FAQ: What is the theme of USDA's 2015 Agricultural Outlook Conference this year? When will it be held?
Answer: USDA has published the agenda of topics and list of 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.
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and European Commissioner of Agriculture & Rural Development Phil Hogan will engage in a far-ranging roundtable discussion. Dr. Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, will address "Food, Foreign Policy and International Order." USDA's chief economist will deliver the 2015 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks.
Innnovation, biotechnology and big data agenda
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 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; and Dr. Robert Sutor, Vice President, Mobile, Solutions and Mathematical Sciences, IBM Corp.
USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will welcome the plenary audience and also moderate an afternoon session on "Tomorrow's Opportunities," focused on the potential of ag 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 U.S. Trade Representative.
Features 25 breakout sessions on various topics
Speaking at the 25 breakout sessions and five topical luncheons will be more than 100 distinguished experts. Breakout session topics 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; Anti-microbial 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; 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. 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.