The outlook for the U.S. economy, financing strategies and major grain and feed policy issues will headline the agenda when more than 450 industry leaders gather March 29-31 at Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL, for the National Grain and Feed Association’s 113th annual convention.
During the three-day event, leaders of the nation’s grain, feed and grain processing industry also will be focusing on rail and waterway transportation policy; the performance of agricultural futures markets in meeting the risk-management needs of traditional hedgers; consumer-driven changes that are altering the demands placed on food companies and their suppliers; and the future of agricultural biotechnology.
The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 950-member companies from all sectors of the grain elevator, feed and feed ingredient, integrated livestock and poultry, grain processing and exporting business that operate about 6,000 facilities nationwide that handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds.
Confirmed NGFA convention speakers include:
Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter, Norfolk, VA, the respected and widely read financial publication. Gartman is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on financial markets and the economy, and will provide his unique and always-captivating take on the U.S. and world economic situation, and how it will influence government policies and the U.S. grain and feed industry in the year ahead.
James Young, chairman and chief executive officer of the Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha, NE. The head of North America’s largest freight railroad will provide his perspectives on the state of the rail industry, including challenges in enhancing freight rail infrastructure and capacity, as well as the carrier’s stance on legislative and public policy challenges being confronted by the rail industry in 2009.
Charles Carey, chairman of the CME Group, Chicago, IL, who will provide an update on efforts underway to enhance the performance of agricultural futures contracts so that they better meet the needs of traditional hedgers, as well as other developments at the exchange.
Association of American Railroad President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger and Robert Szabo, executive director of Consumers United for Rail Equity, both of Washington, D.C., who will debate the pros and cons of rail legislation and discuss other rail issues important to shippers and receivers of grain, feed and grain products at a March 29 Rail Open Forum.
NGFA Chairman Thomas Coyle, general manager of Chicago & Illinois River Marketing LLC (a division of Nidera Inc.), Chicago, IL, who will preview industry challenges and report on NGFA accomplishments and future priorities as he enters the second year of his two-year term.
Chris Giaimo, a bankruptcy attorney with the Washington-based law firm of Arent Fox, who will address an Industry Town Hall Meeting on March 29 that will focus on bankruptcy proceedings and their impact on grain purchase and sales contracts.
During the convention’s general sessions, a senior congressional leader and a Cabinet officer have been invited to preview the major legislative priorities that will be undertaken during the first year of the Obama administration. In addition, a top executive with a major U.S. bank will provide perspectives on the financing and credit environment that will characterize agricultural lending practices in the year ahead.
Another program session will explore the future participation of investment funds in agricultural futures markets. And a speaker from the agricultural biotechnology sector will provide a projection on new traits scheduled for commercialization in the next few years and efforts to enhance global acceptance.