WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2014 – The Department of Agriculture today announced the speaker lineup for the Agricultural Outlook Forum, a two-day conference designed to discuss topics in agriculture’s future.

The event, held Feb. 19-20, 2015 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va., will offer a “global, modern look at different aspects of today’s agriculture industry,” according to a USDA release. Entitled “Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century,” the forum brings together domestic and international speakers to discuss trade, technology, food policy, income projections, and numerous other topics.

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Speakers and topics are as follows, according to USDA:
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and European Commissioner of Agriculture & Rural Development Phil Hogan will engage in a roundtable discussion on agriculture.
  • 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 Vilsack, the panel includes:
    • Cory J. Reed, senior vice president, intelligent solutions group, John Deere and Company
    • Robert T. Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Monsanto
    • Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director, congressional relations, American Farm Bureau Federation
    • Robert Sutor, vice president, mobile, solutions, and mathematical sciences, IBM Corporation
  • USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will 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 event is now accepting either one- or two-day registration. It will also feature breakout sessions and topical luncheons aside from the speeches. USDA said the two-day gathering will offer “farmers and ranchers, government, and agribusinesses with sound information for decision-making.”

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