A coalition of ag groups are partnering to launch a series of town hall discussions this summer focused on the future of agriculture. The series, dubbed AgTalks, kicks off July 30 in Iowa.
What will the AgTalks focus on?
The AgTalks series will focus specifically on the big challenges American agriculture faces on trade, international supply chains and global competitiveness.
Who will lead the AgTalks?
The AgTalks town halls will be led by ag leaders in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
When will the AgTalks be held?
- July 30 in Iowa, moderated by Sara Wyant, president of Agri-Pulse;
- Aug. 6 in Minnesota;
- Aug. 13 in Michigan;
- Aug. 27 in Pennsylvania, and
- TBD in Wisconsin.
The dates are tentative at this point and may change.
In the absence of state ag fairs and conventions, where farm and ag leaders typically engage in dialogues on industry-wide challenges, the AgTalks series will provide a chance for insightful discussion on trade and its importance to the health of rural economies.
The ag organizations behind AgTalks released the following statement on the Town Hall series:
“American competitiveness in agriculture has been seriously impacted by the surge in non-U.S. trade agreements with key customers, the trade war and the failure of supply chains strained by COVID-19. This has impacted commodity pricing, increased input costs, derailed relationship with trading partners and impacted the broader economy.
“We believe it is past time for a national conversation focused on solutions to help American ag rebound. Turning the tide, will require a comprehensive effort from producers to customers – those that plant, make, deliver and sell American products around the world. The health of rural America and the hope of economic resiliency will only occur if we can create a non-political dialogue that brings the pillars of production, processing and logistics together to help redefine trade policy to best enable the most productive, safe and secure delivery of food.”
How will the AgTalks be conducted?
The town halls will be 90-minute to two-hour events that will include panel discussions about the impacts of the trade disruptions and recommendations for steps to help American agriculture.
The Town Halls will also include input and questions from audience members and will gather input through online polling and other web-enabled tools. Town halls will be recorded for viewing after the event has concluded and news media will be invited to participate. If feasible, some of the events may be held in person or with panelists joining in one or two locations.
What groups are supporting the AgTalks?
The groups supporting AgTalks include: Farmers for Free Trade, the National Milk Producers Federation, the Corn Refiners Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the U.S. Dairy Export Council, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the Iowa Soybean Association, Minnesota AgriGrowth, the Plant Based Products Council, KCoe Isom and World Strategies.