Logistics and Food Systems

Food Supply System Map

The Upper Midwest continues to lead the nation in farming and ranching. As a large exporter, the region must continue to embrace transformation in a highly complex and dynamic logistics and supply chain environment. The Veden Center provides training, webinars and consulting services to communities, businesses and groups that wish to grow with the region. 

Supply Chain Video Series

2023 Series

Video 43 -- Why are eggs so expensive?

This video explores why eggs have become so expensive. An avian flu, coupled with inflationary pressures and public policy have resulted in major price increases in eggs whereas egg farmers continue to feel pressure from both disease and workforce challenges.

Video 44 -- The future of biofuels

The future of biofuels shows tremendous promise, especially as it relates to reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere. There are new demands projected for these biofuels, most notably sustainable aviation fuel or SAF; this video describes the future use of crops that support the aviation sector.

Video 45 -- Farming opportunities for carbon management and developing new revenue streams

Dr. James Leiman joins Dr.  John Reilly, former  Co-Director of the MIT Joint Program and an energy, environmental, and agricultural economist on topics concerning farming opportunities for carbon management and developing new revenue streams.

Video 46 -- Artificial Intelligence and the Farming Community

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly transforming the way in which farms and supporting industry are being managed. New capabilities are enabling more efficient operations and higher yields as a result, learn how this is happening in real-time.

Video 47 -- American Drought Update

Update on the American drought situation and its impact on communities and commodities across the nation. The situation appears to be improving in most of the country while getting worse in the Great Plains.

Video 48 -- Domestic Food Security Update

Update on domestic food security as a result of inflation and the reduction of federal nutrition benefit programming. Inflation and fewer benefits and tax breaks available to lower income Americans may create a food bank crisis.

Video 49 -- Agricultural Impact on Snow Melt Delay

The impact on agriculture should the snow melt delay continue through April and potentially be felt into May. How might the late onset of spring impact yields, soil health, flooding as well as regional economics?

Video 50 -- Where do food dollars go?

Where do food dollars go? With rising costs, a dynamic market, pandemic, and war, the food dollar is in a constant state of fluctuation. Learn where your hard earned money goes and how it is spent and distributed within this paradigm.  

Video 51 -- AI and Reduction of Global Food Insecurity

Where do food dollars go? With rising costs, a dynamic market, pandemic, and war, the food dollar is in a constant state of fluctuation. Learn where your hard earned money goes and how it is spent and distributed within this paradigm.

Video 52 -- AI and Influence on Farming

Artificial Intelligence’s influence on farming, how it is improving crop yields as well as agricultural operations at the farm level. Although growing rapidly to support supply chain and logistics management, AI does come with concerns.

Video 53 -- Ukrainian wheat situation

Update on Ukrainian wheat situation, recent bans by EU states, a tentative deal and how this will impact global wheat and grain pricing.

Video 54 -- Upper Midwest Planting and Commodities Progress Update

Update on Upper Midwest planting conditions, the impact on commodities in the region, as well as how the late start may impact crop yields for Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Video 55 -- Agricultural Impact on Seven State Deal with Colorado River

Seven western states have struck a deal on Colorado River water allocations which will likely have a major impact on agriculture. Impacts include reduced production as well as long-term legal challenges that may ensue given the deviation from traditional western water legal practices.

Video 56 -- 2023 Farm Income Forecasts for Upper Midwest

2023 farm income forecasts demonstrating that after major increases in revenues over the last two years, markets for a variety of major crops produced in the Upper Midwest will experience a decline in overall prices. In the aggregate, the sector remains very profitable and stable but production costs continue to increase.

Video 57 -- US Food Insecurity post COVID-19

Update on food insecurity in the United States following the pandemic. After decades of improvements in food security efforts, the pandemic slowed progress for the United States. In 2023, food insecurity appears to be worsening due to higher costs for food and other factors that influence access to nutrition.

Video 58 -- 2022 US Crop Loss Recap

2022 was noted as one of the worst crop lost years on record yielding over $22B in damage across the United States. Join us in exploring what the causes were, where many of the crop losses were located and which types of events are costing producers more money.

Video 59 -- El Nino - Ag Production Benefit or Suffer?

What is El Nino? We hear so much about this weather phenomenon yet so few of us know what it is, how it will impact the climate of our region and subsequently, how agricultural producers will either benefit or suffer.

Video 60 -- Ogallala Aquifer Importance

What is the Ogallala Aquifer and why is it so important to the long-term viability of Midwestern farming and the nation's food system. Join Dr. Leiman to learn more about the Ogallala and its rapid depletion and how it will impact local economies in the years to come.

Video 61 -- Grand Farm's Agricultural Impacts

Interview with Dr. William Aderholdt, Director of the Grand Farm. In this interview we discuss how the Grand Farm is facilitating agricultural advancements in the region and beyond and we learn how this innovative team has already successfully engaged in over 700 projects accelerating agricultural advancements across the globe.

Video 62 -- Effects of the Ukrainian and Russian Grain Deal Expiration

As the Ukrainian and Russian grain deal is set to expire, there are a number of challenges to not only extending the deal but moving grain through facilities throughout Eastern and Central Europe. These negotiations could have major implications on grain markets as well as prices for domestic producers as well as consumers.

Video 63 -- How Climate Change affects U.S. Food Production

Rising sea temperatures are beginning to have an adverse impact on agriculture as well as aquaculture production. Learn how climate change is impacting food production in the United States as well as other food producing regions throughout the world.

Video 64 -- Private Industry Leading the way in Regenerative Agricultural Practices

Regenerative agricultural practices have become increasing popular in recent years. Learn why private industry is taking the lead in this space and how these practices may influence consumer preferences moving forward.


Video 65 -- Global Pressures on Wheat Market

Following the collapse of the Ukraine-Russian grain deal, global pressures in wheat markets are occurring once again. Droughts and high heat are also impacting production but there are bright spots, e.g. Argentina, that are producing more grain thereby relieving pressure. Coupled with other factors, the impact on wheat trade may not be as dire as this time last year.


Video 66 -- Farm Labor Shortage Update

An update on the farm labor shortage, why it continues and where both private industry and policy makers can invest to improve conditions as well as productivity.

Video 67 -- America’s Climate-Smart Program

America’s Climate-Smart Program and how it will influence agricultural practices as well as investment in smart tech, new farming practices, as well as sustainable commodity production. To date, approximately $3B has been invested across the nation as public-private partnerships accelerate adapting to new climate realities.

Video 68 -- Effects Global Wildfires on Agriculture

Following the Maui fire and major Albertan crises, it has become evident that wildfires are having major impacts on agriculture. This video explores global wildfire trends and their impact on production of crops and economies.

Video 69 -- Agricultural Industry and Major Storm Events

How does the agricultural industry prepare for major storm events like hurricanes? As Hurricane Idalia approaches Florida and Georgia, farmers and ranchers are preparing for major damage. Join us as we discuss the likely impact associated with this major storm.

Video 70 -- Globe Ground Water and Climate Change/Sea Level Rise

The world’s axis has been tilted by overuse and depletion of the globe’s groundwater systems. Various parts of the planet face major risks and pressures and it is becoming increasingly evident that depletion is contributing to climate change and sea level rise.

Video 71 -- Organic Farming Trends

Trends driving organic farming point to major growth beyond the $60B industry; join us as we explore growth trends and opportunities in the organic farming space and how it is impacting farming practices throughout the United States.

Video 72 -- Night Farming

Night farming is becoming a growing trend within agricultural communities throughout the United States. After the hottest summer on record, farmers are changing practices to beat the heat, save money on electricity and water, and improve the utilization of resources.

Video 73 -- Vertical Farming

An update on vertical farming; as the industry is being right sized, vertical farming continues to grow, especially in areas with high rates of commercial property vacancy and food deserts. Join us to see where this industry is heading and how it may help feed the world.

2022 Series

Video 26 -- Supply Chain Series 2022

Video 27 -- Supply Chain Series 2022

Video 28 -- Supply Chain Series 2022

Video 29 -- Supply Chain Series 2022: COVID-19, congestion at ports, and high prices for containers
COVID-19, congestion at ports, and high prices for containers continue to impact the agricultural community. This video explores what is causing many of these challenges as shippers are unable to access containers to move their product to global markets.

Video 30 -- Supply Chain Series 2022: Precision Agriculture Cyber Vulnerabilities
In mid-May 2022, the FBI issued a warning concerning cyber vulnerabilities within precision agriculture. This video explains those warnings and potential supply chain shocks that can occur in the event of a disruption caused by a cyber attack.

Video 31 -- Supply Chain Series 2022: 2022 Drought Forecast
This video provides an update to the drought forecast for 2022 and how the Midwest as well as Southwestern agricultural communities will be impacted by drought. This also provides a synopsis on the impact to global commodity prices.

Video 32 -- Supply Chain Series 2022: Update on Global Grain Situtation
June 2022 update on the global grain situation as it pertains to supply and demand, the conflict in Ukraine, and what to anticipate over the next 12 months as a result of drought, production, bumper crops, and anticipated international agreements. 

Video 33 -- How Interest Rate Increases Impact Farming Operations
This video explores recent interest rate increases and their impact on farming operations. This includes land values, input costs, the ability to manage operating loans, and projected impacts.

Video 34 -- Current Grain Storage Situation in Ukraine
This video explores the current grain storage situation in Ukraine, its implication on regional and global markets, assistance from neighboring countries as well as options to move the product out of the region during conflict.

Video 35 -- Food Waste
Quantifies and explores food waste, its impact on the environment and the opportunities that are being lost as a result. This video also quantifies waste’s impact and offers more effective solutions for producers and processors.

Video 36 -- United Nations and Turkey Wheat Deal
This video examines the recent deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey concerning releasing 25MM tons of wheat that have been trapped in Ukraine. It also highlights how global prices of commodities will be impacted. 

Video 37 -- July Heatwave Impact on Farmers
July 2022's heatwave has impacted farmers throughout the nation and the world. This video explores high heat and drought as well as its impact on domestic crop production and overseas growing seasons. 

Video 38 -- Vertical Farming
How vertical farming is changing agricultural practices across the Midwest and Western states. Improvements in supply chains and logistics networks, deficits in energy uses in markets such as California.

Video 39 -- Agricultural Issues through 2023
This video forecasts a variety of agricultural issues through 2023. Extreme weather, inflation, and conflict continue to take its toll on most commodities as well as consumers.

Video 40 -- Commodity Prices affected by Climate Change and Droughts
This video explores climate change and existing droughts throughout the world and their impact on commodities and people. It emphasizes impact on commodity prices.

Video 41 -- United States Drought Impact on Agriculture
This video explores the drought in the United States and its impact on agriculture in the United States. It focuses primarily on the Midwest and Western United States.

Video 42 -- Food inflation recap for 2022
This video explores the food inflation recap for 2022 as a result of supply chain disruptions, monetary policy, weather events, and continued conflict in Ukraine

2021 Series

Also see our Supply Chain Series 2021 in Español

Videos 15 - 21

Video 22 -- Farming implements, driving up costs of inputs across farming communities in the Upper Midwest
This video focused on the various inputs for farmers that have been impacted by supply chain disruptions. This includes but is not limited to used farm tools, various inputs to include seeds and fertilizer as well as energy. 

Video 23 -- Ag manufacturing and its impact on supply chains throughout the nation
The ag manufacturing supply chain was impacted by container shortages, disruptions in production capacity both domestically and internationally and other factors that have influenced farming costs. Some costs are the highest in recorded history, even when inflation is accounted for. 

Video 24 -- Drought impact on the agriculture supply chain
The Upper Midwest has been impacted by a severe drought which has impacted farming operations throughout the region. This has impacted various supply chain verticals thereby straining the system. Commodity price volatility, high transportation costs and unreliable precipitation has created very difficult conditions for Upper Midwestern farmers. 

Video 25 -- Ag labor and impact on overall ag economy
Labor continues to impact the ag economy. Wage inflation is at its highest in four decades creating difficult situations for farmers across the country. The issue is not relegated to issues on the farm as it is equally as accurate within processing facilities and manufacturers.

2020 Series
Angie Pommerening

"I've been wanting to add a supply chain unit into my Animal Science curriculum and this will help. It's also so exciting for me as I am a UMC graduate in the first Ag Ed class.  Seeing great things coming out of UMC and putting it on the map is amazing.  I briefly looked over your website and you are doing great work."
- Angie Pommerening

Videos 1 -3 --Fundamentals of supply chains
The global supply chain is a highly sophisticated grouping of production, distribution and transportation systems. This primer introduces how the web of supply and demand influences the movement of products and how COVID-19 impacted the nation’s production and distribution capacity.

Video 4 -- Meat supply chains
The meat supply chain was impacted by COVID-19. Demand spiked as people rushed grocery stores while processing capacity was suspended in many locations due to disease outbreaks. This imbalance led to hikes in prices and shortages throughout the country. Meat producers and processors explain how they weathered the pandemic and innovated through challenges.

Video 5 -- Eggs supply chains
The egg supply chain was impacted by COVID-19 as restaurants and schools shut down; demand also spiked in retail locations. Production capacity as well as packaging was also in short supply. Egg producers and processors explain how they weathered the pandemic and innovated through challenges.

Video 6 -- Corn and Ethanol supply chains
COVID-19 immediately decreased demand for energy given a drastic slowdown in vehicle traffic. This led to shutdowns of ethanol facilities as well as backups in the corn industry where producers were unable to move their product. This video explains what the industry went through when COVID arrived.

Video 7 -- Dairy supply chains
The dairy supply chain was impacted by COVID-19. Demand spiked as people rushed grocery stores while demand almost went to zero with schools and restaurants. This imbalance led to hikes in prices for milk and shortages throughout the country. Dairy producers and processors explain how they weathered the pandemic and innovated through challenges.

Video 8 -- Fresh Produce supply chains
The fresh produce supply chain was impacted by major demand reductions within school systems and restaurants. Although demand increased in retail locations and foodbanks, distribution networks were able to evolve quickly enough leading to mass waste of product.

Video 9 -- Shipping and the supply chain implications
Shipping containers experienced a major shortage early in the outbreak due to manufacturing closures and demand reduction in China. This led to producers struggling to move their product out of the U.S. for consumption; this video explains global demand for containers and how the shipping industry has responded.

Video 10 – Restaurants and the supply chain implications
No industry was impacted more by COVID-19 than restaurants. This industry experienced major demand reduction resulting in mass closings thereby impacting supply chains across the nation.

Video 11 -- Food Banks and the supply chain implications
Given the economic impact of COVID-19, e.g. mass layoffs. Food banks throughout the country saw a major spike in demand. As a result, increased demand coupled with reduced supply due to constraints in multiple agricultural sectors led to an imbalance which persists.

Video 12 -- Local Markets and the supply chain implications
Small stores throughout the country suffered from supply chain shortages across the nation. Larger competitors with better contracts were able to serve customers at lower prices while local markets struggled to gain product and keep up with demand.

Video 13 -- Halal and Kosher Markets and the supply chain implications
Like local markets, specialty stores were greatly impacted by COVID-19. Meat shortages coupled with transportation constraints led to inadequate supply in certain communities throughout the nation.

Video 14-- Human Capital
Every business’ most important asset is its people. Within agriculture, there is no exception so when farms and processing facilities experienced large spikes in active cases, facilities across the nation were forced to close. Health and welfare coupled with more stringent immigration rules led to a shortage of people working in critical industries.