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Agribusiness Conference to Focus on Latest Farm Issues


JONESBORO – Arkansas State University’s annual Agribusiness Conference, now in its 21st year, is continuing its tradition of timely information and education outreach to farmers and agribusiness professionals and educators across the Mid-South.

This year’s conference, on Wednesday, Feb. 11, will focus on the agricultural economy, commodity market outlook and farm business transition planning. On-site registration will begin at 7:45 a.m. at A-State’s Fowler Center. Lunch will be served at the Convocation Center at noon; afternoon sessions will follow, ending at 4 p.m.

The morning general session will feature five speakers and a panel discussion:

  • Robert Johansson, acting chief economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will look at the agriculture economy and the outlook for 2015.
  • Kevin Spafford, a certified financial planner for Legacy by Design, will discuss succession planning for agribusiness owners.
  • Ed Fryar, CEO of Ozark Mountain Poultry, will review the trends in animal agriculture and the implications for the Arkansas poultry industry and feed grain market.
  • Sara Wyant, editor of Agri-Pulse Communications, and Michigan State University Economist David Schweikhardt will examine the political and economic trends that are affecting agriculture.

Also, luncheon speaker Ruth Hawkins, executive director of A-State’s Arkansas Heritage Sites, will describe how heritage sites connect the Arkansas Delta’s agricultural history to tourism and economic development.

Afternoon special-interest sessions will address topics relevant to the poultry and beef industry, commodity market trends and issues, and tools and techniques for farm family business succession planning.

Joining the College of Agriculture & Technology to sponsor the conference are: The Judd Hill Foundation; AgHeritage Farm Credit Services; Allenberg Cotton Company; Arkansas Farm Bureau; Bunge North America; Busch Agricultural Resources, LLC; Farm Credit Midsouth; Glaub Farm Management; Greenway Equipment, Inc.; Helena Chemical Company; Heritage Bank | Bear State Bank; Mossy Oak Properties:     Cache River Land & Farm, Jonesboro and Searcy, Delta Land Management Co., North Little Rock, Stuttgart Land & Auction Co., Stuttgart; Ozark Mountain Poultry; Riceland Foods, Inc.; RiceTec, Inc.; and USA Rice Federation.

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

Admission to the conference and luncheon is free, but pre-registration is encouraged. Detailed conference information and online registration are available at AState.edu/Agriconference. To register by phone, contact the College of Agriculture & Technology, 870.972.3221, or email rjoslin@AState.edu.

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