October 7, 2015
Lowell Catlett, well-known as “an exciting futurist, whose knowledge of technologies and their implications on the way we will live and work is addressed in his varied and upbeat presentations,” will be the featured speaker at the Rural Economic Outlook Conference Oct, 30 on the Oklahoma State University Campus at Stillwater.
“We are excited to have Dr. Catlett joining us this year,” says Damona Doye, OSU Agricultural Economics Regents Professor and Rainbolt Chair of Agricultural Finance. “We’ve tried for several years, but have had scheduling problems. His vast knowledge astounds corporate and association audiences both nationally and internationally. His presentations are thought- provoking and highly-entertaining.”
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Other presentations will focus on how “big data” affects rural America, Doye says. “Big data continues to be in the news, and we have a software company here in Stillwater that is a leader in managing data and harvesting information. We’ll hear thoughts from SST Software CEO Matt Waits about new frontiers in the use of big data.”
Several national initiatives seek to increase attention on the condition of soil and to reawaken public interest in its importance, she says. “Soil health is important, not only to agricultural producers, but also to agribusiness, academics, and others — it is key to feeding the world’s growing population. We’ll hear from Jeff Moens, Noble Foundation, about the project with which they’ve been involved, and its progress.
“We’ll also have an opportunity to hear from a variety of experts with outlook information on the general economy, agricultural finance issues, and grain and livestock markets.”
The annual conference will be held in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center and will address “trends and expectations regarding the rural economy and agriculture,” according to the conference brochure.
A pre-registration deadline is Oct. 23. Online registration is available. Also, contact the OSU department of agricultural economics at (405) 0744-9836, AgEcon.OKState.edu
About the Author(s)
Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress
Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.
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