Farming the Future: The Business of Farming

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Greenville Convention Center

Join us to explore all things business as they relate to farming.  You’ll hear from knowledgeable and entertaining speakers who will focus on the essential tasks, innovations and market challenges that will affect the future success of your farming business.

Thanks to all who attended!

Conference Details

Doors open and check in begins at 8:00 AM

Lunch is provided

Door prizes throughout the day

Discounted hotel accommodations

Show Special Coupon for attendees

Greenville Convention Center


Keynote Speaker

Rob Sharkey

Farmer, Podcaster, TV and Radio Show Host

“Sharks Don’t Swim Backwards”

Rob Sharkey is a risk taker and out-of-the-box thinker. Better known by his digital alias, The SharkFarmer, Rob is an Illinois grain farmer, owner of a whitetail deer hunting outfitter, podcast & radio show host, and host of multiple TV shows on RFD-TV and PBS.  Rob married his high school sweetheart, Emily, and they’ve brought up their family in the heartland. Knowing every decision they make trickles down to impact their family, Rob and Emily strive to set examples of taking smart chances and learning from every failure.

Known for his authentic and honest storytelling on his podcast, Rob isn’t afraid to address controversial topics or share the struggles of being a modern farmer and business owner. His unfiltered words resonate with almost a million listeners weekly around the world.  Prioritizing his guests on the show with an ability to genuinely listen to their stories and respond with engaging questions, he has created a space for people to connect regardless of age, location or farm background. Rob knows risk is an essential ingredient to the recipe for success, and he’s not afraid of failure.

His natural ability to connect with audiences – large or small – on a variety of subjects, makes Rob a highly sought-after influencer in the agriculture community. As the momentum builds, this Shark will continue to swim forward, sharing his story with whomever is listening.

Guest Speaker and Emcee

Mike Davis

Southern Farm Network News Director

Southern Farm Network News Director, Mike Davis, brings more than 40 years of experience to the microphone.  He began his broadcasting career in north Georgia in the 1980’s before returning to his roots in North Carolina and WETC (We Entertain Tobacco Counties). Davis has agriculture in his heritage, dating back to his father’s days as an ag researcher at NC State University. He is also active in the burgeoning farm-to-fork movement, serving as emcee for events in the Raleigh area.

Mike Davis has worked in broadcasting since his high school days in Knightdale, North Carolina. He began as a volunteer news reporter for WCPE in Raleigh in the early ’80s before earning his degree in Mass Communication from Toccoa Falls College in 1986. Since then, he has had the privilege of working as a DJ, a business television network manager, producer and host for the Duke and NC State radio networks, a reporter and sports director for the NC News Network and WPTF/Raleigh, and since 2017, the news director for the Southern Farm Network covering agribusiness and agriculture in North and South Carolina.

Guest Speaker

Mark Purdy

COO, Aimpoint Research®

“Farmer of the Future 2.0”

Mark Purdy is Chief Operations Officer at Aimpoint Research®, a global strategic intelligence firm specializing in agri-food. In his role as Chief Operations Officer, Colonel (retired) Mark Purdy is responsible for day-to-day operations, research oversight and accountability toward achieving organizational goals. He guides clients to strategically activate on their research results, assess impacts and develop business strategies.

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mark brings over 30 years of results-oriented experience leading organizations of more than 2,000 people.  His vast experiences range from leading combat units over multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan to managing multi-billion-dollar security assistance portfolios that included procurement, managing the supply chain and government regulatory compliance.  Mark also served as Director of Wargames at the U.S. Army War College providing actionable solutions to top national security dilemmas.

Mark grew up on a farm in central Ohio where his family raised sheep, corn, soybeans and hay, and continues to operate the family farm today.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, as well as master’s degrees in Military Operational Arts from the Air Force Air University and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

About Aimpoint Research®

Organizations across the agri-food value chain are trying to thrive in an increasingly dynamic, global economy with fluctuating regulations, evolving technology, and changing consumer demands. At the same time, the sheer volume and complexity of data and information available at our fingertips and splashed across news feeds is making it harder for leaders to connect the dots and understand what’s truth and what’s noise.

Aimpoint Research® is a global strategic intelligence firm specializing in agri-food.  The company provides a unique blend of military intelligence techniques and cutting-edge market research capabilities to help leaders and organizations understand what’s really happening in the marketplace, what’s going to happen in the future, and what to do to ensure success in that future.

Founded and led by former U.S. Army Intelligence Officers, experienced research professionals and agricultural experts, Aimpoint Research is driven by the core belief that the success of the agri-food system is essential to national security.

Speaker Team from Ward and Smith, PA

A team of knowledgeable and experienced attorneys from Ward and Smith, PA will discuss a variety of topics important to your farming business, including:

Agribusiness law
Business succession planning
Estate planning

Greg Peacock

Ward and Smith, PA

Greg Peacock is certified by the National Elder Law Foundation as a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA).  He is also certified by the North Carolina State Bar both as a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law and as a Board Certified Specialist in Elder Law.  Greg frequently speaks to civic and community groups and at continuing legal education seminars on various topics relating to estate planning and administration.

Lee Hodge

Ward and Smith, PA

Lee Hodge regularly advises clients on a broad range of business law matters, including the formation of new business and investment entities, stock purchase/sale transactions, asset purchase/sale transactions, and contract drafting and negotiation.  Lee also represents clients on a wide variety of tax planning matters.  His practice expertise includes agribusiness law.

Peter von Stein

Ward and Smith, PA

Peter von Stein advises clients on a wide array of issues in the context of estate and trust planning and administration. He assists in the preparation of Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney to achieve each unique client’s objectives in planning for death, incapacity, and asset transfers.  One of his practice concentrations is agribusiness law.

Hotel Accommodations


207 SW Greenville Blvd., Greenville, NC

Discounted Room Rate: $159, book by 11/17/2023

Call 252-355-5000 and ask for Coastal AgroBusiness group rate

Group code: CAGRO

Hampton Inn

305 SW Greenville Blvd. Greenville, NC

Discounted Room Rate: $139, book by 11/17/2023

Call 252-355-7400 and ask for Coastal AgroBusiness group rate

Group code: CAG

Holiday Inn

203 Greenville Blvd. SW, Greenville, NC

Discounted room rate: $129, book by 11/17/2023

Call (252) 355-8300 and ask for Coastal AgroBusiness group rate

Group code: COB

Show Special Coupon

Conference attendees will receive a coupon redeemable for a 10% discount on an Ag Leader® InCommand 1200 Monitor.

Upon purchase of the monitor, attendee is also entitled to:

  • 10% off components needed to complete a controlling/monitoring system


  • 10% off Coastal Agrolytix Boundary Setup

This Show Special is made possible by Ag Leader® and Coastal AgroBusiness, Inc.