The 2012 farm bill will be the topic of the Mississippi Agricultural Economics Association annual meeting in Starkville on Nov. 4.

The meeting will be held at Mississippi State University’s Franklin Center. The public and those representing the agriculture industry, business and finance are invited to attend.

The farm bill is the main piece of legislation that establishes the nation’s food and agricultural policy. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas has indicated the 2012 bill would be similar to past bills.

“A three-legged stool — commodity, conservation, and nutrition programs — to assemble the farm-to-table coalition that is needed to pass it,” he said recently.

Given the current debate over federal spending and subsidies, the 2012 farm bill may be leaner than previous ones.

Jason Barrett, Extension associate in Mississippi State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics and president of the association, said this meeting will shed light on debate regarding the new farm bill.

“We have excellent speakers who will discuss the farm bill and implications for cuts that congressional leaders have suggested,” Barrett said.

Several speakers will be featured during the annual meeting, including MSU president Mark Keenum and Mississippi Farm Bureau president Randy Knight. Bert Greenwalt, ag economist with Arkansas State University, will speak at the meeting as well as Carlisle Clarke, ag liaison for Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

Activities include a golf tournament and social. A tailgate party is planned for Nov. 5 as MSU takes on Tennessee Martin at the homecoming football game.

For more information on times and costs, contact Jason Barrett at (662) 325-6807 or barrett@agecon.msstate.edu.