The 13th annual Arkansas State University Agribusiness Conference will be held Feb. 14 in the ASU Fowler and Convocation Centers in Jonesboro, Ark.

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 3:30 p.m.

A map and directions to the Convocation Center are available at: http://www.convo.astate.edu/.

Admission is free, but luncheon reservations are limited to the first 500. The complete conference program and on-line registration are available at: http://agri.astate.edu/Ag%20Bus%20Conference/agbusconf07/mainpage07.htm.

Morning sessions on biofuels and agribusiness outlook will feature six speakers and a panel discussion. Those speaking include:

  • Sam Dortch, a chemical engineer with FutureFuel Chemical Company. Dortch will describe the technology and processes involved in biofuel production.

  • Spencer Swayze, manager for business development, Ceres, Inc. Swayze will discuss how biotechnology can be used to engineer dedicated energy crops.

  • Cal McCastlain, an attorney and agribusinessman, will discuss the regional impact of biofuel production.

  • James R. Wiesemeyer, vice president of Informa Economics, will give an update on the political situation in Washington regarding agricultural, trade, and energy policy.

  • Richard D. Bell, Arkansas secretary of agriculture, will join a panel of speakers to discuss the economic impact of bioenergy and the implications for Arkansas.

  • J.B. Penn, an ASU alumnus, Deere & Company chief economist and former undersecretary of agriculture for farm and foreign agricultural services, will deliver the luncheon address.

In afternoon sessions, five topics will be addressed:

  • The cotton session features John Robinson of Texas A&M University. Robinson will give his outlook for the cotton market and discuss other issues facing the cotton industry.

  • The livestock session features Travis Justice, director of commodity and regulatory affairs for Arkansas Farm Bureau. Justice will discuss livestock industry issues and the market outlook for beef.

  • The rice session features Eric J. Wailes, holder of the L.C. Carter Chair of Rice Marketing at the University of Arkansas. Wailes will discuss supply chain management issues in the rice industry.

  • Following the rice session, Timothy J. Gallagher, executive vice president for Bunge North America, Inc. will discuss the impact of energy prices and transportation demand on U.S. grain markets.

The conference will also include a special presentation on the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum.

Ruth Hawkins, director of ASU's Delta Heritage Initiatives program, will describe this new ASU project.

Continuing education credits are available 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.

Among those sponsoring the conference are the ASU College of Agriculture, 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.