Learn how to mitigate economic pressures and leverage opportunities on your farm at June 14 conference.  

A powerful lineup of national experts will headline the Iowa Farm Bureau 2024 Economic Summit this summer, providing information to help farmers navigate ongoing challenges and discover potential opportunities amidst evolving market conditions. 

The theme of this year’s summit, “Pressures and Opportunities,” underscores the challenging financial environment farmers face in 2024 with fluctuating commodity prices, stubbornly high input costs and volatile international trade markets. 

Registration for the conference, which will be held June 14 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, opened this week. 

“We’re really excited about the top-notch lineup of speakers we have assembled for this year’s economic summit,” said Christopher Pudenz, Iowa Farm Bureau economics and research manager. “This is the first time this event has been held in person since 2019, which feels like an eternity ago considering the changes the ag industry has gone through in the last five years.

“Our goal is to provide as many different perspectives on the ag economy as we possibly can, with an emphasis on content that will help farmers understand the pressures they are likely to face in 2024 but also to identify potential opportunities that may arise.” 

Highlights of the one-day conference include an exclusive “fireside chat” with Austan Goolsbee, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, who will discuss the U.S. macroeconomy directly following the June Federal Open Market Committee meeting where 

policymakers debate the course of benchmark interest rates and U.S. monetary policy. 

“We’re very excited to have President Goolsbee from the Chicago Fed to be our keynote speaker,” said Pudenz. 

“He’s going to sit down for a fireside chat with Iowa Farm Bureau President Brent Johnson and really get into the fundamentals of what’s going on in the U.S. economy, what we might see going forward regarding interest rates and how that impacts the farm sector.

“As one of only 12 sitting Fed presidents, he is in the room where they are hashing out monetary policy that will cause interest rates to go up or down.”

Other speakers at the 2024 summit include Frank Kelly with Fulcrum Macro; Luis Martinez Senties and Brenda Martinez Vergara with the Agriculture Office at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington; and grain marketing economist Ed Usset with University of Minnesota. 

Kelly will provide a wide perspective on global economic and geopolitical issues that impact agriculture, Pudenz said. 

The discussion will pivot to U.S. and Mexico trade with representatives from the Embassy of Mexico, including access for genetically modified crops. 

Usset, author of a series of grain marketing books, will provide insights on how to craft a preharvest marketing plan during a time of volatile market conditions that will be coming into focus during the mid-June summit. 

The summit will also feature a pair of panel discussions with experts to discuss the latest situation regarding the meat supply chain and ag lending and farmland real estate issues. 

The meat supply chain panel will bring together representatives from JBS Foods, Friona Industries and Hy-Vee to offer perspectives on livestock and meat topics beginning at the feedlot through the processor and the retail level.

The ag lending/real estate panel will feature experts from Farm Credit Services of America, Bank Midwest and Peoples Company for conversations on interest rates, working capital, farmland values and more, Pudenz added. 

Conference attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions of the expert speakers throughout the day, Pudenz noted. 

Registration for the 2024 Economic Summit is $40 for Iowa Farm Bureau members and $200 for non-members, which includes a June 13 evening welcome reception. 

To see the full agenda and to register, go online to https://www.iowafarmbureau.com/News/Economic-Summit. Space is limited. Registrations are encouraged by June 7 to guarantee a spot.