NORFOLK—Virginia’s third annual Agricultural Trade Workshop will be held March 16 and 17 at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel.
This year’s theme is "Agricultural Trade: Opportunities in Uncertain Times."
The event has been organized by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, the Virginia Port Authority and Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
The workshop is designed to provide farmers, private sector businesses, industry officials and policymakers a forum to discuss export opportunities for U.S. and Virginia agriculture; federal and state programs to promote agricultural exports; and specific opportunities and obstacles to agricultural and food exports.
"While times may be tough, agriculture exports are a bright spot for Virginia and U.S. farms," said Spencer Neale, VFBF senior assistant director of commodity marketing.
Speakers include Jerry Bridges, director of the Virginia Port Authority; Richard T. Crowder, former U.S. chief agriculture trade negotiator; Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, chief agriculture negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; and Dr. Robert Thompson, professor emeritus of the Gardner Endowed Chair in Agricultural Policy at the University of Illinois. Thompson recently received the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Distinguished Service Award—the organization’s highest honor. Embassy representatives from Australia, Japan and Mexico will participate in a panel discussion about their perspectives on agricultural trade with the United States.
The workshop also will include a boat tour of the Norfolk harbor.
Registration is limited. For more information and to register call Neale at 804-290-1153 or visit the Agriculture section of VaFarmBureau.org.