Seeking a balanced analysis of the food and feed vs. fuel debate, the 2008 Texas Ag Forum will feature a comprehensive look at the issues affecting production agriculture and the food and fiber system across the nation.

The forum will be held June 9 at the Austin Omni Southpark Hotel in Austin.

“Rising fuel and food prices has many blaming grain-based ethanol for creating more problems than it solves,” said Dr. Joe Outlaw, co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University. “This issue is much more complicated than that. What we really need is a balanced evaluation of the issues.”

Outlaw and a group of Texas commodity group and farm organization leaders have planned the forum “to provide objective analysis of the food and feed versus fuel debate.”

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

“The conference will highlight the results of recent analysis conducted at major U.S. research universities,” Outlaw said. “Anyone who is interested in production agriculture or the food and fiber system would find this meeting valuable.”

“The livestock industry particularly has borne the costs of higher corn prices,” he said. “In the afternoon, we are going to have stakeholder presentations from the ethanol, feed grain, and livestock industries.”

Advanced registration is $100 and covers attendance, breakfast and lunch. To register, or for more information, call 979-845-5913. Same-day registration is $125.

A limited block of rooms at the Omni will be held until May 28 at a rate of $119 plus tax. Additional rooms are available at market rates. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 512-448-2222 or 1-800-THE-OMNI.

Ask for the room block for the “Texas Ag Forum 2008.” 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 more than 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.