UW-Madison: Forum to unveil 2010 forecast for Wisconsin’s agricultural economy

CONTACT: Bruce Jones, 608-265-8508, [email protected]

MADISON – The third annual Wisconsin Agricultural Economic Outlook forum will review the impact of the 2009 economic downturn on the financial condition of the state’s agricultural sector and consider its prospects for 2010.

“Following two years of generally fond memories, most Wisconsin farmers suffered through a year they would like to forget,” says Ed Jesse, emeritus professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wisconsin agriculture generates $59.16 billion in economic activity and provides jobs for 353,991 people, according to a July report released by UW-Madison and the UW-Extension Cooperative Extension.

The forum, hosted by the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and UW-Extension Cooperative Extension, will take place from 12:45-4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison. It is free and open to the public.

The forum will begin with an overview of Wisconsin agriculture’s financial condition and a broad forecast for 2010. The discussion will then turn to the outlook for key Wisconsin commodities, including dairy, corn and soybeans, livestock, and fruits and vegetables, as well as the products and services that farmers purchase.

UW-Madison economists and commodity specialists will be joined at the forum by David Oppedahl, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Oppedahl directs the district’s survey of agricultural banks on agricultural land values and credit conditions and will present a special keynote address during a lunch benefiting the Wisconsin Rural Youth Scholarship.

Luncheon tickets are available for $15 in advance only until Monday, Jan. 11. This luncheon is sponsored by the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

The event will conclude with a panel framing how national and worldwide economic events have affected the state’s farmers and agricultural firms.

To RSVP for the luncheon or the forum, visit http://www.cals.wisc.edu/agoutlook. For those who are unable to attend the forum in person, the forum will also be available on the site via webcast.

The forum coincides with the release of the 2010 edition of “Status of Wisconsin Agriculture,” published by the UW-Madison Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Forum presenters will be on hand to visit personally with reporters starting at 10:30 a.m. in Room 313 at the Pyle Center. Contact Arla Dauscher, [email protected] or 608-262-5784, to attend this media availability session.