News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Laurie Johns   
Monday, 15 April 2013 15:10

“Grain, Gridlock and Globalization: Meeting the Economic Challenges in Today’s Agriculture”

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – April 15, 2013 – Compared to a year ago, Iowa farmers are facing entirely new challenges from nature as well as global markets, farm policy and soaring land prices.  Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), the state’s largest grassroots farm organization, is once again bringing economic, marketing and nationally-respected financial experts to Iowa to help Iowa’s crop and livestock farmers weather these new cycles of change.  The second annual IFBF Economic Summit will take place July 22-23 at the Iowa State Center Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa.

“The timing of this Economic Summit is at such a critical juncture; with regards to policy, weather and many other factors which impact farming sustainability and profitability,” said Craig Hill, IFBF president. “While it’s true that Iowa’s thriving farm sector served to insulate much of our state from the worst of the recession, we have to be realistic. Fifteen percent of farmers are more leveraged today than they were before the Farm Crisis of the 1980’s.  There are many things in flux: record land prices and cash rent prices for farmland, an uncertain political climate, no new Farm Bill, global market competition and trade challenges.  Corn exports are down 50 percent from just three years ago and there are many other signs which point towards an inevitable ‘bubble’ burst.”

“Brazil will pass the U.S. in soybean production for the first time in 2013 and they’re emerging as a strong beef exporter.  Ukraine just signed a MOU with China to become a soybean supplier, so you can quickly see that our ‘first-in–the- nation-leading-food-exporter’ status is facing new competition thanks to a drought cycle and uncertain political climate,” said Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services.

“Today, our market strength depends largely on global markets, trade and things we can’t predict, such as political uncertainty and climate change,” Miller added.

National experts ranging from Daniel Mitchell with the D.C. think tank The CATO Institute, economist Mike Boehlje with Purdue University, American Farm Bureau economist Bob Young and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack are among many nationally-recognized monetary, policy, trade and economic experts tapped for the July IFBF Economic Summit.

For a complete listing of the panelists and schedule, click here:

The price of the two-day summit is $50 for Iowa Farm Bureau members and $150 for non-members.  Information about the summit, lodging, online registration forms or to join IFBF can be found at

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online Newsroom page at

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