AgriNxt Conference Gives a Lot of Things to Think About

Kansas Viewpoint

Wichita conference offers variety of perspectives on future of agriculture, multitude of thoughts for producers

Published on: December 10, 2010
I spent all day at the AgriNxt Conference in Wichita hearing multiple speakers address issues that impact the future of agriculture in Kansas and America.

There are a bunch of things to think about, but among the top ones are a presentation from Keith Miller, president of the U.S. Meat Federation talking about challenges to gaining access for export markets, Joseph Glauber, Chief Economist with USDA, talking about the economic outlook for ag and a whole bunch of people talking about renewable energy.

We face a challenging world.

And the presentations that were there today reminded me that we, as Kansas ag producers, have an increasing obligation to tell our consumers why our product is safe, nutritious, humanely produced and environmentally sustainable.

A couple of the presenters reminded us that in much of the world, these aren't even questions. Is there anything to eat? is the big question in many places and organic, sustainable, GMO-free, or whatever is a long, long way from the table.

What it served to remind me is that American ag procducers are dealing with a whole different audience domestically than many of their competitors.

What we are really looking at is access to the high-end markets, the people who can afford to ask questions and make demands.

How much do we want to give up in quantity that feeds the world to provide what this sliver of the market considers higher quality? That will be an interesting question to address as we move forward.