Catlett tells farmers to prepare for the golden age of agriculture

“When the world gets a little bit of money, guess what they do? They quit having children…and they want better diets,” he said.

The world will look to intensive production by American farmers as the demand for animal protein doubles, Catlett predicted, saying “You name it, they want it.”

But the future will also provide opportunities for those marketing specialty foods to meet the needs of affluent American customers.

“Isn’t it weird, folks,” he acknowledged, referencing trends such as gluten-free and products like organic vodka.

A generation ago, Catlett said farmers were only concerned with producing enough calories for a hungry world, but “Now we’ve got the most differentiated, segmented agriculture that has ever existed.”

The implications that mobile-technology will have on agriculture will dwarf the mechanical and chemical revolutions that preceded it, he said.

His message: “Get ready.”