Farmers fill A-State’s campus for conference

Farmers fill A-State’s campus for conference

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -People from all over the Mid-South interested in agriculture were on A-State’s campus on Wednesday for the 25th annual Agri Business Conference.

The Dean of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Technology, Dr. Timothy Burcham, said their speakers covered a wide variety of topics.

“We’re so delighted to have such a talented line up of speakers this year,” Dr. Burcham said. “They have talked about everything from farm management to WTO. One of the sessions we just left, the panel is in there talking about trade, talking about China, trade relations, tariffs and these kinds of things.”

Dr. Burcham said issues were discussed that are affecting agriculture not only in Arkansas and the United States, but worldwide.

“Each year, our conference seems to grow,” Dr. Burcham said. “When you look at how we’ve done this conference for 25 years, our regional producers and they’re coming from outside the state of Arkansas. We have a group here from Tennessee, we have a group from the boot hill area. But when you look at the Mid-South, it has really become a foot bed of opportunity for them to come and get a lot of information.”

Dr. Burcham said all information shared is timely and affecting the agricultural industry right now.

One of the panel of experts in agriculture session
One of the panel of experts in agriculture session (Source: KAIT-TV)

Some of the sessions that took place included a panel of experts with an audience question and answer opportunity at the end.

“You will gain insight in what’s going on in all of the markets,” Dr. Burcham said. “So, when you look at the flexibility of coming to one conference that can really give you a broad perspective on the agricultural spectrum. And this is coming from a number of experts throughout the country.”

Crowd listening to panel of experts
Crowd listening to panel of experts (Source: KAIT-TV)

A big announcement also took place in the middle of the conference.

Million dollar donation announced

Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse spoke at one of the sessions to make the public aware of a $1 million gift for the College of Agriculture from the Judd Hill Foundation.

The funds will be used to set up a graduate and undergraduate research fund so students can work with faculty on hands-on inquiry-based research.

“We’re looking forward to having more interaction at the Judd Hill Farm in Trumann,” Dr. Burcham said. “We already have activity there. We have a joint project there with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, the U.S. DARS and Arkansas State scientists. So, there is an elaborative effort going on there. We think this is going to be a gift that will allow us to involve our students in a more meaningful was in those activities.”

Dr. Burcham also said they strategically plan the conference to take place when farmers aren’t working in the fields in order to give them all an opportunity to come.

Around 600 people attended the conference.

For more information about the conference, call (870) 972-2383 or click here.

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