The premier annual event providing actionable content and networking opportunities for key decision makers in the global oilseed (soybeans, canola/rapeseed, sunflower seed and oil palm) and feed grain (corn, wheat, sorghum and barley) value chains.
Wednesday September 30, 2015



8:00-1:30 - Organic & Non-GMO Forum: Developing the Supply Chain (separate registration necessary)



8:00-12:15 - Industry Tour:  Visit the CHS Savage Grain Terminal and Bayer CropScience SeedGrowth Innovation Center (separate registration necessary)




INTL FCStone Risk Management Short Course: Navigating Today’s Commodity Price Risk

Richard Jelinek, Vice President Global Education, INTL FCStone

Doug Prohaska, Senior Commodity Risk Manager, INTL FCStone


Risk management short course sessions include:



Fundamentals of Futures and Options Refresher

  • Basic futures and options training



Ingredient Performance Strategies

  • Advanced risk mitigation and performance strategies



Corporate Commodity Trading Risk Policy

  • Building a comprehensive and effective corporate commodity risk policy



Risk Management Challenge

  • Fun hands on commodity risk management



12:00-2:00 - Welcome Coffee in Exhibit Hall



2:00-2:30 - Welcome 

Trends in the Global Ag Investing Landscape

Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners



  • Where along the value chain and geographically is capital being allocated in global agriculture?

  • Where can we expect innovation to be developed and what technologies are likely to be commercialized within the next three to five years?

  • What are the implications for companies operating in the supply chain of increased investment in agriculture?

  • Where is investment likely to be allocated over the next five years?




Global Oilseed Outlook

Bill Lapp, President and Founder, Advanced Economic Solutions


Growth in demand for animal and vegetable protein and fats and oils continues unabated. This session will provide insights into the following near-term and mid-term trends:

  • What are the latest supply and demand forecasts for oilseeds and their derivative products (vegetable protein and oil) in 2015/16?

  • Consumption trends in major destination markets and how these will affect trade patterns.

  • What are the major drivers and challenges that oilseed markets are likely face over the next three years?

  • What are price expectations for oilseeds, meals and oils over the next year?




The Impact of Financial Markets on Ag Markets Around the World

Erik Norland, Senior Economist and Executive Director, CME Group


  • What impact will a rebalancing of world growth away from emerging markets have on food demand?

  • How much is China’s economic growth slowing and what the underlying reasons?

  • Can India resist the slowdown in emerging markets?

  • The impact of lower commodity prices on Latin America, Russia and the Middle East

  • Prospects for stronger growth in Europe, Japan and the US

  • Potential impacts from El Niño on agricultural prices



4:00-4:45 - Coffee Break sponsored AGCO Corp.


Exhibitor presentation by Scalable Data Systems at booth #12 & 13




Global Grain Outlook

Tom Scott, Chief Executive Officer, Informa Economics, Inc.


While oilseeds account for the largest volume of agricultural commodity traded globally, the amount of feed grains (corn, wheat, barley and sorghum) has increased dramatically over the past decade driven by growing demand for animal protein. This session will address opportunities and challenges in this sector of the ag commodity markets: 


  • What is the outlook for northern hemisphere grain production and southern hemisphere plantings?

  • How are El Niño and other critical weather developments likely to affect crop yields?

  • What are the major drivers for feed grain prices?

  • What sis the price outlook for grains and the associated risks?



Keynote: Unique Perspective on Cuba by Fidel Castro’s Daughter

Alina Fernández, Fidel Castro's Daughter


Alina Fernández will share insight on her very unique relationship with Cuba, the changes the nation has undergone in the past few decades, and the economic opportunities that lie ahead. 


Alina’s story will include:

  • An intimate look at Alina’s parents’ relationship and the revolution

  • Alina’s experience growing up in Cuba

  • Why and how Alina fled the country

  • Economic, political, and agricultural changes to the country under Raul Castro



6:15-7:30 - Welcome Reception sponsored by Gray, Plant Mooty


7:30-10:00 - Buyer Dinner



Thursday October 1, 2015



9:00-9:45 - Concurrent Track Sessions


Animal Protein: Animal Protein Market Round-Up

Rob Murphy, Senior Vice President, Livestock, Informa Economics, Inc.


This market round- up will provide an overview of topical issues in the global animal protein sectors (cattle, dairy, hogs and poultry - broilers, layers and turkey) including:


  • Governmental policies

  • The impact of fluctuating exchange on global trade of animal protein

  • The impact of diseases on production and trade 

  • Macro drivers of consumption

  • An assessment of the beef, pork and poultry:  winners and losers over the next 12 months.



Oilseeds & Grains Utilization: Consumer Trends Influencing Demand for Ag Commodities

Kara VanKleek, Global Marketing Director, CHS Processing and Food Ingredients


Consumer food trends can be either short-term fads or can evolve into new market paradigms which requires adaptation by participants across the supply chain. Our expert will address how to distinguish between the two.


  • What are the top seven consumer food trends affecting the oilseed and grains sectors today?

  • What opportunities and challenges do these trends present for participants in the value chain and what strategies are companies pursuing in order to address new consumer demands?

  • How are sustainable consumer demands likely to evolve over the next one to three years?



Global Trade Logistics: Transportation & Logistics Trends


Tom Williamson, Owner, Transportation Consultants Co.


Bradford Warner, Vice President, Marketing, Agspring

Ken Erickson, Informa Economics, Inc.

Stephen Lofberg, President, Montclair Marine Services 


Transportation costs account for a large percentage of the landed cost of ag commodities at destination markets. Understanding the trends in the cost of moving commodities in bulk and containers is key to understanding where trade opportunities either currently exist or may develop. Our experts will address:


  • What are the key pricing trends for both ocean bulk and containers out of major origin markets?

  • How will this trend affect the competitiveness of certain crops in certain origins?

  • How the availability of containers is likely to shift over the next two years and what does that mean for both shippers and importers?



9:55-10:40 - Concurrent Track Sessions


Animal Protein: Addressing Critical Trade & Regulatory Issues

Chris Horseman, Editorial Director, Informa Agra

Roger Bernard, Policy Analyst, Informa Economics


With the emergence of a growing middle class in emerging markets, demand for animal protein is soaring globally. The ability of key origins for animal protein to compete with others will be determined by trade and regulatory issues. Our experts will provide a clear understanding of both the opportunities and challenges presented by national and multinational trade and regulatory rulings and what this could mean for your business.



Oilseeds & Grains Utilization: The Defense of Food: Supply Chain Protection

Tim Boyer, Ph.D., Epidemiologist, Food Protection and Defense Institute, University of Minnesota 


Food security applies to the availability of safe and healthy foodstuffs for consumption. Officially launched as a Homeland Security Center of Excellence in July 2004, The National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD) is a multidisciplinary and action-oriented research consortium, which addresses the vulnerability of the U.S. food system to attack through intentional contamination with biological or chemical agents. Our expert will address how the NCFPD's research and education program is aimed at reducing the potential for contamination at any point along the food supply chain and mitigating potentially catastrophic public health and economic effects of such attacks and what this means for your operations.



Global Trade Logistics: Origin Market Opportunities in South America 

Marco Rubin, Partner and Head of Grains, AgroConsult


While South America, led by Brazil and Argentina, is emerging as the leader in oilseed production, the lack of infrastructure investment in both the interior (roads, rail and waterways) and port facilities continue to hinder the region’s competitiveness.  This session will address:


  • Brazilian and Argentine crop (soybeans and corn) production with the respective market scenarios

  • Structural updates regarding changes in infrastructure investment and the adoption of on-farm technology

  • The region’s outlook as a major origin over the next one to three years



10:40-11:25 - Coffee Break



11:25-12:10 - Concurrent Track Sessions


Animal Protein: Managing Global Water Risks in the Animal Protein Sector

Eliza Roberts, Manager, Water Program, Ceres


As sustainability continues to emerge as a growing concern and top priority for retailers pushed by consumers, the animal proteins sector is experiencing continued pressure to ensure efficient and sustainable production even as it expands production in order to meet growing global demand. This session will address:


  • Innovative and sustainable practices currently employed by major industry players

  • The role of water efficiency in animal protein production

  • The challenges that still exist and potential solutions that are on the horizon



Oilseeds & Grains Utilization: Sorghum

Tim Lust, CEO, Sorghum Checkoff


Driven by enormous demand out of China and other overseas markets, U.S. exports of and investment in sorghum have skyrocketed in the past 24 months, affecting planting decisions and commodity prices. This session will address the following:


  • Is the current pace of growing demand for sorghum sustainable over the next decade?

  • What impact will global demand for sorghum have on planting decisions for other crops over the next one to two years?



Global Trade Logistics: Strategies for Trade Financing


Arleen Nand, Finance Partner, DLA Piper LLP


Bahar Gökçe, Regional Manager, America Westford Trade Services  

Richard Helling, Vice President, Ag Commodity Trade Finance, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. 

Prashant Mupparapu, Managing Director, Macquarie


With increased regulatory oversight on bank reserves and capital ratios, the number and list of banks providing trade financing for agricultural commodities has reduced and shifted dramatically over the past three years.   Our panelists will address:

  • What are the current trends in the lending terms environment and how long are they likely to persist?

  • What new financing techniques are available to sellers and buyers of commodities in order to facilitate trade?

  • How can innovative techniques be used by sellers and buyers to enhance risk management and increase operating profitability?



12:10-1:50 - Lunch



1:50-2:35 - Concurrent Track Sessions


Animal Protein: Trends in the Animal Feed Sector


Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners


Scott Ainslie, Strategic Marketing and Technology Director, Cargill Animal Nutrition

Marc Yung, Business Unit Manager for Animal Proteins and Fats, Wilbur-Ellis Company


Global demand for animal protein continues to drive demand for animal feed globally. This session will address:


  • What is the supply/demand forecast for the global compound feed industry over the next 3-5 years?

  • What impact, if any, do new sources of vegetable proteins for feed, such as canola and other oilseeds, play in the feed market?

  • What new innovations in feed are on the horizon and what impact are these likely to have on demand for oilseed and grains?



Oilseed & Grains Utilization: Trends in Vegetable Oil Utilization


Paul Smolen, Principal, AgriNetworks


David Dzisiak, Commercial Leader Grains and Oils, Dow AgroSciences

Susan Knowlton, Senior Research Manager, DuPont Company / DuPont Pioneer

Gerald McNeill, Vice President, Research and Development, IOI Loders Croklaan



With growing demand for vegetable oils in food, energy and industrial applications, the contribution (%) of the oil leg to oilseed crush margin remains high.  Our panel of experts will discuss trends in demand and the use of vegetable oils and what this means for the industry.  


  • What are the consumer trends that are driving demand for edible oils derived from soybeans, canola, palm and other oilseeds?

  • How have the commercial launch of new oil traits changed the dynamics of edible oil utilization?

  • How is the FDA’s decision to eliminate the use of trans-fats by 2018 affecting the edible oils sector?

  • What is the status of high oleic varieties currently being commercialized?



Global Trade Logistics: Infrastructure Development 

Scott Sigman, Transportation & Export Infrastructure Lead, Illinois Soybean Association


As demand for feed and foodstuffs in Asia and the Middle East/North Africa region continues to grow and as Brazil and the U.S. vie for the position of leading exporter in several major agricultural commodities, lack of adequate infrastructure in both origination and destination markets continues to drag on the supply chain’s ability to operate efficiently. Our expert will provide an update on:


  • The status of infrastructure investments in the Panama and Suez canals and what impacts might these have on global oilseed and grain trade

  • How prolonged strikes at major U.S. West Coast ports affected U.S. oilseed and grain exports flows and what the outlook is now

  • The level of investments necessary in ports and domestic transportation channels to resolve existing challenges




2:45-3:30 - Concurrent Track Sessions



Animal Protein: Aquaculture


Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners


Steven Hart, Vice President of Education & Outreach, Global Aquaculture Alliance

Fabio Soller, Export Sales Specialist and Animal Nutrition Research, Cargill 


Growing consumer demand for fish protein in both emerging and developed markets coinciding with declining wild seafood stocks is driving demand for farmed seafood. As a consequence, the industry offers great growth opportunities in what is a relatively young industry, including aquaculture feeds. This session will address:


  • The growing demand for fish protein derived from aquaculture and what this means for the oilseed and grain sector as suppliers of ingredients for feed?

  • What are new innovations in oilseed (and grain) based feeds exist today and what innovations are on the horizon that will address the need to supply increased volumes of feed for aquaculture production?



Oilseeds & Grains Utilization: Trends in Plant Protein Utilization


Paul Smolen, Principal, AgriNetworks


David Dzisiak, Commercial Leader Grains and Oils, Dow AgroSciences

John Schillinger, President and Founder, Schillinger Genetics, Inc.

Naveen Sikka, Chief Executive Officer, TerViva, Inc. 


While the focus on new trait oilseeds introduced into the market in recent years have addressed the oil content of oilseeds, developers have increasingly been focused on delivering enhanced performance of the protein leg of oilseeds as a protein source for feeds. Our panelists will address:


  • What demand factors are driving the development of enhanced protein profiles from crops such as corn, soybeans, canola and more?

  • How is market demand likely to affect demand for these enhanced protein sources in the near-term?

  • What new applications are likely to appear on the market within the next three years?



Global Trade Logistics: Capturing the Market Opportunity in Cuba and the Caribbean Basin


Mike Hergert, Co-Founder, Red River Farm Network 


Ron Gray, Past Chairman (2015), U.S. Grains Council

Thomas Marten, Manager, Stark County Farm Bureau

William A. Messina Jr., Agricultural Economist, University of Florida

Rohil Shah, Senior Buyer, ARCOP Inc. Agricultural Economist, University of Florida


Following the opening keynote address by Alina Fernandez, Fidel Castro’s daughter, a panel of U.S. and Cuban agricultural experts will discuss opportunities and challenges that improved relations with Cuba are expected to have on the U.S.’ oilseed and grains sectors.



3:40-4:15 - Coffee Break sponsored by Cargill



4:15-5:00 - Concurrent Track Sessions


Animal Protein: Buyers Panel


Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners


Drew Lein, Markets Manager, Global Dairy Sourcing 

Rohil Shah, Senior Buyer, ARCOP Inc. 


A panel of wholesale buyers of animal protein products for U.S. retailers will discuss challenges they face in their businesses including:


  • What are the key consumer trends that are having an impact currently on their business and which trends do they anticipate will affect their businesses within the next three to five years?

  • What are the major they are confronting in the current market environment?

  • How is global demand for animal protein affecting price levels?



Oilseeds & Grains Utilization: Biofuels


Alan L. Boyce, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Westland Solar Farms, LLC


Doug Berven, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, POET

Michael Rath, Executive Vice President Commodities and Risk Management, Darling Ingredients Inc.


While the Renewable Fuels Standards (”RFS”) remain in force in the U.S. and similar regimes exist in Canada, Brazil, Argentina and the EU, the political support required to ensure their continued enforcement is waning. Given the uncertain future of the renewable fuels sector, the panel will:


  • Provide an update on supply and demand of different feedstocks for biodiesel and ethanol and byproducts generated which are sold in the feed sector

  • Address the current challenges that the renewable fuels sectors faces 

  • Discuss likely scenarios for the future of biofuels and ethanol



Global Trade Logistics: Risk Management: Navigating a Volatile Market


Matt Ammermann, Commodity Risk Manager-CIS/Black Sea Region, INTL FCStone


Daniel Hofstad, Marketer, Cargill Risk Management

Tom Kowalski, Vice President, Procurement, Kellogg Company

Chip Lerwick, National Business Development Director, Aon Food System and Agribusiness Group



A range of financial tools that can be leveraged to manage different types of risks, including crop price risk and operating risk are crucial for the success of most businesses operating across the food and agricultural value chain. This session will address:


  • Strategies that growers, merchandisers and end-users can utilize in order to mitigate their exposure to a wide range of risks.

  • How specific risk management tools can be leveraged to reduce risk and enhance margin generation at different points along the supply chain.



5:00-6:30 - 10th Anniversary - Oktoberfest Party - sponsored by INTL FCStone



Friday October 2, 2015




Innovation in Agriculture


Lisa Prassack, President, Prassack Advisors


Joseph Byrum, Head Seeds Product Development - Soybean, Syngenta

D. Tony Franklin II, Director, Intel Internet of Things Group

Mike Macrie, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Land O’Lakes


The development of innovative technologies and the ability to derive useful analysis out of what were previously unmanageable volumes of raw data is changing the way agricultural commodities are produced, processed and transported at a rate faster than ever before. This panel discussion will explore:


  • Which cutting-edge technologies are likely to be adopted participants active across the agricultural value chain within the next three to five years and how will this change the way business is conducted?

  • What new opportunities and challenges will the adoption and integration of these new technologies bring to the industry?

  • Where is information technology and "big data" likely to have the biggest impact in terms of improving the production efficiency, sustainability, traceability and safety of food products?




The Impact of Weather on Global Agriculture

Corey Cherr, Head of Agriculture and Weather Research and Forecasts, Lanworth, Thomson Reuters


Corn, soybean and wheat prices are on the decline and impending El Niño conditions have the industry speculating on the consequences for the agricultural sector. Agricultural weather expert, Dr. Corey Cherr will share his insights about the expected impact of recent and forthcoming weather trends on global agricultural. 

  • What weather trends are you seeing in oilseed and grain origin markets?

  • What are the expected impacts of El Niño on global agriculture and the oilseed and grains sector in particular?

  • What impact is climate change having on weather patterns in origination markets?



10:30-11:15 - Coffee break




The Intersection of GeoPolitics, Global Trade and Agriculture

David Hightower, Founding Principal, The HighTower Report


Drawing on his more than 30 years of experience in commodity and financial futures markets, David Hightower, founding principal of The Hightower Report, will address how economic events and geopolitical trends are likely to affect the oilseed and feed grains markets in the near- and long-term. Known for his keen market insights and engaging presentation style, Hightower will provide useful perspectives for market players actively engaged in every stage of the supply chain.




Close of program