U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will be the keynote speaker at the 2017 Iowa Ag Summit on Aug. 5 in Des Moines. He will be joined by farm leaders, lawmakers and agribusiness leaders. The public is invited to attend the one-day event, which will feature discussions on issues important to agriculture’s future, such as trade policy, renewable energy, sustainable farming, the environment, corporate mergers and the 2018 Farm Bill.
“Having a commitment from Secretary Perdue to join in this discussion signals the value he places on developing a comprehensive strategy to ensure agriculture and our country’s agribusinesses are as vibrant and productive as they can be,” says Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group, organizer of the event.
Perdue is a veterinarian and former Georgia governor. He made his first visit to Iowa as U.S. ag secretary in May, speaking at the Couser Cattle Co. feeding operation at Nevada. This year’s Iowa Ag Summit will also feature state, regional, national and international officials. It will be held at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines.
State, national ag officials on program
Rastetter and Summit Ag Group hosted the first Iowa Ag Summit in March 2015, featuring one-on-one discussions on agriculture and economic issues with the field of U.S. presidential candidates who were vying to represent their parties in the 2016 election. This year’s event will include speeches, panel discussions and agricultural exhibits, says Rastetter. It will provide a “platform for elected officials, public policy leaders, agribusiness leaders and the public to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing today’s agricultural industry.”
Iowa’s two U.S. senators, Republicans Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst, have committed to attend and take part in the discussions. Both are members of the Senate Ag Committee and will be involved in formulating the 2018 Farm Bill. Grassley has been a longtime proponent of renewable fuels and has helped craft federal farm legislation and policy over the years. Ernst is active in these issues and in environmental policy, such as the recently proposed revisions to the Waters of the U.S. regulations.
The Aug. 15 Iowa Ag Summit starts at 8 a.m. and runs all day with different breakout sessions, in addition to the keynote presentations. Panel discussions will allow time for questions and answers with audience participation. Go to agsummit.com for more information and to order tickets, or call 515-282-3000.