Top economists will join academic and business experts to discuss the economic outlook, global trade agreements, California’s water supply, immigration policy reform and other issues at the 32nd Annual Agribusiness Management Conference, Oct. 31 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Fresno.

Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro will deliver opening remarks at 8 a.m. Terry Barr, chief economist for CoBank, will discuss economic challenges and opportunities in his address, “Economic Outlook: Traversing the Minefield.” John Wainio, economist with the USDA Economic Research Service will discuss “New Trade Agreements: Prospects for California Agriculture.”

“Our markets are subject to the trends in the general economy and the global economy as well,” said Dr. Mechel Paggi, director of Fresno State’s Center for Agricultural Business. “The conference will feature expert speakers who will address these issues and participants will be provided with supporting information and outlooks on specific commodities.”

Dr. David Zoldoske, director of the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State, will moderate a panel on California’s water supply.

Monte Lake, a Washington, D.C. attorney who provided counsel on labor and agricultural interests for more than 30 years, will discuss immigration reform. He’ll be joined on the topic by Craig Reglbrugge, co-chair of the Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform, and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

The event will conclude with Jock O’Connell, one of California’s trade experts, in his presentation, “Imagining California in 2023: Economic Issues and Outlook.”

The conference is sponsored by the Center for Agricultural Business, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Zenith Insurance Company. It is designed for farmers, farm managers, attorneys, appraisers, insurance personnel, processors, accountants and others in the agribusiness industry.

For more information, or registration information, call 559.278.4405 or visit

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