The official kick-off event at NGFA’s 122nd Annual Convention is the Transportation Open Forum, where industry and government leaders will discuss the latest trends and challenges for the nation’s surface transportation.
NGFA’s 1,050 member companies operate about 7,000 facilities throughout the nations, and annually handle, market, process and export 70 percent of the U.S. grain and oilseed crop. Because efficient surface and waterways transportation is essential to a functioning grain market, the NGFA advocates marketplace freedoms for all modes of transportation with proper safeguards to protect grain shippers/receivers, agricultural producers and the public when adequate competition does not exist. The NGFA’s annual Transportation Open Forum provides an opportunity for dialogue between transportation authorities and NGFA member company leaders.
Featured Speakers and Sessions:
Deb Miller, vice chairman of the Surface Transportation Board, will discuss STB’s priorities in the coming year, including getting a full complement of Board members. Miller, a Democrat from Kansas, is the Board’s 12th Member since the agency’s inception in 1996. Miller most recently served as a senior consultant with Cambridge Systematics, Inc., a firm specializing in transportation planning and policy, primarily for public-sector clients. From 2003 to 2011, she was the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation (Kansas DOT). She has the distinction of being the longest-serving Secretary of Transportation in Kansas history.
Michael Rutherford, vice president of merchandise sales and marketing at CSX, will provide an update on the company’s implementation of its precision scheduled railroad model, share his perspective on the rail industry and its future, as well as CSX’s views on future demand growth for rail service from various market sectors, including agriculture and food products. Attendees should also expect to partake in a discussion about major public policy challenges confronting the rail industry.
Derek Leathers, president and chief executive officer of Werner Enterprises, will address technological innovation in the trucking industry, trends shaping the motor carrier industry’s future, regulatory challenges, and public policy changes needed to enhance the efficiency of the trucking sector. Leathers has 25 years of experience in the transportation and logistics industry and more than 17 years of leadership experience with Werner.
“Inland Waterways/Ports – How They Fare in Infrastructure Package,” featuring Deb Calhoun, senior vice president at the Waterways Council Inc., and Bobby Frederick, NGFA’s director of legislative affairs and public policy.