Virginia Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with Virginia Farm Bureau and Colonial Farm Credit, has planned an outlook seminar at the Weyers Cave campus of Blue Ridge Community College on Thursday, Jan. 31, to provide producers with key strategies to help manage risk. Rep. Robert Goodlatte, ranking member and former chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, will speak about the pending farm bill.

Extension educators, producers, and other agricultural influencers such as lenders, input dealers, and processors from Virginia and bordering states will benefit from this meeting and five others at agriculturally diverse areas around the state. Goodlatte will only be speaking at the Weyers Cave location. In addition to the Weyers Cave location, the meetings will also be held at the following dates and locations:

  • Germanna Community College, Fredericksburg campus – Jan. 22
  • Paul D. Camp Community College, Franklin campus – Jan. 24
  • Eastern Shore Community College, Melfa campus – Jan. 25
  • Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Abingdon campus – Jan. 29
  • Lord Fairfax Community College, Middletown campus – Feb. 1

At each location, registration will begin at 8 a.m. with presentations starting at 9:15 a.m. Seminars will wrap up by 4 p.m.

“The number of specialists in the field of agricultural economics has diminished in many land-grant institutions,” said Mike Roberts, a commodity marketing Extension agent and unit coordinator in Prince George County. “The seminars are designed to present timely, expert agricultural economic outlook information so that participants may make more informed decisions affecting the sustainability of the farming business.”

The seminars will cover a wide range of topics including the upcoming farm bill, the U.S. economy, biofuels, feed and small grains, and U.S. and South American products including livestock, oil, seeds, cotton, peanuts, and dairy. Nationally and internationally known presenters include:

  • Robert Wisner, retired professor at Iowa State University and former senior economist with the U.S. Cost of Living Council, will share his internationally recognized expertise on corn, soybeans, and wheat.
  • James Novak, professor of agricultural economics and rural society and Extension specialist at Auburn University, will discuss the upcoming farm bill.
  • Emmit Rawles, Extension agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech alumnus, will talk about issues involving U.S. and regional cattle markets.
  • Raymond E. Owens III, vice president and senior economist at the Richmond Federal Reserve, will present on the current state of the U.S. economy.

Supporting organizations include the Southern Risk Management Education Center directed by Texas A&M University; the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; and more than 11 land-grant colleges and universities throughout the United States.

For more information or to register, visit the seminar website or e-mail Mike Roberts or call (804) 733-2686. The early registration fee, which must be postmarked two weeks prior to the event, is $10. After this deadline, the fee is $20. There is no charge for Extension faculty from any state.

About Virginia Cooperative Extension
Virginia Cooperative Extension brings the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth. Through a system of on-campus specialists and locally based agents, it delivers education in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. With a network of faculty at two universities, 107 county and city offices, 13 agricultural research and Extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers, Virginia Cooperative Extension provides solutions to the problems facing Virginians today.

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