NDSU sets conference on ag product handling and transportation

Farm Forum

A conference, Post-harvest Handling and Transportation for Agricultural Products: Issues and Alternatives, will be held Dec. 8-9 at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo.

The purpose of the conference is to identify important and emerging issues related to transporting agricultural products from North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana to final domestic and international markets and to discuss alternative solutions.

Hosting the event are North Dakota U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven, along with Won Koo, North Dakota State University Center for Agricultural Policy and Trade Studies director.

“This conference is the first forum to bring together decision makers from the public sector, railroad industry executives, leaders of commodity groups and farm organizations, agricultural producers and academics to discuss the needs of an efficient agricultural transportation system in the northern Plains,” says Koo.

The main topics to be discussed in the conference include:

• Problems and issues in transporting agricultural products from the producing regions to domestic and foreign markets

• Transporting and handling grains, minor crops and processed food

• Emerging issues with shipping crude oil, ethanol and coal

• Implications of agricultural transportation on farm income

• How to improve the agricultural transportation system

In addition, a panel will discuss unique issues and challenges northern Plains agriculture could face in the near future and solutions for those involved in the complex agricultural transportation system.

Along with Sens. Hoeven and Heitkamp, other invited speakers include:

• Daniel Elliott, Surface Transportation Board chairman

• Edward Avalos, U.S. Department of Agriculture Marketing and Regulatory Programs undersecretary

• Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Canadian Pacific railroad executives

• Bruce Blanton, USDA Agricultural Transportation Service director

• Commodity group and farm organization leaders

• Kevin Cramer, U.S. House of Representatives

The conference registration fee is $125 until Nov. 15 and $150 after that date. The registration includes meals, breaks and conference materials. For more information or to register, go to