The 2018 Wisconsin Agricultural Outlook Forum was held on the UW–Madison campus on Jan. 25, 2018. This event, held annually by the Renk Agribusiness Institute, includes presentations on the situation and outlook of Wisconsin agriculture as well as a rotating theme. This year’s theme, “Navigating the Rural-Urban Divide in Wisconsin” included a keynote presentation by Katherine Cramer, author of the book “The Politics of Resentment.”
In order to make the presentations available to those that were not able to attend the Forum, the Renk Agribusiness Institute has compiled the presentation slides and videos on their website.
The following is a short summary of each presentation topic and presenter.
- Farm Income and Cost Outlook: Paul Mitchell (Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics) discusses the net farm income of Wisconsin producers, expected margins for grains and livestock, variable input costs and land values.
- Dairy Situation and Outlook: Mark Stephenson, Ph.D. (Director of Dairy Policy Analysis) discusses the status and outlook for milk production, prices, premiums, consumer confidence and trade.
- Grain and Livestock Situation and Outlook: Brenda Boetel (Professor of Agricultural Economics) discusses the status and outlook for corn and soybean production and prices, as well as beef, pork and poultry production and prices and trade.
- Specialty Crop Situation and Outlook: Paul Mitchell (Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics) discusses that status and outlook for Wisconsin’s potato industry, cranberry industry and processing vegetables industry.
- Wisconsin Economy Situation and Outlook: Steve Deller (Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics) discusses the status of the Wisconsin economy, rates of employment and proprietorship, interest rates and the inflation rate.
- The Politics of Resentment: Kathy Cramer (Professor of Political Science) discusses examples from her field work that led to her book, The Politics of Resentment, and identifies specific aspects of the rural-urban divide she encountered through her innovative approach to the study of public opinion.
- Myths and Realities of the Rural-Urban Divide: Tessa Conroy (Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics) discusses Wisconsin-specific similarities and differences between rural and urban job growth, sources of earnings, educational attainment, entrepreneurship and business survival rates.
- Wisconsin Agribusiness Panel: Larry Alsum (Alsum Farms & Produce), Mark Crave (Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese), and Mark O’Connell (Wisconsin Counties Association) discuss how the rural-urban divide has impacted their organization, and ways that UW–Madison and the public sector could help to bridge that divide.