Grain News


National Ag Leaders Gather in Michigan to Discuss Future of Industry

Date Posted: September 16, 2013

Mackinac Island—Some of the biggest names in agriculture gathered on Mackinac Island this weekend to discuss the outlook for the agriculture industry in Michigan and nationally.

“Gathering so many of the nation’s agribusiness leaders in Michigan to discuss the future of our industry speaks to the strength and growth potential of Michigan’s agriculture sector,” said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association.

“There are tremendous opportunities on the horizon for increasing production, improving efficiency and expanding agriculture to new markets. Making sure that our state addresses infrastructure and regulatory challenges will be critical.”

Presenters at the three-day conference included:

Carl Casale, president and CEO of CHS, Inc, a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the U.S.

Daren Coppok, president and CEO of the Agricultural Retailers Association, which represents 6,500 agronomy retail and distribution outlets across the U.S.

Randy Gordon, president of the National Grain and Feed Association, which represents more than 1,000 grain, feed and related commercial businesses

Andy LaVigne, president and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association, which represents more than 700 companies involved in seed production and distribution, plant breeding, and related industries in North America

Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CropLife America, the nation’s largest trade organization for agriculture and pest management

Ford West, past president of The Fertilizer Institute and the Nutrients for Life Foundation, national trade associations that represent all segments of the fertilizer institute.

Congressman Dan Benishek and State Senator Mike Green also attended the conference and delivered remarks.

“One of the takeaways from the conference is that modern agriculture is a huge success story, providing food and energy for the world’s population of 7 billion people,” said Byrum.

“The industry has embraced new technology and practices like precision agriculture, which allows us to continually boost production while using fewer inputs and conserving land.”

Presenters also discussed how today’s farmers are using better nutrient management plans and using fertilizer more efficiently and sustainably. One of the ways farmers do this is through the 4Rs – using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place.

This system allows farmers to use nutrients more efficiently and more effectively, saving money and helping protect our soil and water.

Other topics included upcoming national issues that will have a major impact on Michigan’s agricultural businesses such as the need to pass a 2013 Farm Bill, the onset of new regulations in the Food Safety and Modernization Act, infrastructure challenges around inland water transportation and opportunities to expand global exports.

These presentations were part of the Michigan Agri-Business Association’s annual Outlook Conference, which brings together leaders from the agriculture sector to discuss opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

For more information, call 517-336-0223.

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