How resilient is our Global Food System?
The 2020 Soybean Symposium was presented as an interactive webinar. The presentations, along with Q&A sessions are available below.
Today’s global food production system hinges on the low-cost and efficient production, transport, and processing of cereal and protein grains. Global production and trade have evolved over the past 75 years to provide previously unimagined variety and quantity of food products at low cost to populations on every continent.
However, efficiencies often come at some cost. It's naive to think that today’s global food production system could be immune to internal and external disruptions. The question is whether current and future disruptions will result in an evolution or in a revolution in our global food production systems.
The 2020 Soybean Symposium leaned on recent major global events as examples of internal and external events that may test the resiliency of global food production systems. We considered the effects of several factors on the current global food system:
- Recent geopolitical disruptions (tariffs)
- Novel animal diseases, such as Asian Swine Fever (ASF) and Avian Influenza
- Human disease outbreaks (COVID-19)
- Environmental and societal challenges (climate change, water and soil quality, water and carbon costs, ecosystem preservation, animal welfare, and local and organic food demand)
Topics and speakers
Watch the videos with an open mind and enjoy the discussions of the (bright or bleak?) future of our industry.
Morning demand side presentations
The morning topics and speakers include the following:
- Introduction and opening comments
Dr. Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist and Bill Gordon, ASA president and Minnesota farmer
- Global Trade Update
- China Update: The latest on ASF and COVID-19 from the ground
Dr. Lin Tan,
- Demand Side Q&A
Usset, Lin, Mishek, Gordon
Viewers are welcomed by Dr. Seth Naeve, University of Minnesota Extension soybean agronomist. He introduces topics, speakers and logistics for the 2020 Soybean Symposium. Bill Gordon, American Soybean Association president and Minnesota farmer, provides an update on ASA activities and priorities in this short, introductory video.
Ed Usset, Grain marketing economist for the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota, discusses factors affecting global trade.
Dr. Lin Tan is the VP for Hopefull Group, a soybean importing and processing company in China. He discusses how current issues are affecting soybean trade in China and around the world.
Ed Usset, Dr. Lin Tan, Peter Mishek of Mishek Inc. and Associates in Omaha, Nebraska and Bill Gordon engage in Q&A session with participants. This session was moderated by Dr. Naeve and Dave Nicolai, Extension educator in crops.
Afternoon supply side presentations
The afternoon topics and speakers include the following:
- Animal Production: Is global animal production susceptible to novel disease outbreaks?
Drs. Kaushi Kanankege and Marie Culhane
- The Changing Climate of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest
- Crop Production: Can we continue to do business as usual
- Supply Side Q&A
(the remaining videos will be available soon)
Dr. Marie Culhane, Associate Professor, and Dr. Kaushi Kanankege, a postdoctoral associate in the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, discuss farm biosecurity, disease modeling and mitigation.
Dr. Kenneth Blumenfeld, a climate scientist with the Minnesota State Climatology Office, discusses precipitation and temperature trends and projections for the state.
Dr. Todd Peterson, a crop and soil scientist, shares his passion for helping farmers adopt more sustainable practices that optimize crop yields, build healthy soils, and reduce soil and nutrient loss.
Drs. Kaushi Kanankege, Marie Culhane, Ken Blumenfeld and Todd Peterson engage in a Q&A session with participants. This session was moderated by Dr. Naeve and Dave Nicolai, Extension educator in crops.