Grandin, Ellinghuysen Headline Convene ’19

March is the month, West Des Moines, Iowa, is the place. It‘s National Farmers annual winter farm business and ag marketing meeting, set for March 11-13 at the Sheraton Hotel.

Temple Grandin, world renowned for her livestock facility design and animal treatment insights, will talk cattle on Tuesday, March 12. Dr. Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Facilities she has designed are located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. Her writings about the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behavior have helped many people to reduce stress on their animals during handling.

In North America, almost half of the cattle are handled in a center track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants. Curved chute and race systems she has designed for cattle are used worldwide.

Richard Ellinghuysen is vice president of the pork division of Producers Livestock Marketing Association in Omaha, Neb. Ellinghuysen will talk about developments in the protein market worldwide.

Make Hotel Reservations by Feb.16
Come and celebrate an early spring in West Des Moines with fellow members in March. The Sheraton Hotel offers members free transportation from the airport, as well as a complimentary shuttle to area malls and restaurants. And with prices of just $119, or a suite for $129, you can’t go wrong.

Triple rates are just $129 for a standard room, and only $139 for four guests per room.
Rates are in effect for three days prior, and three days after National Farmers Convene ’19, so you can make the trip to this growing, acclaimed metropolitan area. The deadline for your reservation with a member discount is Feb. 16, 2019.

Register for the Sheraton at this link.
To make your hotel reservations by phone:
1. Call 1-800-325-3535
2. Mention National Farmers Organization to the reservations desk

National Farmers members will receive free self-parking, complimentary standard wireless internet as well as complimentary airport shuttle services. An indoor heated swimming pool and computer workstations are also complimentary.

There are two hotel eating options. Park Place Restaurant serves an informal breakfast with all the traditional breakfast favorites. Order cooked-to-order omelets, pastries, juice, fruit and more. The Waterfall Grille Restaurant and Lounge opens at 11 a.m. for lunch or dinner in a casual setting. It has a full menu that includes steaks, seafood, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
There are more than 10 restaurants very close to the Sheraton Hotel. Visit Open Table at

Get Down to Business
National Farmers convention business begins Monday, March 11 with the national board meeting and committee meetings. The general session begins at 3 p.m., and the afternoon highlights include Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and National Farmers Vice President Paul Riniker.

The morning of Tuesday, March 12, the financial report is presented, then Ellinghuysen, a former National Farmers national secretary will address members. The afternoon session offers members a chance to hear Temple Grandin, followed by J.T. Lowe from JBS.

Later that day, National Farmers Resolutions and Bylaws are presented for approval. That night, President Paul Olson presents awards and talks with members at the Dessert Reception.
Wednesday, March 13 is Commodity Day. The annual Members’ Dance rounds out the three-day event, where producers can move to the sounds of the group Passion.

Things to See and Do
Pick from Des Moines malls and shopping districts such as Valley West Mall, Jordan Creek Town Center, Historic Valley Junction or the Historic East Village — just to name a few.
Or check out the brand new Outlets of Des Moines, located in Altoona, Iowa. Enjoy an IMAX at the Science Center of Iowa or browse hundreds of flowers and plants at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Be sure to look at a visitors’ guide by visiting