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The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Agribusiness Management Conference

Agribusiness Management Conference gives federal farm bill insight

(October 29, 2018) – Agricultural Council of California president Emily Rooney is among eight expert presenters who will speak at the 37th annual Agribusiness Management Conference from 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Fresno (2233 Ventura St.).

The conference will bring together members from the state’s agricultural business, economic, political and research sectors, as well as Fresno State faculty, staff and students.

This year’s theme is “The 2018 Farm Bill and USMCA: Issues and Perspectives” and will feature state, national and international economic forecasts and investment, water, industry and political topics.

Rooney will close the conference from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. with a luncheon talk focusing on the federal farm bill that is being reviewed by Congress. A new agricultural and food policy omnibus bill is drafted and signed into law every five years and is under the purview of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Since 2010 Rooney has served as president of the state agricultural council that advocates for more than 15,000 California farmers on regulatory and budget policy matters. She is a former director of farm policy for the California Farm Bureau Federation where she worked as a liaison with U.S. government and administrative bodies. She has advised two Congressional members on agricultural, budget, tax and judiciary matters.

Earlier in the morning, Dr. Terry Barr, a chief economist for CoBank, will give a national economic outlook.

Dr. Stephanie Mercier, a senior fellow for the Farm Journal Foundation, will make a presentation entitled “The Farm Bill based on the View from Washington, D.C.” She served as a former chief economist for the Democratic staff of the Senate Agriculture Committee from 1997 to 2011.

James Johansson, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation, will discuss potential farm bill and U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement impacts specific to California.

A roundtable about farm bill potential implications for water management in the San Joaquin Valley will feature Gary Serrato, Fresno Irrigation District general manager; Ellen Hanak, Public Policy Institute of California water policy senior fellow and center director; Curtis Tarver, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service assistant state conservationist for field operations; and Sarge Green, Fresno State Center for Irrigation Technology interim director.

“This year’s conference builds upon a nearly four decade tradition of providing actionable economic insights to ag producers and supporting service providers such as accounting, finance, legal and commodity associations,” said Dr. Susan Pheasant, newly-hired director for Fresno State’s Institute for Food and Agriculture. “The conference also provides a great venue for students and faculty to network with ag-related employers and identify needs and opportunities to address the diversity of challenges facing production agriculture today.”

Advance or walk-in registration is $125 and pre-registered faculty can attend for $25. The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology sponsors all pre-registered students. More conference information is available at, via email or via telephone at 559.278.4405.