Richmond – Bringing together Virginia-based agribusinesses, exporters, foreign ambassadors and embassy ministers and offer workshops on the international trade of agricultural goods will be the focus of The "Governor's Conference on Agricultural Trade" next month in Richmond.
Governor Bob McDonnell will open the two-day conference with a keynote speech on March 13 at noon on agricultural exports and the role agriculture and forestry, the state's largest industries, play in Virginia's economy.
In 2010, Virginia's agricultural exports topped $2.24 billion, nearly breaking the record set in 2009 when more than $2.3 billion of products were shipped into the global marketplace.
"My administration, working with our private sector partners, has aggressively pursued opportunities to open new markets around the world for Virginia agricultural products and the new export figures for 2011 to be announced at the conference will reflect the hard work and success of Virginia agribusinesses in this past year," the governor said. "With more than half a million jobs in Virginia's agriculture and forestry industries, it is vital to the health of our economy that we continue to promote the trade deals that connect these fine products with domestic and overseas consumers."
The event will feature presentations from Ambassador Gabriel Silva Luján of Colombia; Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, chief agriculture negotiator for the Office of the United States Trade Representative; Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation president; Todd Haymore, state secretary of Agriculture and Forestry; David Nelson, Rabobank America's global strategist; and Randy Russell, a principal at Russell and Barron.
- Conference information and a tentative agenda available are available at: http://www.vafarmbureau.org/Agriculture/AgTradeConference.aspx
- Tuesday, March 13: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Wednesday, March 14: 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- Omni Hotel, Richmond
- Governor McDonnell, Virginia-based agribusinesses, exporters, foreign ambassadors and embassy ministers