Farming, Finance and the Global Marketplace

January 5, 2015

The 21st century ushered in a new era of prosperity for global agriculture. Coupled with lean commodity supplies, strong demand for food, fiber and energy led to historically high profits for many agricultural enterprises. Robust profit opportunities were fleeting, however, as the global recession trimmed demand for agricultural products. As global economies emerge from recession, the volatility in agricultural profits remains elevated. The response of agricultural producers to potentially larger but more volatile profit opportunities could reshape the global structure of agricultural production. In turn, these changes could alter the agricultural supply chain and the institutions financing agricultural investments.

The 2010 Regional Symposium brought together banking and business leaders, government officials and academia to explore the forces shaping the profitability and structure of the agricultural marketplace in the 21st century.

Conference Summary in the Main Street Economist



Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Welcome and IntroductionALAN BARKEMA
Senior Vice President and Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Session I: Agricultural Profitability in the 21st Century
This session will explore the influence of market fundamentals and policy on agricultural prosperity in the 21st century. Speakers will discuss the global supply and demand fundamentals driving the revenues and costs for both crop and livestock producers. The speakers will also describe how changes in financial markets and government policies affect agricultural profits.

Speakers:DR. J.B. PENN
Chief Economist, Deere & Company

Deputy General Manager, Central Bank of Argentina

Session II: Reshaping Global Agricultural Production
This session will discuss how the structure of global agricultural production could change with shifting market fundamentals. An industry panel will talk about the global restructuring in the crop and livestock sectors. Discussions will focus on how shifts in the location and structure of global agricultural production are altering the business strategies used to compete in the 21st century.

Chief of the Agricultural Structure and Productivity Branch, USDA

President and Chief Executive Officer, JBS Swift & Company

Executive Vice President, DuPont

President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Session III: Evolving Agricultural Supply Chains
This session will discuss the evolution of agricultural supply chains due to changes in the profitability and structure of agriculture. Discussions will focus on how structural changes in agricultural enterprises affect the structure and business strategies of agricultural service industries. The speaker and industry panelists will address implications for farm input suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers.

Distinguished Professor, North Dakota State University

Executive Vice President, CHS Inc.

President and Founder, Advanced Economic Solutions

Session IV: Meeting the Financial Needs of Global Agriculture
This session will discuss how the agricultural finance system will evolve to meet the financial needs of global agriculture. The speaker will describe how the changes in global agriculture affect agricultural financing and reshape the structure and business strategies of international agricultural finance institutions. Panelists will address how these changes affect global financial institutions, community banks, and government sponsored enterprises.
Agricultural Economist and Consultant, Wells Fargo

Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Cornerstone Bank, York, Nebraska

President and Chief Executive Officer, Federation Bank, Washington, Iowa

President and Chief Executive Officer, Farm Credit Services of America

Head of Agribusiness, BNZ Partners, Bank of New Zealand

Closing Address: The Agricultural Marketplace in the 21st Century
A conference rapporteur will summarize the highlights of the conference and discuss the future of agriculture in the 21st century.
Distinguished Professor, Purdue University

Complete Publication of Regional Symposium Papers and Remarks

Speaker Biographies

Online Evaluation Form for Symposium Participants

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Commitment to Agricultural and Rural Research

With the heavy concentration of agriculture across the Great Plains, research on agricultural enterprises and rural economic issues has been a long-standing area of expertise for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Economists publish a wide variety of research and analysis on agricultural and rural issues.

  • The Main Street Economist
    This bi-monthly electronic newsletter provides analysis on economic opportunities and challenges facing agricultural producers and rural areas in both the Tenth District and throughout the nation.
  • Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions 
    The Bank’s quarterly survey of agricultural bankers provides current indicators of agricultural credit conditions in the Tenth District. The accumulated results also help trace longer term trends. Survey results summarize several indicators of farm financial conditions including farmland values, interest rates on farm loans, credit supply and demand, and farm commodity prices.
  • Agricultural Finance Databook
    Beginning in mid-2000, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City will publish the quarterly national Agricultural Finance Databook (formerly published by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors). The results are derived from quarterly surveys of bankers and call report data.
  • Economic Review 
    The Economic Review is a quarterly research publication with articles by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City staff on issues of relevance to the Federal Reserve. Areas of focus include macroeconomics and monetary policy, agricultural and rural economic issues, regional and international economics, banking, financial markets and payments systems.
  • TEN Magazine
    This quarterly magazine for business and banking leaders highlights the Bank’s research, events and programs, and frequently focuses on agricultural and rural issues.
  • The District’s agricultural and rural research is based out of its branch office in Omaha, Nebraska. Economists are available to speak on a variety of issues affecting farms and rural places with organizations and the news media. For speaking inquiries, please e-mail To receive notification of new research and publications on agricultural and rural issues, sign up for e-mail updates on this website.