U.S. Agricultural Risk Policy: Debating the Status Quo
06-13-2017 05:06pm

U.S. Agricultural Risk Policy: Debating the Status Quo

Agriculture is a staple of the American identity—and with President Trump’s proposed changes to federal agricultural policy, both industry and academia are left wondering: What does this mean for the future of farming? Join the Charles Koch Institute for an open debate from both sides of a consequential issue, during which participants will address the most pressing questions about the future of ag policy. Namely: Is the status quo working for farmers, taxpayers, and the rural economy? Who benefits the most from crop insurance and commodity programs? What does today’s agricultural safety net look like?

Join us on Tuesday, June 13, as we host this frank conversation about the agricultural risk policies of Titles I and XI of the Farm Bill. Prize-winning columnist for National Journal Daily Jerry Hagstrom will moderate the debate, along with the Charles Koch Institute’s senior research fellow Dana Wade. The expert panel will feature Joe Glauber, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute; Vince Smith, professor of economics at Montana State University; Joshua Tonsager, vice president of policy and communications at the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG); and Bob Young, chief economist and deputy executive director for public policy at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Program

MODERATORS

Jerry Hagstrom, columnist, National Journal Daily
Hagstrom is the founder and executive editor of The Hagstrom Report. On a daily basis, Hagstrom covers everything about agriculture—from farm subsidies and food stamps to international trade issues and the innovative food companies that want to disrupt conventional agriculture. His writing reaches rural America through DTN/The Progressive Farmer, an Omaha-based satellite news service. He is also a columnist for National Journal Daily, where he was a reporter for many years. Hagstrom grew up on a farm in North Dakota, where his grandparents were homesteaders. He is a graduate of the University of Denver and was a Loeb fellow at Harvard and a research fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University.

Dana Wade, senior research fellow, Charles Koch Institute
Wade spent several years on Capitol Hill before joining the Charles Koch Institute. Most recently, she served as deputy staff director of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and as Republican deputy staff director of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. She also worked for Rep. Paul Ryan on the House Budget Committee and for Senator John McCain during the 2008 presidential race. Her private sector experience includes working for the Options Clearing Corporation and for Accenture. Wade graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and earned a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

PANELISTS

Joe Glauber, senior research fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute
Prior to joining IFPRI, Glauber spent over 30 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including as chief economist from 2008 to 2014. As chief economist, he was responsible for the department’s agricultural forecasts and projections; oversaw climate, energy, and regulatory issues; and served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. Glauber received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Chicago. His main areas of interest are price volatility, global grain reserves, crop insurance, and trade.

Vince Smith, professor of economics, Montana State University
Smith is co-director of MSU’s Initiative on Regulation and Applied Economic Analysis and director of MSU’s Agricultural Marketing Policy Center. He is also a visiting American Enterprise Institute scholar and director of AEI’s agricultural policy initiative. Smith’s research program examines agricultural policy issues, with a focus on agricultural insurance and risk, agricultural science policy, world commodity markets, and agricultural trade policy. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Manchester University.

Joshua Tonsager, vice president of policy and communications, National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG)
Tonsager leads and coordinates wheat policy efforts for NAWG. Most recently, Tonsager served as a legislative assistant in the office of former senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota. His issue portfolio included agriculture, trade, nutrition, economic development, and appropriations. Prior to serving as the legislative assistant, Tonsager was a research assistant in that office, where he researched policy issues and drafted correspondence. Tonsager received his Bachelor of Business Administration in economics and political science from the University of South Dakota. He comes from a family farm near Oldham, South Dakota.

Bob Young, chief economist and deputy director, American Farm Bureau Federation
Young joined the American Farm Bureau Federation as chief economist in 2003 to provide analysis of short-term issues in support of the organization’s policy implementation effort. In 2013, he took on the added responsibility of deputy executive director of the public policy department, helping to coordinate the overall advocacy efforts of the Federation. Young was co-director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) from 1991 through 2003. He also served as the chief economist of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture from 1987 through 1991. Young has a Ph.D. in agricultural economics, as well as a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in atmospheric sciences, from the University of Missouri.

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