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Conference At UW-Madison April 8 To Explore Farm Bill, World Trade Organization

Most everyone in agriculture knows that their livelihoods will be greatly affected by the ongoing Farm Bill negotiations, and by the nature of the agriculture agreement that will be hammered out in the Millennial (or “Doha”) Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization.

On Monday, April 8, the University of Wisconsin-Madison will hold a conference, “The Outlook for Agricultural Policy in 2002: A Briefing on the Farm Bill, the World Trade Organization, and Wisconsin Agriculture in the Global Economy,” at which USDA and UW-Madison experts will discuss the prospects for the Farm Bill and the WTO negotiations.

Conference speakers will provide an update on the state of the two negotiations. They will also assess the implications of some of the likely scenarios for the Farm Bill and the WTO agriculture agreement.

Two featured speakers are USDA Economic Research Service researchers. Lyle Schertz, who recently retired from the USDA, is the former editor of the agricultural policy magazine Choices, and the author of the widely read book The Making of the 1996 Farm Act, which chronicled the passage of the last Farm Bill. Schertz will speak on “the Making of the 2002 Farm Bill.”

Mary Bohman, research director for the Market and Trade Economics Division of the USDA”s Economic Research Service, will speak on “The WTO Negotiations and Forces Shaping the Future of American Agriculture in Global Markets.”

Tom Cox and Bill Dobson of the UW-Madison will also make presentations on how the Farm Bill and trade arrangements are likely to affect Wisconsin agricultural producers. Fred Buttel of the UW-Madison will discuss green payment and multifunctionality proposals in the Farm Bill debate.

The conference will be held at the Pyle Center on the UW-Madison campus. Refreshments will be served at 12.30 p.m., presentations will begin at 1 p.m., and the conference will conclude at 4:45 p.m.

This policy outlook conference will be jointly presented by the UW-Madison”s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, its Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy, and UW-Cooperative Extension. Several UW-Madison departments and centers are joint sponsors.

The conference will be videotaped. For a CD-ROM of the conference presentations and discussions, send a check for $10 (payable to University of Wisconsin-Madison) to Policy Conference, 1450 Linden Drive, 350 Ag Hall, Madison WI 53706.