When asked to give advice to the FFA students attending the Ag Development Forum last Thursday, the panelists offered this, “Get an education.” They elaborated on the idea saying that today’s farmer needs an education in agriculture and horticulture, but also economics, business and global studies to stay competitive in an expanding global marketplace.
The theme of a global marketplace was repeated throughout the day as the panelists discussed the economic impacts and input costs facing agriculture in the coming year. While more than 200 people attended the event at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, others followed the forum on Twitter as we live-tweeted from the event for the second year in a row. Below is a recap of the Ag Development Forum through tweets:
Keynote Address: Economic Outlook
Matt Martin, Senior Vice President, Charlotte Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Martin: Farm commodities have gone up less than other commodities over past 100 years. Rapid tech development cause.
N.C. Exporter of the Year Award
Commissioner Troxler presenting N.C. Exporter of the Year to Charles Rooks of Rooks Farm Service.
Industry Roundtable on Agricultural Input Costs
Moderator: Dr. Nick Piggott, Professor of Agricultural Economics, N.C. State University
Panelists: Jay Brinn, Sales Manager, East Coast Equipment Co.; Nick Duck, Head of Research for Corn and Soybeans, Bayer CropScience; and Daniel H. Moenter, Manager, State Government Affairs, Marathon Petroleum Co. LP
Dr. Piggott: 1/3 of every bushel of corn now goes to ethanol production.
Piggott: Russian droughts, Australian floods and Midwest snows all have impact on N.C. grain outlooks.
Brinn: Specialized equipment means a big investment for farmers and keeps them attached to one crop for a long time.
Duck: Changes in world diet from grain-based to meat-based will require higher yields for US ag to feed the world.
Daniel H. Moenter w/ @MarathonOil on energy input costs: “Every sector of US economy depends on affordable energy.”
State of Agriculture Address
Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler
From State of Agriculture address, “Even during the recession, NC agriculture’s economic impact grew by 6 percent.”
Troxler: Int’l marketing opportunities for wood, cotton, tobacco, soybeans, meat, sweet potatoes and Christmas trees.
Troxler: “I see lots of houses for sale on former farmland. NC would be better served returning land to ag.” Lots of applause.
Unveiling of Ag Water Strategic Plan
Agriculture=<1 percent of total water withdrawal in NC. Thermal and hydroelectric power generation=58 %.