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Agriculture economic forum livecast in Ellsworth Wednesday

ELLSWORTH -- Agricultural economists and commodity specialists from UW-Madison and the UW-Extension will talk about the financial health of farming for the year to come at the fourth annual Wisconsin Agricultural Economic Outlook Forum in Madison.

The forum will be webcast live from 12:45-4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, in Ellsworth.

Local farmers and agricultural professionals attending will have the opportunity to pose questions and receive live responses from the presenters in Madison.

The event coincides with the release of the 2011 edition of Status of Wisconsin Agriculture 2011, a report by the UW-Madison Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

"As goes milk prices, so goes the farm economy in Wisconsin," says Bruce Jones, a UW-Madison agricultural finance specialist who helped write the report. "In 2009 we saw a substantial drop in net farm income primarily caused by a decline in milk prices. Things were much better in 2010 because milk prices improved."

The forum will begin with an overview of how Wisconsin's farmers fared in 2010 and a look at how national and worldwide economic events will affect the state's farmers and agricultural firms in the year to come.

The discussion will turn to the supply-and-demand situation for key state commodities, including milk, corn and soybeans, livestock, and fruits and vegetables, as well as for the products and services that farmers purchase.

The forum's live webcast will take place at the Pierce County Courthouse EOC Meeting Room. It's free and open to the public.

With limited seating of 30-35, reservations by phone will be taken on a first-call basis.

The event is presented by the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and UW-Extension Cooperative Extension in partnership with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Wisconsin Farmers Union,

For reservations or information, call the Pierce County UW-Extension Office at 715-273-6781.