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2021 Agricultural Outlook Forum Program

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Program at A Glance (PDF, 173 KB)
Register and Watch Sessions On Demand

8:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Welcome — Acting Secretary Kevin Shea, USDA

2021 Agricultural Economic & Foreign Trade Outlook — Chief Economist Seth Meyer, USDA
Speech (PDF, 230 KB); Slides (PDF, 3.8 MB)

Overview of USDA Priorities Under Biden-Harris Administration — USDA Chief of Staff Katharine Ferguson

Discussion on USDA Priorities
  • Sara Bleich, Senior Advisor for COVID-19, USDA
  • Robert Bonnie, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Senior Advisor on Climate, USDA
  • Oscar Gonzales, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration, USDA
Moderated by Katharine Ferguson

Messages from Congressional Leaders
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Agricultural Committee
  • Senator John Boozman, Ranking Member
  • Congressman David Scott, Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee
  • Congressman Glenn Thompson, Ranking Member
Concluding Remarks — Chief Economist Seth Meyer
10:45 - 11:45 a.m.

Addressing Climate Change and Sustainability Through Innovation
A discussion of how genetic innovations continue to enhance agricultural productivity and offer promise in addressing climate change and other environmental challenges. The speakers will also discuss the role of public policy and how the regulatory and trade environment can affect the adoption of these technologies.
Moderator/Discussant: Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, Department of Animal Science, UC Davis


  • Jon Entine, Founder and Executive Director, The Genetic Literacy Project (Slides) (PDF, 4.8 MB)
  • Tim Bettington, Exec. Vice President and President of U.S. Operations, Zoetis (Slides) (PDF, 1.9 MB)
12:00 - 12:45 p.m.
Lunchtime Address by David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

TRACK: Food Price & Farm Income Outlooks
Food Price Outlook — Current and Forecasted Trends
The Food Price Outlook provides timely, relevant, and detailed data analysis of current and forecasted trends in retail and wholesale food markets. It is the only source of Federal retail food price inflation projections.
Moderator: Spiro Stefanou, Administrator, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Food Price Outlook (Slides) (PDF, 1.5 MB)
The discussion will set the stage, presenting background on retail food price inflation and the USDA's 2021 projections.
Speaker: Carolyn Chelius, Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Kansas City, MO

Shifting Preferences — A Closer Look at Changes in U.S. Consumer Food Purchases (Slides) (PDF, 912 KB)
This presentation will focus on how the American consumer is spending their food dollars and how these spending patterns have changed over time.
Speaker: Andy Harig, Vice President, Tax, Trade, Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, VA

The Future of the Food Industry — Perspective from the Farm Sector (Slides) (PDF, 1.9 MB)
This presentation will focus on current trends in the U.S. farm sector and how these trends will inform the marketing and selling of food in the U.S.
Speaker John Newton, Chief Economist, American Farm Bureau, Washington, DC


TRACK: U.S. Trade and The Global Market Place
U.S. Trade Agenda — Ag Trade Priorities and New Initiatives
USDA Agricultural Trade Policy Priorities and Efforts to Grow Foreign Markets. This session will focus on the latest developments impacting U.S. agricultural trade, including FAS priorities and new initiatives.
Moderator: Sharon Sydow, Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, USDA, Washington, DC

Trade Agenda in a New Administration (Slides) (PDF, 943 KB)
Mr. Bown will share his views on the trade landscape facing the incoming U.S. administration and some possible scenarios for administration policy.
Speaker: Chad P. Bown, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC

Trade Policy Opportunities for U.S. Agriculture (Slides) (PDF, 4.5 MB)
Mr. Hafemeister will discuss key developments in the current global agricultural trade environment, and prospects for U.S. agricultural exports.
Speaker: Jason Hafemeister, Secretary’s Trade Counsel, Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, USDA, Washington, DC


TRACK: Supply Chain Resilience
Adapting to the COVID 19-Crisis — Resilience from Farmer to Suppliers
The resilience of the food supply chain from the farm to wholesale distribution will be discussed. Several disruptions will be examined including the pandemic, animal infections, and extreme weather events. Speakers are leaders and managers from the pork packing industry, the wheat milling and baking complex, and the ethanol production supply chain.
Moderator: Joseph Cooper, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC (Slides) (PDF, 2.2 MB)

Supply Chain Resilience in Pork Production (Slides) (PDF, 2.2 MB)
How the pork sector adapted to the effects of African Swine Flu on China’s pork imports last year that were then quickly followed by the impacts from COVID will be discussed.
Speaker: William Even, Chief Executive Officer, National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa

Supply Chain Resilience in Wheat Milling and Baking (Slides) (PDF, 12.1 MB)
An expert will discuss how the flour milling and baking sectors adapted when the demand for baked goods suddenly came from a different direction.
Speaker: Robb MacKie, President & CEO, American Bakers Association, Washington, DC

Flexibility in Ethanol Production (Slides) (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Last March, air and car transportation demand for fuel fell to almost nothing. How did the ethanol producers and their suppliers respond?
Speaker: Geoff Cooper, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association, Ellisville, MO


TRACK: Managing Risk & Ensuring Sustainability
African Swine Fever — Global Disruption, USDA Response & Initiatives
The moderator will provide what has transpired over the past few years with global disease spread and provide the framework for the speakers’ presentations, then open up live for audience questions. The story line progresses from what the US response has been to what is happening internationally and on to measures the industry has taken to mitigate supply impacts, secure trade and prepare for an incursion of ASF into the US.
Moderator: Jack Shere, Associate Deputy Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Riverdale, MD

ASF — International Situation and Response (Slides) (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Speaker: Andriy Rozstalnyy, Animal Health Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome

USDA Diagnostic Interventions for Safeguarding the U.S. Swine Herd
Speaker: Kimberly Dodd, Veterinary Medical Officer, Foreign Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory

Industry Response Producer (Slides) (PDF, 510 KB)
Speaker: David Preisler, Minnesota pork producer, Tyson Food

Industry Response Packer (Slides) (PDF, 541 KB)
Speaker: Barbara Masters, VP Regulatory Policy, Food and Agriculture, Tyson Foods

TRACK: Innovation and Productivity 
Innovation in Agriculture  Challenges and Opportunities
This session will highlight recent innovations in agriculture that will help improve production and/or reduce the footprint of agriculture on the environment. The session will highlight ag industry leaders--bringing together the leaders that will drive technological change in the agricultural sector.
Moderator: Bill Hohenstein, Director of Energy and Environmental Policy, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

Innovations in Big Data and Supply Chains
Will address current supply chain challenges, barriers to efficiency and traceability, and the complexity of capturing and leveraging data across ag production systems.
Speaker: Shari Rogge-Fidler, Farm Foundation

Next Gen Fertilizer Challenge for Agronomic and Environmental Benefits (Slides) (PDF, 2.1 MB)
The Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer Challenge was designed to spur innovation within the EEF space. This presentation will provide an overview of the EEF Challenges.
Speaker: Lara Moody, VP Stewardship & Sustainability, The Fertilizer Institute

Connecting the Dots — Generating Biogas from Livestock Operations
Will focus on the emerging opportunity to expand biogas production and use within livestock operations.
Speaker: Kevin Dobson, VP Business Development, Detroit Edison Electric Company

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

TRACK: Food Price & Farm Income Outlooks
The State of the Farm Economy — Outlook for Farm Sector Income and Agricultural Credit Conditions
In this session, we will discuss the outlook for farm sector income and discuss agricultural credit conditions. Additionally, we will examine how payments from the Market Facilitation Program are affecting the financial well-being of farm households.
Moderator: Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association, Washington, DC

USDA Farm Income Forecast
A presentation on the latest USDA farm sector income and wealth forecasts.
Speaker: Carrie Litkowski, Senior Economist, USDA Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Agricultural Credit Conditions
A look at recent trends and issues affecting agricultural lending and credit conditions.
Speaker: Nathan Kauffman, Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Omaha, NE

Farm Household Income and Well-being
The speaker will discuss how income received from the Market Facilitation Program has affected farm households' marginal propensity to consume.
Speaker: David Williams, PhD Candidate, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN


TRACK: U.S. Trade & The Global Market Place
China — Trends and Driving Forces of a Dynamic Agricultural Market
State of the trade landscape in China, the world’s largest agricultural import market. Speakers will discuss latest developments in the Chinese market impacting U.S. agricultural exports, including China’s current economy, China’s rapid recovery from African Swine Fever (ASF) and the steady increase in demand for beef, and China’s supply and prices of feed grains, among others.
Moderator: Daniel Whitley, Administrator (Acting), Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Washington, DC

China’s Economy and Geopolitical Landscape — What’s Going on Now
Current state of play in the Chinese market, including a discussion on key economic indicators, recovery from the pandemic, and geopolitical developments
Speaker: David Dollar, Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution, John L. Thornton China Center, Washington, DC

U.S./China Trade Prospects — A Short-Term Outlook (Slides) (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Discussion on the Phase One agreement, drilling down on trade outcomes, and how the United States moves forward with this key trade partner.
Speaker: Jason Hafemeister, Secretary’s Trade Counsel, Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, USDA, Washington, DC

China’s Animal Protein Market and Feed Demand — The Long-Term Outlook (Slides) (PDF, 2.4 MB)
Discussion of the overall animal protein demand (high value products such as dairy and beef), and China’s recovery from ASF.
Speaker: Fred Gale, Senior Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC


TRACK: Supply Chain Resilience
Resilience Through Innovation — Local & Regional Food Systems' Response to COVID-19
In recent years, away-from-home food expenditures in the U.S. have exceeded at-home food purchases. However, COVID-19 has devastated restaurants and the food businesses that supply them. This has caused enormous upheaval in food supply chains. In this session, we will hear how restaurants, local seafood operations, and niche meat processors have developed new marketing opportunities.
Moderator: Tricia Kovacs, Deputy Administrator, Transportation & Marketing Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA

Restaurant Industry Impact and Downstream Effects
Restaurants are key markets for local and regional food suppliers and the rapidly changing policies dictated by COVID-19 have changed how we eat out.
Speaker: Ashley Kosiak, Impacts Program Manager, James Beard Foundation

Local Fisheries
About seventy percent of seafood is eaten outside of homes and as stay at home orders began in the spring, fishers had to swiftly pivot to develop new markets.
Speaker: Joshua Stoll, Assistant Professor of Marine Policy, University of Maine & Local Catch Network, Orono, Maine

Niche Meat Processing
Many consumers turned to small, local producers last year challenging the capacity of niche meat processors. Sudden shifts in demand are changing distribution channels.
Speaker: Rebecca Thistlewaite, Director, Niche Meat Processing Assistance Network


TRACK: Managing Risk & Ensuring Sustainability
Challenges to Livestock Market Transparency
The pandemic and other 2020 events had profound impacts on the livestock sector. Massive demand changes contributed to large price swings. Price transparency has been impacted in each of the red meat markets, and there are chronic problems of thin markets. Other events included the loss of a beef packing plant to fire, international pork trade uncertainty, and continued lamb market consolidation.
Moderator: Sherry Wise, Senior Economist, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Cattle and Beef Market (Slides) (PDF, 2.0 MB)
The share of cash trades in the cattle/beef market is declining, making price transparency a problem in some regional markets. Market complexity adds to supply-chain risks.
Speaker: Glynn Tonsor, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Hog and Pork Market (Slides) (PDF, 3.1 MB)
The negotiated cash market share for hogs is below 3%, the industry is largely vertically integrated and pork trade is in flux. The pandemic has underscored vulnerabilities.
Speaker: Lee Schulz, Professor, Department of Economics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Lamb Market (Slides) (PDF, 220 KB)
Lamb market consolidation has followed from foreign competition, declining U.S. demand. Small processor numbers result in limited price reporting, reducing market transparency
Speaker: William Hahn, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Kansas City, MO


TRACK: Innovation and Productivity
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) — Innovation on Earth and Beyond
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) encompasses diverse systems from open end hoop houses, enclosed high tunnels, heated or unheated greenhouses to completed indoor vertical agriculture. Innovation continues to meet consumer demand and societal needs for reliably sourced and locally produced fresh produce. USDA supports CEA innovation through a wide variety of research and data efforts.
Moderator: Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Acting Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics & Acting Chief Scientist, USDA, Washington, DC

Evolution of Challenges and Opportunities in CEA Agriculture
Discussion of innovations in global CEA and future potential as economically competitive and alternative technical means of vegetable and fruit production.
Speaker: Casey Houweling, Owner of Houweling’s Tomatoes, Houweling Tomatoes, Delta, British Columbia, Canada

Controlled Environment Agriculture on Space Missions and Applications for Ground-Based Agriculture
Discussion of NASA’s programs and experience in space and ground-based plant research with technologies that will provide fresh food on space transit and surface missions.
Speaker: Ray Wheeler, NASA Plant Physiologist, NASA, Kennedy Space Center, FL

What Does the Future Hold for Vertical Farming? (Slides) (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Discussion on developing sustainable and strategic plans to feed future populations with greater food demand in the face of growing global trade and environmental challenges.
Speaker: Roger Buelow, Chief Technology Officer, Aerofarms, Newark, NJ


2021 Commodity Outlooks
8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
Morning Session — Hot Topics in Food and Agriculture
  • Chuck Conner, President and CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
  • Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Krysta Harden, CEO, U.S. Dairy Export Council
  • Rob Larew, President, National Farmers Union
Q&A moderated by Sara Wyant, Founder and President, Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Grains and Oilseeds Outlook
Moderator: Michael Jewison, Agricultural Economist, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

China's Corn Market (Slides) (PDF, 957 KB)
Speaker: Bryan Lohmar, China Director, US Grains Council

USDA Grains and Oilseeds Outlook (Slides) (PDF, 3.8 MB)
Speaker: Justin Choe, Agricultural Economist, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

La Niña and Its Impact on South American Agriculture (Slides) (PPTX, 4.8 MB)
Speaker: Mark Brusberg, Chief Meteorologist, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC


TRACK: Innovation and Technology
Precision Agriculture — Profitability and Resource Stewardship
Precision agriculture refers to farmers’ use of new technologies such as global information and positioning systems that have been incorporated into a wide range of sensors, monitors and controllers for agricultural equipment such as shaft monitors, pressure transducers and servo motors. These technologies allow farmers to use electronic guidance aids to direct equipment movements more accurately.
Moderator: Bob Chambers, Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Case Studies of Corn Production and Adoption of 4Rs (Slides) (PDF, 1.7 MB)
The discussion will center on a series of corn production case studies highlighting environmental outcomes and cost savings as a result of 4R adoption.
Speaker: Lara Moody, Vice President, Stewardship & Sustainability, Fertilizer Institute, Washington, DC

Practical Challenges in the Application of Precision Agriculture (Slides) (PDF, 4.6 MB)
Perspective on practical challenges and opportunities of precision agriculture in improving farm production while at the same time achieving better environmental outcomes.
Speaker: Jason Weirich, VP Agri Services, MFA Incorporated, Columbia, MO

Evidence on the Efficiency Advantage of Application of Precision Agriculture (Slides) (PDF, 703 KB)
Discussion of studies that demonstrate advantages of using GPS yield maps, guidance auto-steering precision agriculture technologies, and managerial know-how.
Speaker: Roberto Mosheim, Research Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC


TRACK: Supply Chain Resilience
Ensuring Food Safety with Science, Data, and Behavior Change
The session will discuss how partnerships, science, and data can be used to improve health and well-being by influencing behavior change.
Moderator: Carol Blake, Assistant Administrator, Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, Washington, DC

USDA Consumer Education Research and Behavior Change (Slides) (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Discussion of how the Food Safety and Inspection Service's approach to consumer education has evolved over the years, including the current use of consumer research.
Speaker: Carol Blake, Assistant Administrator, Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Ensuring Food Safety with Science, Data and Behavior Change — A Retail Grocery Perspective (Slides) (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Showcase of a retail grocer's use of behavior science in a properly established food safety culture that impacts both front-line retail associates and customers being served.
Speaker: Michael Roberson, Director of Corporate Quality Assurance, Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Educational Food Safety Materials for Consumers (Slides) (PDF, 8.8 MB)
A review of digital games, animations, videos and interactive labs for educating professionals, consumers and students and learn about the roles of research and collaboration.
Speaker: Barbara Chamberlin, Professor, Interim Department Head, Innovative Media Research and Extension, Learning Games Lab, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Cooperative, Las Cruces, NM

State Food Safety Agencies' Use of Social Media (Slides) (PDF, 4.6 MB)
How State food safety agencies in the U.S are using (or not using) social media platforms to share food safety information, such as recall alerts, with consumers.
Speaker: Jessica Badour, Recall Outreach Specialist, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Atlanta, GA


TRACK: Managing Risk & Ensuring Sustainability
Organic Outlook — Overview of Current Trends and Recent Developments
This session will provide an overview of the trends and recent developments in organic production, research, and consumption. Presentations will draw on newly-released NASS organic survey data, a review of Farm Bill priorities for organic research funding, and industry experiences with recent supply chain disruptions related to the pandemic.
Moderator: Mark Lipson, Partner, Molino Creek Farming Collective, Davenport, CA

U.S. Organic Production, Markets, Consumers, and Policy, 2000-2020 (Slides) (PDF, 535 KB)
This presentation will review key findings of the U.S. organic industry 2000 to 2020.
Speaker: Andrea Carlson, Senior Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

NIFA Organic Research Trends and New Initiatives (Slides) (PDF, 8.6 MB)
A history of NIFA-funding for organic research, including key breakthroughs, and new theme areas sought from forthcoming research proposals will be shared.
Speaker: Mathieu Ngouajio, National Program Leader, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Washington, DC

The Pandemic and Shifting Organic Consumption and Supply Chain Patterns (Slides) (PDF, 2.7 MB)
An industry leader discusses changing organic demand resulting from drastically shifting consumer consumption patterns following widespread stay-at-home orders in early 2020.
Speaker: Laura Batcha, Chief Executive Officer, Organic Trade Association, Washington, DC


TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Sugar Outlook
Moderator: Andrew Sowell, Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC (Slides) (PDF, 931 KB)

Sugar in the USMCA (Slides) (PDF, 2.0 MB)
Speaker: Sandra Marsden, President, Canadian Sugar Institute, Toronto ON M5V 3E4, Ontario/Canada

Current State of Sugar in Mexico — Promise and Peril (Slides) (PDF, 825 KB)
Speaker: Vincent O'Rourke, Trade and Market Analyst for the Americas, Czarnikow Sugar, Miami, FL

New Developments in Louisiana Cane Sugar (Slides) (PDF, 28.2 MB)
Speaker: Kenneth Gravois, Extension Specialist, Louisiana State University, St. Gabriel, LA

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

TRACK: Lunch Session
Sugar Industry Speaker

Moderator: Daniel Colacicco, Managing Director, CICCO Commodities LLC, Riva, MD

U.S. Sugar Industry Status, and Reflections on 36 Years on the Sugar Beat (Slides) (PDF, 13.3 MB)
Speaker: Jack Roney, Director of Economics and Policy Analysis, American Sugar Alliance, Arlington, VA


TRACK: Lunch Session 
Data Visualization 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. Recent work in data visualizations facilitate USDA’s ability to internally support better policy and decision-making and also make timely and useful visualizations available to the public. This session will feature 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: Ted Kaouk, Chief Data Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, USDA, Washington, DC (Slides) (PDF, 383 KB)

COVID-19 Risk Portfolio Dashboard (Slides) (PDF, 2.4 MB)
Showcase a Tableau dashboard that uses risk analytics and data visualizations to identify counties most likely to be hardest hit by the economic developments related to COVID-19, enabling RD field staff to respond more quickly to the needs of rural communities.
Speaker: Jim Barham, Acting Assistant Chief Data Officer, Rural Development, USDA, Washington, DC

Census of Agriculture Visualizations (Slides) (PDF, 2.1 MB)
A showcase of data visualizations exploring the Census of Agriculture by congressional district, Navajo chapter houses and a variety of farm characteristics by county.
Speaker: Ginger Harris, Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Global Agricultural & Disaster Assessment System (GADAS) (Slides) (PDF, 10.9 MB)
A state-of-the-art GIS that integrates highly detailed and near-real time earth observation data with tools and cropland data sets to support agricultural and disaster assessments. 
Speaker: Katie McGaughey, Crop Assessment Specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Data-driven Insights at Economic Research Service
A demonstration of the power and ease of accessing and working with Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) summary data with the recently provided new user interface.
Speaker: Jeff Hopkins, Chief, Farm Economy Branch, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates at a Glance Dashboard
An overview of the WASDE at a Glance dashboard. Users will get a better understanding of how to find and navigate the latest projections included in the dashboard.
Speaker: Vince Breneman, Senior Geographer, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC


TRACK: Lunch Session
USDA Customer Service Flexibilities During Disasters (11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
This panel will explore how stakeholder engagement and public-private partnership can be leveraged to provide USDA program flexibilities during the pandemic and recent disasters impacting the agricultural community. During the pandemic, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) and private partners worked together to continue meeting customer needs. While COVID 19 is not an insurable cause of loss, policy holders were offered many flexibilities to mitigate unprecedented challenges. The panel look at possible ways to strengthen the public-private partnership, flexibilities during disaster, and impact of response measures.
Moderator: Acting RMA Administrator

Panelist 1: Ruth Gerdes, President, Auburn Agency Crop Insurance, Auburn, NE

Panelist 2: Tawny Tesconi, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Sonoma County, California

Panelist 3: David Zanoni, Senior Underwriter, Risk Management Agency, USDA, Washington, DC


TRACK: Lunch Session
Specialty Crops — Blazing a Unique Path for Specialty Crops (12:00 - 12:45 p.m.) (Slides) (PDF, 2.2 MB)
2020 brought incredible challenges to the supply chain of specialty crops that have never been seen before. As we move into 2021 there are many ‘lessons learned” that can drive new opportunities and policies that could create a stronger and more robust specialty crop industry for years to come.
Moderator: Don Hinman, Senior Economist, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Alexandria, VA

Speaker: Robert Guenther, Sr. VP, Public Policy, United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, DC


TRACK: Lunch Session 
Venture Capital — Bringing Together Public/Private Partners to Invest in Innovative Ag Tech and Sustainable Agriculture (12:00 - 12:45 p.m.) (Slides) (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Entrepreneurs are a critical catalyst for change, and the innovations they are bringing to the food industry are challenging the way we produce and even think about food. This session examines the boundaries of what’s possible in food and agriculture from the standpoint of one of the leading companies investing in new ventures across the food chain.
Moderator: Mark Jekanowski, Chairman of World Agricultural Outlook Board, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

Speaker: Sanjeev Krishnan, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director, S2G Ventures

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Cotton Outlook
The session includes USDA's preliminary supply and demand outlook for 2021/22, a presentation on the U.S. Withold Release Orders Against Xinjiang Cotton, Garments, and Other Downstream Products, and a discussion of the interactions between cotton production, soil health, and climate change.
Moderator: Leslie Meyer, Senior Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

The World and U.S. Cotton Outlook for 2021/22 (Slides) (PDF, 725 KB)
U.S. and world cotton market developments during 2020/21 are reviewed and USDA's preliminary forecasts for cotton in 2021/22 are presented.
Speaker: Stephen MacDonald, Fibers Analyst, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

Withhold Release Orders Against Xinjiang Cotton, Garments, and Other Downstream Products
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a Withhold Release Order to detain cotton products and tomato products produced in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Speaker: Brenda B. Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Trade, Washington, DC

Cotton and Climate Change — The Untold Story (Slides) (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Speaker: Kai Hughes, Executive Director, International Cotton Advisory Committee, Washington, DC


TRACK: Innovation and Technology
Connectivity in Rural America
Broadband providers were forced to meet the needs of communities across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic but many rural communities did not have broadband access.Broadband infrastructure in rural communities is more critical now as individuals are working from home, accessing healthcare and attending school remotely.Cybersecurity threats are also an increasing challenge in rural America.
Moderator: Jacki Ponti-Lazaruk, Chief Innovation Officer, RD Innovation Center, Rural Development, USDA (Slides) (PDF, 951 KB)

Equity and Economic Factors of Broadband Access (Slides) (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Speaker: Josh Seidemann, Vice President, NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association

Broadband Policy and Cybersecurity Threats to Rural Broadband Infrastructure (Slides) (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Speaker: Taylor Reynolds, Director of Technology Policy MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative, MIT

New Technology for Rural Prosperity (Slides) (PDF, 3.6 MB)
Examples of joint venture initiatives in broadband; localized technology
Speaker: Mo Shakouri, Director, Community Broadband Initiative, Joint Venture Silicon Valley Innovation Partners Institute Fellow


TRACK: Supply Chain Resilience
Food Loss and Waste in the Time of COVID-19
Despite the sudden and severe challenges from COVID-19, the U.S. food and agriculture system is resilient and public- and private-sector actions were taken and there were new innovations that resulted in a triple win which specifically helped: (1) America’s farmers and food system, (2) feed people in need through increased food donations and other innovations, and (3) reduce food loss and waste.
Moderator: Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Acting Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics & Acting Chief Scientist, USDA, Washington, DC

Innovative Federal Responses to COVID that Reduced Food Loss and Waste
 Will summarize the innovative Federal responses to COVID that resulted in a triple win including FLW reduction, such as the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
Speaker: Jean Buzby, USDA Food Loss and Waste Liaison, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

The State of Food — What States and Territories are Doing to Reduce Food Loss
Discussion of actions taken and tailored to the needs of states and regions with a focus on triple wins (mentioned above), including FLW reduction.
Speaker: Dania E. Rodriguez, Executive Director, Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste M, Washington, DC

A Future with Zero Hunger and Zero Waste (Slides) (PDF, 70.2 MB)
A private-sector perspective on reducing food waste in the time of COVID
Speaker: Kari Armbruster, Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Program Manager, The Kroger Company


TRACK: Managing Risk & Ensuring Sustainability
Wildfires in California — Interactions and Implications for Agriculture
In 2020, wildfires burned over 4.2 million acres in California, with significant financial impacts to agriculture. Wildfire can damage crops and soil, harm livestock, and destroy infrastructure. Smoke can impact wine quality and expose farmworkers to unhealthy air. This session explains the linkages between wildfire and agriculture that can help inform USDA Forest Service investments.
Moderator: Toral Patel-Weynand, Director, Sustainable Forest Management Research, Forest Service, USDA, Washington, DC (Slides) (PDF, 1 MB)

Wildfire Protection and Resilience
Wildfires have increased in California, presenting challenges for firefighters and opportunities to mitigate wildfire risk to agricultural communities.
Speaker: Thom Porter, Director, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Sacramento, CA

Industry Perspective (Slides) (PDF, 6.4 MB)
With increased crop and infrastructure damage and threats to livestock, farmers and ranchers are exploring new means to cope with wildfire.
Speaker: Jamie Johansson, President, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento, CA

State Support for Producers
State incentive and investment programs can help the agricultural industry maintain its role as a global leader in food production despite wildfire.
Speaker: Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, CA

Smoke Impacts on Farmworkers
Wildfire smoke can impact farmworker health; an increased understanding of smoke risks and consequences of exposure can safeguard this essential workforce.
Speaker: Kent Pinkerton, Director, University of California, Davis, Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, Davis, CA


TRACK: Commodity Outlook
Livestock & Poultry Outlook
This session will privide an outlook for the U.S. livestock and poultry sectors. Speakers will also highlight the impacts and implications of COVID-19 on the U.S. foodservice sector and Canadian livestock and meat sectors.
Moderator: Lindsay Kuberka, Director of Global Commodity Analysis Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Outlook for the U.S. and Poultry Sectors (Slides) (PDF, 2.0 MB)
Speaker: Seanicaa Herron, Agricultural Economist, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

Navigating Foodservice in a Pandemic (Slides) (PDF, 1.0 MB)
Speaker: Mark Winkler, Senior Director of Category Management for Beef and Pork, US Foods, Rosemont, IL

Covid 19 — Impacts and Implications for Canadian Livestock and Meat Markets (Slides) (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Speaker: Alexander Cave, CEO, J.S. Ferraro, J.S. Ferraro, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

TRACK: Commodity Outlook 
Dairy Outlook
Moderator: Roger Cryan, Director, Economics Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Outlook for U.S. Dairy (Slides) (PDF, 182 KB)
Speaker: Shayle Shagam, Dairy Analyst, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

After the Storm — Dairy Outlook 2021 (Slides) (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Speaker: Phil Plourd, President, Blimling and Associates, Inc, Madison, WI

Managing Success During Dairy Turmoil (Slides) (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Speaker: Gabriel Sevilla, Vice-President, Global Sales and Marketing, Proliant Dairy Ingredients, Ankeny, IA


TRACK: Innovation and Technology
Water Quantity, Quality and Cost — A Look at Water Science and Policy
Growing demand for ground and surface water resources, coupled with increasing frequency and severity of drought has significantly affected agricultural production and economic opportunities in the United States. This session will highlight opportunities for water science and policy to meet societal needs.
Moderator: Aaron Hrozencik, Research Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Kansas City, MO (Slides) (PDF, 746 KB)

Water Policy, Agricultural Water Use, Drought, and the Value of Water in the Southeast (Slides) (PDF, 7.5 MB)
Understanding how state-level policy decisions, agricultural investments and hydrology have created significant differences in farmers’ ability to respond to drought.
Speaker: Mark Masters, Director, Georgia Water Policy Center, Albany State University, Albany, GA

Agricultural Impacts on Water Quality — Progress and Challenges (Slides) (PDF, 23.5 MB)
This session highlights the gains that have been made, the challenges that remain, and the research needed for agriculture meet its conservation goals and objectives.
Speaker: Vicky Drew, State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Colchester, VT

Attaining Sustainability in California’s Watersheds — From Headwater Forests to Groundwater Basins (Slides) (PDF, 4.2 MB)
Addressing water scarcity and associated land use changes in the San Joaquin Valley will require landscape scale approaches to water and land management.
Speaker: Ellen Hanak, Vice President and Director, Public Policy Institute of California, Water Policy, San Francisco, CA


TRACK: Supply Chain Resilience
American Agriculture, Nutrition, and Community Connection
This  session will highlight Federal nutrition assistance programs as a critical intervention that harnesses the power of American agriculture to promote nutritious diets that move families forward.

Moderator: Tim English, Associate Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service, Chicago, IL (Slides) (PDF, 229 KB)

Working Together to Help Feed People (Slides) (PDF, 8.3 MB)
Speaker: Julie Brewer, Director, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, Alexandria, VA

Make Every Bite Count with the Dietary Guidelines, 2020-2025: Start Simple with MyPlate! (Slides) (PDF, 5.9 MB)
Speaker: Jackie Haven, Deputy Director, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, Alexandria, VA

Working Together to Help Feed People (Slides) (PDF, 1.3 MB)
California Ag Secretary Karen Ross will provide a state department of agriculture perspective on the dramatic food insecurity increases during pandemic.
Speaker: Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, CA


TRACK: Managing Risk & Ensuring Sustainability
Issues in Pest Management — Citrus Greening
Huanglongbing or citrus greening is the most serious disease of citrus worldwide. The disease has no cure and leads to tree death. Citrus greening has spread to all citrus growing states in the U.S. since its emergence in Florida in 2005. This session will focus on a general overview of the disease biology and epidemiology in the US, current in California, Florida, and by the USDA ARS nation-wide.
Moderator: Laura Fleites, Scientist, AgroSource, Inc, Jupiter, FL (Slides) (PDF, 787 KB)

Biology, Epidemiology and Management of Citrus Greening Disease (Slides) (PDF, 7.2 MB)
The biology of the disease, the overall scope of the problem in the U.S.coordinated efforts to control the spread of the disease nation-wide and management strategies in CA.
Speaker: Monique Rivera, Assistant Extension Professor, Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA

Advanced Technologies for the Management of the Asian Citrus Psyllid, Vector of Citrus Greening Disease (Slides) (PDF, 2.7 MB)
HLB research in Florida describing research on Asian citrus psyllid physiology and pathology with the goal of developing novel, benign alternatives to chemical insecticides.
Speaker: Bryony Bonning, Eminent Scholar and Professor, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

USDA ARS Grand Challenge in Citrus Greening: A solution-driven approach to protect crops frominvasive insect-vectored crop diseases (Slides) (PDF, 3.7 MB)
Novel HLB therapies and approaches to deliver therapeutic molecules to citrus trees. And the use of these technologies to control related bacterial diseases in other crops.
Speaker: Michelle Heck, Research Molecular Biologist, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Ithaca, NY


TRACK: Commodity Outlook 
Fostering Minority and Underserved Youth Interest in Agriculture and Natural Resources
A recent study shows that although agricultural degree attainment by students from racial and ethnic minorities has increased, it is still below US population proportions. Fostering youth interest in these and related fields is one avenue towards a more diverse American agricultural system. Academic, private, and public players all have important roles in this endeavor.
Moderator: Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Acting Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics & Acting Chief Scientist, USDA, Washington, DC

Cooperative Extension & 4-H — Making a Difference in the Lives of Minority and Underserved Youth (Slides) (PDF, 1.3 MB)
The Cooperative Extension based 4-H program is actively working towards increasing minority and underserved interest in Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Speaker: Cathy Stuphin, Associate Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Blacksburg, VA

Urban American Outdoors — Cultivating Urban Youth Interest in the Outdoors (Slides) (PDF, 5.0 MB)
Positive outdoor sports role modeling for minority urban youth can lead to a lifetime interest in conservation and natural resources, as well as natural resource utilization.
Speaker: Wayne Hubbard, Co-Founder, Urban American Productions, LLC, Kansas City, MO

AgDiscovery — Success in Leading Minority and Underserved Youth to Agriculture and Natural Resources
AgDiscovery is a summer outreach program designed to help teenagers explore careers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, extensively partnering with 1890 universities.
Speaker: Rachel Cezar Martinez, Acting Director, Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Washington, DC