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ISU'S AG Forum to Explore Impact of E-Commerce on Agriculture.

Business Editors

AMES, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 2000

The Internet -- a fact of daily life for many people -- is rapidly transforming the way business is carried out in agriculture.

On Feb. 28, Iowa State University's Agricultural Forum 2000 will explore e-commerce issues in agriculture and rural America. The theme is &uot;E-commerce: The Net Effect on Agribusiness.&uot;

&uot;The forum isn't a trade show or a how-to workshop. It's an issues-oriented meeting to address the impacts of e-commerce on marketing opportunities, margins in agricultural supply chains, price discovery, impacts on rural life and employment, and related topics,&uot; said Bruce Babcock, director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD).

CARD organized the forum with its affiliate, the Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center.

Forum highlights include:

-- Representatives from industry -- including Deere &Co., Pella

Corp. and Stine Seed Co. -- will discuss how they are using

digital systems to communicate with customers and suppliers and

to expand global markets. The panel includes Doug Neff, past

president of an organization that worked to establish e-commerce

standards for the agricultural inputs industry.

-- Rural sociologist Don Dillman will outline trends in Internet

business and what they mean for rural people and institutions.

-- Ghassan Bejjani, a specialist in agricultural investments with

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Venture Funds, and Kevin Kimle of

E-Markets, an Iowa firm specializing in online agricultural

e-commerce, will examine the market-making potential of online

businesses.

-- Officials from three &uot;dot com&uot; companies -- Farms.com,

DirectAg.com and XSAg.com -- will detail new ways they are

connecting entrepreneurial farmers and agribusinesses via the

Internet.

-- ISU agricultural economists John Miranowski and Dermot Hayes will

speak on future implications of e-commerce for farmers, consumers

and business people.

&uot;The forum will launch a research effort by CARD into how agricultural economists can contribute to a better understanding of the effects of e-commerce on agribusiness firms, consumers, farmers, environmental regulators and others,&uot; said Babcock. &uot;Those effects include lowering information costs and automating business transactions via the Internet.&uot;

Registration fee is $65. More program and registration information is available on the Web at www.agforum.org or by calling 515/294-5961.
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