Home Indiana Agriculture News Weather Whisperer and Food Economist Headline Livestock, Forage & Grain Forum

Weather Whisperer and Food Economist Headline Livestock, Forage & Grain Forum


Indiana grain and livestock farmers can look forward to a full day of informative sessions ranging from a look at global food trends to practical risk management advice during this year’s Indiana Livestock, Forage and Grain Forum.

In its fourth year, the Forum is scheduled for Monday, February 11 at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. Registration for the one-day event is $50 and includes breakfast, lunch, and access to trade show exhibits. Pre-registration is required at www.indianasoybean.com/forum.

The forum is organized by several Indiana agricultural groups, including Indiana Beef Cattle Association, Indiana Board of Animal Health, Indiana Corn Growers Association, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Dairy Producers, Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Forage Council, Indiana Horse Council, Indiana Pork, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, Inc., and Purdue Extension.

Indiana Soybean Alliance, the state soybean checkoff organization, is once again sponsoring the morning general session at the Forum with the goal of bringing in dynamic national speakers to discuss issues that affect how the agricultural industry operates on a day-to-day basis.

“The Forum offers a rare opportunity for our industry to gather together for one day to not only hear from a slate of industry experts but also learn from each other,” said Kevin Wilson, president of Indiana Soybean Alliance. “ISA is proud to sponsor the morning session with the goal to challenge farmers and agribusiness attendees to think beyond the production of food and fiber on their farms and better understand the impact that the world has on their farming operations.”

David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College in London, kicks off the morning session by discussing global food trends. He will share how he believes food production revolves around understanding what your customers, and your customer’s customers value and what they will pay.

Following Hughes, Evelyn Browning-Garriss takes the stage to share her insight on the Winners & Losers of World Weather Changes. Dubbed the “Weather Whisperer,” she consults with food and energy companies, and agriculture associations around the globe that are impacted by weather.

As the world’s leading historical climatologist, Browning-Garriss will share with the audience how weather patterns and climate change have an impact on food production across the globe. She asserts that we have reached a tipping point causing extreme weather that is causing destabilization of food supplies.

Tyler Cowen, Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University and General Director of the Mercatus Center, will close out the morning general session with his keynote address: An Economist’s View on Food and Agriculture in a Changing World.

Cowen, the author of An Economist Gets Lunch and the New York Times best seller The Great Stagnation: How America Ate the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better, believes food snobbery is killing entrepreneurship and innovation.  He asserts that foodies are wrong in their belief that local food is better for the environment and that cheap food is bad food.

Following the morning general session, forum attendees will learn more about the latest research focused on consumer attitudes on food production during lunch, as well as be introduced to the winners of the Beck’s Hybrids Beyond the Fence Awards. Four Hoosiers will be honored for their work that has positively impacted our state’s agriculture industry.

After lunch, each participating organization will sponsor a breakout session on a diverse array of topics. Details of each breakout session can be found online at www.indianasoybean.com/forum.

Something new to the Forum is an afternoon general session dedicated to helping farmers manage risk on their operations. To wrap up the day, faculty from Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture and Tom Scott, president of Informa Economics, will discuss Farming in the New Normal: Managing Risk for the Long Haul.

“Adding a session to bring everyone back together to focus on practical advice from industry and university experts is going to pack a powerful punch to the end of a very informative day,” said Wilson, a farmer from Walton, Ind. “Managing risk is something that both livestock and grain farmers need to have a handle on as markets continue to change.”

Visit www.indianasoybean.com/forum for complete details, including a full agenda and online registration.