The thirty members of the 2014 Class of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) successfully completed a seminar on “Economics & the Marketplace” held in Chicago. The three-day event was sponsored by Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation Board Member Richard Ryan, and featured visits to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business, and CME Group.
There were 13 educational sessions during the seminar. The first day was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago where Bill Testa, Vice President and Director of Regional Research reviewed an “Economic Forecast & Discussion of Fed Policy.” David Oppedahl, a Federal Reserve Business Economist, led a session on “The Role of the Federal Reserve in the Marketplace.” The day concluded with a discussion of “Option Terminology, the Basics of Options and Option Strategies” led by Peter Lusk from The Options Institute of the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
The second day of the seminar was held at the world-renown University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business. The university is located in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood of the South Side and is the home of more Nobel Laureates in economics than any other institution in the world. Following a welcome session by Dr. Sunil Kumar, Dean of the Booth School of Business, Dr. Harry Davis led a discussion focusing on his research on how companies select leaders for their management teams. Dr. Steven Davis, Deputy Dean for Faculty, reviewed his research on “Economic Policy Uncertainty,” which validates the notion of and potential causes of the high level of economic uncertainty in the United States at this time. Dr. Chad Syverson spoke about quantifying effective and efficient health care in his presentation “Healthcare Exceptionalism? Productivity & Allocation in the U.S. Healthcare Sector.”
The day concluded with two presentations on markets and regulation. Dr. Tobias Moskowitz spoke about “The Political Economy of Financial Regulation: Evidence from the 19th Century” and Dr. Michael Gibbs led a discussion of the question “What’s So Great About Markets?”
The third day of the seminar was held at the Chicago Board of Trade Building. Tim Andriesen, Managing Director of Agricultural Commodities and Alternative Investments for CME Group, spoke about “The Role of CME Group Markets in the Global Food Industry and Food Security.” Following a visit to the trading floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, seminar participants learned of the “Latest Grain Risk Management Tools: Non-Standard Options” from Susan Sutherland, Senior Director of Grain and Oilseed Products at CME. Thomas Clark, Director of Agricultural Products, spoke about “Risk Management in Livestock Markets” and Dave Lehman, Managing Director of Commodity Research and Product Development outlined “The Role of the Speculator in Price Discovery.”
“This is an outstanding opportunity for our participants to learn from the experts in the fields of economics, economic policy and options and futures trading,” said Don Norton, President & CEO of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation. “We’re grateful to our board member, Richard Ryan, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Federal Reserve and CME Group for providing this opportunity.”
The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program is a two-year comprehensive education series that develops knowledgeable and effective leaders to become policy and decision makers for the agricultural industry. The program is funded by the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation, a non-profit organization comprising individuals, companies, organizations and institutional partners. Program participants are selected from diverse backgrounds in Illinois agriculture, and program graduates have attained the highest level positions in the nation’s leading agribusiness corporations.