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Jan. 22, 2007-- The 13th annual Arkansas State University Agribusiness Conference will be held Wednesday, Feb, 14 in the ASU Fowler and Convocation Centers 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 p.m.
Joining the ASU College of Agriculture as conference sponsors are: the Judd Hill Foundation, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Busch Agricultural Resources, Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc., Farm Credit Midsouth, FirstGrain, Inc., Greenway Equipment, Inc., Liberty Bank of Arkansas, Riceland Foods, Inc., RiceTec, Inc., and the USA Rice Federation.
The general session on biofuels and the agribusiness outlook will feature six speakers and a panel discussion. Sam Dortch, a chemical engineer with FutureFuel Chemical Company, will describe the technology and processes involved in biofuel production. Spencer Swayze, manager for business development, Ceres, Inc. will describe how biotechnology can be used to engineer dedicated energy crops. Attorney and agribusinessman Cal McCastlain will discuss the regional impact of biofuel production.
After the morning break, James R. Wiesemeyer, vice president of Informa Economics, will give an update on agricultural, trade, and energy policy.
A panel of all general session speakers and Richard E. Bell, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture, will discuss the economic impact of bioenergy and the implications for Arkansas.
The luncheon address will feature ASU alumnus J.B. Penn, Deere & Company chief economist and former undersecretary of agriculture for farm and foreign agricultural services.
In the cotton session, John Robinson of Texas A&M University will give his outlook for the cotton market and discuss other issues facing the cotton industry.
The rice session features Eric J. Wails, holder of the L.C. Carter Chair of Rice Marketing at the University of Arkansas. Eric will discuss supply chain management issues in the rice industry.
In the livestock industry session, Travis Justice, director of commodity and regulatory affairs for Arkansas Farm Bureau, will discuss livestock industry issues and the market outlook for beef.
A special presentation, “The Impact of Energy Prices and Transportation Demand on U.S. Grain Markets” will be delivered by Timothy J. Gallagher, executive vice president for Bunge North America, Inc.
The conference includes a presentation on the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum at Tyronza. Dr. Ruth Hawkins, director of ASU’s Delta Heritage Initiatives program, will describe this new ASU project.
Continuing education credits are available for those attending the conference, according to guidelines of the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the American Society of Agricultural Consultants, and the Arkansas Certified Crop Advisors.
Admission to the conference is free, but luncheon reservations are limited to the first 500 who register. Additional conference information and on-line registration is available on the College of Agriculture web site http://agri.astate.edu.
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