BOZEMAN - The Montana State University Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics and MSU Extension will host the 12th annual agricultural economics conference, “Agriculture and Political Uncertainty” on Friday, Nov. 9, beginning at 8:45 a.m. in MSU’s Procrastinator Theater.

Celebrate Ag Small

The conference, part of the annual Celebrate Agriculture event in the College of Agriculture, will host several MSU agricultural economics and Extension faculty speakers on topics of interest to Montana’s agricultural industry, including grain markets, farm labor, farm bill, pollinator health and weather insurance for farmers and ranchers.

The annual conference is an opportunity for university economists to share and discuss current topics with Montana’s agricultural community, according to Joel Schumacher, MSU Extension associate specialist.

“Part of what makes a land-grant university so unique is the connection between faculty and off-campus audiences, and this event is an example of that valuable connection,” Schumacher said. “I think our faculty members look forward to this event as much as the attendees.”

The conference’s guest M.L. Wilson Speaker this year is Randy Fortenbery, professor at Washington State University in the School of Economics Sciences and co-director of the Impact Center. Fortenbery, who also holds the WSU Thomas B. Mick Endowed Chair, will present a guest lecture, “Trade in an Uncertain Political Environment,” at 11:15 a.m. Fortenbery’s research relates to agricultural price performance, impact of futures on cash prices, market development and trade.

Additional conference speakers include Kate Fuller, MSU assistant professor of agricultural economics, who will address a report compiled by the department, “Montana Agriculture Year in Review.” Eric Belasco, MSU associate professor of agricultural economics, will address agricultural weather insurance. Anton Bekkerman, MSU associate professor of agricultural economics and associate director of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, will discuss grain markets. Diane Charlton, MSU assistant professor of agricultural economics, will discuss farm labor issues. Professor of Economics Randy Rucker will discuss the economic impacts of colony collapse disorder, and George Haynes, professor and agricultural policy Extension specialist, will discuss the new farm bill.

The cost of conference registration is $25 and includes a hosted a lunch.

The conference will run from 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theater in MSU's Strand Union Building. Participants are welcome to call 994-3511 to register or register online, where a full conference agenda can be found.

The conference is part of MSU’s annual Celebrate Agriculture event, held in honor of the state and university’s joint agricultural legacy and in celebration of current students, agriculture alumni and MSU’s extended agricultural community across Montana.

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