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Agribusiness Conference focus:
commodity market, Farm Bill, rural economy

JONESBORO, ARK., Jan. 21, 2008 -- The 14th annual Arkansas State University Agribusiness Conference will be held Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Fowler Center and Convocation Center in Jonesboro. On-site registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Fowler Center.  Lunch will be served in the Convocation Center at noon. Afternoon sessions end at 3:30 p.m. A map and directions to the Convocation Center are available at

Admission is free, but luncheon reservations are limited to the first 500. The complete conference program and on-line registration are available at Bus Conference/agbusconf08/mainpage08.htm.

The morning General Session features three speakers and a panel discussion.  Richard Brock, president of Brock Associates, will discuss the grain and biofuel market outlook. Carl Brothers, senior vice president at Riceland Foods, will discuss the rice market outlook.

Following the morning break, Bill Bridgforth will give an update on "The Implementation and Impact of the 2008 Farm Bill."

A panel of all General Session Speakers and Richard E. Bell, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture, will discuss current economic issues and take questions from the audience.

The luncheon address will feature Mark Drabenstott, director of the RUPRI (rural policy research institute) Center for Regional Competitiveness in Columbia, Mo. He will speak on "How Rural Economies Can Compete in the Global Economy." Click for details.

The afternoon program features five special interest sessions.

Drabenstott and Alan McVey, director of the ASU Delta Center for Economic Development, will conduct a session on "The Role of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Rural Economy."

A session on "Using Casualty, Liability, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance to Manage Business Risk" will be presented by Farm Bureau Insurance agency manager Thom Beasley and Terry Duke, group manager for the Agricultural Group Compensation Self-Insurer Fund.

In the Livestock Industry Session, Texas A&M Extension economist Rob Hogan will discuss livestock industry issues and the market outlook for beef.

Gauri-Shankar Guha, professor of economics in the ASU College of Business, will present an "Introduction to Carbon Credit Markets" and discuss their potential to increase the income of Arkansas farmers and landowners.

Kim Pittcock, associate dean of the ASU College of Agriculture, and Bob Young, director of the Eastern Arkansas USDA-NRCS RC&D, will discuss the future potential for Arkansas farmers’ markets and their experience with the farmers’ market in Jonesboro.

Continuing education credits are available according to guidelines of the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the Arkansas Certified Crop Advisors, and the Arkansas Crop Consultants.

Joining the ASU College of Agriculture as conference sponsors are:

The Judd Hill Foundation, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Bunge North America, Busch Agricultural Resources, Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc., Farm Credit Midsouth, Greenway Equipment, Inc., Helena Chemical Company, Liberty Bank of Arkansas, Riceland Foods, Inc., RiceTec, Inc., and The USA Rice Federation. 

for more information:
Dr. Bert Greenwalt,
College of Agriculture, 972-2085

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