USDA'S Conner to Speak At World Food Prize In Des Moines

Acting U.S. Secretary of Agriculture will deliver an address at "Borlaug Dialogue" to highlight first official trip to Iowa.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that newly named acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner will give a major address at the 2007 Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium on biofuels on October 18 in Des Moines. It will be Conner's first trip to Iowa as acting head of USDA.
Conner will be featured luncheon speaker on Thursday, October 18, at 12 noon. He'll join the leaders of agribusiness companies including DuPont, Land O'Lakes, Monsanto and Syngenta, as well as foreign government officials, world-renowned biofuels experts and representatives of the United Nations in discussing "Biofuels and Biofood: The Global Challenges of Emerging Technology."

The 2007 Borlaug Dialogue will be held at the Des Moines Marriott downtown October 17-19 as part of the awarding of the $250,000 World Food Prize to Dr. Philip Nelson of Purdue University. Several hundred policymakers, industry officials and ag and science experts from around the world will attend.

To discuss renewable energy challenges
"The USDA has shown a strong commitment to honoring the legacy of Dr. Borlaug," says Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation. "We are extremely pleased that Acting Secretary Conner will join us as we discuss both the possibilities and challenges posed by the burgeoning biorenewable energy sector."

An updated schedule of events and speaker list for the 2007 Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium can be found at www.worldfoodprize.org/symposium/2007.htm.

The "Borlaug Dialogue" will include several side events on October 17, including a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service open session on Women in Science and Global Agriculture, a U.S. Agency for International Development open forum on Biofuels in Africa and an evening informational event and reception, the Iowa Biofuels Expo, which will highlight Iowa's leadership in bioenergy. The symposium will host 44 USDA Norman Borlaug International Fellows.

A special discounted rate of $165 is offered for Iowans and is available only at www.worldfoodprize.org/iowa. The World Food Prize was founded in 1986 and has been headquartered in Iowa since 1990. Several heads of state have called the annual $250,000 award "the Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture."

An impressive list of speakers is set
"We expect a wide-ranging, thought-provoking discussion of biofuels' promises and challenges, especially in the context of issues including climate change, declining water resources, food security, global and regional trade and international development," he says. "We've recruited speakers from around the world to offer unique perspectives on the future of the growing biofuel industry."

Confirmed speakers include:
• Hugh Grant, CEO of Monsanto
• Chris Policinski, CEO of Land O'Lakes
• Chad Holliday, CEO of DuPont
• Jeffrey Cox, Global Head of Corn and Soybeans, Syngenta
• Chuck Conner, Acting U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
• Lulama Xingwana, South Africa's Minister of Agriculture
• Daniel Sullivan, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs
• Roberto Rodrigues, Brazil's former Minister of Agriculture
• Corrado Clini, director-general of Italy's Ministry of the Environment and chair of the G8 Global Bioenergy Partnership
• John Powell, Deputy Executive Director, UN World Food Programme
• Zhangliang Chen, President of China Agricultural University
• Ibrahim Mayaki, Executive Director of The Hub for Rural Development in West & Central Africa and Former Prime Minister of Niger
• Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA's lead researcher on climate change and agriculture
• James Greenwood, CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization

Other speakers and attendees will include high-level representatives of USDA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and several land-grant universities, research institutions, biofuels producers, and agribusinesses.

The "Borlaug Dialogue" will include several side events on October 17, including a U.S. Agency for International Development open forum on Biofuels in Africa and an evening informational event and reception, the Iowa Biofuels Expo, which will highlight Iowa's leadership in bioenergy.

The World Food Prize was founded in 1986 and has been headquartered in Iowa since 1990. Several heads of state have called the annual $250,000 award "the Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture."

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