Top Analysts Will Debate Domestic and Global Ag Policy at March Forum

Sandy Clarke, Communications, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, (515) 294-6257;

February 18, 2002

Ames, Iowa -- The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) will bring together top agricultural policy analysts from around the world to talk about global trade and domestic farm support at the Agricultural Forum 2002, "Prices, Policy, and the WTO," March 1 at the Scheman Building in Ames, Iowa. This year's forum comes at a time when Congress is hammering out the details of a new U.S. farm bill while a new agreement in agriculture also is pending for World Trade Organization members. The juxtaposition of the two agricultural policies-with their seemingly competing goals-sets the stage for the conference discussion.

"The direction and profitability of midwestern agriculture largely will be determined by the new farm bill and by the outcome of WTO negotiations," says CARD Director Bruce Babcock. "This year's Ag Forum will allow participants to interact directly with policy makers and analysts to gain a better understanding of where these policies are headed. The focus will be on understanding how politicians reconcile the need to support domestic interests while adhering to international standards of fair trade."

Brazilian, Canadian, and Korean economists will meet their U.S. counterparts from Iowa State University and the University of California to debate the impacts of policy choices on other countries and on world markets, the role of the World Trade Organization, and the key issues in drafting a successful new international agricultural agreement.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jim Moseley will provide the luncheon address on "The New Farm Bill and the New WTO Negotiations." U.S. Senator and Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Tom Harkin is also an invited speaker.

For the latest program information and a registration form, visit, or call (515) 294-7519. Walk-in registrations will be accepted the day of the program, beginning at 7:30 a.m., but the noon meal is not guaranteed. The program begins at 8:30 a.m.

CARD initiated the Agricultural Forum in 1990 to facilitate an annual, broad-based discussion of issues critical to the vitality of agriculture.