
If you still had plans to attend this year's Business Summit, I look forward to seeing you this Tuesday morning at the Hilton Ballpark Hotel in St. Louis.