Ag Symposium Recap

Mar 01, 2021
While the world around us continues to changeAg-Symposium-2021.png, one thing that remains the same is MKC’s commitment to bring valuable information to member-owners, employees and partners. One of the ways MKC has delivered the latest news and information amid the pandemic is by hosting multiple virtual events featuring industry experts as part of the 2020-2021 Ag Symposium.

The three-part series allowed for attendees to tune in anywhere, whether that be in an office, at the kitchen table or driving a tractor. Previously, this event was held in-person, but to align with COVID-19 protocols, MKC modified the event to include three, one-hour events over the course of three months.

The first Ag Symposium event on December 10 featured past-event favorite and familiar face, Jim Wiesemeyer. For over 10 years, Jim has joined us as a live presenter at our in-person event and receives extremely high ratings. From his office near Washington, DC, Jim Wiesemeyer contributes daily to Pro Farmer’s online website at, providing members with the latest information on agricultural policy and trade developments. He also is a participant in Farm Journal’s Agri-Talk radio program, has his weekly Farm Journal podcast each Friday called Signal to Noise, and serves as a Washington analyst for Pro Farmer and Farm Journal.

Wiesemeyer’s presentation covered presidential and election news ahead of the 2020 election, policy, U.S. economy and much more. Some key points of his presentation were:
  1. The status of the U.S. agricultural economy
    1. Working capital has declined and stemmed with recent runup prices
    2. Potential demand-type market for commodities
    3. Government Payments: 37.5% of farm income came from taxpayer payments
  2. Presidential issues regarding ag panels, the next farm bill, crop insurance, CCC Charter Act, food policy, climate change and trade
After his initial presentation, Wiesemeyer answered audience questions about COVID-19 plans and vaccines, carbon credits and President Biden’s elects.

Watch a recording of Jim Wiesemeyer’s December 10th presentation here:


On January 10, USTRA Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud had the mic for the second Ag Symposium event.

Ambassador Doud was a Senior Professional Staff member of the Senate Agriculture Committee for Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Thad Cochran. He was part of the team that crafted the 2012 Senate Farm Bill, and his portfolio of issues included international trade, food aid, livestock and oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

In his presentation, Ambassador Doud spoke on U.S. agricultural commodities and exports. Some key takeaways from his discussion were:
  1. U.S. exports to China are up by 77% compared to last year
  2. U.S. exports to Mexico are down by 7% due to loss in demand and consumption in this country
  3. U.S. ag exports to India are down by 18%
  4. The U.S. has seen potential in Indonesia and the frustrating effects from the European Union
In addition to his presentation, Doud answered many questions related to commodities and U.S. exports.
View Ambassador Doud’s entire presentation, including the Q&A session, below.

The third and final virtual Ag Symposium event featured Curt Strubhar, a commercial merchandising consultant with Advance Trading Inc and familiar guest speaker at TMA events in past years.

Curt's presentation, Grain Dynamics and Risk Management, focused on marketing fundamentals for wheat, corn, milo and soybeans while also addressing what the futures markets see as points of concern. Some key takeaways from his presentation were:
  1. 41% of every dollar printed, has been distributed into the economy since March
  2. The U.S. is becoming the worlds residual supplier of corn, beans and wheat
  3. General Motors to go all-electric by 2023 – how will it affect ethanol production?
  4. Shipments for 2020/21 through mid-February were 18% below last year, below the 5-year average
    1. Shipments to China as of mid-February are the highest since 1991/92 crop year. Will they buy any more old (or new) crop?
    2. Russia’s increase on wheat export tax – how will it affect exports in 21/22?
Following Stubhar’s presentation, the floor was open for questions from attendees and focused on managing risk, carbon credits, inflation and the future of milo.
Click below to check-out Curt Strubhar’s one-hour presentation from February 24.