CANR Speaker Series

Challenges in American Agriculture: Trade, Water and Labor

Idaho cattle rancher Kim Brackett and California producer John Chandler headlined a Fall 2019 discussion on the regulatory, trade, water and labor challenges facing American agriculture. Thank you to former Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee for recruiting our speakers. 

About the speakers

Kim Brackett

Brackett Ranches Limited Partnership, owned and operated by Kim and Ira Brackett, is an Angus-based cow-calf and stocker operation in Idaho, Oregon and Nevada. The ranch focuses on raising high quality calves and either marketing high-end feeder cattle or finishing yearlings in custom feedlots. As an Eisenhower Fellow, Kim studied the role of regenerative agriculture in the cattle industries of Australia and Argentina. She is a former chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, prior to that she served on the Idaho Beef Council. Currently, she chairs the Cattle Industry Long Range Plan Task Force and serves on the Idaho Cattle Association Board of Directors.

John Chandler

For much of his life, Chandler has been at the center of agriculture, currently overseeing the operations of a 127-year-old family farm as a fourth-generation farmer. From DC's Capitol Hill to congressional campaigns in California's 21st District, Chandler has also followed his passion for public policy and politics. At the California State Senate Committee on Agriculture, Chandler contributed to the shaping of agricultural legislation in California, and his work as a field representative at the California Association of Water Agencies (ACWA) led to the establishment of the ACWA Outreach Award Program, raising local water agency involvement in the California legislature. Chandler used his fellowship in Australia and Chile to explore how water and agricultural labor shortages are addressed to begin an exchange of ideas and solutions to confront critical water and labor crises around the world.

Fall 2018: Building a Sustainable Agriculture

In the inaugural session of the UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Speaker Series, Bill Northey, U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, and Bill Couser, Iowa farm producer and owner of Couser Cattle Company, visited Newark for a discussion on farming, trade, biofuel and perspectives from Midwestern agriculture. The session was moderated by Ed Kee, UD's Executive in Residence and former Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary.

About the speakers

Before serving in a federal role, Bill Northey was the Secretary of Agriculture for the state of Iowa. He is a former president of the National Corn Growers Association and a fourth-generation corn and soybean farmer.

Bill Couser is an Iowa farmer who tills more than 5,000 acres, raises beef cattle, was an early advocate of the ethanol industry, and is a leader in adopting conversation practices that mitigate nutrient loading to Iowa’s streams and waterways.