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MonDak Ag Research Summit series continues March 25
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MonDak Ag Research Summit series continues March 25

Vincent Smith

Vincent Smith, MSU

What can producers expect as the economy recovers from COVID-19 and discussion begins on innovative agricultural policies leading up to a new Farm Bill? What about existing risk management tools? What support can producers expect in the next few years?

Montana State University Ag Economist Dr. Vincent Smith, an internationally recognized expert on agricultural and international trade policy, shares his considerable insight into these questions during the final webinar of the 2021 MonDak Ag Research Summit Series to be held on Thursday, March 25, beginning at 10 a.m., MT (11 a.m., CT). Dr. Smith’s keynote presentation is entitled “Whither Agricultural Policy in 2023 and Beyond.”

During his talk, Dr. Smith will focus on the new administration and the new congress and their discussions of a wide range of agricultural policy innovations, many of which are focused on climate change mitigation. At the same time, many farm groups seek to sustain funding for long-standing programs such as federal crop insurance and a range of income and price support initiatives. In the context of the current financial state of the farm economy and the federal budget deficit, Dr. Smith will discuss the agricultural policy opportunities and challenges as they are likely to evolve over the next four years.

Dr. Smith is professor of economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at MSU and co-director of the MSU Initiative for Regulation and Applied Economic Analysis. His current research program examines agricultural trade and domestic policy issues, with a particular focus on agricultural domestic and trade policy, risk management, agricultural science policy, and domestic and world commodity markets.

In addition to the broad perspective provided by Dr. Smith, local elevator manager Gordon Holt will discuss the plans his company, EGT, has for the MonDak region following purchase of the old Anheuser Busch/InBev malting barley facilities in Sidney. His presentation is entitled “Soybean Marketing in the Mondak Region,” and in it he will discuss EGT’s entrance into the MonDak grain growing region.

“I will touch on our origination and grain marketing capabilities from our facility in Sidney all the way to the export market at our terminal in Longview, Wash.,” Holt said. “I will also touch on a variety of topics from historical price trends in soybeans in our area to the potential of a new regular rotational and/or primary crop for our area producers.”

Holt, a recent arrival to the MonDak, grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia on a cattle, poultry and hay farm, before attending Montana State University where he obtained his degree in Agricultural Business. He subsequently began his career in the grain industry and currently manages EGT’s elevator in Sidney.

There will be opportunities to ask questions of both speakers during the live webinar, which concludes at 11:30 a.m., MT (12:30 p.m., CT). All interested persons are invited to participate and anyone can join the day of the event by using the following (Zoom program) link: https://ndsu.zoom.us/j/91453448686. No registration is needed to participate.

The MonDak Ag Research Summit is coordinated by MSU’s Eastern Agricultural Research Center; USDA ARS’s Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab, both in Sidney, and NDSU’s Williston Research Extension Center in Williston. Normally a one-day, in-person event, this year’s MonDak Ag Research Summit was moved online due to COVID-19.

Organizers plan to return to an in-person event next winter. In the meantime recordings of all six webinars in the 2021 series can be found at www.ars.usda.gov/pa/nparl/agsummit.

For questions or more information on this series, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-9427; beth.redlin@usda.gov, or Violeta Hobbs at 701-774-4315; Violeta.hobbs@ndsu.edu or visit our website listed above.

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