It’s not unusual for agricultural producers to make year-to-year decisions based on the current commodity prices. It’s how traditional agricultural markets have programmed us for generations.
But what happens when most consumers demand to know where their food comes from and its nutritional value? According to our keynote speaker at last year’s Expanding Markets Conference, Zack Angelini – formerly of Timberland Boot Company, that shift is happening now. 66% of all consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, including grass-fed beef. And the consumers that really feel the pull toward nutritional foods are between the ages of 18-34, where 80% demand healthier options!
This change in mindset is a significant shift, and producers better be ready.
Break Free From Commodity Prices and Explore Other Market Opportunities
At the 2nd Annual Expanding Markets Conference, hosted by Western Sustainability Exchange, you will hear from various companies and experts throughout the United States cultivating regenerative agriculture markets for producers like you.
Panel discussions will include aggregators like US Wellness Meats from Missouri and Blue Nest from Minnesota; and value-added companies looking to source animal byproducts like Bumbleroot and West Paw, both Montana-based companies and Public Good Provisions, a national B2B procurement startup for regenerative food and fiber.
The Time to Collect Your Land Management Data and Cultivate Your Stories is Now!
As regenerative agriculture markets heat up and companies are looking for supply, they will first turn to producers with a track record of regenerative management and enticing stories that ranchers can share with consumers.
At this year’s conference, you will hear from industry experts who understand the importance of data collection and stories. WSE’s own Chris Mehus will discuss the growing interest in land management data. And Gina Nagel, formerly of Hormel and Applegate, will lead a beginner storytelling workshop to get producers thinking about their unique stories and how to tell them.
Sell Your Carbon Credits and Learn How You Can Benefit From Ecosystem Services
Since the U.S. Securities Commission introduced the new Scope 3 regulations, where all corporations must disclose their emissions, demand for such programs has skyrocketed.
The ability of landowners to sell their carbon credits has helped many safeguard themselves from the downturn in the commodity markets. And the ecosystem services marketplace is no different. These programs offer financial incentives for stewardship most are already doing on their land.
Montana landowners are fortunate to be already a part of the only validated grassland carbon program in the United States. At the same time, WSE makes strides to incorporate the ecosystem services marketplace into a viable alternative for ranches throughout the West.
At this year’s conference, representatives from Native, a carbon credit offset company, and experts in the up-and-coming ecosystem services marketplace will be on hand to explain the benefits of these programs.
Other Opportunities to Safeguard from Fluctuating Commodity Prices
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, but what would happen if more of us worked in collaboration with each other? Listen to how ranch families have formed partnerships to market and direct sell their products at the conference and seasoned cooperative developers working in the agricultural industry to strengthen communities.
It’s an innovative way of thinking; many landowners are exploring ways to make more money off their land. The concept is called “stacking enterprises” and allows producers to make more money off their land than from just one class of livestock. These enterprises consist of hunting, camping, retreats, and even other livestock classes, just to name a few. During the conference, you will hear from LandTrust, a booking platform for outdoor enthusiasts and ranchers sharing their enterprise stacking stories.
Expanding Markets Conference Registration Opens Soon!
August 1st marks the opening day to register for the conference. Because of the venue’s capacity, limited seats will be available, so don’t wait until the last minute to register!
Like last year, if two people from your operation will be attending, WSE will give a discount – spouses, managers, hired hands, etc., all qualify.
The conference will include an online attendance option with limited company, vendor, and general networking interactions. Registration for this option will open at a later date.
We advise attending in person to make the personal connections you feel will benefit your operation now and in the future. For more information, to book hotel rooms (a block of rooms is available), or to register, please visit our website.
See you November 7th and 8th at the Bighorn Resort in Billings!