The 15th annual Arkansas State University Agribusiness Conference will be held Wednesday, Feb. 11 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 morning general session features four speakers and a panel discussion.

William Biedermann, senior vice president for Allendale, Inc., will discuss the market outlook for commodities and biofuels.

Tobias Hlavinka, fertilizer manager for Helena Chemical Company’s Southern Business Unit, will describe how the world fertilizer market is affecting the cost of U.S. crop production.

Following the morning break, Bob Rasche, research director for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, will discuss how the financial markets and the macro economy are impacting agriculture.

A panel of all general session speakers will discuss current issues and take questions from the conference audience.

The luncheon address will feature John Phipps, a farmer, columnist for Farm Journal magazine, and host of the U.S. Farm Report syndicated TV program.

The afternoon program features four special interest sessions.

Carl Brothers of Riceland Foods and Doug McNeely of Bunge North America will discuss the rice and grain markets and the relationship between the cash and futures markets.

Agricultural law specialist Mike Cone will discuss implementation of the 2008 farm bill.

In the livestock industry session, Arkansas Farm Bureau economist Travis Justus and ASU professor of animal science Donald Kennedy will discuss livestock industry issues including the livestock market outlook and animal welfare legislation.

Joe Foster, Harrison Pittman, and Stacey McCullough will discuss the future potential for agritourism in Arkansas and describe current agritourism projects in the state.

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 Arkansas Certified Crop Advisors/Arkansas Crop Consultants, and the Arkansas Department of Education.

Admission to the conference is free, but luncheon reservations are limited to the first 500 who register.

Conference information and on-line registration are available under the Upcoming Events section of the College of Agriculture web site Arkansas State University, or directly at the link Agribusiness Conference.

For telephone registration, contact Joy Holmes at (870)972-3942 or jholmes@astate.edu.

Joining the ASU College of Agriculture as conference sponsors are: the Judd Hill Foundation, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Bunge North America, Busch Agricultural Resources, Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc., Farm Credit Midsouth, Greenway Equipment, Inc., Helena Chemical Company, Liberty Bank of Arkansas, Riceland Foods, Inc., RiceTec, Inc., and the USA Rice Federation.