COLUMBUS, Ohio – Organizers of the 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference hosted by the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) at The Ohio State University, say the aim of this year’s conference is to offer much-needed insight to those involved in the agricultural industry during a time marked with so much global uncertainty. Past attendees, ranging from producers to consumers and agribusinesses leaders to elected officials, say the annual conference provides information and outlooks that influence their businesses and decision making processes.
A core mission of Land-grant institutions like Ohio State is to take research and knowledge from the university and share it with those in the communities they serve. This mission remains at the fore front even when social distancing measures prevent large group gatherings. According to Ben Brown, assistant professor of agricultural risk management at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), the virtual, four-day event will be structured in a way that provides an even wider variety of perspectives and viewpoints from policymakers to academics to industry leaders, giving the conference a unique degree of depth on topics.
“Unfortunately, we cannot be together in-person sharing thoughts over a baked potato bar,” says Brown. “But this virtual format offers a smorgasbord of impactful economic and policy information from a corral of experts.”
Brown adds that this conference with its access to leading subject matter experts within Ohio and across the country, is walking the walk of being a modern land grant institution.
Bailey Elchinger who works for StoneX Inc., a global institutional-grade financial service network and who will be a panelist on day four of the conference, plans to attend all four sessions so she can gain information to empower her customers with the grain market information and historical analysis required to make sound business decisions for their operations.
“Ideally, producers make grain marketing decisions based more on ‘dollars and cents’ than ‘ifs and buts,’” says Elchinger.
With the pandemic continuing to effect markets and demand, Amanda Douridas, an OSU Extension Educator, plans to attend the conference so she can best inform producers in Champaign County as they continue to weather supply chain disruptions and react to the unexpected effects of the volatile grain markets on their farm incomes. She says the conference is critical to gain some understanding of what markets and policy may look like moving forward.
Other big issues covered during the week:
- Trade and macroeconomic policy outlooks and how agriculture could be impacted,
- The enduring impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closures, along with continued immigration policy uncertainty, on the industry’s access to a stable and healthy labor pool,
- If and when consumer purchasing behaviors will revert to pre-COVID patterns, and
- Outlooks for the US livestock sector facing global income impacts and a grain and oilseed sector witnessing rapidly improving fundamentals.
Bennett Musselman, a producer in Pickaway County and agricultural service provider, says the line-up of speakers is top notch and the variety of topics will help him keep up to date on the many areas that impact the agricultural industry from local, state, national and global levels. He continues, “If you are in the agricultural industry in any capacity this is a must attend event as the information provided is invaluable.”
The conference is free and open to the public. For the complete program and to register, visit https://aede.osu.edu/programs/20202019-agricultural-policy-and-outlooks. For questions, contact Ben Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kelli Trinoskey at Trinoskey.email@example.com.