Regional Farm News

Arkansas : A-State 24th annual Agribusiness Conference set for February 14, 2018

Arkansas State University will hold its 24th annual Agribusiness Conference on February 14, 2018. This year’s conference will focus on agricultural real estate, trade policy, the next Farm Bill, agricultural credit and commodity markets.



On-site registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. in A-State’s Fowler Center, located at  201 Olympic Drive in Jonesboro.  Lunch will be served in First National Bank Arena at 12 p.m..  Afternoon breakout sessions will begin after lunch and end at 4:15 p.m..



The morning general session features four speakers and a panel discussion:

  • Randall Pope, CEO of Westchester Group Investment Management, Inc., will discuss agricultural real estate as an asset class.
  • Gary Adams, President of the National Cotton Council, will discuss the U.S. cotton industry’s challenges and opportunities.
  • Mary Kay Thatcher, Senior Director of Congressional Relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation, will report on how the administration is dealing with agricultural trade, regulation, and farm policy issues.
  • Joe Outlaw, professor and extension economist at Texas A&M University, will give an update on the issues and outlook for the next farm bill.



The luncheon speaker will be Roby Brock, the host and executive producer of Talk Business Politics.



Brock will discuss Arkansas political issues for business and agriculture.



Afternoon special-interest sessions include an update on community banking trends and the agricultural credit market, rice and cotton market issues, and poultry and beef market trends.



Afternoon speakers include:  

  • Julie Stackhouse, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Greg Cole, Ag Heritage Farm Credit Services
  • Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture
  • Carl Brothers, Riceland Foods, Inc.
  • Jeff Johnson, Allenberg Cotton Company
  • David Newman, Arkansas State University
  • Duane Williams, Peco Foods
  • Mark Jordan, Arkansas State University



The conference qualifies for continuing education credits according to the guidelines of the Arkansas State Board of Public Accountancy, Arkansas Certified Crop Advisors, Arkansas Agricultural Consultants, and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.



Admission to the conference and luncheon is free, but pre-registration is encouraged.



Detailed conference information and online registration are available at



To register by phone, contact the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Technology, (870) 972-3221, or email


Terry Simmons