Similar to other segments of the economy, the agricultural sector is increasingly global. In some regions, the production of food and agricultural products has advanced well beyond what is required for consumption within that region. In other areas, agricultural production is more limited. The persistent gap between regions of excess and regions of scarcity has led to an increasing reliance on agricultural trade as global populations and incomes rise, but recent months have also pointed to increased uncertainty about the future of trade and implications for agriculture. Similarly, the movement of labor and capital across borders has become a pivotal component to the nature of food and agricultural production, but the future for international labor and capital flows is also uncertain. 

The 2018 Agricultural Symposium, “Agriculture in a Global Economy” explored the ways in which agriculture is positioned as a global industry and the implications of this global connectedness in the years ahead. 

2018 Agricultural Symposium Materials

Agricultural Symposium Research published in a PDFspecial issue of Economic Review 
PDFAg Symposium program

Welcome and Introduction

Speaker: Nathan Kauffman, Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Session 1: Economic Significance of Agricultural Trade

This session explored the significance of agricultural trade and market access on general economic conditions. 

Speaker: Lee Ann Jackson, Counsellor, Agriculture and Commodities Division, World Trade Organization  

Discussant: Joe Glauber, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute

Panelists: Carlos Vazquez, Minister for Agricultural Affairs, Embassy of Mexico
Gizem Eras, Counsellor (Agriculture and Fisheries), Embassy of Canada

Session 2: Business Merits of Agricultural Trade

This session discussed the ways in which producers, agribusinesses, and lenders perceive the advantages, disadvantages, and risks of agricultural trade and implications for long-term business strategies.

Speaker: Michael Boland, Professor and Director, The Food Industry Center, University of Minnesota

Discussant: Dan Sumner, Frank H. Buck, Jr. Distinguished Professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis

Panelists: John Dardis, Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs, Glanbia 
Hector Fernandez, Vice President, Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis, Cargill 

Dinner Keynote

Speaker: Esther George, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Session 3: Agriculture’s International Labor Flows

This session examined how cross-border labor flows affect businesses in the food and agricultural sector and the local economies where those businesses reside.

Speaker: Philip Martin, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis

Discussant: Pia Orrenius, Vice President and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Panelists: Steve Scaroni, President and Founder, Fresh Harvest
Henry Davis, President, Greater Omaha Packing Co. 

Session 4: Agriculture’s International Capital Flows

This session explored how cross-border capital flows and foreign investment affect the outlook for businesses connected to agriculture.

Speaker: Titus Awokuse, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University

Discussant: J.P. Gervais, Vice President and Chief Agricultural Economist, Farm Credit Canada

Panelists: Regina Gill, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corp.
Ann Duignan, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan

Closing Keynote

Speaker: Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University