Agribusiness Management Conference Nov. 7th

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Economists, academic and business experts will discuss the economic outlook, global trade, California water quality, federal farm policy and other key issues Nov. 7 at the 31st annual Agribusiness Management Conference at Fresno’s Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.

The event is sponsored by Fresno State’s Center for Agricultural Business (CAB) and Bank of America in partnership with more than 20 supporting farm businesses, agencies and organizations.

“California’s agricultural industry faces unique challenges,” said Mechel Paggi, CAB director and conference chair, who noted some sectors do well while others struggle with high input costs and sticky prices.

“Our markets are subject to the trends of the general economy, and increasingly, the global economy as well,” Paggi said, adding that conference “participants will be provided with supporting information and outlooks on specific commodities.”

Opening the half-day event with an 8:15 a.m. address will be Corny Gallagher, senior vice president and food, ag and wine executive for Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Gallagher’s team coordinates the bank’s agribusiness and food products portfolio, with a strong emphasis on global marketing.

The theme of his talk is “Developing a Shared Vision to Feed the People of the World.”

Also on the agenda:
• Terry Barr, chief economist for CoBank, will offer insights on upcoming economic challenges and opportunities.
• Charles Grimes, director of global export trade services for Citibank, will discuss his “View on Agriculture Trade: Challenges and Opportunities.”
• “Nitrates in Central Valley Groundwater: Findings, Actions, Questions” will be a panel discussion among Dr. Stuart Pettygrove, a soils specialist for the UC Cooperative Extension; Parry Klassen, executive director of the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition; and Joel Nelsen, president and CEO of California Citrus Mutual.
• Perspectives on farm policy and the 2012 Farm Bill will be offered by Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for United Fresh Produce Association, and Anne MacMillan, senior adviser to the U.S. secretary of agriculture.
• Greg Calistro of Save Mart Supermarkets’ produce and floral division director will offer insights into how consumer buying habits will shape demand for agricultural products.
The conference is designed for farmers, farm managers, lawyers, appraisers, insurance personnel, processors, accountants and others involved in California agribusiness.

Early registration (before Nov. 1) is $100; late or walk-in is $125.