The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced speakers for the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum, "Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century," to be held from Feb. 19-20, 2015, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va. The forum's plenary speakers and sessions will take a global, modern look at different aspects of today's agriculture industry.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and European Commissioner of Agriculture & Rural Development Phil Hogan will engage in a far-ranging roundtable discussion on agriculture. Dr. Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, will address "Food, Foreign Policy and International Order." USDA's Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will deliver the 2015 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks.
The plenary panel focuses on "A Discussion on Innovation, Biotechnology, and Big Data" with wide latitude for panelists to talk about the intersection of these issues. Moderated by Secretary Tom Vilsack, the panel includes: Cory J. Reed, Senior Vice President, Intelligent Solutions Group, John Deere and Company; Dr. Robert T. Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto; Mary Kay Thatcher, Senior Director, Congressional Relations, American Farm Bureau Federation; and Dr. Robert Sutor, Vice President, Mobile, Solutions, and Mathematical Sciences, IBM Corporation.
Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will welcome the plenary audience and also moderate an afternoon session titled "Tomorrow's Opportunities," focused on the potential of agriculture as a career, and the importance of new and beginning farmers and ranchers.
The Forum's dinner speaker will be Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Speaking at the 25 breakout sessions and five topical luncheons will be more than 100 distinguished experts. Breakout session topics on the agenda include: Perspectives on Global and U.S. Trade; Big Data's Impact on U.S. Agriculture; Commodity Situation and Outlooks; Food Price and Farm Income Outlooks; Moving Feed, Food and Fuel to Market; Opportunities in the Bio-Economy; Antimicrobial Resistance; and Bee/Pollinator Issues Facing Agriculture.
Additional breakout sessions will cover: Conservation and Regulatory Program Updates; Water Issues and Drought, Climate Change; Nutrition Trends and New Opportunities for Producers; Regional Approaches to Rural Growth; Local Food Marketing Trends; The 100th Anniversary of USDA Market News; and Reducing Food Waste.
Registration is available at www.usda.gov/oce/forum. First held in 1923, the Agricultural Outlook Forum provides 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 $400 until Jan. 21, 2015, and $450 thereafter. Plenary speeches will be Webcast after 6 p.m. ET on Feb. 19, and breakout session speeches and presentations will be posted online after 6 p.m. Feb. 20.