A note from the organizers: For the 5th year in a row the conference organizers are excited to offer this outstanding workshop on the international trade of agricultural goods on March 7 and 8, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia. Governor Bob McDonnell who added his name to this important event in 2012 has agreed to do the same for 2013 once again showing the strong commitment of his Administration to continue growing our farm exports. Governor McDonnell gave the opening keynote last March and plans to to do the same again this year.
For those of you who attended last year’s meeting, you will remember Governor McDonnell announcing record trade number for Virginia agricultural exports in 2011. Instead of resting on their laurels, the Administration, the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, and members of the Department of Agriculture have worked even harder in 2012 to ensure current markets are maintained and further fostered, that new one’s are established, and that Virginia agricultural exports remain a shining star in the commonwealth’s economic portfolio.
Our theme for this year is “Virginia and the Global Market”. As of this writing the country has only recently seen the end of a long and hard fought presidential campaign, our fiscal health remains one of the top issues at hand and Congress is still struggling to complete a Farm Bill. The planning committee has again assembled an impressive lineup of speakers including VA Tech President Charles Steger, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui, New Zealand Ambassador Mike Moore and Russian Deputy Trade Representative Oleg Slepov who will address what recent events and other worldwide geo‐political and economic developments mean for agricultural trade moving forward into the future.
Along with policy analysis and discussion the agenda will also again feature real‐life presentations from individuals and companies involved in exporting their products to international destinations. And as a special added bonus to this years’ program, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services international trade representatives will be available for one‐on‐one discussions with those that may want to discuss a particular market or product line (see program agenda and registration sheet for more information).
In what has become a must attend event for those interested in the international trade of agricultural goods, the planning committee has worked hard to develop a program that should be of interest to a wide audience, not for just those of us here in Virginia, but for anyone involved in any one of the numerous steps needed to move raw commodities from the farm to the port and on to their ultimate international destination. And, thanks to continued support from our sponsors, the registration fee is still only $55, unheard of for an event of this caliber.
So please join us for this two day event at the Richmond Omni in March, two blocks away from the historic Virginia State Capitol, amidst the cobblestone streets of Shockoe Slip and warehouses that once stored tobacco and cotton, now home to apartments, retail space, and fine eateries and nightlife. All within eyeshot of spectacular views of the rushing waters of the James River.