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The FAMILY FARM MASTERCLASS will equip farmers and agricultural leaders to professionalize their management practices as well as prepare them for future growth and transitions. High caliber speakers will be in Des Moines, Iowa to present with you about how to take your management skills to the next level. Most importantly, attendees come from all over the Midwest, looking to network with like-minded farmers and operators.

Our Masterclass is split up between two days. The first day will be a more intimate school room atmosphere for those producers wanting to understand the basics of grain and livestock marketing. It will include discussions on futures, options, technical trading, pricing strategies, etc. This day is reserved more for those producers who are unfamiliar with using hedging and trading strategies tools and want to learn the basics.

The main event will be on the second day, January 28th.  This day will be in a large auditorium like setting with high profile national speakers to discuss various facets of becoming a more professional farm manager. Topics will include: Best Management Practices, Financial Management Strategies, Innovation, Succession Planning and Leadership.  You can choose to either come to one of the days or both of the days.

January 27th, 2022
Day 1 will focus on the basics. It will include grain marketing and futures trading 101.   Cost is $125 per individual.


January 28th, 2022
Day 2 will be the main event and will focus on farm financial management, innovation, succession planning and leadership. Attendees can choose to come to one day or both days. Day 2 cost is $400 per individual or $500 for those attending both days. Virtual option $150.


The 2022 FAMILY FARM MASTERCLASS is sure to provide a large crowd in downtown Des Moines.


Origins of the Family Farm Masterclass

This conference was developed by proponents of family farms that understand the challenges of keeping the family farm running. Only 30% of family owned businesses survive the transfer from first generation to second generation. It is vital that farmers have the tools they need to constantly be innovating and improving their operation in a highly competitive market. As consolidation moves through the agriculture industry, farmers need a program that allows them to pursue continuing education and develop a peer network to help them maintain their competitiveness and to pass their farm operation off to the next generation.

The Family Farm Masterclass will provide some of the best speakers and educators through which attendees can expect to get thought-provoking content that will provide their farm operation with fresh ideas. Discussion will center around financial management strategies, innovation, estate planning and leadership.



Dick Wittman is board chair and former manager of a 20,000-acre dry land crop, range cattle and timber operation in northern Idaho. Management of the farm has transitioned to a partnership of three other family partners. He also provides private consulting to farm, ranch, and agricultural support businesses.

In 1980 he joined the family farm in Idaho and established a private consulting practice. Wittman has worked with numerous farm clients and professional practitioners, conducted seminars, facilitated strategic planning, and taught college classes throughout the U. S., Canada, and Australia. He specializes in financial management, process improvement, developing management systems, business succession planning and conflict resolution. In recent years he has focused on train-the-trainer workshops to expand the international resource base of consultants who can assist family businesses in agricultural finance and transition issues. In January 2004, he published Building an Effective Farm Management System, a guidebook designed to help commercial-size family farm businesses put in place professional governance and transition processes. An update of this guidebook was released in 2021 and is available in online and hardcopy versions.

In 1996 he became a director and in 2006 served as president of the Farm Financial Standards Council, a group of farm management and financial experts who have been working for 40 years to professionalize farm accounting and financial analysis processes. The council released national guidelines for Managerial Accounting in 2006. Wittman is a nationally recognized educator on this topic.

Wittman has served on the faculty for the TEPAP Ag Executive Program in Austin, Texas since 2003, and is an adjunct faculty member of Texas A&M University. He is also a founding member of, a peer group of consulting professionals promoting excellence and integrity and empowering continuity in the agricultural family business consulting profession. In 2014 he joined the Board of Advisors for the Farm Journal Legacy Institute and serves on the FarmHouse Fraternity National Foundation Board of Trustees.


Jolene Brown will have you laughing while you learn! She’s an award-winning communicator, an inductee into the prestigious CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame and an honored recipient of the Certified Speaking Professional, the highest earned designation of speaking achievement worldwide! She’s known as a Champion for Agriculture whether from the platform, in the magazines, on television, or on the radio.

Jolene is a walking-talking spokesperson and consultant for the family-owned business. With her keen insight and result-centered approach, she’s been invited to sit at lots of kitchen tables and family business meeting rooms. Her popular book, Sometimes You Need More Than a 2×4!, contains how-to-tips so those in agriculture can increase productivity, profitability and peace of mind.

As co-owner and active partner on their Eastern Iowa corn and soybean farm, her practical experience includes plugging a grain auger, hypnotizing chickens and entertaining folks behind the equipment parts counter.


Dan Manternach grew up on a diversified family farm in Iowa that had a beef herd, feedlot, farrow-to-finish hog operation and an egg-laying chicken. He’s a graduate of Iowa State University where he majored in Agricultural Communications and Agricultural Economics. A former President of Pro Farmer, Dan developed strategic alliances with firms in Canada and Australia. A prolific writer and editor and having conducted numerous seminars for his own firms and 3rd party ag groups, Dan is among past recipients of the annual “Ag Communicator of the Year” award by the National Agri-Marketing Association. Dan is now Senior Economist for Commstock Investments providing his insight and analysis for “The Commstock Report” for their farmer clients across the United States.


Damian Mason is a Businessman, Agriculturist, Speaker, Podcaster, Author and Consultant. He was raised on a dairy farm, owns and managed 300 acres of farm and timberland and has a degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. Damian’s clients include the biggest names in Agriculture and cover every space on the table from corn to cranberries, cotton to cattle, canned food to canola. Since 1994, he has spoken to over 2,400 audiences in all 50 states and 7 foreign countries. In addition to speaking at Ag meetings, Damian produces and hosts, “The Business of Agriculture” podcast and the “Do Business Better” podcast. In 2019 he released his books, Do Business Better- Trains, Habits and Actions to Help You Succeed AND Food Fear – How Fear is Ruining Your Dinner and Why You should Celebrate Eating.


Jason Gardner is a former U.S. Navy SEAL, combat leader, and now a leadership instructor and speaker with Echelon Front. Jason spent nearly three decades in the SEAL Teams with nine deployments across the globe. With experience operating in violent cities in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Jason has seen first-hand the power of the leadership lessons taught at Echelon Front. He brings perspective from every level of leadership from a front line SEAL sniper to the SEAL Team FIVE Command Master Chief. As a lead instructor for Naval Special Warfare Group One Training Detachment, he created and implemented realistic and challenging special operations combat training to better prepare SEAL units for the real-world battlefield. Throughout his career, he worked alongside Jocko, Leif, and several members of the Echelon Front team developing the same principles and mindsets taught to companies across every industry. He is the recipient of the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and numerous other awards.

After his retirement from the US Navy, Jason brings unmatched experience with combat leadership in dynamic environments, building winning teams, and developing relationships across all levels of an organization. He serves as a leadership instructor, speaker, and strategic advisor at Echelon Front.


Marriott Des Moines Downtown
700 Grand Ave | Des Moines, Iowa 50309

A block of rooms will be held January 26th to January 28th at the Marriott Des Moines Downtown for a discounted nightly rate $124 plus tax for Masterclass guests and attendees. This special room rate will be available until November 11th, 2021 or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.

Please make your reservations early. Rooms booked after November 11th, will be based on availability and not subject to the group discount rate.

To make reservations by phone, call: (515) 245-5500

Book your group rate for Jan 2022


The 2022 Family Farm Masterclass is a special opportunity to increase brand awareness and discover new leads in a professional conference like setting with hundreds of attendees.


to learn more about sponsorship opportunities that include:

  • Peer networking opportunities with professional farmers and prospective customers
  • Increase your brand exposure in association with a leading ag risk management business at a highly regarded farmer conference
  • Utilize booth spaces to display your companies products and meet with your target audience

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Katie Geerdes at 712-227-1110 or

Requests by media can also be directed towards


Commstock Investments is a leading provider of commodity brokerage, crop insurance, market advisory and managed bushels through the United States. The Commstock Report provides market research combined with colorful ag based commentary defending the American Family Farm. A version of it can be listened to and/or read on radio stations and newspapers from Minnesota down to Kansas. Family Farm Masterclass is a cutting-edge program designed to help agriculture producers become better managers and grain marketers.

For more information, visit us at

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