The Purdue Top Farmer Conference, a management program for farmers that features some of the nation’s top experts on farm management, farm policy, agricultural finance and marketing, will take place Jan. 7, live via the Zoom meeting platform.

Frank Mitloehner, a University of California, Davis professor of animal science, air quality extension specialist and the conference keynote speaker, will discuss animal agriculture’s path to climate neutrality. Mitloehner is a sustainability expert who has spent nearly two decades studying the relationship between the livestock industry and air quality. His research sheds new light on the impact of livestock emissions on climate and reveals, once livestock emissions and mitigation process are better understood, how the world can move closer to turning what can be viewed as a liability into an asset. He is the director of the University of California’s CLEAR Center, which is dedicated to bringing clarity to the intersection of animal agriculture and the environment. In 2013, Mitloehner served as chairman of a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization partnership project to benchmark the environmental footprint of livestock production.

Additional speakers include Purdue University’s Nathanael Thompson, associate professor of agricultural economics; Carson Reeling, associate professor of agricultural economics; and Shalamar Armstrong, associate professor of agronomy. They will offer insights into emerging opportunities for farmers to receive payments for storing carbon on their farms and explore underlying motivations for these markets, what opportunities markets are currently offering farmers and what soil science tells us about the viability of soil carbon markets.

Purdue’s Todd Kuethe, associate professor and Schrader Endowed Chair in Farmland Economics; RD Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co. Inc.; and Howard Halderman, president and CEO of Halderman Real Estate and Farm Management, will discuss the new record high farmland prices across the Midwest and cover the drivers behind the recent sharp increase in farmland values, the implications for farm finance and cash rents, and how long the boom is expected to last.

Additionally, Dan Quinn, assistant professor of agronomy and Extension corn specialist; Shaun Casteel, associate professor of agronomy and Extension soybean specialist; Bill Johnson, professor of weed science and Extension weed specialist; and Michael Langemeier, professor of agricultural economics, will examine the impact of the dramatic rise in crop input prices, as well as potential input supply shortfalls on corn and soybean production in 2022.

The conference will take place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET with a one-hour break for lunch. Registration for the four-hour virtual event is $50 per person and includes access to the live conference, video recordings and presentation slide decks. Upon registration, participants will receive the Zoom meeting link and details about how to join the conference at its scheduled time.

The conference is sponsored by Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture and Farm Credit Mid-America. For more information or to register, contact Sarah Zahn at or 765-494-7004 or visit