October 3, 2023
With its $103 billion annual contribution to our state’s economy, agribusiness and agriculture helps drive a major share of North Carolina’s economic success — representing one-sixth of our state’s overall income. It is a powerhouse industry that continues to be a major employer for the state, providing jobs to 1 in 6 North Carolinians.*
Ranked 9th in the U.S. for value of agricultural products sold, the agriculture industry is and will remain critical to North Carolina’s reputation as an economic leader in the Southeast. However, farmers and agricultural businesses across the state recognize that they must adapt to a changing workforce, evolving technology, and the latest state and federal regulations to continue thriving within their sector. The NC Chamber’s Ag Allies Conference addresses these issues to ensure the industry as a whole can keep its wheels in motion for the continued prosperity of the state.
*Data derived from the North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Learn how the NC Chamber is advocating for our state’s agriculture and agribusiness communities here.
Tuesday, October 3
|7:30 am||Women in Ag Breakfast|
The NC Chamber is committed to curating events that drive expansion and success for businesses in our state. As a part of our esteemed Ag Allies Conference, we are introducing a special event this year dedicated to celebrating the significant contributions and achievements of women in the agribusiness industry. Join us for a dynamic conversation about how we can further promote and nurture the success of women in this field!
|8:30 am||Registration and Networking|
|9:00 am||Welcome Remarks|
|9:15 am||Global Economic Outlook for Ag|
Join us for a session featuring insights from one of the United States’ leading agricultural lending institutions. This presentation will offer valuable perspectives on the economic landscape of agriculture on both domestic and international fronts. We will examine the macro trends currently shaping the near-term prospects of the agricultural sector and those that will mold its longer-term future. We will review the implications of higher interest rates and the 2023 Farm Bill. Gain a deeper understanding of the global geopolitical forces that are affecting the American agricultural economy and discover strategies to mitigate their impacts or harness them to your advantage.
|10:00 am||The Future of Food|
Curious what the future of food holds for the United States and North Carolina? In this session, we will explore the dynamic forces steering the evolution of food, including the transformative influence of a diverse population, the ascent (or descent) of meat substitutes, the emergence of exotic ingredients, and the ever-heightening awareness of consumers. Hear from trailblazers who are bringing revolutionary products to a market ready to reward their creativity and innovation.
|10:45 am||Networking Break|
|11:15 am||Keynote Presentation: Ag of the Future|
Prepare to be captivated by Aiden Connolly, a dynamic speaker not afraid to challenge conventional agricultural thinking. Agriculture of tomorrow will demand fresh financial support mechanisms, revamped infrastructure, forward-thinking farmers, and innovative government policies. What does this vision entail, and how can North Carolina’s agribusiness community position itself to thrive in this transformative landscape? Aidan terms it “agri-food in evolution,” and in this session, we will explore his insights on a future agriculture marked by resource constraints and a growing global population in need of sustenance.
|1:00 pm||International Trade Issues|
With an impressive track record of involvement in numerous trade negotiations, industry associations, and a pivotal role in the USDA’s international agriculture operations, Sharon Bomer Lauritsen will share insights on the immediate future of agricultural trade and delve into the pressing questions confronting the modern trade landscape. In a world where globalization has undeniably benefited agriculture, we face challenges such as the enduring non-democratization stance of China, pervasive domestic agriculture protectionism in various nations, and the prevalence of non-tariff trade barriers that hinder the establishment of a rule-based international trading order. We will explore what lies ahead in the realm of trade and why these developments are unfolding as they are.
|1:45 pm||Closing Remarks|