Reviewing the Agricultural Act of 2014
Preparing for the next Farm Bill &
Looking toward the future of farm policy
February 5 - 7, 2017
Fort Worth, TX
ABOUT THE SUMMIT
The Southwest Council and the Texas Ag Forum are partnering together to host the 3rd Southwest Agricultural Issues Summit. The Summit is an opportunity for farmers and ranchers, as well as bankers, businessmen, and policy makers to come together to discuss the issues confronting the agricultural industry. Past Summits in 2012 and 2013 were an outstanding success and provided the opportunity to dig in on policy and economic issues in advance of the 2014 Farm Bill. With the downturn in the farm economy it is now more important than ever to get the farm bill right. The Summit will allow interested organizations to lay the groundwork for the future of farm policy.
Hon. K. Michael Conaway
House Committee on Agriculture
The Ag Issues Summit will also feature panels and presentations from experts in the farm economy, senior USDA officials, staff from Capitol Hill, conservationists, and representatives and grower leadership of the major commodity organizations.
Monday Luncheon Speaker
Senior Vice President
Informa Economics, Inc.
Monday Dinner Keynote Speaker
International Security Program Fellow
Center for Strategic and International Studies
(mouse over image to display biography)
Panel Discussion: Framing the Philosophical Debate on Agriculture Policy
Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy
The Heritage Foundation
President and CEO
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Panel Discussion: Outlook for Farm Economics
Dr. Pat Westhoff
Director, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri
Dr. Joe Outlaw
Co-Director, Agriculture and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University
Confronting the Conservation Debate in Agriculture
Co-Director, 9b Group and former Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Senior Vice President of Ecosystems, Environmental Defense Fund
Exploring the Outlook for Businesses in the Agricultural Economy
Director of Global Market Intelligence and Chief Agricultural Economist,
Dr. Bob Young
American Farm Bureau Federation
From his office in Washington, D.C., Mr. Wiesemeyer contributes daily to the Informa Economics' Morning Comments report, providing clients with the latest information on agricultural policy and trade developments. He is a daily contributor to Informa's innovative product, Issue Monitor. He also is a regular speaker at the quarterly held agricultural policy roundtables put on by Informa Economics' Washington, D.C., office.
Since 1978, he has frequently reported on and interviewed senior government officials, including Presidents Reagan and Carter, as well as all USDA Secretaries since the mid-1970s; he has traveled extensively in his assignments and is a frequent and nationally known speaker on farm policy and trade issues. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Wiesemeyer most recently was the Washington editor and bureau chief for Pro Farmer, where he still contributes a daily analysis and commentary on policy and trade developments called Inside Washington Today on the profarmer.com web site. Also while at Pro Farmer, he was the Washington editor for Oster Communication's Pro Farmer newsletter and Futures magazine. Mr. Wiesemeyer also was the Washington bureau chief for Futures World News (FWN), formerly owned by Oster. Prior to Pro Farmer, he was a Washington editor with Doane's Agricultural Report and Washington editor and managing editor of the Washington Farmletter. He received his bachelor's degree in history from Southern Illinois University.
Serving his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Mike Conaway represents 29 counties in Texas’ 11th congressional district, including the cities of Midland, Odessa and San Angelo.
A conservative Republican, Rep. Conaway believes in the principles of lower taxes, smaller government and a secure nation. His background as a CPA gives him a unique perspective on fiscal responsibility and ensuring every taxpayer dollar is being spent wisely.
In the House, Congressman Conaway is the chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and also serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
He is a deputy Republican whip, a position he has held since the 112th Congress.
A native Texan, he grew up in Odessa and graduated from Odessa Permian High School in 1966 after playing on Permian’s first state championship football team. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Texas A & M University-Commerce in 1970.
After serving in the Army at Fort Hood, he returned to the Permian Basin with Price Waterhouse and settled in Midland, later working with George W. Bush as the chief financial officer for Bush Exploration. He developed a lasting friendship with President Bush as they learned together what it takes to run a business.
An ordained deacon in the Baptist church, Congressman Conaway and his wife, Suzanne, live in Midland and have four children and seven grandchildren.
Patrick Westhoff is the director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri (FAPRI-MU) and a professor in the MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
He is a native of Manchester, Iowa, where he grew up on the family dairy farm. He has a B.A. in political science from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in Latin American studies from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University.
Dr. Westhoff served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala from 1979-81, and later worked with FAPRI at Iowa State University. From 1992-1996, he served as an economist with the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
He joined FAPRI-MU in 1996 and has worked on a range of projects in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.
Dr. Joe Outlaw is a Professor and Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. He also serves as the Co-Director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University. In this role, Dr. Outlaw frequently interacts with members of Congress and key agricultural committee staff to provide feedback on the likely consequences of agricultural policy changes. The growing interdependence between agricultural and renewable energy policy has led him to conduct research on several renewable energy topics including plant feasibility studies using alternative technologies and feedstocks as well as supply demand relationships between renewable fuels and their co-products. In 2004 chaired a national energy project that led to a book entitled "Agriculture as a Producer and Consumer of Energy" that he edited along with Keith Collins and Jim Duffield from USDA.
Dr. Outlaw led the team of Texas A&M economists who received awards in excellence for their 2002 farm bill education efforts from the American Agricultural Economics Association, the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, the National Public Policy Education Committee, USDA-FSA, and the Vice Chancellor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.
Dr. Outlaw is originally from Devine, Texas. He received his B.S (1987), M.S. (1988), and Ph.D. (1992) degrees from Texas A&M University, all in agricultural economics.
Daren Bakst is the Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy at the Heritage Foundation. In this position, Bakst studies and writes about agricultural and environmental policy and property rights, among other issues. He has done extensive work on the farm bill and is taking the lead on Heritage’s efforts to reshape the farm bill debate well before any new farm bill is proposed. His agriculture portfolio is extremely broad, covering everything from agricultural subsidies, agricultural trade, to food policy issues such as GMO food labeling and the FDA’s de facto artificial trans-fat ban.
Before joining the Heritage Foundation, Bakst was a policy counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he focused on regulatory reform, environmental policy, as well as food and agricultural policy. He served as the executive to the association’s Government Oversight, Operations & Consumer Affairs committee, which was responsible for issues such as regulatory process reform.
Bakst, who hails from West Palm Beach, Fla., received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from George Washington University. A licensed attorney, he holds a law degree from University of Miami and a master of laws degree from American University.
Charles F. (Chuck) Conner became president & CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) on January 22, 2009. As president of NCFC, Conner will oversee the organization’s work to promote and protect the business and public policy interests of America’s farmer-owned cooperatives. He will also provide the strategic vision for the trade association as it continues to seek new ways in which to add value for its membership.
Prior to joining NCFC, Conner had served as the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture since mid-2005. In this capacity, he was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) overseeing day-to-day operations of the department. Conner interacted directly with President George W. Bush and his senior staff to formulate domestic and international food, trade, security and energy policy. He led development of the Bush Administration’s $300 billion Farm Bill proposal and the strategy to educate and inform industry, constituents and Congress.
From August 2007 to January 2008, Conner served as both USDA Secretary and Deputy Secretary. He played a key role in developing the Administration’s immigration policy including important changes to the H2A program.
Conner’s experience also includes the assignment of Special Assistant to the President, Executive Office of the President, from October 2001 to May 2005, working on the 2001/2 Farm Bill to develop the strategy behind the transfer of several USDA agency functions to the newly formed Department of Homeland Security.
From May 1997 to October 2001 Conner served as President of the Corn Refiners Association. He also served for 17 years as an advisor to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana.
Conner is a graduate of Purdue University, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree and is the recipient of Purdue’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He and his wife Dru have four children.
Dave White, Co-Founder and Partner, 9b Group
Dave has over 35 years of professional leadership experience in natural resource conservation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and in the private sector. After working in numerous locations throughout the United States, Dave was Chief of the NRCS from January 2009 to December 2012. As Chief, Dave led, directed, and managed the nation’s largest private lands natural resource conservation organization.
Dave has extensive experience in overseeing complex resource protection programs, working with diverse interests, developing and moving conservation legislation, and providing leadership for the successful implementation of natural resource goals.
While at NRCS, he developed and implemented natural resource conservation solutions directly with private landowners, primarily agriculture, working in cooperation with a wide diversity of partners. Under his leadership, the NRCS created and implemented landscape level conservation initiatives that focused financial and technical resources on solving problems at the appropriate ecological scales.
Dave has also spent significant time on Capitol Hill detailed to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Indiana Senator Richard Lugar. During which, he helped craft the conservation titles of both the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills.
Dave is an honors graduate of the University of Missouri where he studied agricultural journalism. He and his wife reside in Charlottesville, Virginia and have two grown children.
David Festa is an expert on ecosystem resilience and has a long track record of bringing diverse stakeholders together to meet growing needs for food, water and infrastructure in ways that improve the environment and benefit the economy. As senior vice president of the Ecosystems Program, David oversees EDF’s market and policy work to:
Prior to leading the Ecosystems program, David headed up the Oceans program, where he ignited a sea change in the way fisheries are managed by winning approval for an incentives-based system called catch shares. Today 65 percent of the fish caught in U.S. water is managed sustainably under the innovative system. David launched and still serves as president of The California Fisheries Fund, a $4 million revolving loan fund that invests in sustainable fishing.
David joined EDF in 2003, and is a member of EDF’s executive team.
Dr. Bob Young joined American Farm Bureau Federation in 2003 as the Chief Economist. The Economics team looks at short-term issues in support of the policy implementation effort of the Federation and also helps to maintain the longer-term view of factors driving the overall farm sector.
Specializing in the analysis of global agricultural policy, prior to coming to Farm Bureau, Dr. Young served as Co-Director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute or FAPRI from 1991 through 2003. FAPRI is an internationally recognized policy analysis center that models global food, agriculture, natural resources and trade. Bob was also an associate professor in Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri.
Before becoming the Co-Director of FAPRI, Bob served as the Chief Economist of the United State Senate Committee on Agriculture from 1987 through 1991.
Bob has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri, with a B.S. and M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences.
Steve Elmore is a Director of Global Market Intelligence & Chief Agricultural Economist at DuPont Pioneer. He joined Pioneer in January of 1998 as Market Economist. Since that time, his role has expanded within DuPont and he serves as the agricultural economist for DuPont and was named to his current position in June 2012. Prior to joining Pioneer, Steve worked as the U.S. Agriculture Market and Policy Analyst for the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) in Economics Department at Iowa State University.
Steve represents DuPont Pioneer externally and speaks frequently to customers, trade associations, government employees & policy makers and other business teams on a global basis. He also led the external economics panel that formed the foundation of the developed the DuPont Food Security Index working with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Steve grew up in rural Nebraska and now lives in the Des Moines, Iowa, USA area with his wife and their two sons.
John Schaus is a fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he focuses on defense industry and Asia security challenges. His research areas include Asia-Pacific security issues and U.S. defense policy and industry, and he presents CSIS’s flagship presentation on future trends, “Seven Revolutions: Scanning the Horizon Out to the Year 2035 and Beyond.”
Prior to rejoining CSIS in July 2014, he worked in the Office of Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA) within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. His responsibilities there included day-to-day management of the U.S.-China military relationship; as special assistant to the assistant secretary of APSA, he coordinated work product and policy priorities for an office of 100, crossing two geographic combatant commands and including five U.S. allies. His most recent previous position was as regional policy adviser to the assistant secretary for APSA, where he oversaw Defense Department participation and represented the department in Asian multilateral defense organizations, as well as ensuring actions, budget, messaging, and planning aligned with broader U.S. efforts, in particular with the rebalance to the Asia Pacific.
Before working in the Pentagon, Mr. Schaus served as executive officer to the president and CEO of CSIS for five years. He received a B.A. from St. John’s University in Minnesota, and an M.P.P. from the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
200 Main Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
The Southwest Ag Issues Summit will be held in downtown Ft. Worth at the Historic Worthington Hotel, just steps away from all the sights of Cowtown.
The negotiated rate for a standard room for Summit attendees is $189.00 per night. Deadline for reservations is January 16, 2017.
MAKE A RESERVATION
Prior to January 23rd:
Attendee Registration Fee - $300
Spouse Registration Fee - $100
After January 23rd:
Late Attendee Registration Fee - $400
Late Spouse Registration Fee - $200
The link below will take you to the online registration. Payment can be made online with a credit card, or offline via a check mailed to the address below, payable to the Southwest Council of Agribusiness. Please fill out the online registration form prior to mailing in a check.
Southwest Council of Agribusiness
4517 West Loop 289
Lubbock, TX 79414