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Climate change, carbon credits and ag featured at 2009 Texas Ag Forum


With possible federal climate-change legislation on the horizon, the June 22 Texas Ag Forum in Austin will feature an in-depth look at the issues affecting production agriculture and the food and fiber system across the nation.

"Federal climate-change legislation is on the horizon," said Dr. Joe Outlaw, co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University and secretary of the Texas Ag Forum.

"Various proposals have been introduced in Congress to control carbon emissions by using a system called cap-and-trade. Under this system, entities are issued a permit for a specific amount of carbon emission or cap. An emitter who exceeds the cap must purchase credits from an entity who emits less."

Outlaw and a group of Texas commodity group and farm organization leaders have planned the 2009 Texas Ag Forum at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark to help educate agricultural producer groups and members about climate change and carbon trading.

The forum will feature presentations from university experts, farm groups and carbon trading representatives.

"Texans need to have an idea of whether the various cap and trade proposals are a net loss or net gain for agriculture," Outlaw said. "Fairly soon our agricultural groups are going to be asked which proposal they support, and they need to be able to understand the issues and make informed decisions. We have made an effort to find speakers who have done analyses of the various proposals."

Advanced registration for the Texas Ag Forum is $125 and covers attendance, breakfast and lunch. To register, or for more information, call 512-450-0555. Same-day registration is $150.

A limited block of rooms will be held until June 11, at a rate of $119 plus tax. Additional rooms are available at market rates.

Reservations can be made by calling Omni Central Reservations at 1-800-THE-OMNI. Ask for the "Texas Ag Forum 2009" room block at the Omni Southpark. Additional information is available from the Texas Ag Forum website at http://agforum.tamu.edu.

The Texas Ag Forum is as an association of agricultural leaders and representatives from across the Texas food-and-fiber system. It was founded over 20 years ago to provide a forum for open and public discussion of the problems and emerging issues in agriculture. It is a stakeholder-driven program in partnership with Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

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