USDA CONFERENCE TO FOCUS ON RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES RELATED TO ENERGY COSTS
WASHINGTON, May 22, 2006- Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced today that USDA will hold a conference on June 27-28 in Kansas City, Missouri to examine risk management issues and strategies associated with alternative energy production and use in the agriculture sector as part of the comprehensive energy strategy Johanns unveiled late last year.
"American agricultural producers are working to overcome high energy costs each day," said Johanns. "The goal of this conference is to help farmers and ranchers learn more about the latest available energy-related risk management tools and strategies that can help them to mitigate increased energy costs in their operations."
The conference, hosted by USDA's Risk Management Agency and the USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, will be held at the Kansas City Airport Hilton. Agricultural producers, including small and limited resource farmers are encouraged to attend. Lenders and those who provide risk management services and education to producers are also invited.
One component of Johanns' energy strategy calls for the discussion and possible development of risk management tools to help producers manage the adverse impacts of high energy and energy-related input costs. This conference will focus on:
Maximizing profits in a higher energy cost environment
Renewable energy enterprises on the farm
Protection against supply, production and price fluctuations for small alternative fuel production plants
New, energy-related risk management tools
Government policies that encourage or accommodate new risk management strategies
Presenters and special guests include Dr. Keith Collins, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture and vice chair of the USDA Energy Council; Eldon Gould, Administrator, Risk Management Agency; Vernon Eidman, University of Minnesota; David Bransby, Auburn University; Nick Piggott, North Carolina State University; Kim Anderson, Oklahoma State University; and Phillip Badger, President, General Bioenergy, Incorporated.
The conference also will feature a series of panel discussions highlighting various aspects of the energy and risk management issue. Panels and participants include:
Perspectives on Energy and Risk Management - Producer Interests: Don Villwock, Indiana Farm Bureau; Joe Zanger, California fruit and vegetable grower; Samuel Scott, North-South Institute.
Perspectives on Energy and Risk - Market and Lending Interests: Corny Gallagher, Bank of America; Tom Medd, CHS Inc.; George Motroni, NYMEX.
Energy Success Stories: Bob Foster, Methane Digester Systems; and Wayne Keith, cellulosic powered vehicles.
Marketing Success Stories: David Spears, Agriculture Solutions, Inc. and Steve Bleyl, CEO, Renewable Products Marketing Group.
A limited number of travel scholarships will be available for qualified participants. For details and program registration, visit the Farm Foundation Web site, www.farmfoundation.org or www.usda.gov.