USDA names speakers for 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced speakers for the 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum, "The Changing Face of Agriculture," to be held from Feb. 20-21 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate two general session panels on the Future of Agriculture. Speaking in the first panel will be Administrator of the U. S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah; President of the Produce Marketing Association Cathy Burns; and Kellee James, founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market trading platform for organic agricultural commodities.

The second panel focuses on young farmers and includes Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition Michael O'Gorman; Joanna Carraway, a young Kentucky farmer who won the 2013 Top Producer Horizon Award; Greg Wegis, who operates a 17,600-acre vegetable and nut farm in California; and the Interim Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition, Emily Oakley.

Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will welcome the audience and moderate an afternoon panel titled "A Roadmap for Women in Agriculture" composed of notable young women discussing their successful careers. Panelists include corn and soybean farmer Kate Danner; Director of Government Relations for Land O' Lakes Autumn Veazey; and Director of Specialty Crops for the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation Debbie Hamrick.

USDA's Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will deliver the 2014 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks. The Forum's dinner speaker will be U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance will host a live streaming Food Dialogues, (www.fooddialogues.com/) titled "Nutrition: Who Is Shaping America's Eating Habits?" Panelists will include:

  • Carolyn O'Neill, MS, RD – Nutrition Expert, Food Journalist, and Television Personality (Moderator)
  • Dr. Craig Rowles – Partner and General Manager, Elite Pork Partnership, Carroll, Iowa
  • Dennis Derryck – President and Founder, Corbin Hill Farms, New York, NY
  • Jim Call – Farmer, Call Farms, Madison, Minn.
  • Colette Rihane, MS, RD –Nutrition Guidance and Analysis Division Director, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA, Washington, DC
  • Dr. Roger Clemens – Chief Scientific Officer for ETHorn and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences at USC, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN –Corporate Dietician, Bashas' Grocery Stores, Phoenix, Ariz.

USDA's first release of preliminary data from the new Census of Agriculture will occur at the Forum; panelists will cover the latest information on land tenure and demographic and production trends.

Speaking at the 29 breakout sessions will be more than 95 distinguished experts in the fields of international trade, forestry, conservation, invasive pests and citrus disease, nanotechnology, social media, local food systems, and food safety. The Forum continues to feature the traditional USDA commodity supply and demand, food price, farm income, and weather outlooks.

A program schedule and registration are available at www.usda.gov/oce/forum. USDA has hosted the Agricultural Outlook Forum since 1923 to provide farmers and ranchers, government, and agribusinesses with sound information for decision-making. Attendees are expected to include members of farm organizations, food and fiber firms, academia, foreign governments, and the news media.

Registration is $375 until Jan. 21, 2014, and $425 thereafter. Plenary speeches will be Webcast after 6 p.m. ET on Feb. 21, and breakout session speeches and presentations will be posted online after 6 p.m. Feb. 21.


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