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National Ag Symposium Set for Athens

Nearly 200 U.S. agricultural leaders are expected in Athens Aug. 25-27 for the National Symposium on the Future of American Agriculture. The program will beat at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education on the Athens, Ga., campus of the University of Georgia.

Academics, federal and state policy makers, farmers, consumers and national and state organizations representing farm commodities, growers, consumers and environmentalists gather for the event. They will meet to address the challenges facing U.S. agriculture in the 21st century.

The program is sponsored by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Farm Foundation and the National Public Policy Education Committee.

The symposium will feature a number of nationally known speakers. They will speak on such topics as the global economy, profitability and ownership, dealing with instability, environmental quality and biotechnology's impact. Participants will discuss and prioritize the issues and develop alternative policies for further analysis.

Senate Committee Hearing

The final session Friday, Aug. 27, will end with a field hearing for the U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee to report findings from the symposium to Congress. Georgia Senator Paul Coverdell will chair the hearing.

"The results of the symposium should help Congress evaluate policy decisions for the next farm bill," said conference chair Bob Shulstad, a UGA agricultural economist. "We hope it will provide a basis for potential funding requests for research, teaching and extension programs that the Congress may wish to introduce."

The National Symposium for the Future of American Agriculture is open to the public. Registration is $200. For more information or to register, call (706) 542-2134.

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