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UW’s Wisconsin Agricultural Outlook Forum is Jan. 16

University of Wisconsin-Madison economists and commodity specialists will be joined by Larry Salathe, senior economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture”s Office of the Chief Economist, to review the financial condition of the state”s farm sector and the outlook for agricultural commodities important to the state at the second annual Agricultural Economic Outlook Forum on Jan. 16.

The event will be held from 12:30-4:30 p.m. in the Ebling Symposium Center of the Microbial Sciences Building, 1550 Linden Dr. on the UW- Madison campus. The event is free and the general public is encouraged to attend. A reception, sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Wisconsin Farmers Union, will follow the program.

The event will begin with an overview of how Wisconsin”s farmers fared in 2008 and a look at how national and worldwide economic events will affect the state”s farmers and agricultural firms in the year to come. The discussion will then turn to the supply and demand situation for key Wisconsin commodities, including dairy, corn and soybeans, livestock, and fruits and vegetables, as well as for the products and services that farmers purchase.

New this year, the forum will also be available via webcast. Many county UW-Extension offices will host a viewing of the webcast that will include a local discussion among participants and an opportunity to ask questions of the speakers in Madison.

The webcast can also viewed live online at and will also be archived for future viewing. That website also has details about the event, including information on parking, topics and the reception.

The forum coincides with the release of the 2009 edition of “Status of Wisconsin Agriculture,” published by the UW-Madison Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. The event is presented by the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension in partnership with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Wisconsin Farmers Union.