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 explored how worldwide investments in agriculture could redraw the landscape of agricultural production and investigated the implications for agricultural competitiveness, trade, and farm prosperity.

External Link2013 Agricultural Symposium Summary article

Keynote Address: Economic Conditions and Agriculture

Esther George, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City | PDFRemarks

Session 1: Investing in Global Farm Productivity

This session explored the inter-relationships between farm investment, productivity and profits. The speaker described variations in global farm productivity and how the adoption of technological innovations could transform global agricultural markets. The panel of industry leaders explored how global farm investments are enhancing farm productivity and bolstering food production.

PDFSession 1 Paper and Transcripts

Patrick Westhoff, Director, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, University of Missouri

Industry Panel:
Joseph Bond, Managing Director, NCH Capital Inc.
William Mott, President and Founder, Agland Investment Services, Inc.  

Session 2: Investing in Agricultural Infrastructure

This session examined the infrastructure investments required to support a 21st century agricultural production system.  The speaker discussed the investments in agricultural infrastructure - focusing on agricultural transportation systems. An industry panel discussed 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.

PDFSession 2 Paper and Transcripts

Kenneth Eriksen, Senior Vice President, Informa Economics |

Industry Panel:
Paul Hammes, Vice President, Union Pacific
Chris Erickson, Managing Director, High Quest Partners
Timothy Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Bunge North America

Dinner and Speaker: Investing in Agricultural Land

The dinner speaker discussed agricultural land value trends and explore the choice between purchasing additional land or investing in capital improvements to boost agricultural productivity and profits.

Michael Swanson, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo, Inc.

Session 3: Envisioning Tomorrow's Agricultural Markets

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

PDFSession 3 Transcripts

Christopher Delgado, Strategy and Policy Advisor, World Banks
Ray Wyse, Senior Director, Trading and Research, Gavilon

Session 4: Profiting in a New Policy Landscape

This session explored current and future policies affecting agricultural profitability. A panel of industry experts examined 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.

PDFSession 4 Papers and Transcripts

Grant Aldonas, Principal Managing Director, Split Rock International
Bruce Babcock, Professor, Iowa State University
Joe Outlaw, Professor, Texas A&M University

Symposium Rapporteur

A conference rapporteur summarized the highlights of the conference and discuss the forces driving competitiveness and profitability in global agriculture.

PDFRapporteur Transcript

Michael Boehlje, Distinguished Professor, Purdue University