The 96th USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum will be Feb. 20-21 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.
The 2020 Forum theme is "The Innovation Imperative: Shaping the Future of Agriculture." The forum’s plenary panel and several breakout sessions will focus on the central role science and innovation play in driving future growth and addressing challenges facing farmers.
The opening plenary session will feature a fireside chat between Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and John Hartnett, Founder and CEO of SVG Ventures, a platform of corporations, universities, and investors focused on the food and agriculture industries.
The fireside discussion will be followed by a panel titled “Innovation as a solution for farmers,” which will bring together industry leaders to speak about various aspects of innovation and implications for farmers. Speakers at the plenary panel include:
- Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Jeff Broin, founder of POET
- Shari Rogge-Fidler, President of Farm Foundation
- The session will be moderated by John Newton, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.
USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson will unveil the department’s outlook for U.S. commodity markets and trade in 2020 and discuss the U.S. farm income situation during the Feb. 20 morning session.
Along with the plenary presentations, forum attendees can choose from 30 sessions with more than 90 speakers. Among the concurrent track sessions and topics: innovations in agriculture, global trade trends, food loss and waste, frontiers in conservation, and the science of food safety.
Participants can also take part in a pre-forum field trip on Feb. 19, which will feature a local urban farm enterprise and a visit with scientists who conduct research on microgreens, locally adapted fruit varieties and other urban farming topics at USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. A fee covers transportation and a boxed lunch.
The Agricultural Outlook Forum is USDA’s largest annual meeting, attracting around 1,600 attendees each year from the U.S. and abroad.
Visit the Agricultural Outlook Forum website to register, reserve discounted room rates, join the pre-forum field trip, or apply for the USDA Future Leaders in Agriculture Program.