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UGA to Host Symposium on Future of Agriculture

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The second annual National Symposium on the Future of American Agriculture will bring together the leading U.S. experts to identify the farm challenges facing the nation.

The gathering will feature farm policy makers, authorities from agricultural colleges and leaders of national commodity, environmental and consumer groups. It's scheduled for Aug. 10-11 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens, Ga.

The 1999 program drew 300 people to Georgia to wrangle over the farm crisis, looking for a starting point for solutions.

Their discussions and proceedings went to the U.S. Senate agricultural committee as it deliberated farm and food legislation.

Agriculture Policy Revisions

This year's theme is "Structural Change and Technology: the Policy Implications." The discussions will focus on the ways agriculture is changing and on the alternative policy revisions needed to address them.

Among the highlights:

  • Michael Boehlje of Purdue University on the drivers and consequences of structural change in agriculture.
  • Marc Johnson, dean of agriculture at Kansas State University, on agriculture's stake in emerging technologies.
  • Noel Estensen, CEO of Cenex Harvest States Cooperatives, on the challenges facing cooperatives in a changing farm economy.
  • Tom Zinnen of the University of Wisconsin on educating consumers on biotechnology.
  • Bob Stallman, president of American Farm Bureau, on needed policy changes.
  • Luther Tweeten of Ohio State University, on maximizing agriculture's ability to benefit from new technologies.
  • And a field hearing by the U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee, chaired by Georgia Sen. Paul Coverdell.

The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Farm Foundation will sponsor the event.

How to Register

The symposium fee is $130 before July 14. It's $150 after that. You may register on the Web at www.gactr.uga.edu/conferences/index.html.

If you have questions, call 1-800-884-1381 or (706) 542-2134. For reservations at the Georgia Center, call 1-800-774-2760 or (706) 542-6364.

(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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