Is a bubble developing in the agricultural sector that could lead to a collapse of the sector comparable to the very painful crash in the early to mid-1980s? The FDIC is sponsoring a symposium to explore that very issue and you are welcome to attend (see below).

Don’t Bet The Farm: Assessing the Boom in U.S. Farmland Prices
A Symposium Hosted by the FDIC on Thursday, March 10, 2011

L. William Seidman Center, 3501 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia


Since 2000, U.S. farmland values have roughly doubled in nominal terms and have risen 58 percent after inflation. A favored asset class in an era of high commodity prices and ample liquidity, U.S. farmland is attracting heightened interest on the part of local farmers and international investors alike, pushing prices to all-time highs.

Is this another asset bubble similar to residential real estate or dot-com equities before it? Or does this represent a reordering of relative asset prices that reflects long-term changes in global economic fundamentals? Private sector risk management and governmental financial stability policy both require answers to these questions.

Panel experts will consider the rise in farmland values from the perspectives of agricultural operators, agriculture lenders, capital markets, financial regulation, and government agricultural policy. There is no cost for this event, but pre-registration is required and space is limited.

Click here to register:


7:45 a.m. Check in and continental breakfast

8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks

  • Sheila C. Bair, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

8:50 a.m. Panel 1: How Concerned Should We Be About Farmland Prices?

  • Senior Government Economist – To Be Determined
  • Brent Gloy, Associate Professor and Associate Director of Research, Center for Food and Agricultural Business, Purdue University
  • Shonda Warner, Managing Partner, Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners (a privately owned farmland REIT)
  • Brian C. Briggeman, Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Omaha Branch

10:00 a.m. Reflections on the Agricultural Crisis of the 1980s and Its Effect on Lenders

  • William M. Isaac, Chairman, LECG Global Financial Services, formerly Chairman, FDIC

10:20 a.m. Panel 2: How Are Lenders and Operators Managing Potential Risks?

  • Matthew H. Williams, President, Gothenburg State Bank, Gothenburg, NE
  • Kenneth J. Keegan, Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, Farm Credit Services of America
  • Jim Farrell, AFM, President and CEO, Farmers National Company

11:15 a.m. Brief Closing Remarks