Big Data, Biotech Discussion on Schedule for 2015 USDA Ag Outlook Forum

Big Data, Biotech Discussion on Schedule for 2015 USDA Ag Outlook Forum

USDA announces Ag Outlook Forum speakers; theme will be "Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century'

Planning to foster a "global, modern" look at agriculture's role in biotechnology, big data, foreign trade, pollinator health and many more topics, the USDA on Monday released its schedule of speakers and topics for the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Feb. 19-20 in Arlington, Va.

Now in its 91st year, the forum will include a roundtable discussion between Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and European Commissioner of Agriculture & Rural Development Phil Hogan, as well as a keynote addressing food and foreign policy from Dr. Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations.

USDA's Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will deliver the 2015 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack moderates the plenary panel of Young Farmers - Unlimited Opportunities at the 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va. (USDA photo)

Ag careers, big data panels
A 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 Secretary Tom Vilsack, the big data panel includes: Senior Vice President of John Deere's Intelligent Solutions Group, Cory J. Reed; Monsanto Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Robert T. Fraley, American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director of Congressional Relations, Mary Kay Thatcher; and IBM Corporation Vice President of Mobile, Solutions, and Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Robert Sutor.

Related: Farmers Concerned Data May End Up In Wrong Hands

Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will welcome the plenary audience and also 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 Forum's dinner speaker will be Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Breakout sessions >>

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Speaking at the 25 breakout sessions and five topical luncheons will be more than 100 distinguished experts. Breakout session topics on the agenda 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; Antimicrobial 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 for Producers; Regional Approaches to Rural Growth; Local Food Marketing Trends; The 100th Anniversary of USDA Market News; and Reducing Food Waste.

Registration is available on the USDA website. Attendees are expected to include members of farm organizations, food and fiber firms, academia, foreign governments, and the news media.

Registration is $400 until Jan. 21, 2015, and $450 thereafter. 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.

Source: USDA

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