Ag Transportation Summit

Transportation Summit


Hosted by NGFA and the Soy Transportation Coalition and supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Ag Transportation Summit unites leaders from agricultural producer organizations, agribusinesses and government to focus on the importance of inland waterway, rail, truck and vessel transportation to the competitiveness and profitability of U.S. agriculture.

2015 Conference

This year’s conference is Aug 4-5, in Rosemont, Ill., and focuses on Transportation Capacity — Overcoming the Challenges. An agenda is being finalized, but below outlines who will be speaking from major rail companies, government agencies and international organizations.

For related information, see list of attendees or past conference program, or check out this year’s agenda and past presentations below.

2015 Draft Agenda

Some agenda items may change.

Tuesday, August 4

8-8:30 am: Welcome & Announcements

8:30-9:15 am: Keynote Address

  • Walter Kemmsies: Chief Economist, Moffatt& Nichol (confirmed)

9:15-10:45 am: Rail Officials Panel

  • John Miller: Group Vice President, Agricultural Products, BNSF Railway (confirmed)
  • Katherine Betsworth: Vice President, National Customer Service Center, Union Pacific Railroad (confirmed)
  • Eric Hendrickson: Director of Network Planning, CSX Transportation (confirmed)
  • Brad Yeatts: Director, AG, Norfolk Southern Railway (confirmed)
  • Mike Mohan: Assistant Vice President, Grain, Canadian National Railway (confirmed)
  • John Brooks: Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Bulk Commodities, Canadian Pacific Railway (confirmed)

11 am – Noon: Keynote Speaker

  • Richard Langer: Managing Director, Quetica LLC (confirmed)

12:00-1:00 pm: Lunch

1-2:30 pm: Panel on Port Infrastructure

  • Jon Gold: Vice President, Supply Chain and Customs Policy, National Retail Federation (confirmed)
  • Joe Schuele: Vice President, Communications, U.S. Meat Export Federation (confirmed)
  • Jim Walker: Director of Navigation Policy, American Association of Port Authorities (confirmed)

2:30-3:15 pm: Update on Issues before the Surface Transportation Board

  • The Honorable Deb Miller: Acting Chairman, Surface Transportation Board (confirmed)

3:30-4:15 pm: USDA’s Perspective on Agricultural Transportation Priorities

  • Bruce Blanton: Director, Transportation Services Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (confirmed)

4:15-5 pm: Update on the Panama Canal Expansion

  • Javier Ho: Specialist, Dry Bulk Segment, Panama Canal Authority (confirmed)

5-6 pm: Reception

Dinner on your own

Wednesday, August 5

7:30-8:30 am: Networking Continental Breakfast

8:30-10 am: Panel on Surface Transportation

  • Jon Samson: Executive Director, Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference, American Trucking Associations (confirmed)
  • Marcos Trujillo: American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (confirmed)
  • Arthur Scott: Associate Legislative Director, National Association of Counties (confirmed)

10:15-11:15 am: Panel on Inland Waterways

  • Moderator: Rick Calhoun: President, Cargo Carriers; Chairman, NGFA Waterborne Commerce Committee (confirmed)
  • Dan Mecklenborg: Chief Legal Officer, Ingram Barge Company
  • Rodney Weinzierl: Executive Director, Illinois Corn Growers Association Representative

11:15 am – Noon: Private Investment in Infrastructure: An Aspiration of Viable Option?

  • Richard Ornitz, Senior Counsel, McKenna, Long & Aldridge (confirmed)

Summit Concludes

Past Presentations

Keynote address

Panel on Surface Transportation Issues

Panel on Maritime Issues

Panel on Rail Issues

Status of Transportation Infrastructure Investment in Brazil

Panel on Containerized Shipping

Status of the Panama Canal Expansion

The Westin O’Hare
6100 North River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 698-6000

The rooms at the Westin O’Hare have sold out. We are suggesting people book at the Comfort Inn O’Hare, 2 miles from the Westin. The Comfort Inn has a complimentary shuttle to/from O’Hare airport and is also providing a complimentary shuttle to/from The Westin O’Hare for our conference attendees. Please call the Comfort Inn at 847-635-1300 and reference the Ag Transportation Summit to book your room.

Comfort Inn O’Hare
2175 E Touhy Ave.
Des Plaines, IL 60018


Register by July 8 to take advantage of the $265 early bird rate. Price goes up to $295 on July 9; on-site registration is $350.

Register Now

Payment Policies

REGISTRATION FEE: Includes all programs and course materials, a welcome reception on Aug. 4, 2015, the summit and breakfast.

PAYMENT POLICY: To qualify for Early Bird rates, payment must accompany registration and be received by July 8.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellations will be refunded in full if notification is received on or before July 8. Cancellation notices postmarked or received between July 9 and July 31 will be assessed a $100 administrative fee. No refunds will be provided to any person canceling or failing to give notice of cancellation after Aug 1. Registrant substitutions are welcome.

Learn more about NGFA’s position on ag transportation under key issues or from recent articles and press releases.