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Office of the Chief Economist
United States Department of Agriculture

2016 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Transforming Agriculture, February 25 to 26, 2016, Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Virginia

Thursday, February 25

2016 Agricultural Economic &
Foreign Trade Outlook (slides, speech)

Robert Johansson
Chief Economist

Dinner Speaker (PDF Remarks)
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
Purdue University
Former Governor of Indiana

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

TRACK: Food Price & Farm Income Outlooks
This session will provide the latest perspective on food price inflation, the main factors that contribute to changes in food prices, and the consumer implications of rising food prices.
Moderator: Ephraim Leibtag, Deputy Director for Research & Product Coordinator, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC
Outlook for US Food Prices and Inflation in 2016
A presentation of the latest ERS outlook for retail food prices in general and across major food categories.
Speaker:  Annemarie Kuhns, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Environmental Factors and the Retail Food Industry
This presentation focuses on how the retail food industry deals with environmental changes and the strategies employed to reduce price impacts.
Speaker:  Brian Todd, President, The Food Institute, Upper Saddle River, NJ
Economic Outlook for the Foodservice Industry
This presentation will allow for the perspective of how food price inflation impacts the foodservice industry.
Speaker: Bill Lapp, President, Advanced Economic Solutions, Omaha, NE


TRACK: International Trade
China’s economy has become the second-largest in the world and any slowing of growth or downturn has significant ramifications for countries around the world that depend on China’s economy. This session will focus on how China’s slowing GDP growth is impacting imports, especially from the United States.
Moderator:  Phil Karsting, Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Washington, DC

China’s Economy in 2016 and Beyond
Speaker will give a broad overview of China's slowing growth, the factors causing it and what effects it is having on the country.
Speaker:  Nicholas R. Lardy, Anthony M. Solomon Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC     

China’s Demand for Agricultural Imports
Speaker will discuss what will likely happen to the demand for agricultural imports in 2016 and beyond.
Speaker:  Fred Gale, Senior Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

China’s Demand for Feedstuffs and U.S. Export Prospects
This speaker will discuss China’s changing government policy for grains and the future feed demand for corn, soybeans, DDGs, sorghum and barley.
Speaker:  Bryan Lohmar, Director, U.S. Grains Council, Beijing, China


TRACK: Opportunities in Agriculture
Agriculture in America is changing, and the change is not limited to new farming methods.  U.S. agriculture is also being transformed by an increasing number of producers from non-traditional backgrounds, many of whom are producing nontraditional crops or using new methods of marketing their products. This session highlights some of these transformations.
Moderator: Krysta Harden, Agriculture Deputy Secretary, USDA, Washington, DC

Javier Zamora, Producer, JSM Organics, Aromas, CA
Shy Cullars, Farmer, Cullars Heitage Farm, Athens, GA
Ashley Atkinson, Co-Director, Keep Growing Detroit and Representative, Sustainable Agriculture, Representative, Detroil Food Policy Council, Detroit, MI
Richard W. VanVranken, Agricultural Agent and Professor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County, Mays Landing, NJ
Scott VanderWal, Vice President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, DC

TRACK: Conservation
Session speakers will discuss the supply, sources, drought impacts, and management of water for agriculture and communities.
Moderator: Noel Gollehon, Senior Economist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Managing Headwaters in the High Country
Role of national forest system lands in providing surface water for use across the country and potential changes in management approaches due to drought.
Speaker:  Peter Caldwell,Research Hydrologist, Center for Forest Watershed Research, Coweeta Hydrologic Lab, Southern Research Station, Forest Service, USDA, Otto, North Carolina

Understanding Groundwater as a Source and Drought Supply
Groundwater affects streamflow, aquatic species, and irrigated agriculture. This discussion includes groundwater management and its role in the current California drought.
Speaker: Doug Parker, Director, California Institute for Water Resources, University of California, Oakland, CA

Managing Water for the Future
The discussion will focus on water management in the future. The discussion includes environmental flows, efficient water pricing, and water supply for human and crop use.
Speaker: Matthew Zaragoza-Watkins, High Meadows Senior Economist, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, DC


TRACK: Transforming the Rural Economy
As organic agriculture has grown and become a mainstream part of American agriculture, the need for market information and market outlook has also grown. USDA is increasing its support for organic market news and organic market outlook.  This session highlights the outlook for organic producers and the challenges of supplying organic consumer markets.
Moderator: Laura Batcha, Executive Director, Organic Trade Association, Washington, DC

Outlook for Organic Agriculture
This topic focuses on the current market outlook for the organic agriculture sector.
Speaker: Catherine Greene, Senior Agricultural Economist, Resource and Rural Economics Division, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC   

Organic Profitability Around the World
The discussion centers around a recently published National Academy of Sciences meta-analysis of the financial performance of organic and conventional agriculture around the world.
Speaker: John Reganold, Regents Professor of Soil Science & Agroecology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Challenges of the Organic Supply Chain
America’s largest food retailers are expanding their organic offerings. This expansion has presented challenges and opportunities to the organic supply chain. 
Speaker: Michael Ferry, President, Horizon Organic,  Denver, CO

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3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Women’s Networking Event


3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

TRACK: Food Price & Farm Income Outlooks
This session will focus on general measures of the financial well-being of the farm economy, including farm household income. It will rely heavily on information generated by the Economic Research Service, USDA
Moderator: Jackson Takach, Economist, Farmer Mac, Washington, DC

Income Outlook for the U.S. Farm Sector in 2016
A presentation of USDA’s most recent estimates and forecasts of U.S. aggregate net farm income and value added. Speakers: Kevin Patrick, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC
Ryan Kuhns, Economist, Economist Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Farm and Farm Household Income Trends and the Rural Economy
A review and outlook for farm income and well-being at the household level, including on- and off-farm income and a discussion of the rural economy. 
Speaker: Daniel Prager, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Business and Credit Cycles in Agriculture
This presentation examines the role of lending in agricultural productivity in the United States and provides insight on the future financial well-being of the sector
Speaker: Todd Kuethe, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL


TRACK: International Trade
The focus is on opportunities for U.S. exports in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes some of the world's most robust economies, represents more than 40 percent of global trade and has a total population of over 805 million. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an opportunity to respond to the Asia-only regional trade agreements negotiated by our competitors. 
Moderator:  Robert L. Thompson, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Policy, University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and Senior Fellow, Global Agricultural Development & Food Security, Chicago Council on
Global Affairs, Champaign, IL

Opportunities for U.S. Agricultural Trade
A broad perspective on opportunities for U.S. exporters.
Speaker: Jason Hafemeister; Trade Policy Coordinator, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Regionalism and Implications for WTO
The focus is on the implications of regional agreements and the WTO.
Speaker: Craig A. Thorn, Partner, DTB Associates LLP, Washington, DC

Opportunities for U.S. Exports of Beef
The TPP represents a substantial market for U.S. exports of beef.  Speaker will discuss the outlook for exports of U.S. beef exports.    
Speaker: Kent Bacus, Legislative Affairs Manager, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Washington, DC


TRACK: Opportunities in Agriculture
As many agricultural professionals reach retirement age, there are fewer undergraduate students with agricultural backgrounds. This decline could mean fewer agricultural sciences as a viable career option and an adverse impact on meeting the personnel demands of industry, universities and government. This session focuses on helping students acquire the skills required for early workplace success.
Moderator: Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Washington, DC

Jump Starting Food and Agriculture Sector Interest: K-12
Industry and academia have articulated the need to cultivate agricultural interest early in a student’s life. Such an interest can be developed in early grades and reinforced in secondary schools.
Speaker: Jessica Jones, President, Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators, Blacksburg, VA

Steering the Best Talent Towards Colleges of Agriculture
Addressing agriculture's talent gap requires creative recruiting strategies and programs of study that appeal to students and prepare them for success in a rapidly evolving industry. 
Speaker: Jay Akridge, Dean of Agriculture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Shepherding Millennials To & Through High-Tech Agricultural Careers
Many college graduates enter chemical and biotech firms without knowing the business of agriculture.  Instead of picking and following a career ladder, millennials tend to jump from career ladder to career ladder to keep their careers exciting and flexible.  To attract qualified twenty somethings, companies are marketing agriculture as a large and complex industry with lots of niches to fit into.
Speaker: Tomesah Harrison, Human Resources Lead, Bayer Crop Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC


TRACK: Conservation
Identifying and valuing the benefits people receive from nature and explaining those benefits in the context of ecosystem function and processes is necessary to ensuring that we recognize their value and the cost of losing them. This session discusses: 1) Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Federal Decision-Making; 2) Payments for Watershed Services; and 3) Environmental Credit Trading. 
Moderator:  Ann Mills, Deputy Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment, USDA, Washington, DC 

Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Federal Decision-Making
Building a consistent approach to integrating ecosystem services into federal resource management and planning is appropriate in several commonly occurring decision contexts.
Speaker: Lydia Olander, Director, Ecosystem Services Program & National Ecosystem Services Partnership, Nicholas Institute for Environmenal Policy Solutions, Duke University, Durham, NC 

Payments for Watershed Services
The US Forest Service has successfully launched Payments for Watershed Services projects that create investment opportunities by viewing ecosystem services through a new lens. 
Speaker: Cindi West, Director, Office of Sustainability and Climate Change, Forest Service, USDA, Washington, DC  

Water Quality Trading
Water quality trading is a market-based approach to achieving water quality goals that links ecosystem service providers and those who benefit from these services.   
Speaker: Ben Grumbles, Secretary of the Environment, Maryland Department of the Environment, Baltimore, MD, 


TRACK: Transforming the Rural Economy
Technology pervades agriculture and society offering many ways to accumulate vast quantities of data. But, while "big data" provides benefits to farmers, it also raises profound questions of its security, privacy, and use. Expanding on a 2015 session speakers address privacy concerns, the emergence of drones in agriculture, the role of government, and an example of the impacts on a producer.   
Moderator:  Joyce Hunter, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Policy and Planning, USDA, Washington, DC

Drones and Data: An Update on Farmer Data
A review of progress on farmer data ownership issues and new data organizations, and a discussion of new research on drones and their effect on farmers and agriculture.
Speaker: Mary Kay Thatcher, Senior Director, Congressional Relations, American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, DC

A New Platform for New Needs
The Agricultural Marketing Service MARS project will serve as a model for flexible and integrable databases, including many sources, dissemination in many forms, and access to other systems.
Speaker: Joe Gaynor, Chief, Market News Branch, Dairy Programs,  Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Washington, DC 

The Vinyard of the Future
Emerging precision agriculture technologies and Big Data have the potential to transform grape and wine production, reshaping our vision for the future of specialty crop production.
Speaker: Nick Dokoozlian, Vice President, Viticulture and Chemistry, Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery, Modesto, CA

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Friday, February 26

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

TRACK: Food Security
Regionalization is now a common strategy used to address pests and diseases that threaten agricultural productivity. It separates the disease-free and affected areas.  Pests and diseases continue to be a major challenge to the agricultural industry. Globalization and the rise in international trade have moved countries to use regionalization to facilitate trade during times of pests and disease outbreaks.
Moderator: Elvis Cordova, Deputy Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs, USDA, Washington, DC  

Government Perspective on Regionalization, Its Implementation and How It Works
Pest outbreaks present challenges that require new regulatory and policy approaches. Regionalization is an approach that many state directors utilize to address them.
Speaker: Lisa Ferguson, Director, Veterinary Services, Regionalization Evaluation Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Riverdale, MD   

Regionalization as an Industry Strategy
Regionalization is a pest management strategy, but also a business strategy and many industries see it as an important tool to maintain productivity.
Speaker: Ashley Peterson, Vice President, National Chicken Council, Washington, DC   

Regionalization and Globalization: Impacts on Trade
Regionalization is an animal health strategy that separates disease-free from disease- affected areas.  How is “regionalization” accomplished in plant health?
Stephanie Bloem, Executive Director, NAPPO, Raleigh, NC


TRACK: Climate Change & Variability
USDA is emphasizing the importance of partnerships with private, non-profit, and education stakeholders to leverage their expertise and resources to achieve the goals that USDA established for each building block.  This session, will focus on three of the agriculture related building blocks and getting perspectives from a cross-section of stakeholders.
Moderator: William Hohenstein, Director, Climate Change Program Office, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

Improving Fertilizer Utilization
A summary of actions the fertilizer industry is taking to provide farmers with the tools to improve fertilizer use efficiency, limit nitrate loss, and reduce field-level nitrous oxide emissions.
Speaker:   Chris Jahn, President, The Fertilizer Institute, Washington, DC

Managing Manure to Reduce Greenhouse Gases
A description of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy operations through improved manure management. 
Speaker:  Chad Frahm, Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Rosemont, IL

Improving Soil Health and Carbon Storage
A summary of efforts led by the Natural Resources Conservation Service to improve soil health, which leads to improved rainfall infiltration, reduced runoff and additional carbon sequestration.
Speaker: Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist, National Resources Conservation Service, Indianapolis, IN


TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Joy Harwood, Director, Economic Policy Analysis Staff, Farm Service Agency,USDA, Washington, DC

USDA Outlook for Grains & Oilseeds 
Speaker:  Mark Simone, Food Grain Analyst, Farm Service Agency, USDA, Washington, DC

Outlook for El Nino and its impact on global crop weather
Speaker:   Harlan Shannon, Meteorologist, World Agricultural Outlook Board, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

State of Argentine Farm Policy and market conditions post-election
Speaker:  Ramiro Costa, Chief Economist, Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, Buenos Aires, Argentina


The session will include a discussion on the impacts of international exchange rates and world sugar and energy markets on the domestic sugar industry; the impacts of the Mexican/U.S. suspension agreement, the TPP and the privatization of Mexican mills on the Mexican sugar industry; EU reform and implications of TTIP on sugar markets.
Moderator: Barbara Fecso, Director, Dairy and Sweeteners Analysis Group, Farm Service Agency, USDA, Washington, DC  

Using Financial instruments in World Sugar Trade
Discussion from a banker's perspective on world events such as international currency exchange rate impacts on U.S. sugar market.
Speaker: Michael J. Swanson, Ag Economist, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank, Bloomington, MN 

Sugar in Mexico: Implications from the AC/CVD Suspension Agreements     
The discussion will focus on changes that have occurred in Mexico since the implementation of the December 2014 Suspension Agreement on Sugar.
Speaker: Salvador Behar, Legal Counsel for International Trade, Secretaria de Economia, Washington, DC

EU Sugar Reform: Implications of the Ending of Production Sugar Quotas
Speaker will address the effects on production, exports, imports, trade-offs with isoglucose, raw sugar refining over the medium- to longer-term, and competitive effects, within the EU.
Toby Cohen, Vice President, Market Analysis, ASR Group


TRACK: Transforming the Rural Economy
Focus on land tenure and transition issues has grown considerably in recent years, especially its impact on new and beginning farmers. As the average age of the principal farm operator continues to rise, the focus on this issue will only increase. Panelists will discuss legal and financial aspects of succession and estate planning as well as address land tenure and its impact on access and availability of land to new and beginning farmers.
Moderator: Mary Bohman, Administrator, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

How Land Tenure will Shape the Future of U.S. Agriculture
Land tenure is critical to American agriculture. It provides independence for farm families and creates wealth that can be transmitted across generations.
Speaker: Neil Hamilton, Professor of Law and Director of the Agricultural Law Center, Drake University, Des Moines, IA

Insights Gained Through Extension Programming
Farm transitions are complex. Established operators struggle with how identify a successor, share management and decision making, and treat farm and non-farm heirs equitably.
Speaker: Damona Doye, Regents Professor and Rainbolt Chair of Agricultural Finance, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 

Rethinking Farmland Transition in the 21st Century
Speaker: Julia Freedgood, Assistant Vice President, Programs, American Farmland Trust, Northampton, MA

Challenges and Paths Forward for Heir Property in the South
Panelist will discuss the history of heir property and share his personal experience with heir property in his family. Speaker: Randall Hildreth, Landowner, Atlanta, GA

Cultivating A Legacy
Discussion of state perspectives on encouraging and assisting beginning farmers and ranchers, highlighting successes and challenges of state programming.
Speaker: Greg Ibach, Director and President, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Lincoln, NB 

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10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

TRACK:Food Security
FSIS modernization efforts include collaboration with its public health partners. Improved collaboration will ensure that public health decisions are better informed and more effective. this session will cover the roles of federal and state entities in investigating foodborne illness outbreaks, the unique challenges they face and opportunities for increased collaboration.
Moderator: Phil Derfler, Deputy Adlinistrator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, Washington, DC

A State-Level Perspective on Collaborating with Federal Partner Agencies
Speaker will relate her experiences collaborating with Federal agencies during foodborne illness outbreak investigations and share lessons learned.
Speaker: Carlota Medus, Epidemiologist Principal, Foodborne Diseases Unit, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division, Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul, MN

Making Food Safer: Better Ways to Detect & Investigate Foodborne Outbreaks
A discussion on detection and investigation and explaination of how CDC works with state and local health agencies and federal regulatory partners during illness outbreaks.
Speaker: Robert Tauxe, Deputy Director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Improving Collaboration for Informed Public Health Decision Making
The discussion centers around challenges FSIS faces when making public health decisions and share FSIS’ efforts to improve collaboration with public health partners.
Speaker: Capt.David P. Goldman, Chief Medical Officer, US Public Health Service, Assistant Administrator, Office of Public Health Science, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, Washington, DC


TRACK: Climate Change & Variability
In recent years, Brazil has become a leading producer and exporter of corn and soybeans. Reasons for this include relatively stable production due to technological advances and, in most years, abundant rainfall for production of various crops.  There is also potential for expansion of farming into untapped lands, although infrastructure and land ownership issues are a limiting factor.
Moderator:  Robert Tetrault, Crop Analyst, Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Global Analysis, USDA, Washington, DC

Climate and Cropping Patterns in Brazil
The focus will be on Brazil’s unique climate and the increases in agricultural production made possible by the shift of production into regions less prone to drought. 
Speaker: Mark Brusberg, Chief Meteorologist, World Agricultural Outlook Board, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC
Monitoring Land Use and Land Cover Change for Agricultural Production
This presentation highlights innovative technologies used to track changes in land use for the purpose of identifying agricultural production and the potential for expansion.
Speaker:  Douglas Morton, Research Physical Scientist, NASA Goddard, Greenbelt. MD 

In-Country Perspective of Changing Markets
The speaker will provide perspective on local markets and impacts that improved infrastructure and other factors could have on production and exports.
Speaker:  Clay Hamilton, Agricultural Counselor, Brasilia, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Washington, DC 


TRACK: Commodity Outlooks
Joel Greene, Analyst, Agricultural Policy, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC

USDA Outlook for Livestock & Poultry 
Speaker: Shayle Shagam, Livestock Analyst, World Agricultural Outlook Board, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC  

HPAI Update
Speaker:   John Clifford, Deputy Administrator, Veterinary Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Shifting Egg Production to a Cage-Free Environment
Speaker:  David Rettig, President and CEO, Rembrandt Foods, Spirit Lake, IA


Moderator: Christiano Nogueira Scheidegger Maia, Cotton Research Analyst, BTG Pactual, London, England

The U.S. and World Cotton Outlook for 2016/17
Speaker: Leslie Meyer, Senior Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

STAX and Cotton Crop Insurance:  First Year Results
Speaker: Keith Coble, Giles Distinguished Professor, MIssissippi State University, MIssissippi State, MS

Cotton Production in Brazil: Opportunities and Challenges
Nicolas Rubio, Agricultural Attaché, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Embassy, Brazil


TRACK: Transforming the Rural Economy
A panel will discuss the way USDA provides agricultural credit and risk management services through private-government partnerships. Specifically how credit is extended through FSA guaranteed loan programs; how RMA aligns its crop insurance program with private partners; the way rural utility coops are financed through Rural Development; and how the Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund developed.
Moderator: Ken Ackerman, Lawyer, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz P.C., Washington, DC

The Risk Management Agency, its Partners, and New Program Developments
A discussion on the current state of affairs at RMA, as well as the recent history of its relationship with its private partners and the impact of Farm Bill changes to the program.  
Speaker: Brandon Willis, Administrator, Risk Management Agency, USDA, Washington, DC. 

How does FSA’s Guaranteed Farm Loan Program benefit Beginning Farmers and Ranchers?
First Dakota National Bank,is an FSA Guaranteed Farm Loan Program “Preferred Lender”.  The bank supports Beginning Farmers and Ranchers through FSA’s Guaranteed Loan Program. 
Speaker: Nathan Franzen, President, Agri-Business Division, First Dakota National Bank, Yankton, SD

Strengthening Rural Lending through USDA FSA's Public/Private Partnerships
As the largest secondary market investor of USDA loan guarantees, Farmer Mac will discuss how they collaborate with lenders nationwide to efficiently deliver capital to rural America.
Speaker: Timothy Buzby, President and Chief Executive Officer, Farmer Mac, Washington, DC

Successful Public Private Partnerships with the Rural Infrastructure Opportunities Fund

This discussion focuses on how the recently created Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund spurs public-private partnerships and financing in rural/agricultural sectors.
Speaker: Matt McKenna, Senior Advisor, Community & Foundation Investment, Office of the Secretary, USDA, Washington, DC

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12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Moderator: Bruce Atherley, Executive Director, Cotton Council International, Washington, DC

Price and Preference in U.S. Consumer Demand for Cotton
 Julia Hughes, President, U.S. Fashion Industry Association, Washington, DC


Moderator:  Barb Fecso, Director, Dairy and Sweeteners Analysis Group, Farm Service Agency, USDA, Washington, DC

The Structure of Marketing Mechanisms as a Result of the AD/CVD Suspension Agreements with Mexico
Speaker: Frank Jenkins, President, JSG Commodities, South Norwalk, CT


Moderator: Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator, National Organic Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Mushrooms and Organic Mushrooms: A Speciality Within a Speciality
Speaker:  Tina Ellor, Mycologist/Technical Director, Phillips Mushroom Farms, Kennett Square, PA


Moderator: Seth Meyer, Chairperson, World Agricultural Outlook Board, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

Farm Income, Farm Values, and the Outlook for Agriculture Lending
Speaker: Nathan Kauffman, Assistant Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Omaha, NE


Moderator: Warren Preston, Deputy Chief Economist, Office of Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC

Adding Value to Meat Through Further Processing
Brad Morgan, Senior Director of Protein, Performance Food Group Company, Richmond, VA

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2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

TRACK: Food Security
The session highlights research and findings from interventions that can help guide private industry and public policy efforts to address food access barriers and improve diet quality.
Moderator: Rich Lucas, Deputy Administrator for Policy Support, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, Washington, DC

The Salient Features of the Local Food Retail Environment for Low-Income Americans
This presentation addresses questions about where SNAP and low-income shoppers go for their groceries, and the qualities that predict consumer choices.
Speaker: Shelly Ver Ploeg, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Addressing Food Access Barriers in Grocery Stores and Supermarkets: Private Sector Decisions and Policy Choices
This presentation highlights research on the effectiveness of in-store strategies to nudge low-income shoppers to devote more of their budget to healthier food.
Speaker: Collin Payne, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Consumer Behavior Lab, Marketing Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

Addressing Food Access Barriers:The Promise and Potential of Small Food Retailers
This presentation examines how incentives and improvements to small stores can improve access to healthy choices in low income and low access communities.
Speaker: Joel Gittelsohn, Professor, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD


TRACK: Technology
Agriculture emerged at the dawn of civilization with domesticated crops and livestock feeding society. But it became clear that there are limits to sustaining a burgeoning population. Research has enabled profound and previously unimagined improvements in the quality, quantity, and safety of food.  The U.S. has led in this. Continued research is essential for the future of agriculture and society.
Moderator: Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute for Food and Nutrition, USDA, Washington, DC

Scientific and Technological Achievements of USDA Agencies and Emerging Technologies in Agriculture
The significant technological achievements in agricultural productivity and USDA’s historical role in facilitating them.Speaker: Steven Shafer, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, MD  

Adoption of the Latest Agricultural Technologies and Innovations by the Developed World
Discussion of how the latest agricultural technologies are being adopted by the developed world and especially agri-businesses.
Speaker: Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Adoption of the Latest Agricultural Technologies and Innovations by the Developing World
Discussion of how the latest agricultural technologies are being adopted by the developing world.
Speaker: Philip Pardey, Professor and Director, International Science and Technology Practice and Policy Center, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN



Dairy Outlook  
Peter Vitaliano, Vice President, Economic Policy & Market Research, National Milk Producers Federation, Arlington, VA

USDA Dairy Outlook 
Speaker: Amanda Steeneck, Dairy Analyst, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Developing Fairlife Milk
Speaker:  Michael McCloskey, Founder, Fairlife Foods, Chicago, IL

Dairy in Science-Based Nutrition
Speaker:  Allison L. Specht, Sourcing and Risk Manager, Dairy, Purchasing, Global Supply Chain, Abbott Nutrition, Collumbus, OH


TRACK: The Bio-based Economy

Agricultural innovation will continue to cause rapid growth of bio-based products across several sectors, with the potential to have a tremendous impact on rural economies. This session will look at the impact of bio-based products on today's economy, specific sectors where research has triggered growth and the challenges and innovations that can have the potential to deliver new opportunities.
Moderator: Lillian Salerno, Deputy Undersecretary, Rural Development, USDA, Washington, DC   
Agricultural Innovation is Transforming the U.S. Economy
Lead author from the recently released USDA bio-based study will discuss the study, including implications and challenges for future growth across all regions.
Speaker: Jay Golden, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC

Wood Pellets/Biomass
Industry discussion of the increased use of wood pellets for heating and electricity, and the impact on U.S. exports. Speaker:  TBD

A Downstream Perspective on Bio-Plastics, and Renewable Chemicals

The discussion focuses on the use of bio=plastic bottles and renewable chemicals, and how they fit into th Coca-Cola Company's long-term packaging strategy.
Speaker: Michael Knutzen, Global Program Director, PlantBottle, The Coca Cola Company, Atlanta, GA


TRACK: Urban Agriculture
The continuing demand for locally grown food has brought a resurgence of small and midsized producers in the countryside surrounding larger cities, but competition for land limits increased conventional production.  Increasingly, entrepreneurs are turning to nontraditional forms of agriculture to produce food within urban areas.  This session highlights some of the new methods being used.
Moderator: Elanor Starmer, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Washington, DC

Vertical Farming
This session looks at how AeroFarms uses racking, hydroponics, and energy-efficient lighting technologies to produce food year-round in urban areas.
Speaker: Marc Oshima, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder, AeroFarms, Newark, NJ

Rooftop Farming
How Brooklyn Grange Farm uses rooftop farming to address the scarcity of land and harness rainwater runoff in an urban setting.
Speaker: Ben Flanner, Head Farmer and Presdient, Brooklyn Grange Farm, Brooklyn, NY

Reclaiming Urban Land for Agricultural Production
A discussion on the challenges to reclaiming land for urban farming and describe how Baltimore has addressed the challenges and how the food is distributed.
Speaker: Holly Freishtat, Baltimore City Food Policy Director, Office of Sustainability, Baltimore, MD   

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