The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, or CAST, one of the nation's most prestigious, varied and credible sources for the study, development and communication of agriculture and food science research, has appointed Iowa Farm Bureau Federation president Craig Hill to the CAST board of trustees. Hill fills the position vacated by American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman.
CAST is an organization dedicated to widening the reach of task force reports and scientific progress in various areas of scientific study. "Hundreds of member societies, companies, cooperatives and non-profit entities are a part of CAST. Developed in 1972, the group is the pre-eminent source of science-based information which lawmakers, regulators, policymakers, media and the public turn to -- not just in Iowa -- but around the nation.
Some of the best minds in nation share their work through CAST
Members of the CAST board of trustees are asked to share their knowledge and perspectives concerning emerging issues and challenges facing agriculture and food production systems in order to further the CAST mission to communicate credible science-based information about agriculture. "We know that Mr. Hill's extensive experience in dealing with ag issues, both at the state and national levels; will make him a valuable asset to our trustees. We welcome him to our expanding circle of active stakeholders," says Linda Chimenti, CAST executive vice president.
"Some of the best minds in the nation share their work through CAST. Whether it is research shared on genetically modified seeds or soil science, this work is vital in keeping agriculture and food and energy production sustainable, not just in Iowa, but around the nation. It is a privilege to serve on this esteemed board of trustees," says Hill. Hill begins his three-year term immediately.
Third annual economic summit to focus on new market drivers
In other news from the Iowa Farm Bureau, they've announced the 2014 Iowa Farm Bureau Economic Summit will be held July 21-22 in Ames. The annual summit taps national experts on farming technology, farmland values, marketing and more.
Farmers know that weather is one factor they can't control; but there are many more which they can leverage to assure a farm's profitability in 2015 and beyond. The 2014 Iowa Farm Bureau Economic Summit, 'Finding the Next Set of Market Drivers for Agriculture,' brings the nation's leading experts to ISU's Scheman Center, July 21-22, in Ames to help Iowa crop and livestock farmers succeed, long after this year's crop is out of the ground.
"The growing integration of technology and data into farming, changes in land values and opportunities in livestock production have the potential to also become the key drivers in ag profitability in the next decade," says Iowa IFB president Craig Hill. The 2014 summit is designed to help Iowa farmers understand those drivers and take advantage of emerging market opportunities.
China, drones, new farm programs and other topics to be discussed
Hill says speakers at the 2014 IFBF Economic Summit are national experts that will help Iowa farmers explore a number of areas which have potential to greatly influence profitability of Iowa-grown commodities. One issue is China's rapid economic growth and its evolving demand for food. "As more Chinese move away from rural areas and into cities, they are making different choices in the types and quality of food they consume. That could make profound changes in Chinese buying patterns for soybeans, corn, pork and other products that Iowa produces," says Hill.
Iowa farmers are also facing a new set of federal government farm programs this year following the passage of the farm bill. Big data, drones and other fast-evolving technological advances in agriculture will also have an impact on how Iowans farm. The two-day IFBF Economic Summit is designed to provide farmers insight into managing these issues and more, by bringing in several national experts, including:
National experts on various ag topics will speak at summit
David Oppedahl, economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Mary Kay Thatcher, farm policy expert for the American Farm Bureau Federation; Kansas State University's Kevin Price, a national expert on the use of drones in agriculture; and Will Zhang, an Iowa-based expert on China. Tom Vilsack, U.S. Agriculture Secretary, is tentatively scheduled to give the keynote luncheon remarks on opening day.
Summit registration, which includes access to all presentations and lunch on both days, is $50 for Farm Bureau members. For non-members registration completed before July 11 is $150. Registration costs increase after July 11 to $75 for Farm Bureau members and $175 for non-members. For more info or to register visit the Iowa Farm Bureau website or call Lavonne Baldwin at 515-225-5633, or email [email protected].