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Economic ag summit set

By Staff | May 13, 2012

AMES – As Iowa farmers head to the fields to plant what could be one of the largest corn crops on record, the state’s largest grassroots farm organization is bringing a line-up of heavy hitters to Iowa, to make sure today’s boom, doesn’t turn into tomorrow’s bust.

The summit will take place July 23-July 24 at the Iowa State University’s Scheman Building on the ISU campus.

“The Farm Crisis of the 80’s taught farmers that no industry is invincible to a downturn,” said Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill, “and with Iowa’s thriving farm sector insulating much of our state from the worst hits of the recession, we have to look toward new expertise, new risk management tools, to make sure farming doesn’t go the way of the auto industry.

According to IFBF’s Director of Research and Commodity Services David Miller, “There are commonalities and differences in place today that we also saw prior to the 1980s farm crisis; then and now, we’ve seen land prices and commodity prices double or triple in a relatively short period of time.

“Although most of today’s farmers have better cash flow and less debt because of low interest rates, there are other risks which threaten Iowa’s agricultural prosperity, which center around unprecedented federal debt and the very real possibilities of farm program cuts, which affect the sustainability of many types of farming.

“Today, our market strength is more tightly connected to global markets, global weather disasters, global trade and those are the things that bring new vulnerabilities to the business of farming.”

National experts ranging from economist Danny Klinefelter of Texas A&M University and Jeff Plagge, president-elect of the American Bankers Association, to ISU weather expert Elwynn Taylor, a panel of Washington experts from the Senate and House Ag Committees and Daniel Mitchell of the CATO Institute, a Washington think tank, are among the nationally-recognized monetary, policy, trade and economic experts tapped for the July IFBF economic summit.

The price of the two-day summit is $50 for Iowa Farm Bureau members and $150 for non-members.

Information about the summit, lodging, on-line registration forms and a complete listing of the panelists and schedule can be found at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

Registration deadline is July 17.

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