Agricultural production has responded to evolving trends associated with local farming conditions for decades. Producers contend with a variety of weather challenges on a regular basis and often apply new technologies or practices to mitigate risks or leverage opportunities. As new risks or opportunities emerge from year to year, producers may choose to grow a different type of crop, apply a different type of input, or modify the size of an operation or livestock herd based on available resources. Over time, decisions made at the local level by farmers, businesses, and investors lead to broader changes in the geographical footprint of agriculture.
The 2023 Agricultural Symposium, “The Changing Geography of Agricultural Production” explored the factors driving changes in where and how agricultural commodities are produced, disruptions that are leading to further geographical changes, and the role of investments and farm policy in the years ahead. On the first day of the symposium, speakers discussed how patterns of agricultural production are changing and how weather disruptions are affecting farm decisions in both the near-term and longer-term. On the second day of the symposium, speakers discussed how regional changes in agricultural production are affecting investment and lending decisions, and how policies related to agriculture are setting the stage for the structure of the industry in the future.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Jay Debertin| Keynote President and Chief Executive Officer, CHS
Session 1: Production Trends and Drivers
Speakers will discuss how geographical patterns of agricultural production are changing, identify the primary drivers, and discuss how future shifts are likely to evolve.
Holger Matthey| Speaker Senior Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Kimberly Ratcliff| Panelist Owner/Manager, Caney Creek Ranch
Brandon Hunnicutt| Panelist Owner/Partner, Hunnicutt Farms
Cortney Cowley| Moderator Senior Economist, Regional Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Session 2: Weather Disruptions and Growing Conditions
Speakers will discuss how disruptions related to severe weather are affecting agricultural production decisions in the near-term and the longer-term, and the strategies to mitigate risks.
David Lobell| Speaker Professor, Stanford University
Neal Keppy| Panelist General Manager, Keppy Family Farms
Whitney Ferris-Hansen| Panelist Owner and Operator, J/W Farms and Ranch
Francisco Scott| Moderator Economist, Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Reception, Dinner and Keynote
Sara Menker| Keynote Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gro Intelligence
Day 2 Welcome
Session 3: Investing in Future Agricultural Production
Speakers will discuss how geographical changes in agricultural production are affecting investment and lending decisions, and how these decisions might evolve in the years ahead.
Jackson Takach| Speaker Chief Economist, Farmer Mac
Chris Olson| Panelist Head of Rural, U.S., Rabo AgriFinance
Maggie Monast| Panelist Senior Director, Climate-Smart Agriculture, Environmental Defense Fund
Todd Kuethe| Moderator Visiting Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and Associate Professor, Purdue University
Session 4: The Policy Landscape
Speakers will discuss how policies connected to agriculture are responding to changes in the location of agricultural production and risks that may be associated with those changes.