"Prices, Policy, and the WTO," the Agricultural Forum 2002 at Iowa State University, will focus on the effort to align U.S. farm policy with commitments to world trade.

The March 1 forum, sponsored by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), also will explore the effect both domestic and international policies have on commodity prices and the profitability of U.S. agriculture.

Designing appropriate and effective policy for the U.S. agricultural sector has become more of a balancing act for congressional leaders in 2002. The income safety net is on one side of the issue, while commitments to reduce trade barriers, along with trade-distorting domestic subsidies, is on the other. The Agricultural Forum 2002 will provide a closer examination of these issues and stimulate an informed debate.

Following introductory remarks by CARD director Bruce Babcock, Robert Thompson, director of rural development at The World Bank, will speak on the world agricultural situation. A closer look at the mission of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will follow, with a spotlight on the key issues to be resolved before completion of a new trade agreement in agriculture.

Panelists from Brazil, Canada and Korea will discuss international perspectives of WTO rules and U.S. farm policy. Dan Sumner of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center and Anastassios Haniotis of the European Commission will measure the progress of the United States and European Union in enacting WTO-compliant domestic agricultural policy. A final session will assess the impact of trade negotiations on Midwestern commodities and livestock. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Indiana farmer Jim Moseley also has been invited to talk about the new farm bill at the Forum luncheon.

Registration is $75 if postmarked by Feb. 20, or $90 after that date and at the door. Students and Iowa State University faculty and staff can register for $25. For the latest program information and a downloadable registration form, visit the Agricultural Forum website, http://www.agforum.org, or call (515) 294-6257.

CARD initiated the Agricultural Forum in 1990 to facilitate an annual, broad-based discussion of issues critical to the vitality of agriculture.