The LSU AgCenter will host the 2009 Agricultural Outlook Conference Feb. 26 in Baton Rouge, La. Designed to continue addressing the current 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 regional experts discussing topics such as biofuels, commodity outlooks, economic trends, agricultural policy and the 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 focused on the future of agriculture.

“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 registration and continental breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m. in the Lod Cook Center on the LSU campus. The conference starts at 8 a.m. with informative presentations and discussions and adjourns at 3 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, USDA-Rural Development and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

More details, electronic registration, hotel information and directions are available on the Internet at www.lsuagcenter.com/agoutlook. Additional information also may be obtained by phoning Frankie Gould at (225) 578-2263 or e-mailing fgould@agcenter.lsu.edu.