Hurricane Relief, Solar Energy, Cybersecurity and Tax Reform Among Notable Topics at Ag Conference

The 7th Annual Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference (FAFMC) was held at the B Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista on November 2-3. More than 90 people (mostly Florida growers and farmers) were in attendance to learn about key issues ranging from hurricane recovery, tax strategies and cybersecurity, to cash flow, operational efficiency and reduced labor costs.

Attendees enjoyed a pre-conference tour of H&A Farms, a blueberry packing facility where 3 million lbs. of berries were packed in 2017; Southern Hill Farms, an agritourist, blueberry and tree farm that also runs a successful 40-acre U-Pick operation; and Clonts Groves. With over 520 acres of citrus, this grove has five varieties of tangerines and three varieties of oranges.

Attorneys Michael D. Minton, Anna H. Long, and Dana M. Apfelbaum, co-presented on the topic, Florida’s Current Climate is Ripe for Solar Energy.  Their session provided information about Federal, state and local tax incentives promoting the importance of renewable energy like solar power. The incentives benefit Florida’s business owners and residents who choose to implement solar energy systems on their property.

Bob Blackburn, founder of Corporate Profit Solutions, LLC, was among the popular guest speakers. His presentation, 180 Days to Maximum Profit – Analyzing Efficiencies in Your Operation, covered areas involving operating cash flow, financial trends and banking relationships. Other highlights from the conference included Dr. Ed Seifried’s outlook on tax reform and what businesses can expect from a Trump economy. Agricultural Meteorologist, Dr. S. Elwynn Taylor also presented on the topic, Weather Outlook for 2018 Crop Planning. This topic touched on the changing climate and the great impact it has on the agriculture economy.

The conference is also a great place to meet others in the industry and share best practices and ideas.

“Dean Mead and its attorneys were pleased to once again sponsor and participate in this terrific conference, where agribusiness leaders and those who advise them gather to focus on current economic trends, changes in taxation and other laws, and the business side of one of Florida’s most important industries,” Agribusiness Industry Team attorney, Dennis Corrick said of the FAFMC.

Other sponsors for the conference include: UF IFAS, RSM US LLP, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA), Driscoll’s, Florida Specialty Crop Foundation, Florida Nursery Growers and Landscapers Association (FNGLA), and Farm Credit Associations of Florida.

For more information about the conference, please visit