Farmers fill A-State campus for conference

Farmers fill A State campus

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro was filled with farmers on Wednesday.

The 22nd annual Agribusiness Conference took place all day.

Dean of the College of Agriculture and Technology at A-State Timothy N. Burcham said the conference is an important source of information for a variety of issues farmers face.

"This is a great event for our region," Burcham said. "It gives farmers the opportunity just to gain information about a wide variety of topics. They talked about estate planning, succession of farms, environmental situations and laws that will be impacting our producers."

Joe Christian is a farmer in Cash and said the conference was very informative.

"I think we've learned a lot of information," Christian said. "It may not be the best right now as far as prices, you know. But at least we learned some information that keeps us up on times and things are always changing. It's a world economy. We're trying to compete with other countries and we're learning how much a disadvantage we are to other countries subsidizing their commodities where we hardly subsidize our commodities anymore at all. I'm also learning about free trade agreements and how they're working out. And how they will work to our advantage and disadvantage in the future."

Burcham said they hunt for the best experts they can find to pass along what farmers need to know now.

"We have nationally and internationally recognized speakers that really give the farmers in this region a voice," Burcham said.

Chuck Wisdom is an agricultural instructor at A-State's Beebe campus but is also a cattle farmer and said this past year has been rough financially for many farmers.

"A lot of them are having trouble getting financed," Wisdom said. "We kind of had the perfect storm last year with the weather too wet and then went straight to dry."

Wisdom said he believes farmers face a long road ahead, but will prevail in the end.

"We always have and we always will because one thing that the world will always need is for somebody to feed them and that's what we do," Wisdom said.

Over 500 people attended the annual conference.

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