The LSU AgCenter will host the 2007 Agricultural Outlook Conference Jan. 22-23 in Baton Rouge, La.

Designed to address issues facing the state's farmers, agribusinesses and others, the theme of the conference is “Keeping Louisiana's Agriculture Competitive.”

The program, which will be held at the Lod Cook Conference Center on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, will feature national and international experts discussing topics such as agricultural energy costs and lending trends, commodity outlooks, bioenergy, agricultural policy and the 2007 farm bill.

The conference originated as an Agricultural Crisis Summit in 2003 in response to problems the state's agricultural industry faced that year. It then evolved into an annual event.

“Although we started off looking at how farmers would get past the 2002 storms that had caused them to have one of their worst years ever, we found many people in the industry were interested in coming together to plan for the future,” LSU AgCenter Chancellor William B. “Bill” Richardson said.

“Since then, we've seen relatively good years and years like last year when farmers were trying to recover from storms again,” he continued. “The common thread is that those who are involved in Louisiana agriculture want to take an active part in ensuring that it remains viable and competitive.”

The conference will kick off with a reception from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., Jan. 22, in the Cook Center. It will continue with a half-day of informative presentations and discussions from 8 a.m. until noon on Jan. 23.

The event is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

There is no fee for participating in the conference, but advance registration is required.

More details, electronic registration, hotel information and directions are available on the Internet at http://www.lsuagcenter.com/2007agoutlook.

Additional information also may be obtained by phoning Frankie Gould at (225) 578-2263 or e-mailing fgould@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Registration also can be accomplished by contacting Gould's office.