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2022 Agricultural Outlook Forum Program



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Program at A Glance (PDF, 213 KB)
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Presentation slides are available as a link in the corresponding area of the program below (note: not all presentation slides are available.)

8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Opening Session
8:00 - 8:10 a.m. Welcome - Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh
8:10 - 8:45 a.m. 2022 Agricultural Economic & Foreign Trade Outlook - USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer (PDF, 248 KB)
Transcript (PDF, 164 KB)
Slides (PDF, 2.6 MB))
8:45 - 10:15 a.m. Keynote Address: Secretary Tom Vilsack Fireside Chat with China Expert Dr. Elizabeth Economy
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Plenary Panel: Growing Market Opportunities for Climate Smart, Sustainable Agriculture Systems
Speakers discussed how climate smart, sustainable production practices can generate both environmental and economic returns, while meeting the needs of consumers.

David Allen,
Vice President Sustainability, PepsiCo Foods North America
Glenada Humiston, Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
Mike McCloskey, Co-Founder and past CEO, Select Milk Producers
Elena Rice, Chief Scientific Officer, Genus PLC
Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy, USA

Moderator: Sarah Mock,
Independent Agriculture Writer and Researcher
12:45 - 1:15 p.m. Lunchtime Address 
Lunchtime Speaker:  Nathan Kauffman, Vice President Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions 

TRACK: Food Price & Farm Income Outlooks
Food Price Outlook Current and Forecasted Trends
This session explored trends in food prices in both the retail and food-away-from-home segments. It covred trends in retail food price inflation as well as projections for 2022 food price inflation from the ERS Food Price Outlook, followed by detailed discussions of trends in retail food prices and restaurant food prices, with particular emphasis on the impacts of the pandemic.
Moderator: Jay Variyam, Director, Food Economics Division, ERS, Kansas City, MO

Food Price Outlook - A Tool for Forecasting Food Price Inflation (Slides (PPTX, 1.7 MB))
Using the Food Price Outlook, the presentation examined the historical context for retail food price inflation, explore recent pandemic and non-pandemic related price changes, and share projections for 2022 food price inflation.
Speaker: Matthew MacLachlan, Economist, ERS, Washington, DC
Retail Food Price Outlook - An Exploration of Trends in U.S. Consumer Food-at-home Purchases

This presentation focused on how American consumers are spending their retail food dollars, how these patterns have changed over time, and how they are likely to evolve in the future, (with a particular focus on impacts from the pandemic).
Speaker: Andrew Harig, Vice President - Tax, Trade, Sustainability and Policy Development, FMI, Arlington, VA
Restaurant Food Price Outlook - A Closer Look at the Food-away-from-home Sector (Slides (PPTX, 22.1 MB))

This presentation discussed recent trends in the restaurant sector, and how U.S. consumers are spending their food-away-from-home dollars, with a particular focus on the pandemic.
Speaker: Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President Research & Knowledge Group, National Restaurant Association, Washington, DC

TRACK: U.S. Trade & The Global Market Place
U.S. Trade Agenda and Outlook: The Hunt for New & Better Markets
During the session, panelists discussed USDA’s agricultural trade policy priorities and efforts to grow new and better foreign markets with a focus on the latest developments impacting U.S. agricultural trade, including TFAA’s priorities and new initiatives.
Moderator: Jason Hafemeister, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, USDA TFAA, Washington, DC
U.S. Agricultural Trade: Market Trends and Outlook (Slides (PPTX, 446 KB))
Administrator Whitley shared insights on efforts to open markets and expand trade for U.S. agriculture.
Speaker: Daniel Whitley, Administrator, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Washington, DC
U.S. Soybean and Product Exports: Challenges and Prospects for Growth in the Global Market (Slides (PPTX, 3.7 MB))
Mr. Sutter discussed his industry's efforts to address sustainability and other challenges to expand U.S. soybean and products exports and highlight opportunities in new markets.
Speaker: Jim Sutter, CEO, U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), Chesterfield, MO
U.S. Dairy Exports: Where are Future Growth Markets (Slides (PPTX, 15.4 MB))
Ms. Harden described the dairy industry's efforts to address market and consumer demands for sustainable products and discuss where the industry sees future opportunities for growth.
Speaker: Krysta Harden, CEO, U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), Arlington, VA

TRACK: Supply Chain Resilience
Effects of Shipping Disruptions on U.S. Agriculture
Industry leaders and policy makers are alarmed by the recent surge in ocean transportation rates and the domino effect on the U.S. transportation network. It is not clear how long the higher prices will last, but they are painful for buyers and compound commodity price increases. Panelists discussed factors behind the supply chain shocks, impacts on agricultural trade and alternative strategies
Moderator: Melissa Bailey, Associate Administrator, MRP-AMS-Office of the Administrator, USDA, Washington, DC
Global Freight Market and Supply Chain Challenges
(Slides (PPTX, 12.5 MB))
Discuss global shipping costs, challenges, opportunities, and outlook.
Speaker: Walter Lanza, International Commodity Trader, Scoular, Minneapolis, MN
Recent Surges in Ocean Transportation Rates and Their Effects on Grains and Selected Agri-food Product Markets
(Slides (PPTX, 1.3 MB))
Economic implications of the price surge for bulk, containerized product markets, and changes in shipping costs relative to the Nation’s main competitors.
Speaker: Michael Adjemian, Associate Professor,  University of Georgia, Dept. of Agricultural and Applied E
conomics , Athens, GA;
and Dr. William W. Wilson, North Dakota State U. (University Distinguished Professor) and CHS Chair in Risk Management and Trading          

U.S. Truck and Rail Supply-Chain Challenges and Strategic Alternatives (Slides (PPTX, 27.9 MB))
Examines the health of the supply chain for U.S. exports to thrive.
Speaker: Ashley Ritteman, CEO, Valor Victoria,
Minneapolis, MN

TRACK: Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Building Resilience through Extreme Event Preparedness
The incidence of hurricanes, wildfires, drought, high winds, and heavy rainfall has been rising over the past two decades, with potentially important implications for the future of U.S. agriculture. This session explored federal, Tribal, regional, and state efforts to help producers mitigate the impact of these extreme events.
Moderator: Mark Brusberg, Chief Meteorologist, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

Drought Risk: Adaptation, Planning, and Response (Slides (PPTX, 4.3 MB))
The presentation provided the economic justification for planning and adapting to longer-term climate risks, and introduce current research activities and knowledge gaps.
Speaker: Steve Wallander, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA , Washington, DC

Weather Ready Farms (Slides (PPTX, 19.2 MB))
Improving and increasing on-farm preparedness, resiliency and recovery towards the impacts of extreme weather with Nebraska's Weather Ready Farms Initiative.
Speaker: Nathan Mueller, Melissa Bartels and Candace Hulbert; Extension Educators, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Developing Forest Resilience and Water Security in a Fire and Flood Affected Watershed (Slides (PPTX, 43.0 MB))

This presentation examined how Santa Clara Pueblo, a small federally recognized Native American Tribe, has leveraged nature-based solutions (NBS) and collaboration to restore and develop forest resilience amid disturbances in changing climate.
Speaker: Garrett Altmann, Project Manager, Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico

TRACK: Frontiers in Ag Production & Technology
Opportunities in the Biobased Economy
This panel discussed how USDA and its private sector partners work with communities to address climate change by promoting biobased product industry. The benefits of these investments go beyond helping to reduce pollution and include providing economic opportunities to rural communities and residents, agricultural producers, and rural businesses.
Moderator: Xochitl Torres Small, Under Secretary, Rural Development, USDA, Washington, DC
New Products, New Uses, New Jobs - Sustainable Bio Economy (Slides (PPTX, 14.6 MB))

USDA BioPreferred® Program creates new markets for bio-manufactured products using renewable agriculture commodities, creating jobs, strengthening rural communities, and providing sustainable alternatives while addressing climate change.
Speaker: Ronald Buckhalt, Senior Consultant, Integrated Management Strategies (IMS), Mt Pleasant, SC
New Opportunities in the Bio-Economy that Target Zero Waste Agriculture (Slides (PPTX, 32.4 MB))

USDA research provides technology to create commercially-viable bioproducts that also target zero waste agriculture, whereby the “waste” coproducts of one part of a process become the feedstock for another process.
Speaker: Bill Orts, Research Leader, Agriculture Research Service, Albany, CA
The Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Opportunity (Slides (PPTX, 3.1 MB))

Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) goal is to promote the development of alternative jet fuel options that offer equivalent safety and favorable costs compared with petroleum based jet fuel, while offering environmental improvement and energy supply security for aviation.
Speaker: Steve Csonka, Executive Director, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative
Q & A Moderator
Speaker: Karama Neal, Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Development

3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions 

TRACK: Food Price & Farm Income Outlooks
The State of the Farm Economy
In this session we looked at the short-run outlook for farm sector income and discuss agricultural credit conditions and issues. Additionally, we’ll examine recent trends in farmland values.
Moderator: Jackson Takach, Chief Economist and Senior Director, Farmer Mac, Washington, D.C.
USDA Farm Income Forecast (Slides (PPTX, 3.1 MB))

A presentation on the latest USDA farm sector income and wealth forecasts (through 2022).
Speaker: Carrie Litkowski, Senior Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.
Agricultural Credit Conditions (Slides (PPTX, 6.8 MB))

A look at recent trends and issues affecting agricultural lending and credit conditions, as well as lender expectations.
Speaker: Cortney Cowley, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Trends in Farmland Values (Slides (PPTX, 4.3 MB))

How has COVID-19 affected farmland values and what other issues are affecting values? What is the outlook for farmland values and/or cash rents?
Speaker: Todd Kuethe, Associate Professor and Shrader Chair in Farmland Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

TRACK: U.S. Trade & The Global Market Place
China: Factors Upholding a High Agricultural Import Demand
China continues to be the world’s largest agricultural import market, and the number one market for U.S. agricultural exports. This is a session to discuss the current economic and political landscape in China, the role of China in the global economic recovery in times of a pandemic, and the major trends and developments impacting U.S. agricultural exports.
Moderator: Clay Hamilton, Associate Administrator, USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service, Washington, DC

2022 China Agricultural Outlook
The speaker focused on calendar year 2022 domestic production and import demand along with areas of international cooperation.
Speaker: Sui Pengfei, Director General, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, People’s Republic of China

U.S.-China Agricultural Trade: Present State of Affairs (Slides (PPTX, 2.5 MB))
The speaker examined the current U.S.-China trade situation. She/he discussed the factors increasing Chinese demand for U.S. oilseeds, grains, and animal protein products.
Speaker: Jason Grant, Professor and Director, Virginia Tech University, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Center for Agricultural Trade, Blacksburg, VA
Outlook for U.S. Exports to China: What is Next? (Slides (PPTX, 4.3 MB))
The speaker discussed the Phase One agreement, drilling down on trade outcomes, and how the United States moves forward with this key trade partner.
Speaker: Jason Hafemeister, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, USDA/Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Washington, DC

TRACK: Supply Chain Resilience
Supply Chain Disruptions
Moderator: Alex Friend, Deputy Chief for R&D, USDA Forest Service, USDA Washington, DC.

Dr. Lyons discussed the social impacts of climate-related supply chain disruptions. He also touched on tools coming from the academic sector to help global supply chains weather these disruptions and the resulting benefits of reduced risk management impacts and costs.
Speaker: Kevin Lyons, Associate Professor, Rutgers University, NJ (Slides (PPTX, 6.6 MB))

Secretary Witte discussed potential future supply chain disruptions from an all-hazards perspective including animal disease.
Speaker: Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture, NM (Slides (PPTX, 5.4 MB))

Dr. Marty Matlock discussed climate related supply chain disruptions and impacts on the strength of food systems across the country.
Speaker: Marty Matlock, USDA Senior Advisor for Food Systems Resiliency (Slides (PPTX, 5.6 MB))

TRACK: Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Assessing and Managing Production Risk – From Climate Models to Decisions in the Fields (The State of Agricultural Risk Management)
Scientists have observed that some types of extreme weather events have become more frequent and intense as a result of climate change. This session highlighted how these meteorological trends and their impact on agricultural production are quantified, how insurers adjust to them, and how producers diffuse these risks.
Moderator: David Zanoni, Senior Underwriter, Risk Management Agency, USDA , Kansas City, MO
Assessing the Risk of Climate Change Using Extreme Event Models (Slides (PPTX, 12.6 MB))

Dr. Borman discussed risk assessment models used throughout the (re)insurance industry and how climate change affects these evaluations along with current solutions for modeling specific extreme event risks.
Speaker: Julia Borman, Manager, Consulting & Client Services Group, Verisk Extreme Event Solutions, Bethesda, MD

The Federal Crop Insurance Program and Climate Risk
An overview of the crop insurance industry and the public-private partnership supporting the Federal Crop Insurance Program is presented. Additionally, the role FCIP has in responding to climate risk and conservation initiatives were discussed.
Speaker: Thomas Zacharias, President, National Crop Insurance Service, Overland Park, KS

Managing Production Risks in Idaho (Slides (PPTX, 41.3 MB))
Weather risks can make farming particularly challenging, particularly in Idaho. A variety of tools are available to manage this risk, including crop insurance, no-till, and cover crops.
Speaker: Lance Griff, Farmer, Griff Farms, Twin Falls, ID

TRACK: Equity and Inclusion
Addressing the Heirs' Property Challenge in Land Ownership and Succession
Heirs’ property has been recognized as perpetuating racial and social inequities and is the leading cause of involuntary land loss among African Americans. This session outlined the history and current status of heirs’ property issues, its importance for rural economies, and USDA efforts to develop more inclusive programming that better takes into account the circumstances of heirs.
Moderator: Monica Rainge, USDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, USDA Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC
Heirs' Property: Historical, Policy, and Legal Perspectives

The speaker discussed legal reforms over the past two decades and consider future research needs pertaining to heirs’ property, and discuss how heirs’ property affects agricultural and forest lands.
Speaker: Thomas W. Mitchell, Professor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law and Co-Director, Fort Worth, TX
Heirs' Property and Rural Economies (Slides (PPT, 7.8 MB))

The speaker discussed his academic and field experience working with rural landowners in the Black Belt of the American South, including insights on the impacts of heirs’ property-related issues on rural economies.
Speaker: Robert Zabawa, Research Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
Heirs' Property and USDA Programming (Slides (PPTX, 18.8 MB))

The speaker outlined USDA efforts to develop programming related to heirs' property, focusing on FSA's Heirs' Property Relending Program, but also highlighting other initiatives across the department.
Speaker: J. Latrice Hill, Director of Outreach, Farm Service Agency, USDA , Washington, DC


Please check back for updates.

8:00 - 9:45 a.m. Morning Session
8:00 - 9:05 a.m. Morning Get Together with USDA Under Secretaries
9:15 - 9:45 a.m. Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Katherine Tai - U.S. Trade Representative
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions 

TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Grains and Oilseeds Outlook
The session includes presentations on USDA's preliminary supply and demand forecasts for 2022/23 for grains and oilseeds and a discussion of the key factors impacting the outlook.
Moderator: Brian Adam, Branch Chief, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC
Feed grain outlook (Slides (PPTX, 1.3 MB))

USDA's view of the feed grain outlook for 2022/23.
Speaker: Michael McConnell, Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC
Renewable diesel outlook (Slides (PPTX, 4.6 MB))

Impacts on increased production of renewable diesel on the US farm economy, and related topics.
Speaker: Bill Lapp, President, Advanced Economic Solutions
Russia wheat outlook (Slides (PPTX, 5.4 MB))

Key issues in the Black Sea region for wheat and other feed grains.
Speaker: Andrey Sizov, Managing editor, The Sizov Report

TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Sugar Outlook
The session includes presentations on USDA's preliminary supply and demand forecasts for 2022/23 for sugar and sweeteners and a discussion of the key factors impacting the outlook.

Moderator: Vida Abadam, Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC (Slides (PPTX, 7.5 MB))
Ethanol Policy in India and Its Effect on the World Sugar Market (Slides (PPT, 13.6 MB))
Speaker: Gareth Forber, Director of LMC Sugar Research, LMC International, Oxford OX1 3HJ, United Kingdom
New Developments in Sugarbeet Seed Research and the Effect on the U.S. Beet Sugar Industry (Slides (PPTX, 24.6 MB))
Speaker: Mike Metzger, Vice President - Agriculture & Research, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, Wahpeton, North Dakota

TRACK: Supply Chain Resilience
Leveraging Data to Build Resilient Local and Regional Food Systems
This panel highlighted local food system practitioners who incorporate data into their regular business strategy and share how to use data to build a sustainable business and resilient food system. Panelists discussed how they use data, including USDA resources, and explore how it helps food systems stakeholders grow their businesses and create more connected supply chains.
Moderator: Lilian Brislen, Director of Programs and Assistant Professor, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Farmers Markets

How farmers market managers collect and use data to make decisions
Speaker: Hilary King, Director of Special Projects, Community Food Markets, Atlanta, GA
Farm to Institution

Farm to institution (i.e., foods grown on local farms and served in institutions, such as schools, colleges, hospitals, and senior centers) data and gaps, partnership opportunities, and the development and use of equity metrics.
Speaker: Lacy Stephens, National Farm to School Network, St Louis, MO
Cooperative Extension

How Cooperative Extension uses USDA data in providing technical assistance
Speaker: Becca Jablonksi, Associate Professor/ Extension Specialist, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

TRACK: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Returns on Investment in Soil Health
This session examined the relationships between soil health, carbon sequestration, public policy, and farmer profitability and challenge the audience to design and implement better policy, programs and management.
Moderator: Julie Suhr Pierce, National Economist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, Washington DC
Soil carbon and soil health in agricultural systems (Slides (PPTX, 21.9 MB))

A discussion of the state of soil carbon science, and why the benefits of soil health conservation practices extend beyond carbon sequestration.
Speaker: Lesley Atwood, Agriculture and Climate Scientist, The Nature Conservancy
Yield and cost impacts of soil health practice adoption in corn and soybean fields (Slides (PDF, 1.4 MB))

Data from the USDA Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) are used to estimate the field-level impact of adopting conservation tillage and cover crops on yield and production costs for corn and soybeans.
Speaker: Benjamin Gramig, Research Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA
Using economics to design better incentives for soil-health policy (Slides (PPTX, 980 KB))

This presentation explores the frontier of economic research on policies that help conservation budgets go even farther, by adjusting contract elements like renewability, non-monetary incentives, targeting benefits, willingness to participate, etc.
Speaker: Joshua Duke, Department Head and Professor, Agricultural Economics & Rural Sociology, Auburn University College of Agriculture

TRACK: Frontiers in Ag Production & Technology
Productivity Growth: Trends, Drivers, and Impacts
More efficient, productive agriculture that produces more with less—less land, less water, fewer inputs and resources—can help in meeting the world’s food needs, alleviating poverty, shrinking agriculture’s environmental impact, and combatting climate change. This session examined trends, drivers and impacts of productivity growth in the United States and around the world.
Moderator: Spiro Stefanou, Administrator, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC
U.S. agricultural productivity growth: measurement, trends, and drivers (Slides (PDF, 1.1 MB))
Dr. Wang provided an overview of USDA's Economic Research Service's productivity growth measurement and an analysis of productivity growth trends and drivers, including R&D.
Speaker: Sun Ling Wang, Senior Economist, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC
Impacts of global productivity growth (Slides (PPTX, 4.9 MB))
Agricultural productivity growth has the potential to advance social, economic and environmental sustainability. Professor Hertel examined whether it actually does.
Speaker: Thomas Hertel, Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, IN
Innovative approaches to accelerate sustainable agricultural productivity growth (Slides (PPTX, 21.8 MB))
Dr. Rockey discussed R&D supporting innovative approaches to productivity growth that aims to achieve multiple sustainability goals, such as those related to enhancing food security, nutrition, farmer income, resource conservation and climate change mitigation.
Speaker: Sally Rockey, Inaugural Executive Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Washington, DC

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Concurrent Lunchtime Sessions 

TRACK: Lunch Session
Sugar Outlook - Policy Discussion
(11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)
Facing the Future:  U.S. policies on sugar and sweetener
Moderator: Barbara Fecso, Commodity Analysis Branch Chief, Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Business Center, USDA Washington, DC

Speaker: Robert Johansson, Director of Economics and Policy Analysis, American Sugar Alliance, Arlington, Virginia (Slides (PPTX, 12.0 MB))
Speaker: Randy Green, Principal, Watson Green LLC, Arlington, Virginia (Slides (PPTX, 2.3 MB))
Speaker: Kent Lanclos, Agricultural Economist, Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Business Center, USDA , Washington, DC (Slides (PPTX, 208 KB))

TRACK: Lunch Session
Data Visualizations at USDA
(11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.)
As a fact-based, data-driven, customer-focused organization, USDA is increasingly leveraging its vast administrative and programmatic data. This session featured a variety of ways USDA is using data visualizations to describe key findings effectively, helping to make the data more accessible and transparent to an array of new and current data users.
Moderator: Joseph Parsons, Director, Methodology Division, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Washington, DC
Making Data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) through Ag Data Commons

A scientific data catalog and repository designed to create and provide access to rich, machine-readable metadata for analytical purposes.
Speaker: Peter Arbuckle, Chief, Scientific Data Management Branch, National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, USDA ,Beltsville, MD
A Modern Approach to Data Dissemination

A highlight of the NASS data dissemination modernization efforts which spotlighted the subject landing pages and associated data visualizations.
Speaker: Bryan Combs, Chief of Staff, National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, Washington, DC
Production, Supply and Distribution (PS&D) Visualization

An outline of the tools and features provided by the Production, Supply and Distribution (PS&D) database.
Speaker: Graham Soley, Agricultural Economist, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Data-driven Insights About Food Insecurity

Visualizing trends in food insecurity and very low food security among U.S. households and selected subpopulations between 2001 and 2020.
Speaker: Laura Hales, Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Kansas City, MO

AgTransport Open Data Platform
A showcase of the USDA-AMS AgTransport open data platform with numerous agricultural transportation datasets and dashboards—covering rail, truck, barge, ocean vessel, containers, and more.
Speaker: Jesse Gastelle, Economist, Agricultural Marketing Service,  USDA, Washington, DC

TRACK: Lunch Session
Biostimulants: Climate-Smart Solutions for Better Crop Quality (12:00 - 12:45 p.m.)
Biostimulants are relatively new, climate-smart tools that contribute to soil health and carbon sequestration while also supporting farmers in their continuing quest for better crop quality and yields. The session focused on the benefits of biostimulants and how federal, state and industry leaders can work together to overcome regulatory hurdles for these innovative products.
Moderator: Doug McKalip, Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary, USDA, Washington, DC
What are biostimulants and how do they benefit climate and plant health?
Speaker: Corey Rosenbusch, CEO, The Fertilizer Institute, Arlington, Virginia
Industry Innovation and Sustainable Agriculture Advancements
(Slides (PPTX, 18.2 MB))
The growing role of biostimulants within agriculture, the importance of state and federal regulatory coordination, and exciting  advancements that support sustainable agriculture.
Speaker: Jason Ellsworth, Organic Portfolio Manager, Wilbur-Ellis Company

TRACK: Lunch Session
Innovation Showcase: Building More Resilient and Sustainable Food Systems Through Science-Based Innovation
(11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.)
Innovative and creative solutions are necessary for farmers and food systems to keep pace with evolving needs and challenges, enhancing the health of the planet and the wellbeing of current and future generations.  Innovations ranging from modern production tools and emerging digital technologies to new management and implementation approaches help farmers produce enough to feed a growing global population while reducing their environmental footprint and building climate resilience. This fast-paced session showcased innovative, science-based tools, technologies and approaches for improving the resilience and social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture and food systems.  Each presenter had 5 minutes to give an overview of an exciting new innovation and provide information.
Moderator: Elise Golan, Director for Sustainable Development, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA

The Drought Learning Network
The Drought Learning Network facilitates peer-to-peer learning to address and mitigate drought.
Speaker: Bill Gould, Director, Caribbean Climate Hub, Caribbean Climate Hub, USDA Forest Service

Cattle Fever Tick Digital Tool Kit
Automation of cattle treatment and data collection for the eradication of cattle fever ticks.
Speaker: Robert Miller, National Program Leader – Animal Production and Protection, Agricultural Research Service, USDA

Remote sensing-based evapotranspiration (ET) toolkit for real-time irrigation scheduling in California vineyards
Speaker: Bill Kustas, Research Hydrologist, Agricultural Research Service, USDA

Grid-Smart Methane Digesters
Innovative information technology and public/private partnerships feed the energy from pork-powered methane digesters back into the grid.
Speaker: Deb Balance, U.S. Pork Farmer, Board of Directors member for the Pork Checkoff

Mobile Inelastic Neutron Scattering Soil Scanning System
This technology generates soil carbon distribution maps of fields and total soil carbon content using neutron-gamma spectroscopy for in-situ analysis of soil carbon (and other elements).
Speaker: Allen Torbert, Supervisory Soil Scientist, Agricultural Research Service, USDA

Corn Hybrids for Feed Efficiency and Resource Conservation
Hybrid corn resulting in improved feed efficiency has potential to support significant savings across key environmental indicators, including energy use, water use and land use.
Speaker: Duane A. Martin, Head – Trait Stewardship, Syngenta

Cold Storage Overwintering to Reduce Honey-Bee Colony Losses
Most honey-bee colonies are lost over winter. Placing hives in cold storage can be a solution, especially with new tools that optimize this management method.
Speaker: Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, Research Leader, Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA


Grassland Productivity Forecast or “Grass-Cast” indicates whether grassland productivity is likely to be above-, near- or below-normal in the upcoming growing season to help manage grazing uncertainty.
Speaker: Dannele Peck, Director, Northern Plains Climate Hub, Northern Plains Climate Hub, Agricultural Research Service, USDA

Designer Tree Crops for Sustainable Production Systems
The discovery of genes that control flowering, dormancy, and architecture have enabled the development of tree types optimized for improved sustainable production systems.
Speaker: Chris Dardick, Lead Scientist, Plant Molecular Biologist, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Agricultural Research Service, USDA

U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative (NZI)
U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative accelerates action to reduce environmental impact by making sustainable practices and technologies more accessible and affordable to all farms.
Speaker: Jaime Jonker, Chief Science Officer, National Milk Producers Federation

1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions 

TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Cotton Outlook
The session includes presentations on USDA's preliminary supply and demand outlook for 2022/23 following a year with a record U.S. farm price, how the U.S. cotton industry's sustainability efforts are aligned with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals under the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, and an overview of the drivers and impact of the most remarkable run-up in cotton prices in a decade during 2021/22.
Moderator: Darren Hudson, Professor and Larry Combest Chair, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

The World and United States Cotton Outlook (Slides (PPTX, 1.1 MB))
The Speaker reviewed U.S. and world cotton market developments during 2021/22 and present USDA's preliminary forecasts for cotton in 2022/23 .
Speaker: James Johnson, Foreign Agricultural Service, Washington, DC

Sustainability and Transparency through the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
The U.S. Trust Protocol brings verifiable goals and measurement to more sustainable cotton production with six sustainability metrics – land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency.
Speaker: Gary Adams, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Cotton Council of America, Cordova, TN

The Cotton Price Shock of 2021/22 (Slides (PPTX, 1.2 MB))
Cotton price volatility returned in 2021/22 only a decade after the highest prices in more than a century. The 2021/22 price shock comes as the pandemic's impact enters a new phase, and the sustainability of cotton prices adds an additional concern.
Speaker: Jarral Neeper, President, Trucott LLC, Bakersfield, CA

TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Livestock & Poultry Outlook
The session includes a discussion of the key factors impacting the outlook for livestock and poultry for 2022.

Moderator: Joel Greene, Analyst in Agriculture Policy, Congressional Research Service

Outlook for the U.S. Livestock and Poultry Sectors (Slides (PDF, 1.1 MB))
Speaker: Shayle Shagam, Livestock & Poultry Analyst, World Agricultural Outlook Board

Record U.S. Red Meat Exports Through the Logistical Logjam (Slides (PPTX, 25.2 MB))
Speaker: Erin Borror, Economist, U.S. Meat Export Federation, Denver, CO           

Fat of the Land: Market Outlook for Low Carbon Intense Raw Materials from the Rendering Industry (Slides (PPTX, 6.1 MB))
Speaker: Kent Swisher, President & CEO, North American Renderers Association, Alexandria, VA

TRACK: Food Safety and Nutrition
Definitions and Truth in Food Labeling
The session explored types of values-based labeling claims made for meat and poultry products, such as organic, cage free, and grass fed. How should these claims be defined? How should they be substantiated? How can we keep up with new technologies, competition across industries, and consumer demands—all while ensuring that claims are truthful and not misleading.
Moderator: Brian Ronholm, Director, Food Policy, Consumer Reports, ,
FSIS Role in Verifying Truthful Labeling (Slides (PPTX, 3.1 MB))
the basic principles for regulations, statements that can be generically approved, statements/claims that need FSIS review, criteria FSIS uses, etc.; how FSIS seeks input to ensure truth in labeling
Speaker: Jeff Canavan, , USDA/Food Safety and Inspection Service, ,
Third-Party Certification of Labeling Claims (Slides (PPTX, 29.5 MB))
How certifications for labeling claims can help businesses along the farm-to-table continuum bridge the gap with consumers and what consumers are looking for in their purchases.
Speaker: Anne Malleau, Executive Director, Global Animal Partnership, Austin, Texas

TRACK: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Trends in Conservation Practices to Reduce Green House Gas Emissions
This session covered recent trends in adoption of conservation practices that provide greenhouse gas benefits, trends in sustainable intensification within the animal agriculture sector; and trends in the adoption of innovative practices to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Moderator: William Hohenstein, Director, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington DC
Trends in adoption of conservation practices in the U.S. (Slides (PPTX, 70.5 MB))

This presentation provided an overview of recent trends in adoption of agricultural conservation and identification of knowledge gaps.
Speaker: Maria Bowman, Research Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA
Livestock Greenhouse Gas Intensity Metrics (Slides (PPTX, 5.7 MB))

Livestock greenhouse gas emissions have generally been increasing over time, but if U.S. agriculture is becoming more efficient, are the greenhouse gas emissions per unit product increasing or decreasing?
Speaker: Cortney Itle, Environmental Engineer, Eastern Research Group
Feed Ingredients and Ration Composition can Reduce Environmental Impact (Slides (PPTX, 8.8 MB))

Animal diet composition, feeding systems, approved feed additives and additives being developed or waiting for approval can reduce production and release of greenhouse gases from ruminant livestock and animal agriculture’s environmental impact.
Speaker: Paul Davis, Director of Quality, Animal Food Safety and Education, American Feed Industry Association

TRACK: Frontiers in Ag Production and Technology
Climate-Smart Innovations to Improve Food Security
Innovation is key to mitigating climate change and ensuring food security. This session highlights three novel approaches that bring together technologies to grow food more efficiently with fewer resources and lower environmental impact, create systems to produce nutritious food in new ways, and combine food production with energy production to increase overall productivity of land.
Moderator: Shefali Mehta, Acting Chief Scientist, Research, Education, and Economics Mission Area, USDA, Washington, DC (Slides (PPT, 11.0 MB))

Innovations in Controlled Environment Agriculture Supporting Nutrition Security (Slides (PDF, 5.8 MB))
Vertical farms are developing new technologies to bring sustainable agriculture to new crops to feed more people, and these technologies bring new opportunities and understanding to the agriculture ecosystem.
Speaker: Roger Buelow, Chief Technology Officer, Aerofarms, Newark, NJ
Convergent-Manufacturing for Agriculture and Food for Equity (CAFE)
(Slides (PDF, 28.4 MB))
Technological, social, economic, climate, and political forces define the future of foods and farms. Convergent manufacturing can supplement traditional manufacturing to improve outcomes and move the world toward an equitable society.

Speaker: Ajay Malshe, R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor, Purdue University, School of Mechanical Engineering, West Lafayette, IN
Co-locating Agriculture and Solar Renewable Energy Production (agrivoltaics) to Improve Food, Energy, and Water Security
(Slides (PPTX, 62.7 MB))
As food, water, and energy security challenges grow, we are co-locating agriculture and solar energy production via “agrivoltaics.” This climate-smart solution reduces plant stress, generates income, conserves water, and mitigates land use conflict.

Speaker: Greg Barron-Gafford, Professor, University of Arizona, School of Geography, Development, Tucson, AZ

3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions 

TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Dairy Outlook
The session includes a discussion of the key factors impacting the outlook for the U.S. Dairy Industry for 2022.
Moderator: Peter Vitaliano, Vice President, Economic Policy and Market Research, National Milk Producers Federation, Arlington, VA

Outlook for U.S. Dairy (Slides (PPTX, 4.0 MB))
Speaker: Carolyn Liebrand, Agricultural Economist, Agricultural Marketing Service, Washington, DC
Dairy Hay Situation and Outlook (Slides (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Speaker: Katelyn McCullock, Director, Livestock Marketing Information Center, Lakewood, CO
Supply Chain Disruptions: Impact and Outlook for U.S. Dairy Exports (Slides (PPTX, 12.1 MB))
Speaker: William Loux, Senior Director, Global Trade Analysis, U.S. Dairy Export Council, Arlington, VA

TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Organic Outlook
U.S. organic sales reached a record high in 2020 due to a variety of factors. This session examines the trends and outlook for the industry/producers, issues facing organic producers, and government efforts to support organic.
Moderator: Marni Karlin, Senior Advisor for Organic and Emerging Markets, USDA, Washington, DC.
U.S. Organic Industry Trends and Outlook (Slides (PPTX, 1.4 MB))

The presentation looked at trends and market conditions for organic agriculture.
Speaker: Ryan Koory, Vice President of Economics, Mercaris, Hillsboro, MO
Issues Facing Organic Producers (Slides (PPTX, 31.6 MB))

Issues facing producers of organic commodities including labor, technology, regulatory challenges, and supply chain issues.
Speaker: Amy Bruch, Owner and Operator, Cyclone Farms Inc., York, NE
Supporting Organic Trade by Expanding the Phytosanitary Toolbox (Slides (PPTX, 6.8 MB))

Successes and opportunities in identifying a variety of pest-control strategies appropriate for organic farmers. 
Speaker: Gabriel Hughes, Risk Manager, Entomologist, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Riverdale, MD
Growing Organic through Transition, Standards Development, Oversight, and Enforcement (Slides (PPTX, 6.7 MB))

How the National Organic Program can grow organic through supporting transition and development of farmers and markets, standards development, and oversight/enforcement.
Speaker: Jennifer Tucker, Deputy Administrator, National Organic Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.

TRACK: Food Safety and Nutrition
Thrifty Food Plan
Moderator: Melissa Abelev, Acting Deputy Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service, Alexandra, VA

USDA Modernizes the Thrifty Food Plan (Slides (PPTX, 12.4 MB))
Share research on the Thrifty Food Plan and discuss potential impacts on SNAP participants as the results of the reevaluation are implemented in SNAP.
Speaker: Parke Wilde, Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA

Revaluation of the plan
The speaker explained how FNS conducted the reevaluation.

Speaker: Eve Stoody, Division Director, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Alexandria, VA

Impacts of the Thrifty Food Plan (Slides (PPTX, 1.4 MB))
The speaker provided a state-level view of how the Thrifty Food Plan reevaluation affects SNAP benefits and state operations.

Speaker: Brittany Mangini, Food Security and Nutrition Programs Director, Boston, MA

TRACK: Equity and Inclusion
Rural Mental Health
Farmers and ranchers often face unpredictable weather, crop diseases, volatile markets, heavy workloads, and social isolation. This has taken a toll on producers’ mental wellbeing and quality of life. In this session, the first to address this issue at AOF,  panelists highlighted resources to identify the warning signs of stress and connect farmers and ranchers with the appropriate help. Panelists also identified gaps and barriers so we can work toward more effective and comprehensive solutions.
Moderator: Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator, Farm Service Agency, USDA, Washington, DC

Sustainable Agriculture Means Sustaining Farmers: Surveying the Field of Farm Stress Research and Outreach (Slides (PPTX, 3.9 MB))
Agricultural mental health both impacts and is impacted by agricultural practices. This presentation reviews relevant research about agricultural mental health and substance use, and Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network outreach efforts.
Speaker: Courtney Cuthbertson, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Minnesota Farm Stress Assistance: The Next Level
Minnesota has a robust, ongoing effort to assist farmers with mental health and stress relief. Thanks to increasing resources and awareness, the MDA and partners are stepping up those efforts in response to many years of tough times for MN farmers.
Speaker: Thom Peterson, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, St. Paul, MN

Perspective from a Producer Organization (Slides (PPTX, 17.6 MB))
Speaker: Rob Larew  President, National Farmers Union, Washington, DC

TRACK: Frontiers in Ag Production & Technology
Fuels Treatments in Western Forests: Advances and Innovations to Address Wildfire

2021 has been another significant fire year across the western United States. This session explores advances by USDA and collaborative partners in funding and market innovations, prescribed fire use, and scenario planning, which are critical to achieve a paradigm shift in the pace and scale of fire and fuels management to increase the resilience of our nation’s drier forests to wildfire.
Moderator: Jerry Perez, National Director for Fire and Aviation Management, USDA Forest Service
Speaker: Laura McCarthy, State Forester, New Mexico Department of Forestry (Slides (PPTX, 42.1 MB))

Speaker: Dan Porter, Forest Strategy Lead, The Nature Conservancy, California (Slides (PPTX, 27.4 MB))  

Speaker: George Geissler, State Forester, Washington State Department of Natural Resources (Slides (PPTX, 18.0 MB))