Good information is the best defense against the unforeseen circumstances — like changing governmental regulations and weather patterns — that can impact agriculture.
That’s why the University of Georgia’s team of agricultural economists kicks off each year with the Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series. There, they present valuable insights into what the upcoming year will hold for the state’s largest industry.
The 2016 seminar series will be held Jan. 21-29 in Carrollton, Cleveland, Bainbridge, Tifton, Alma and Macon, Georgia. Registration for the series is now open at georgiaagforecast.com.
The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences hosts the annual seminar series, and its attendance grows every year. Nearly 1,000 producers, agribusiness representatives and community leaders attended the seminars in 2015.
“The main objective of the Ag Forecast seminar series is to provide Georgia’s producers and agribusiness leaders with information on where we think the industry is headed in the upcoming year,” said Kent Wolfe, director of the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. “It helps producers plan for the next year, but it’s also good for bankers and others who have businesses involved in agriculture or who will be impacted by the farm economy.”
Economists from the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and from the college’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics will deliver the economic outlook, which will focus on Georgia’s major commodities and the way that global markets, weather patterns and historical trends will affect those commodities.
In addition to the annual economic outlook, Wolfe and fellow UGA agricultural economist Sharon P. Kane will give a briefing on the Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption, often referred to as “GATE,” and how it is reflected in county sales tax revenue.
The 2016 Ag Forecast sessions will be held on Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Carroll County Ag Center in Carrollton; Friday, Jan. 22, at Unicoi State Park in Cleveland; Monday, Jan. 25, at the Cloud Livestock Facility in Bainbridge; Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton; Wednesday, Jan. 27, at the Blueberry Warehouse in Alma; and Friday, Jan. 29, at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building in Macon.
The Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series is made possible through the Georgia Farm Bureau Land Grant University Lecture Series Endowment and is also supported by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council.
(Merritt Melancon is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)