Pre-Conference Workshop: Trade, Tariffs, and Their Impact on American Agriculture

Ambassador Darci VetterPhoto_-_Darci_Vetter.jpg
Edelman General Manager, Public Affairs & Vice Chair, Agriculture Food and Trade

Tuesday, Nov. 27
3 - 4 p.m.
Addison Ballroom

No topic has been more top-of-mind in U.S. agriculture this year than trade and tariffs. The Trump Administration is aggressively using tariffs to address longstanding issues with China and other trading partners.  However, U.S. exports to China have halted because of retaliatory tariffs, and overall soybean exports have fallen with negative impacts on prices and basis.  Imports from China, including a number of farm input product components, are also impacted. What are the objectives of the Administration’s trade policy, is progress being made, and has any long term damage has been imposed upon US agriculture along the way?

Ambassador Darci Vetter was the Chief Agriculture Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative in the Obama Administration. In that role she was responsible for multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture, including the Trans Pacific Partnership agricultural package, and bilateral deals reached with Japan, China, Brazil and other countries.  Previously, Darci served as Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the USDA, where she directed USDA’s export assistance programs and coordinated USDA's role in international food aid and trade capacity building.

Keynote Speakers

Challenges, Changes and Choices

Chuck Magro

Chuck Magro
President and CEO, Nutrien

Wednesday, Nov. 28
8:45 - 9:30 a.m.
Royal Palm Ballroom

In the first keynote of the conference, attendees can look forward to hearing Nutrien’s outlook on the industry’s future. The merger of Agrium and PotashCorp is just one of the high-profile mega-mergers that have contributed to reshaping the agribusiness industry over the last few years. Consolidation across the entire agricultural value chain has been a notable trend and is only an indication of further changes in the industry going forward. The industry – more integrated and global – now requires agribusinesses to have a worldwide perspective to compete effectively.

In his market outlook, Mr. Magro will address many of the new hurdles that everyone – including retailers – are facing. Prices of agricultural commodities have been highly volatile. Food security and environmental concerns have surfaced and caused many to call for a more sustainable agricultural system. Regulations and policies have increasingly challenged our freedom to operate. Adding to the list is the continuing threat of government intervention that could distort global trade.

Amid these challenges, Mr. Magro will discuss his perspective on the future of agriculture and the role technology will continue to play in developing the industry. Along the way, Mr. Magro will share how Nutrien chose to embrace change and lead it from within to prepare for the future. As change brings new opportunities for business model innovation, only by working together will we deliver progress to our customers.

Following these prepared remarks, Mr. Magro will open the floor for the discussion and Q&A portion of the session.

Awesomely Simple

John Spence
John SpenceAuthor, Awesomely Simple

Wednesday, Nov. 28
Royal Palm Ballroom

For more than 23 years John Spence has traveled the world helping businesses and people be more successful. Based on his book Awesomely Simple -Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action, John will address his fundamental elements for building a highly successful organization. 

Bonus session
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Royal Palm Ballroom

John will lead a deep-dive session expanding on the main ideas from the keynote in a hands-on workshop where participants will develop a positive plan to implement what they learn and tactics to immediately grow their businesses.

This will be an information intensive, interactive, fast-paced program, full of actionable ideas and tools that every business can use to be more successful.

A New Era in Food Transparency powered by Blockchain

Tejas BhattTejas Bhatt
Senior Director, Food Safety Innovations, Walmart

Thursday, Nov. 29
Royal Palm Ballroom

A digital transparent food system matters because today’s consumers expect it, regulators demand it and the industry needs it. From mitigating the impact of foodborne outbreaks and recalls to reducing incidents of food fraud and improving freshness while eliminating food waste, none of this would be possible without transparency into how the food flows from farm to store. To achieve these goals, we finally have an enabling technology like blockchain – a digital decentralized distributed immutable secure consensus-based ledger of transactions across the supply chain. Using blockchain technology, Walmart and 9 other foundation partners have enabled end-to-end transparency leading to greater responsibility, accountability and trust in the food system.

Mega Value for Mega Growers

Scott Downey

Dr. W. Scott Downey
Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

Thursday, Nov. 29
8 - 9 a.m.
Addison Ballroom
Sponsored by Software Solutions Integrated LLC

The largest farms that are served through traditional agricultural retail organizations often seem complex and demanding.  Even though the definition of a “large” strawberry producer on the Central Coast of California may be very different from a “large” producer wheat producer in the Northern Plains and a large potato grower in Maine differs substantially from a large rice grower on the Mississippi delta, the challenges of creating value for a large grower who is influential among their peers are similar.  The goal of this session is to discover what researchers have learned about the decisions and habits of this group of producers, and the implications for how we add value to their operations.  This workshop session will include strategies for building trust, multi-generational differences and approaches to discovery.  Participants will identify a set of questions and statements they can make as part of a strategy for working with large growers.

Breakout Sessions

Wednesday, Nov. 28

1:45 - 3:00 p.m.

Shift Happens - How Congress, the Administration, and Courts Impact the Ag Retail Industry

Estate Ballroom

Moderated by: Richard Gupton, ARA Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Counsel

Hunter Carpenter, ARA Director of Public Policy
Kyle Liske, ARA Public Policy Counsel

In the age of the resist, obstruct, delay, and sue movement by anti-chemical activists, our industry needs their voices heard to make a real and lasting impact on legislations and regulatory issues affecting your business operations. Hear firsthand from ARA's policy team about the federal political and policy environment currently impacting agricultural retailers and distributors and anticipated challenges in 2019. Learn how you and your organization can help ARA's advocacy efforts at the federal, state, and local level through grassroots tactics that continue to evolve and have proven effective at influencing public policy.


Precision Programs: Creating Value, Building Profits

Addison Ballroom

Moderated by:
Paul Schrimpf, Meister Media
Andrew Kappes, Sales Agronomist, AgTegra Cooperative, Aberdeen, S.D.

Allan Fetters, Director, Technology, J. R. Simplot Company, Edison, Calif.
Craig Houin, Data Innovation Lead, Sunrise Cooperative, Lakeville, Ohio

For years, full-service retailers have struggled to build precision service programs that generate consistent profit and customer value. No single approach fits every business, but there are many excellent ideas in play that can be used to improve your precision efforts. In this session, representatives from three top retail organizations share their best ideas for improving customer service and profitability through a precision program.