The economic and policy outlook for North Carolina agriculture will be on the agenda at the eighth annual Ag Development Forum Thursday, Jan. 31, at the State Fairgrounds.

The forum will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Holshouser Building. Nick Piggott, an agricultural economist at North Carolina State University, will be the keynote speaker.

The forum also will feature Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler’s annual State of Agriculture address, and representatives of North Carolina agribusinesses will share stories of how they succeeded in bringing local foods to market.

“Winter is a time when farmers plan for the year, and we want to load them up with plenty of information they can use to make decisions,” Troxler said. “This forum is designed not just for farmers, but also for agribusinesses and others with an interest in the continued success of North Carolina agriculture.”

Admission to the forum is free, and lunch will be provided. Registration is requested by Jan. 25. To register, go to Individuals with questions may contact Chrissy Waggett at 919-707-3008.

The forum is sponsored by Matkins Meats, Carolina Packers and Chaudhry Halal Meats.