Agricultural production has expanded dramatically during the past two decades due, in large part, to innovative and opportunistic solutions to challenges large and small. Technological advancements in agriculture reflect a problem-solving mindset as innovation has alleviated pressure points or expanded opportunities. As in the past, agricultural enterprises continue to require innovative solutions to new and existing problems. At the same time, however, many businesses have also been facing intensifying labor shortages that have inhibited existing operations and growth. Help wanted signs abound – not just to work in agriculture – but, more broadly, to solve problems and advance the industry.
The 2022 Agricultural Symposium, “Help Wanted in Agriculture” will explore the role of labor in determining the long-term outlook for agriculture and related businesses, how policies will shape that outlook, and the potential for structural change. On the first day of the symposium, speakers will discuss how issues connected to labor will affect long-term agricultural production prospects and efficient supply chains. On the second day of the symposium, speakers will discuss how existing and emerging policies affect the decisions of agricultural businesses, and how the structure of the industry may evolve in the future alongside changes in workforce trends.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Nate KauffmanSenior Vice President, Economist, and Omaha Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Session 1: Farm Labor
This session will examine the outlook for farm labor in the years ahead and how agricultural workforce developments might affect future challenges and opportunities related to agricultural production.
Diane ThronsonAssistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State University
Shari Rogge-FidlerPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Farm Foundation
Jeff LaknerCEO, Lakner Farms, LLC
A.G. KawamuraFounding Co-Chair, Solutions From the Land
Cortney CowleySenior Economist, Regional Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Session 2: Labor in the Ag Supply Chain
This session will discuss the outlook for labor among businesses connected to agricultural production and the significance of labor in maintaining efficient supply chains.
Tim RichardsMorrison Chair of Agribusiness, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University
Julie Anna PottsPresident and CEO, North American Meat Institute
Brent EmchProject Manager, Cargill Incorporated
Tonn OstergardCEO and Chairman, Crete Carrier Corporation
Francisco ScottEconomist, Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Dinner and Keynote Address
Esther L. GeorgePresident and Chief Executive Officer (2011-2023), Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Session 3: The Role of Policy
In this session, speakers will discuss how policies related to labor are affecting the hiring and investment decisions of farm businesses and those in the ag supply chain.
Daniel CostaDirector of Immigration Law and Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute
Chuck ConnerPresident and Chief Executive Officer, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Kristi BoswellAgriculture Policy Counsel, Alston & Bird LLP
Alison KrebsDirector, Dairy and Trade Policy, Leprino Foods Company
Ty KreitmanAssistant Economist, Regional Affairs, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Session 4: Labor and Structural Change
In this session, speakers will explore how developments associated with labor and employment in agriculture might affect the structure of the agricultural sector and related businesses in the years ahead.