Program on Myths and Realities of U.S. Farm Policy and Ag Trade

Bruce Babcock, CARD, (515) 294-6785
Sandra Clarke, CARD, (515) 294-6257
Richard Ross, College of Agriculture, (515) 294-2518
Susan Thompson, Communications Service, (515) 294-0705

September 25, 2001

AMES, IOWA--Dispelling common misperceptions about U.S. farm programs and agricultural trade policies is the goal of an educational forum in Ames Oct. 8.

The forum is open to the public, with a target audience of community leaders and Iowa State faculty, staff and students. It will be hosted by Richard Ross, dean of the Iowa State University College of Agriculture.

The event is Monday, Oct. 8, 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Stage Door area at the Scheman Continuing Education Building, Iowa State Center. Refreshments will be served.

The program will be led by Bruce Babcock, director of Iowa State's Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD). "We'll be talking about what farm programs actually do versus what people think they do," Babcock says. "We hope to foster a greater understanding of the policy choices and constraints Congress faces as it tries to fashion a new farm bill."

CARD is a public policy research center that analyzes alternative farm and rural policy options. CARD faculty will present background information on U.S. farm and trade policy.

Babcock will open the program with an overview of current farm and trade policies, focusing on the relationship between U.S. treaty commitments under the World Trade Organization and the type of farm program payments U.S. farmers have received in the last five years.

Next will be a discussion of agricultural trade between the United States, the European Union and Asia. This session will be led by Dermot Hayes, Pioneer Chair of Agribusiness in the College of Business, and John Beghin, head of CARD's trade and agricultural policy division.

Catherine Kling, head of CARD's resource and environmental policy division, will talk about conservation payments and the economic effects of increased environmental quality.

The forum will conclude with a review of policy directions under discussion for the next farm bill and how these may or may not address the wider concerns of rural areas.