Registration has opened for the 2009 International Farm Management Congress (IFMA17) which will be held July 19-24 at the Illinois State University Campus in Bloomington/Normal, Ill.

Information on registration fees and procedures are available at www.ifma17.org, according to Congress organizers. “The Web site has the complete information on the Congress including the pre- and post-Congress tours,” says Fred Hepler, president-elect of the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the official host organization for the Congress. Hepler serves as the spokesperson for the event.

“The program that has been developed is a once-in-a-career gathering of professionals and industry leaders from around the world,” he said. Planners of the Congress anticipate more than 500 professional farm managers, agribusiness professionals, academics, and producers from as many as 35 different countries will attend the Congress.

The week-long gathering will open on July 19 and conclude on July 24 with all activities based out of the Bloomington/Normal area.

“There will be three full days of speakers as well as presentations of academic and professional papers that will cover the theme of the Congress, which is ‘Food, Fiber and Energy for the Future,’ Hepler said.

“There will also be two very full days of tours of agribusiness and research facilities in the area in addition to visits to local farm operations and other activities including the Twin Groves wind farm.”

Organizers expect reservations for the day trips will fill quickly and encourage anyone interested in being part of the Congress to register early to get their pick of the day trip activities.

The call for academic and professional papers was sent out in August. Information on that process is also on the Web site.

The organization is using the resources of ISU Convention Services to handle all the registration procedures, Hepler notes. “This allows anyone from anywhere in the world to sign up for the congress 24/7 using the secured, on-line registration processes of the university.”

Reservations for lodging in the area is also available through the IFMA17 Web site.

The congresses are sponsored by the International Farm Management Association, which is based in Cambridge, England. They are held every two years with the most recent being in Ireland in 2007. The 2011 event will be held in Christ Church, New Zealand.

“This is the 17th Congress, hence the name, IFMA17,” Hepler said. This is only the second time the international event has been held in the United States, the last time being in 1986 in St Paul, Minn.