WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The National Conference for Agribusiness is just around the corner, so now is the time to sign up to attend this annual event for agribusiness professionals.

The conference, Nov. 4-5 at Purdue University, will feature an extensive lineup of keynote speakers. They will discuss the latest results of the Large Commercial Producer Project, a nationwide survey that explores what farmers are looking for when they buy products.

While there is no official deadline to register for the conference, registration will close once the maximum occupancy of 300 participants is met.

“The objective of our national conference is to help those folks supplying inputs to producers, to help them help their customers be more successful,” said Michael Gunderson, associate director of research at the Center for Food and Agricultural Business.

“We want their relationship with consumers to be mutually beneficial and everyone to gain from that. We have some thoughts on how that relationship will change in the future and how to get ready for crop season 2014.”

One of the guest speakers will discuss the buying process that farmers use to purchase their inputs.

“This is something we’ve traditionally seen done in the national conference where we look at what factors farmers pay attention to when they buy inputs — which ones matter more than others?” said Corinne Alexander, associate professor of agricultural economics at Purdue.

She will discuss brand and dealer loyalty, along with the demographics of different market segments.

Alexander said that markets are generally divided into whether a farmer is a price buyer, relationship buyer or value buyer.

“For example, if someone is a relationship buyer, they make purchasing decisions based on relationships with the dealer are working with,” she explained.

Gunderson also will talk about loyalty during his session on the first day of the conference. On the second day, he will talk about buyer seller relationships.

“In the past, we’ve been very focused on the relationship producers have with their inputs and suppliers of the inputs,” he noted. “We added an additional focus to that, what do they think makes them successful as a farmer?

“We see a pretty big shift in what makes them successful as a farmer when they get bigger in size. Generally, managing production, land and equipment, comes first, but with larger operations managing people is much more important. We’ll explore why that is and explain where producers fall in these different categories.”

Allan Gray, director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business, will follow up with a panel of producers and talk with them about their personal strategies.

Both Alexander and Gunderson encouraged anyone involved with agricultural input industries to consider attending the conference.

“Anybody involved would benefit,” Alexander said. “Particularly areas like seed and crop protection, fertilizer, feed, capital equipment and animal health products. We’re focused across a whole range of those variable inputs that farmers purchase every year, as well as long term purchases that take awhile to make a decision about.”

Participants are eligible to receive continuing education credit and Certified Crop Adviser credit. The cost is $1,295 to attend.

For more information call (765) 494-4247 or visit www.agecon.purdue.edu/cab/programs/nca.