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Farm Progress

Timely update by ag economists provides insight into current, upcoming year

Shelley E. Huguley

October 27, 2017

23 Slides

More than 120 agricultural lenders, economists, and producers heard updates on the farm bill debate, trade, and farm economic conditions at the Rural Economic Outlook Conference, held Oct. 20, at Stillwater, Okla.

Keynote speakers included Cortney Cowley, an economist in the Regional Affairs Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Dr. Pat Westhoff, director of Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, University of Missouri; and Dr. Luis Ribera, professor and director of the Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M University.

Cowley discussed the economic conditions in the United States and Oklahoma. Westhoff focused on the farm bill, the context of the next farm debate and outlining some of the major issues in agriculture today. And Ribera discussed trade, including NAFTA, the 1994 trade pact between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and its success in increasing U.S. exports to NAFTA countries.  “We have quadrupled our exports to NAFTA countries, while only tripling exports to the rest of the world,” Ribera said.

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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