Recent Meetings

USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum

Agricultural Outlook Forum 2005, to be held on February 24-25 in Arlington, VA, focuses on the connections between science, policy, and the marketplace. Science holds the key to raising productivity and safeguarding the environment, and informs domestic policymaking on trade regulations, nutrition and health, and energy. Sessions will feature ERS analysis on such topics as food prices and retail outlets, farm finance and household well-being, and rural development. Donna Roberts

USDA Biotechnology Conference in North Africa

In December 2004, ERS economist John King gave two presentations at a conference in Cairo, Egypt, sponsored by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, on 'The Role of Agricultural Biotechnology in Food Safety.' One presentation concerned the role of intellectual property rights in promoting agricultural biotechnology. The second concerned the role of intellectual property rights in ag biotech, focusing on the U.S. experience and technology transfer. John King

Allied Social Science Association Meetings

In January 2004, several ERS researchers participated in the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations, held in Philadelphia, PA. ERS researchers presented work or organized sessions on, among other topics, the economics of invasive species, effects of food stamps on food security, and the health and well-being of American agricultural workers.

Future of Our Food & Farms Summit

In December 2004, two ERS economists participated in the Sixth Annual 'Future of Our Food & Farms' Summit in Philadelphia, PA, sponsored by USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. Mary Ahearn discussed the prevalence of contracting in U.S. agriculture and Doris Newton discussed small farm statistics, both as part of a training track for minority farmers. Mary Ahearn and Doris Newton

Food and Nutrition Research Small Grants Conference

In December 2004, the ERS Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) sponsored the annual Small Grants Program Conference in Washington, DC. FANRP partners with five institutions to administer the Small Grants Program, which applies a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the impacts of food assistance. The conference brought together the 2003 grant recipients from each institution to present their research results. Key themes for the conference included obesity, nutrition and food security, and the connections among food assistance participation, welfare reform, household well-being, and the local community.

Community Colleges and Creative Economies

In November 2004, ERS and Regional Technology Strategies, along with the Appalachian Regional Commission and other rural interest groups, cosponsored a conference on Community Colleges and Creative Economies in Asheville, NC. In today's challenging economic environment, many rural communities are turning their attention to using arts, crafts, and other creative/cultural assets to develop or sustain market niches and supplement family incomes. Community colleges, which are the most accessible and flexible post-secondary educational institutions in rural America, can be key players in this effort.

Professional Agricultural Workers Conference

In December 2004, ERS provided support for the 62nd Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC), held at Tuskegee University. Since 1942, agricultural workers have convened at the PAWC to discuss strategies for enhancing the economic opportunities and well-being of rural residents. Samuel Calhoun represented ERS at the conference and serves on the Advisory and Planning Committee.

Agricultural Trade Policy Modeling Workshop

In November 2004, ERS and Pennsylvania State University cosponsored a workshop, 'Agricultural Policy Modeling,' bringing together researchers from organizations around the world with a common interest in using economic models for analysis of agricultural trade policy issues. The workshop was designed to be a first step toward establishing a consortium of partial equilibrium agricultural trade and policy modelers.