Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

February 14, 2000

Conference spotlights post-Soviet agriculture

The School of Rural Extension Studies, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, are sponsoring the "Doing Business in Russia/Ukraine Conference: Spotlight on Post-Soviet Agriculture" Feb. 24-26 at the College Inn.

Chaired by Prof. Glen Filson, School of Rural Extension Studies, the conference will address issues of interest to agri-food exporters and investors in Russia and Ukraine, as well as Canadian government officials and North American academics interested in post-Soviet agriculture. More than 100 people from Russia, Ukraine, Canada and the United States are expected to attend the three days of lectures, plenaries and workshops. Discussion will focus on agribusiness (Feb. 24), government issues (Feb. 25) and topics of academic interest (Feb. 26).

Filson says the conference will enable members of Canada's agri-food sector to meet businesspeople working in Russia and Ukraine and visiting Russian food importers. Attendees will learn about what help is available from the Canadian government to facilitate trade and investment in agri-food with Ukraine and Russia.

"This is an important conference with respect to trade and investment between Canadian agri-food companies and Russia and Ukraine," he said. "And it comes at a very good time. With the rising price of oil and gas, of which Russia is a major exporter, the country is finally in a position to be able to afford to meet some of its desperate food shortages. There's a real chance of agri-food synergy between Canada and the Russia/Ukraine region because of the incredible similarities in our geology and geography."

Guest speakers include Evgenia Serova, head of agrarian policy at the Institute for Economy in Transition in Moscow; David Epshtein of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences in St. Petersburg; Stephen Wegren of Southern Methodist University in Dallas; Valery Patsiorkovski of the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies of the Population in Moscow; Valery Khozhempo of the faculty of economics at Friendship University in Moscow; and Alexander Makeev, director of the Foundation for Agrarian Development at Moscow State University. U of G speakers include Prof. Fred Eidlin, Political Science; and Profs. Wayne Pfeiffer and Peter Stonehouse, Agricultural Economics and Business.

Academics can attend the second and third days of the conference for $135. Cost for students is $50 for all three days. For more information, visit the Web site or contact Filson at Ext. 6231 or

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 6982.

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