Despite a prolonged slump in the price of many agricultural commodities on a global scale, long-term economic prospects in the agricultural sector are often considered to be positive. Many who express optimism about agriculture’s long-term future cite expectations of steady growth in global populations and incomes as the overarching support for growth in the agricultural sector. However, agricultural production has increased significantly in recent years, even as commodity prices have remained suppressed, costs have remained elevated, and profit opportunities have remained limited or fleeting. Across the world, agricultural producers and businesses have sought to adapt to the prolonged downturn in agricultural prices, but at the same time position themselves for longer-term opportunities that might warrant further investment.
The 2019 Agricultural Symposium, “Exploring Agriculture’s Path to the Long-Term” discussed the linkage between current conditions in agricultural markets and longer-term prospects. On the first day of the symposium, speakers described the factors that are driving or constraining growth in the current agricultural cycle and how they may differ in the long-term. On the second day, speakers discussed how the agricultural sector might transition toward a more profitable long-term future and the threats and opportunities that might emerge along the way.
July 16, 2019
2:15 p.m. - Session 1: Agricultural Cycles and Implications for the Near Term
This session explored the current drivers or barriers to near-term growth in the agricultural sector, how these factors relate to typical cycles, and which factors may be unique to the current environment.
Ani Katchova, Associate Professor and Farm Income Enhancement Chair, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University | Presentation | Economic Review Article
Mykel Taylor, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University
Cortney Cowley, Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
3:45 p.m. - Session 2: Long-Term Agricultural Prospects
This session explored the factors likely to promote or constrain long-term growth in the agricultural sector and how these factors differ from short-term forces.
Nick Sly, Assistant Vice President and Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
6:00 p.m. - Dinner and Keynote
Ray Young, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Archer Daniels Midland Company
July 17, 2019
8:30 a.m. - Session 3: Transitioning to the Long Term
This session discussed how the agricultural sector might bridge the gap between its current state, where commodity prices and revenue generally have been low, to a longer-term future with greater economic potential.
Sara Boettiger, Senior Advisor, McKinsey Center for Agricultural Transformation, McKinsey & Company
Jason Brown, Assistant Vice President and Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
10:30 a.m. - Session 4: Challenging Agriculture's Long-Term Path
This session explored the threats and opportunities likely to be most significant for agriculture’s long-term outlook.
Dan Basse, President, AgResource Company
Jon Willis, Vice President and Senior Research Policy Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
12:00 p.m. - Lunch and Closing Keynote
Esther George, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City