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Photo of a rural town's main street with agricultural-inspired wall art.
Most rural communities across Oklahoma and the nation depend on a strong agricultural sector to prosper. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

Register now to attend Oct. 13 Rural Economic Outlook Conference

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Media Contact: Donald Stotts | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-4079 |

The director of Cobank’s Knowledge Exchange Division and the director of international trade and market access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association will be keynote speakers at Oklahoma State University Extension’s 2021 Rural Economic Outlook Conference on Oct. 13.

“The conference will be a fantastic opportunity to hear from and interact with two of American agriculture’s top economic experts,” said Brent Ladd, OSU Extension agricultural economics specialist. “In addition, conference sessions will be sharing expert insights about important economic concerns and issues facing rural Oklahoma and rural America today.”

Agricultural lenders, rural leaders and others who wish to participate should register immediately to take advantage of a price break, Ladd said.

Cost of attending is $50 if registering by Oct. 6 and $75 thereafter or at the door, and includes breakfast, lunch and all refreshment breaks during the conference. Registration forms are available online or by contacting Kareta Casey of the OSU Department of Agricultural Economics at 405-744-9836.

The 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. conference will take place at the Conoco Phillips OSU Alumni Center, located at 201 S. Hester St. on the eastern side of campus, just north of University Avenue and across the street from the Student Union.

Cobank’s Rob Fox will provide a broad-based economic update that will include the longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shrinking labor force, drought impacts on cattle supplies, packer concentration, poultry profitability and views on policy he has seen in evidence coming out of Washington, D.C.

“He will delve into the global grain supply and demand situation and what it means for farm incomes and feed costs into 2022,” Ladd said. “These are very important considerations for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, and for agricultural lenders who work with them.”

The NCBA’s Kent Bacus will share insights about the importance of agricultural trade policy and how it’s likely to be affected by issues such as animal welfare, traceability and sustainability. A particular focus will be on how trade policy can help local producers reach a growing global consumer base.

“Agricultural trade policy has emerged as a priority issue over the past decade,” Bacus said. “The removal of trade barriers has allowed the United States to become the dominant beef supplier in key markets like Korea and Japan, and an emerging powerhouse in China.”

Additional sessions will be led by OSU experts and will focus on topics such as rural broadband access in Oklahoma, small meat processing, agricultural finance, grain and livestock market analyses, and updates on the department’s student programs, among others.

For more information, contact Ladd by email at or by phone at 405-744-6159.

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