Farmers have continued to find new ways of producing agricultural commodities. For many years, the adoption of new technologies and modernized farming practices have allowed producers across the world to generate more output with their available resources. These far-reaching gains in productivity have been crucial in satisfying the needs of a growing population. Moreover, despite concerns about slower productivity growth in other sectors of the global economy and unprecedented challenges from the pandemic of the past year, productivity in agriculture has continued to increase in many regions and across numerous commodity groups.
The 2021 Agricultural Symposium, “The Roots of Agricultural Productivity Growth” will explore the key drivers of the persistent growth in agricultural productivity, linkages to other industries, and environmental considerations. The topic was originally planned for 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic. Disruptions connected to the pandemic and wide fluctuations in agricultural markets have underscored the importance of further research and discussion surrounding productivity, and the vulnerabilities of production, when assessing longer-term conditions in agriculture and related industries.
The 2021 Agricultural Symposium will take place virtually. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. External LinkRegister here.
Agricultural Symposium Research
Read the leading research on this year's topic of agricultural productivity.
Session 1: The Drivers of Agricultural Productivity Growth
This session will explore the overarching factors behind agricultural productivity growth, barriers to growth, and which inputs are generating the strongest gains.
Philip PardeyProfessor and Director, International Science and Technology Practice and Policy (InSTePP) Center, University of Minnesota
Keith FuglieEconomist, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Larkin MartinChief Executive Officer, Martin Farm
Kimberly RatcliffManager, Canney Creek Ranch and Owner, Farm to Freezer Meat Company
Cortney CowleyEconomist, Regional Research
Session 2: The Role of Technology and Data
This session will discuss how technology and the use of data will affect future prospects of agricultural productivity growth.
Terry GriffinAssociate Professor and Cropping Systems Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University
Gregory GraffProfessor, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University
John RainesChief Commercial Officer, The Climate Corporation
Deanna KovarVice President, Production and Precision Ag Production Systems, Deere & Company
Alison FelixSenior Policy Advisor, Economic Research
Esther L. GeorgePresident and Chief Executive Officer
Ertharin CousinDistinguished Fellow of Global Food and Agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and the Environment.
Session 3: Supply Chain Spillovers
This session will explore the ways in which agricultural productivity affects, or is affected by, businesses in other segments of the agricultural supply chain.
Sergio LenceProfessor and Marlin Cole Chair of International Agricultural Economics, Iowa State University
Heidi SchweizerAssistant Professor and Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University
Jim PillenFounder and Owner, Pillen Family Farms/DNA Genetics
Seth PostRegional General Manager, CGB Enterprises
Chad WilkersonVice President, Economist and Oklahoma City Branch Executive
Session 4: Environmental Linkages
This session will discuss the linkages between environmental conditions and agricultural productivity, and implications for food security.