Agriculture, crude oil and the transportation needed to move it were analyzed and discussed heavily during a conference this week in Fargo, N.D., according to The Daily News in Wahpeton, N.D. and Breckenridge, Minn. The objectives that need to be sought include better coordination in transportation and logistics throughout the supply chain and an improved communication between railroads, grain merchandisers and farmers.
The multitude of different commodities in the South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota region was discussed by farm experts, including Bruce Blanton, director of the Agriculture Transportation Service for the USDA; William Wilson, North Dakota State University distinguished professor of agribusiness and applied economics, Robert Sinner, president of SB&B Food; and Eric Bartsch, general manager of AGT Foods.
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., served as the moderator for a panel that featured Edward Avalos, under-secretary for marketing and regulatory for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Daniel Elliott, chairperson for the Surface Transportation Board at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The panel discussed how federal agencies have responded and plans to continue to address the transportation situation.
To read the entire article, click HERE.
Editor’s Insight: Such conferences play an important role in strengthening the supply chain, not just for the growers and shippers, but for the public at large. The transportation and logistics problems facing growers and shippers ultimately affect food prices. The rail car shortage and the rising cost of rail freight in this region have emerged as pressing problems for farmers.
The agriculture and transportation industries have done a good job making elected officials aware of issues that affect the public. With industry, government and academia working together, transportation and logistics challenges can be addressed.
This article also demonstrates the important role the media plays in addressing transportation and logistics issues. By raising the visibility of these issues, the general public gains a better understanding of how transportation and logistics impact their wellbeing. The conference organizers did a good job reaching out to the local media. By Elliot Maras 12-12-14