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The Oct. 9 conference on OSU's Stillwater campus will be shining a light on key economic factors affecting rural America. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

Rural Economic Outlook Conference set for Oct. 9 at OSU

Friday, September 6, 2019

Insights about trends and expectations regarding agriculture and rural economies will be the focus of the Rural Economic Outlook Conference taking place Oct. 9 on Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus.

The 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. conference will take place at the OSU ConocoPhillips Alumni Center, located on Hester Street across from the Student Union. Cost is $50 per participant if pre-registering through Oct. 2 and $75 thereafter. Online registration is available at

“Think of the conference as ‘one-stop shopping’ in that we will be examining many 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 Brent Ladd, OSU Cooperative Extension assistant agricultural finance specialist.

Keynote speakers will be Sarah Low, holder of the University of Missouri’s Fred V. Heinkel Chair in Agriculture, and Pia Orrenius, a labor economist and manager of the regional and microeconomics group in the Dallas Fed Research Department.

“Rural areas and small towns and cities are on the forefront of one of the most significant and impactful trends limiting the growth potential of the U.S. economy: falling birth rates and the aging of the American workforce,” Orrenius said. “Immigration can be part of the solution, bringing workers to the industries and geographic areas that need them most. We will be discussing how that might occur most effectively.”

Low’s presentation will provide an overview of the rural economy, nationally and regionally. She will be providing insights about trends in nonfarm rural business, including rural entrepreneurship, manufacturing and amenity-based business opportunities.

“We’ll also be examining Federal policy related to the rural economy, including infrastructure spending and the relocation of two USDA agencies to the region,” Low said. “Asset-based rural economic development strategies will play a large part in rural America’s economic future.”

Also featured will be OSU agricultural economists Dayton Lambert, Amy Hagerman, Rodney Jones, Kim Anderson and Derrell Peel. Topics covered by the OSU experts will include the state of Oklahoma’s rural economy, 2019 agricultural policy, agricultural finance areas of interest and overviews of the U.S. grain and livestock markets, as well as agribusiness-related research being conducted in the OSU Department of Agricultural Economics.

“We ask that participants pre-register if possible,” Ladd said. “It greatly aids the planning process and helps ensure 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.”

Anyone seeking additional information about the Oct. 9 Rural Economic Outlook Conference at OSU should contact Kareta Casey by phone at 405-744-9836.

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is one of two state agencies administered by OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and is a key part of the university’s state and federally mandated teaching, research and Extension land-grant mission.

MEDIA CONTACT: Donald Stotts | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-4079 |

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