The 11th annual Arkansas State University Agribusiness Conference will be held Feb. 16 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.

The 2004 conference will focus on agricultural trade policy and its impact on producers, consumers, and agribusiness. The conference also includes commodity specific market information in the afternoon sessions, plus sessions on precision agriculture and farm business legal issues.

The general session on agricultural trade policy will feature four presentations. Timothy Jossling of the Stanford Institute for International Studies will discuss how the current round of WTO negotiations will impact U.S. trade and agricultural policy. William Gillon will discuss the WTO ruling on U.S. cotton subsidies and the implications of the ruling for future U.S. farm policy.

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, will give his organization's view of trade policy issues.

The Hon. Maurice McTigue, a former New Zealand parliament member, cabinet minister, and ambassador, will describe agricultural trade policy from an international point of view in the general session, and during the luncheon address will discuss lessons learned from reforming government agricultural policy in New Zealand.

In the cotton session, Carl Anderson of Texas A&M University will give his outlook for the cotton market and discuss other issues facing the cotton industry.

The rice session features Carl Brothers, senior vice president for international rice and partnerships at Riceland Foods, Inc. Brothers will give his outlook for the rice market outlook and discuss rice trade policy issues.

In the livestock industry session, ASU alumnus Leland Southard of the USDA Economic Research Service will describe the market outlook for beef, swine, and poultry, as well as strategic livestock industry issues.

The 2005 conference includes a session on precision agricultural technology. ASU associate professor of agronomy William H. Baker and his students will describe ASU's precision agriculture research program and how farmers and landowners can benefit from GPS and GIS technology.

Finally, a session on farm business transition and estate planning will be presented by Robert Jones, attorney with the Jonesboro, Ark., firm of Barrett & Deacon.

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 program.

Admission to the conference is free, but luncheon reservations are limited to the first 600 who register. Additional conference information and on-line registration are available on the College of Agriculture Web site, http://agri.astate.edu.

Joining the ASU College of Agriculture as sponsors are the Judd Hill Foundation, the Arkansas Farm Bureau, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit Mid-South, Liberty Bank of Arkansas, Riceland Foods, the USA Rice Federation, Busch Agricultural Resources, and Greenway Equipment Company.