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2020 Regional Economic Conditions Conference

January 9, 2020
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis  Minneapolis, Minnesota

2020 Regional Economic Conditions Conference
Beth Ford Photo

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis hosted our annual Regional Economic Conditions Conference on January 9, 2020. The half-day conference focused on state economic outlooks and key industry spotlights for the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, presented the keynote address, which was followed by a Q&A with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari. The conference also featured presentations and panel discussions with prominent economists from each district state whose work shapes local knowledge about regional economies and informs state-level public policy.

Watch the conference live stream archive (MT, ND, SD, MN, WI and MI presentations). 

Program Agenda

8:00 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast
8:30 a.m. Welcome and introduction [video]
Neel Kashkari, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
8:35 a.m. Keynote address [video]
Beth Ford, President & CEO, Land O'Lakes [slides]
9:30 a.m. Montana and South Dakota outlook with agriculture and health care spotlight [video]
Barbara Wagner, Chief Economist, State of Montana [slides]
Mark Quasney, State Economist, South Dakota Bureau of Finance and Management [slides]
10:20 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. North Dakota and Upper Peninsula of Michigan outlook with mining and energy spotlight [video]
Nancy Hodur, Director, Center for Social Research, North Dakota State University [slides]
Leonidas Murembya, Economic Specialist, Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives [slides]
11:20 a.m. Minnesota and Wisconsin outlook with manufacturing spotlight [video]
Steven Hine, Research Economist, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development [slides]
Taggert Brooks, Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse [slides]
12:15 p.m. Conference concludes

Keynote Speaker

Beth Ford serves as president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc., a Fortune 200 food production and agribusiness company that is also a nearly 100-year-old farmer-owned cooperative. Beth's 33-year career spans six industries at seven companies. Since joining Land O’Lakes in 2011, she has held a variety of roles leading the farmer-to-fork business offerings. Today, she is a passionate advocate on behalf of farmers and rural America with the goal of connecting people, particularly in urban areas, to the farmers and rural communities who grow their food.

A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Beth holds a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in business from Columbia University Business School. She also sits on the board of directors for the Fortune 150 company, PACCAR, Inc., and numerous other industry, nonprofit, and university boards.

Beth has recently been recognized by Fortune as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders and Most Powerful Women, was named to Fast Company’s Most Productive People and Best Leaders lists, and was named one of Time magazine’s “Firsts,” among other honors.


  • Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
  • Department of Economics, University of Minnesota
  • Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
  • Economic Club of Minnesota
  • Economic Development Association of Minnesota
  • Financial Executives International—Twin Cities Chapter
  • Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
  • Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota
  • Minnesota Bankers Association
  • Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • St. Paul Chamber of Commerce