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Registration open for 2018 Wisconsin Agricultural Outlook Forum

The financial health of Wisconsin’s farms and agricultural businesses and the state’s rural-urban divide are topics for the upcoming Wisconsin Agricultural Outlook Forum on Thursday, Jan. 25 on the UW-Madison campus. The event features both academic and business leaders and is sponsored by UW-Madison, UW-Extension and several companies and organizations.

The 2018 forum runs from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in Varsity Hall II in Union South, located at 1308 West Dayton Street, Madison.

The program, organized by the UW-Madison’s Renk Agribusiness Institute, starts with presentations by UW-Madison and UW-Extension Cooperative Extension experts on the status of Wisconsin’s farm economy, including farm income and costs, and the current situation and outlook for dairy, corn and soybeans, livestock, and specialty crops. There will also be a presentation on the state’s overall economic situation and outlook.

After lunch, the forum features a keynote presentation by UW-Madison political scientist Katherine Cramer, author of the book The Politics of Resentment. The book is about rural political consciousness and the resentment of the liberal and often urban “elite,” including how place-based identities profoundly influence how people understand politics.

“We are excited to have Kathy Cramer at the forum this year. Her discussion of her book will help set the stage for the afternoon as we examine how these issues impact the state’s agribusinesses,” says Paul Mitchell, director of the Renk Agribusiness Institute.

The forum’s afternoon session will explore how Wisconsin agribusinesses affect — and are affected by — the rural-urban divide. UW-Extension, the Wisconsin Counties Association, and area agribusiness owners will be on hand to share perspectives from both the public sector and the private sector. Participating agribusiness owners will share their experiences related to how this rural-urban divide has affected their businesses in the past, how they address these issues now, and their expectations and wishes for the future.

Forum registration is now open. The $20 registration fee covers both the lunch and the forum. For a more detailed agenda and to register, visit: Registration closes Jan. 18.

For more information, contact Jeremy Beach at or (608) 262-9485.