2013 Agricultural Symposium


In recent years, burgeoning food and fuel demand has strained agricultural production systems. Coupled with a series of poor harvests, record low farm inventories lifted agricultural trade, farm prices, and profits to new highs, which in turn, spurred a new wave of agricultural investments. By enhancing the productivity of agriculture and its surrounding infrastructure, these new investments could transform the competitiveness in global agricultural markets, shift would trade flows, and alter farm profitability.

The 2013 Agricultural Symposium will explore how worldwide investments in agriculture could redraw the landscape of agricultural production and investigate the implications for agricultural competitiveness, trade, and farm prosperity.

The Main Street Economist article, “The Shifting Nexus of Global Agriculture”, explores how worldwide investments could redraw the landscape of agricultural production and the implications for competitiveness, trade, and farm prosperity.

2013 Agricultural Symposium agenda

July 16, 2013  
12:30 - 1 p.m. Registration
1 - 1:15 p.m. Welcome
1:15 - 2 p.m. Keynote Address: Economic Conditions and Agriculture
  Esther George
President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
2 - 3:30 p.m. Session 1: Investing in Global Farm Productivity
  This session will explore the inter-relationships between farm investment, productivity and profits. A speaker will describe variations in global farm productivity and how the adoption of technological innovations could transform global agricultural markets. The panel of industry leaders will explore how global farm investments are enhancing farm productivity and bolstering food production.
  Investing in Global Farm Productivity
Speaker: Patrick Westhoff, Director, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, University of Missouri
  Industry Panel: Joseph Bond, Managing Director, NCH Capital Inc. | Presentation
  William Mott, President and Founder, Agland Investment Services, Inc. | Presentation
4 - 5:30 p.m. Session 2: Investing in Agricultural Infrastructure
  This session will examine the infrastructure investments required to support a 21st century agricultural production system.  The speaker will discuss the investments in agricultural infrastructure - focusing on agricultural transportation systems. An industry panel will discuss the implications of global investments in the infrastructure of water and transportation distribution systems and how these investments are reshaping the competitive landscape in global agricultural markets.
  Investing in Agricultural Infrastructure
Speaker: Kenneth Eriksen, Senior Vice President, Informa Economics
  Industry Panel: Paul Hammes, Vice President, Union Pacific | Presentation
  Chris Erickson, Managing Director, High Quest Partners | Presentation
  Timothy Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Bunge North America | Presentation
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Reception
6:30 - 8 p.m. Dinner and Speaker: Investing in Agricultural Land
  This session will explore agricultural land investments. The speaker will discuss agricultural land value trends and explore the choice between purchasing additional land or investing in capital improvements to boost agricultural productivity and profits.
  Investing Agricultural Land
Speaker: Michael Swanson, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo, Inc.
July 17, 2013  
7:30 - 8 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8- 9:30 a.m. Session 3: Envisioning Tomorrow's Agricultural Markets

This session will explore global agriculture's potential to meet future global food demand. The first speaker will describe the fundamentals driving the geographic variation in global food demand and its implications for food security and farm profits. The second speaker will explore the long-term expectations for global agricultural production and the balance between global food demand and supply.

  Envisioning Tomorrow's Agricultural Markets Under Climate Change
Speaker: Christopher Delgado, Strategy and Policy Advisor, World Banks
  Envisioning Tomorrow's Ag Markets
Ray Wyse, Senior Director, Trading and Research, Gavilon
10 - 11: 30 a.m. Session 4: Profiting in a New Policy Landscape
  This session will explore current and future policies affecting agricultural profitability. A panel of industry experts will examine trade, energy, and farm policy trends and how these policies could redefine the competitiveness of U.S. agriculture in global markets and the potential implications for farm profits.
  Panelist: Grant Aldonas, Principal Managing Director, Split Rock International | Presentation
  Bruce Babcock, Professor, Iowa State University | Presentation
  Joe Outlaw, Professor, Texas A&M University | Presentation
11: 30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Luncheon and Symposium Rapporteur
  A conference rapporteur will summarize the highlights of the conference and discuss the forces driving competitiveness and profitability in global agriculture.
  The Shifting Nexus of Global Agriculture
Speaker: Michael Boehlje, Distinguished Professor, Purdue University

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Commitment to Agriculture and Rural Research

With the heavy concentration of agriculture across the Great Plains, research on agricultural enterprises and rural economic issues has been a long-standing area of expertise for our Bank. Economists publish a wide variety of research and analysis on agricultural and rural issues.

  • The Main Street Economist
    This bi-monthly electronic newsletter provides analysis on economic opportunities and challenges facing agricultural sectors and rural areas in the Tenth District and throughout the nation.
  • Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions 
    The Bank’s quarterly survey of agricultural bankers provides current indicators of the financial performance of Tenth District agriculture. The accumulated results also help trace longer term trends. Survey results summarize several indicators of farm financial conditions, including farmland values, interest rates on farm loans, credit supply and demand, and farm income.
  • Agricultural Finance Databook 
    The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City oversees this quarterly compilation of national and regional agricultural finance data. Each release includes national data on term lending to farmers, quarterly Call Report data on national agricultural lending and agricultural bank failures, and data on agricultural land values and credit conditions from quarterly Federal Reserve Bank surveys. A publication summarizing the data is also produced. 
  • Economic Review 
    The Economic Review is a quarterly research publication with articles by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City staff on issues of relevance to the Federal Reserve. Areas of focus include macroeconomics and monetary policy, agricultural and rural economic issues, regional and international economics, banking, financial markets and payments systems.
  • TEN Magazine
    This quarterly magazine for business and banking leaders highlights the Bank’s research, events and programs, and frequently focuses on agricultural and rural issues.

The District's agricultural and rural research is based out of its branch office in Omaha, Nebraska. Economists are available to speak on a variety of issues affecting farms and rural areas with organizations and the news media.

For speaking inquiries, please e-mail erin.redemske@kc.frb.org. To receive notification of new research and publications on agricultural and rural issues, sign up for email updates.