Release: 5489-08
For Release: April 21, 2008

Agriculture Forum Agenda and Participant Details Released

Washington, DC – Today, the CFTC released the agenda and the names of participants for the April 22 agriculture forum.

“These are extraordinary times in the agricultural commodity markets, and this forum is designed to bring all the different voices and views from around the marketplace together for discussion and consideration,” said CFTC Acting Chairman Walt Lukken. “The CFTC keeps a watchful eye on the markets and the upcoming forum will provide critical fact-finding and dialogue so we may better understand and evaluate the inter-related factors impacting the futures markets."

The forum is being held in the CFTC Hearing Room in Washington, D.C. It begins at 9 a.m. on April 22, 2008 – doors open at 8:30 a.m. Agenda and participant details are listed below:

I. Agenda

9:00-9:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks

9:30-10:00 a.m.

Presentation: John Fenton; Dave Kass; Gerald Bange

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Roundtable Discussion:
Price Discovery in the Agriculture Futures Markets


    a. Overview of fundamentals in markets

    b. Role of speculators, index funds and commercial hedgers

    c. The adequacy of transparency in the markets

    d. The adequacy of contract terms and conditions

11:00 -11:15 a.m.


11:15-11:45 a.m.

Presentation: Dr. Jeffrey Harris; Dr. Eugene Kunda

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Roundtable Discussion:
Hedging in the Agricultural Futures Markets


    a. Convergence of futures and cash prices

    b. Forward contracting in the current markets

    c. Role of agricultural swaps and other risk management tools

12:30 -1:30 p.m.

Lunch Break

1:30-2:00 p.m.

Presentation: Andrew Jacob; Esther George

2:00-2:45 p.m.

Roundtable Discussion:
Margin Levels (Performance Bond) and Agricultural Credit


    a. Role of margin and the clearing system

    b. Overview of agricultural credit and record margin levels

    c. Proper determination of margin

    d. Price limits and margin levels

    e. Credit market conditions and lending outlook

2:45-3:00 p.m.

Q&A; Concluding Remarks

II. Agriculture Forum Participants

Government/Academic Participants:


CFTC Acting Chairman and Commissioners

Mark Keenum, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Leland Strom, Farm Credit Administration

Jeff Harris, Commodity Futures Trading Commission

John Fenton, Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Dave Kass, Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Gerald Bange, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Esther George, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Eugene Kunda, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Andrew Jacob, Farm Credit Administration

Invited Roundtable Participants:


Charlie Carey, CME Group

David Lehman, CME Group

Thomas Farley, ICE Futures, U.S.

Layne Carlson, Minneapolis Grain Exchange

Roger Hipwell, Minneapolis Grain Exchange

Seaver Sowers, American Bankers Association

Samuel Miller, American Bankers Association

John Kowalik, CalPERS

Doug Hepworth, Gresham Investment Management LLC

Bob Greer, PIMCO

Robert Ellis, Ridgefield Capital

Billy Dunavant, Dunavant Enterprises

Andy Weil, American Cotton Shippers’ Association

Joe Nicosia, American Cotton Shippers’ Association

Chuck Coley, National Cotton Council of America

Woods Eastland, AMCOT

Wallace Darnielle, AMCOT

Tom Coyle, National Grain and Feed Association

Jerry McReynolds, National Association of Wheat Growers

Diana Klemme, Grain Service Corporation

Garry Niemeyer, National Corn Growers Association

Luke Lind, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Steve Wellman, American Soybean Association

Tom Buis, National Farmers Union

Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation

Mike Walter, Commodity Markets Council

David Brown, American Bakers Association

John Popp, Independent Bakers Association

Jim Byrum, Michigan Agri-business Council

Justin Towery, USA Rice Federation

Media Contacts
Ianthe Zabel

R. David Gary

Last Updated: April 21, 2008