LARAMIE — Despite drought and a growing list of regulatory and other challenges for Wyoming farmers and ranchers, some experts are still trying to remind people opportunities in agriculture are expansive.
The third annual AgriFuture conference Oct. 16-18 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Laramie will benefit from peer discussions, brainstorming and the potential to generate innovative ideas within the industry, according to the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.
The conference will bring together producers, students and other industry representatives to learn from experts in the field. Speakers will present on the state and future of agriculture in Wyoming and the nation.
"It provides a venue for remarkable ideas and insight on how we can collectively get through some of the challenges we all face today in order to reach the immense potential of agriculture," the website for the event states. "Through great speakers, productive brainstorming sessions, a beautiful setting in Laramie and meaningful conversations, we hope to take another positive and important step toward the future and health of our industry."
The industry has been suffering in many regards this year, with high hay prices and drought conditions that have prompted large herd selloffs in some parts of the state. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, alfalfa hay is going for $210 per ton, up $70 from last year's prices for September. Other hay is going for $190 per ton, also up $70 from last year's prices. But the industry will carry on.
"Agriculture is essential to our daily lives," said Derek Grant, public information officer for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture in a release. "It provides everything from the food we eat to the clothing we wear while maintaining the open spaces many love to enjoy."
Grant said the agriculture industry must grow with world population and the demand it creates for food and fiber.
"With this in mind, AgriFuture was conceived to start addressing the obstacles that stand in the way of reaching our potential through collaborative work, discussion and ideas," Grant said.
A registration brochure and more information can be found at http://agriculture.wy.gov/directors-office/agrifuture
along with a link to the online registration for the conference. Registration is $100, though some scholarships will be available.
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