U. S. farmers may face some troubling times as they deal with uncertain support for traditional government agriculture programs, a decline in research funding and increased pressure from regulatory agencies.

“But it’s still an exciting time to be involved in agriculture,” said Neil Conklin, president of the Farm Foundation in Oak Brook, Ill.

Conklin was a keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Rural Economic Outlook Conference at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

Conklin said despite signs of recovery the recession effects still linger with slow growth, low interest rates that could led to deflation, dismal prospects for real estate, persistent imbalances in global trade and finance, and plenty of downside risk.

Unemployment continues to dog the U.S. economy and improvements may take longer than usual following a recession. Unemployment in the Mountain and Plains states has been less severe than on the coasts. “These areas are less dependent on manufacturing,” Conklin said.