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Food and Agribusiness Webinars

Webinar Series Produced by University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Host and Interviewer

Bobby Coats - Professor, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness 

Executive Producer 

Mary Poling – Coordinator of Interactive Communications, Office of Information Technology, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Evolving Global Weather Patterns Influencing Today’s Commodity Market Prices

by Bobby Coats - February 8, 2018

Description: The global commodity markets are approaching a period of increasing volatility, rice and grains seemingly leading the way.  The coming Grand Solar Minimum effects on U.S. and global commodity markets are going to rock the idea of market normalcy, due to enhanced shifts in weather patterns. In addition, maintaining political stability in key global rice production regions is a concern along with Thai rice stock depletion going into 2018. How this effects the global commodity price trends and the overall industry are questions to be addressed .


Jeremy Zwinger, CEO/President of The Rice Trader, Farm and Trade Inc, and Internatinal Commodity Institute

Mr. Jeremy Zwinger is the CEO / President of The Rice Trader, Farm and Trade Inc., and International Commodity Institute 530-345-4140,

A regular participant at international rice events and conferences, Mr. Zwinger has, over the years, contributed extensively on the analysis of rice markets by analyzing inter-commodity effects (wheat, corn, soybeans, sugar, etc.), as well as currency and oil price led impacts on the rice markets.

Mr. Zwinger has extensive experience that extends globally in the fields of publishing, brokerage, water trading, advisement, production financing, and consultancy services to a number of internationally respected players, including several Fortune 500 companies.  More recently, he has become extensively involved on globally critical topics such as water rights and value, food security issues, international production financing, global investment strategies with a focus on the commodity fields, market development strategies, and the coming solar cycle which is likely to lead to major global issues on a multitude of levels.



Shawn Hackett, Commodities Expert, President & Founder, Hackett Financial Advisors

Shawn Hackett, Commodities Expert, President & Founder, Hackett Financial Advisors 561.573.3766,

A frequent contributor to Barron’s, Futures Magazine, Reuters and Bloomberg, commodities expert Shawn Hackett has dedicated his life to educating industry leaders about financial management and the commodities market. Shawn, author of the Hackett Commodity Report, makes hard-to-understand concepts easily digestible to a wide audience.

His vast knowledge includes topics such as:
Agricultural Commodities/Grain Markets (corn, soybean complex, all wheat markets and rice), Soft Commodity Markets (cocoa, coffee, cotton, sugar, orange juice and lumber), Livestock (cattle, hogs and milk)


Horizon Ag: Future Driven, Farmer Focused

by Bobby Coats - January 25, 2018

Description: A much-needed partner for Clearfield rice will finally be planted commercially in 2018.  It has been almost 20 years since the launch of Clearfield rice.  A companion technology is long overdue as is evidenced by a growing problem of imidazolinone-resistant red rice and weedy rice.  BASF and the LSU AgCenter partnered to develop the first Provisia rice variety (PVL01) that is tolerant to Provisia herbicide.  Horizon Ag has been the exclusive partner to BASF for Clearfield pureline rice in the southern USA since the launch of Clearfield.  The strength of the partnership was shown as Horizon will be the first to launch Provisia rice to the industry in 2018.  It is anticipated that approximately 100K acres will benefit from the exciting new technology in 2018.  Fields in Southwest Louisiana, Northeast Arkansas, and Southeast Arkansas in general have the greatest need for the technology.  Because of the efficacy of the Provisia herbicide, many fields that have become overgrown with the weedy rice complex will look like rice fields again in 2018.  This presentation will provide insight on the role Horizon Ag played in bringing this technology to market, but even more so in how to keep both technologies viable for years to come.


Dr. Tim Walker, General Manager, Horizon Ag

Dr. Tim Walker became the general manager of Horizon Ag in March 2014.  Before Horizon Walker most recently served as Extension rice specialist for Mississippi State University, working from the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, Miss. He also served as research professor for agronomy and breeding, where he worked on developing elite rice germplasm and cultivars for the university. Walker, who grew up on a farm in Mississippi, holds a doctoral degree in agronomy from Mississippi State University. He has authored many research papers on rice agronomic practices and is one of the premier rice specialists working in U.S. rice.  Walker is also a graduate of the class of 2005 Rice Leadership Development Program, and a participant in the 2011 and 2017 International Rice Leadership Development Program. He was named the 2012 Rice Researcher of the Year at the Conservation Tillage Cotton and Rice Conference.  He currently resides in Hernando, Mississippi, where he and his wife Peyton are rearing their three children.


Dec. 2017 Baseline Projects of Economic Viability for Crop, Dairy, and Beef Cattle

by Bobby Coats - January 18, 2018

Description: Professor Richardson discussed their “Baseline Outlook” for the cash-flow and equity position for 90 representative farms the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) maintains.  Price and inflation rate projections used in the analysis come from the December Baseline developed by FAPRI. The data for the representative farms comes from interviews with panels of farmers in major production regions across the United States.  The outlook for the farms’ cash-flows is presented in terms of the probability that the farms will have a positive cash-flow after paying all cash expenses, machinery replacement, principal payments, taxes and family living expenses.


Dr. James Richardson, Co-Director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, Texas A&M AgriLife Senior Faculty Fellow &  Senior Regents Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M UniversityDr. James W. Richardson received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University in 1978 and joined the Texas A&M Department of Agricultural Economics in 1978 where he teaches risk analysis and conducts research on farm policy, risk analysis, and the economic feasibility of alternative feedstocks for renewable fuels.  He is best known for his farm level policy analysis research that is used by Congress to compare the impacts of alternative farm program options and for his work in simulation modeling. 






RiceTec's Gumina on The Evolution of Hybrid Rice

by Bobby Coats - January 11, 2018

Description: In this presentation we chart the evolution of hybrid rice development starting with the fundamental need for more calories in China during the 1970s. We explain the 20 year journey of the germplasm development to the meet the needs of western hemisphere markets. The program provides an update on the global adoption of hybrid rice in production systems. We give an update on the effort and progress on improving grain quality in conjunction with high yields and the grower’s role in driving quality. Finally we provide a view on how hybrid breeding can tailor grain quality to meet the needs of specific markets and how that will improve overall competitiveness for US exports.


Michael A. Gumina, Global CEO RiceTec AGMr. Gumina has been engaged with production agriculture and the seed industry for over 35 years. He is currently the lead executive for RiceTec AG which is a privately held, leading global hybrid rice seed business.

Prior to joining RiceTec, Mr. Gumina was an executive with DuPont Pioneer where he was responsible for global seed production operations and a member of several key global and regional management teams.

Mr. Gumina has played an active role in the broad seed industry as a member of the American Seed Trade Association Board of Directors (Chairman 2011/2012) and the International Seed Federation Board of Directors.

Mr. Gumina has been a member of numerous non-profit boards and advisory panels including the Iowa State Seed Science Center, Iowa 4H Foundation, ChildServe and most recently the First the Seed Foundation.

Mr. Gumina is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Agronomy.

UA System Division of Agriculture Rice Breeding Program

by Bobby Coats - November 30, 2017

Description: Arkansas’ Senior Rice Plant Breeder Dr. Karen Moldenhauer discusses her Rice Plant Breeding Program as well as the University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture’s Rice Breeding Program


Karen MoldenhauerDr. Karen  Moldenhauer is a Professor of Crops, Soils, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arkansas and a holder of the Rice Industry Chair for Variety Development. She belongs to the University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture, Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

Gene Editing Technology & New Opportunities for Plant Breeding

by Bobby Coats - November 16, 2017 














Description: This webinar provides an overview of new gene editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 and their potential impact on the future of plant breeding. Gene editing offers greater precision and speed compared to conventional breeding and previous biotechnological approaches, and opens new opportunities for scientific discovery. Current and prospective applications, and technical and consumer acceptance challenges will be discussed.


Jeremy Edwards, Research Plant Molecular Geneticist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research CenterJeremy D. Edwards is a Research Plant Molecular Geneticist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Stuttgart, AR. His research involves the use of genomics, bioinformatics, and big data to facilitate gene discovery and to develop technology for accelerated rice breeding. He has a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Cornell University and a B.S. in Horticultural Science from the University of Florida.

U.S. Rice Market Faces Tighter Supplies and Higher Prices in 2017/18

by Bobby Coats - October 26, 2017













Description: Nathan Childs will explain the reasons behind and implications of the expected decline in U.S. rice supplies in 2017/18 on prices, trade, and use. In addition, major factors driving the global rice market and recent global price movements will be analyzed. The presentation will be based on updated forecasts from the October 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.


Nathan ChildsNathan Childs is a senior economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service in Washington, DC.  He is responsible for ERS’s domestic and global rice outlook program, routinely working with a multi-agency committee to develop monthly supply and use estimates.  Nathan writes a monthly Rice Outlook Report, updates Yearbook Tables, makes numerous outlook presentations, and has participated in several internationally-focused research projects.  He has a PH.D. in Applied Economics from Clemson University, Masters in Security Studies from Georgetown, and a B.S. in Economics from Clemson University.  Nathan was in the S.C. Army National Guard in the 1980s.


The Agricultural Policy and Market Outlook: What now

by Bobby Coats - October 5, 2017














Description: Westhoff will report on the latest FAPRI market projections and discuss some of the factors that will drive markets in the months and years ahead. He’ll also talk about recent policy developments and the next farm bill debate, and will try to give an idea of what could happen and what it might mean.


Pat Westhoff, Director Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the Univeristy of Missouri-Columbia and Professor, MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Ecomomics Patrcik Westhoff is the director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri–Columbia and a professor in the MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. He has degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University. He served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, and was an economist with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry before joining MU in 1996.