The USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum has been an annual staple in the agency's history since 1923,and it's set to happen again Feb. 25 and 26. This week USDA announced the Plenary Panel for the event with the theme "Providing Leadership for Present and Future Generations in the Transformation of Agriculture."
The panelists for the plenary represent a wide-ranging perspective for the discussion, including: Elizabeth Garrett, President of Cornell University; Ilene Gordon, CEO of Ingredion; Pamela Hess, Executive Director of the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture; and Pam Johnson, an Iowa farmer and former president of National Corn Growers Association.
With technology taking a larger role in the future of agriculture these panelists will be addressing issues from their unique perspectives. Technology is opening new ways to improve production and enhance the entire marketing chain, while demographics are changing the rural landscape. These trends along with new markets domestically and abroad, and new programs in the 2014 Farm Bill form the basis for the 92nd Agricultural Outlook Forum.
The opening plenary will feature remarks from Secretary Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and "The 2016 Economic Outlook for Agriculture" presented by USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson. The Forum's keynote speaker is Howard Buffett, CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Mitch E. Daniels, Jr., President of Purdue University and former Governor of Indiana will be the dinner speaker.
Thirty concurrent track sessions supporting this theme include the Agriculture Talent Pipeline, Bioproducts, Commodities, Land & Tenure Transition, New Markets, Organics, Risk Management, Scientific Advancement, and Trade, to Urban Agriculture. Deputy Secretary Harden will also host a session on opportunities in agriculture for new and beginning farmers and host a Women's Agriculture Networking event.
USDA has hosted the Agricultural Outlook Forum since 1923. It's also USDA's largest annual meeting, attracting 1,600 attendees. It serves as a platform to facilitate conversation of key issues and topics within the agricultural community, including producers, processors, policy makers, government officials and NGOs, both foreign and domestic. The two-day meeting will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, Feb. 25–26, 2016.
To view Forum information and register go to usda.gov/oce/forum