COLLEGE STATION — Texas agriculture is on the brink of some very profound changes. Within the next few years, updated federal farm policies, increasing competitive global markets, technological innovations and environmental concerns are going to alter agriculture significantly.
To help state leaders and stakeholders best understand these changes, the Texas Agricultural and Natural Resources Summit Initiative has scheduled a conference entitled, The Farm Bill and Beyond: Implications for Texas Agriculture, Agribusiness, and Rural Communities” for June 27-28 at the Holiday Inn–Civic Center in Lubbock.
“The new Farm Bill will require producers to make major adjustments to operate in a more market-driven system,” said conference program committee co-chair and Texas Farm Bureau president Bob Stallman. “By anticipating the impacts of the new farm program provisions, in part through conferences such as this, strategies can be developed to facilitate adjustments and reduce negative effects.”
Like preceding Summit events, this gathering will provide a forum for discussion of critical issues affecting agriculture, agribusinesses, agricultural producers, lenders, environmental and natural resource stakeholders, and rural communities. Representatives are invited to this conference to participate in the identification of the major issues arising from the Farm Bill and the development of strategies to address these issues and to manage the changes that will result from the new federal farm legislation.
Sponsors for the conference include the Texas Agricultural and Natural Resources Summit Initiative, the Texas Agricultural Forum, the Agriculture Program of the Texas A&M University System, Texas Tech University and the V.G. Young Institute for County Government.
The goal of the conference will be to help stakeholders to better identify the issues involved with these expected changes and recognize areas of transition and adjustment both in the short and long term,” said Dr. Sam Curl, dean of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University.
Our state’s economic strength and the survival of our rural communities are linked to a healthy agricultural industry. It is vital that Texas and Texas’ agricultural producers are well positioned to confront and adapt to changes awaiting us just over the horizon,” Curl said.
According to Dr. Gene Nelson, program committee co-chair and head of the Texas A&M University department of agricultural economics, the ultimate goal is to bring together the affected stakeholders, state leaders, government officials, scientists and educators who can evaluate and help develop the vision and balance that will ease the transition of Texas agriculture in the new century.
A number of political, economic and weather factors have come together in recent months to make this a crucial time for agriculture,” Nelson said. Our farming and rural communities’ ability to adjust will be crucial in retaining our standard of living and economic security. We must not be swept away by the forces of change.”
The Summit process relies on the sharing of information and perspective among the diverse participants, he said. The group then divides into breakout” sessions to identify issues and develop strategies to address these concerns. They also seek to define the appropriate roles of industry, government, universities, and consumers in addressing those issues.
Three years ago, the Texas Agricultural and Natural Resources Summit Initiative was founded to identify and resolve the critical issues facing Texas agriculture by bringing together representatives from every sector to resolve these issues and concerns. Over the past three years, numerous smaller conferences have been held across the state to further expand the partnerships and dialogue among the stakeholders across the state. Last December, a second Agriculture Summit dedicated to food safety and nutrition was held in Dallas.
The registration fee, which will be used to partially cover cost of the conference, will be $50 per person through June 13. After June 13 the registration fee will increase to $60 per person.
For more information or to inquiry on how to register write: Texas Agricultural and Natural Resources Summit Initiative, 113 Administration Building, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2142. Phone inquiries may be made at (979) 845-8484.