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Rural Economic Outlook Conference set for Oct. 20 at OSU

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Insights about trends and expectations regarding agriculture and rural economies will be the focus of the Rural Economic Outlook Conference taking place Oct. 20 on Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus.

“We’ll be examining key issues that may significantly affect decisions made by agricultural lenders, community and rural leaders, and people in similar positions during the coming year,” said Damona Doye, OSU Cooperative Extension farm management specialist.

Cost is $50 if registering prior to Oct. 14 and $70 thereafter or at the door. Registration includes breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks during the conference, which will take place at the OSU ConocoPhillips Alumni Center, located just north of University Avenue on Hester Street, near historic Old Central and the Student Union.

To register online, search for “Oklahoma State University Marketplace – TouchNet.” Click on the link and select Agricultural Economics Store, and then choose 2017 Rural Economic Outlook Conference Registration. Assistance is also available by contacting Kareta Casey by phone at 405-744-9836.

“We ask that participants pre-register if possible,” Doye said. “It greatly aids the planning process and helps ensure that sufficient numbers of meals, refreshments and conference materials are on hand. We want to make the conference as useful and enjoyable as possible to all participants.”

Keynote speakers for the 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. conference will include Patrick Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a professor in the MU department of agricultural and applied economics.

“Dr. Westhoff will provide insights about U.S. farm policy,” Doye said. “He served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and was an economist with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry before joining the university in 1996.”

Another keynote speaker will be OSU alumna Cortney Cowley, an economist with the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank’s regional affairs department. Cowley earned both her bachelor’s degree in biosystems engineering and her doctoral degree in agricultural economics at OSU.

“Cortney’s focus is in the areas of agricultural finance, commodity markets, farm management and natural resource economics and policy,” Doye said. “She will be our first speaker and take participants through key aspects of the overall economic outlook.”

Luis Ribera, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension economist and director of the university’s Center for North American Studies and International Projects with the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, will serve as the luncheon’s keynote speaker.

“Dr. Rivera will provide the latest analyses about how increased dependence on trade affects the farm economy,” Doye said. “He has been an invited speaker in more than 250 conferences around the world and has generated more than $22 million in research and Extension funding for his programs.”

Additional sessions will provide insights relative to agricultural finance topics and grain and livestock markets, as well as faculty research and Extension updates and updates about the department of agricultural economics’ undergraduate program, presented by experts with the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Additional information about the conference is available online at or by contacting Casey by telephone.

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