Published on 01/05/12

Ag Forecast events set across Georgia in January

By Sharon Dowdy

Will it cost more to feed families in Georgia this year? Do farmers expect high yields? Will poultry still rule the roost in Georgia? These and many more agricultural questions will be answered at the sixth annual Ag Forecast Series set for the week of Jan. 23-27.

The events will be held across the state in Macon, Tifton, Statesboro, Gainesville and Carrollton. The sessions will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at noon. A networking lunch will wrap up each session.

The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Department of Agriculture will present the agricultural update. UGA ag economists will present the annual economic outlook for agriculture and agribusinesses.

The Macon session will be held Jan. 23 at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building. The Tifton session will be held Jan. 24 on the UGA campus in Tifton. The Statesboro session will be held Jan. 25 at the Nessmith-Lane Center. The Gainesville session will be held Jan. 26 at the Georgia Mountains Center. The Carrollton session will be held Jan. 27 at the Carroll County Ag Center.

Participants will receive a copy of the 2012 Ag Forecast book, which gives a detailed analysis of each of Georgia’s major agricultural product - from broilers to blueberries.

The keynote speaker at each location will be Nowell Berreth, an attorney who represents agribusinesses in litigation and general counseling. He works frequently on matters concerning the Packers & Stockyards Act, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, the Capper-Volstead Act and other agricultural statutes. Berreth also works closely with producers and distributors of many agricultural products, including poultry, peanuts, fresh produce, corn and soybeans.

Mary Jay Thatcher of the American Farm Bureau Foundation will present an update on the farm bill at the Macon event. Jon Huffmaster, legislative director for the Georgia Farm Bureau, will discuss the farm bill at each of the other forecast locations.

CAES Extension economist Nathan Smith will present the agricultural forecast in Macon. Smith specializes in production marketing and policy for peanuts, agricultural marketing and consumer demand, agribusiness, production economics and risk management.

George A. Shumaker, a UGA professor emeritus, will present the ag forecast in Tifton and Statesboro. Shumaker has more than 30 years of experience in agricultural economics as a teacher, researcher and Extension specialist. He conducts market analysis and evaluates the feasibility of alternative energy production from agricultural resources.

In Gainesville, the ag forecast will be presented UGA professor emeritus and Distinguished Agricultural Marketing Professor John McKissick. While at UGA, he developed and implemented economics and marketing programs for Georgia agribusiness firms as well as policy and data studies for public and private decision makers. He is also the former director of UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and former Extension program coordinator for the department of agricultural and applied economics.

UGA livestock economist Curt Lacy will present the ag forecast in Carrollton. Lacy routinely provides beef-cattle-market updates and other economic information to producers, UGA county Extension agents and agribusiness people across the South. He is also the risk management coordinator for the Georgia Beef Challenge, one of the oldest beef cattle feed-out and carcass evaluation programs in the U.S.

Registration will open at 9 a.m. at each session. The sessions cost $30 per person or $200 for a table of eight and includes lunch. For more information and to register, visit

Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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