Ag Forum to offer economic and policy outlook

January 21, 2014

RALEIGH — The economic and policy outlook for North Carolina agriculture will be featured at the ninth annual Ag Development Forum on Feb. 6 at the State Fairgrounds.

The forum will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Holshouser Building, in conjunction with the Southern Farm Show.

Admission is free and lunch will be provided. Registration is requested by Jan. 31. To register, log on to Individuals with questions may contact Chrissy Waggett at 919-707-3008.

Keynote speaker will be Alejandro Sayago, director of corporate business development with John Deere. His will present an economic, policy and technology outlook for agriculture for the year.

The morning session also will feature Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler’s annual State of Agriculture address and a panel discussion on interagency cooperation for agribusiness development in North Carolina. Panelists are Tony Tata, secretary of the state Department of Transportation; John Skvarla, secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Susan Fleetwood, director of business and industry development at the Department of Commerce; and Tony Almeida, senior advisor on jobs and the economy for Gov. Pat McCrory.

“In the past year, the state has seen several examples of agribusiness development that other agencies of state government have supported – everything from planned improvements at our state ports, to new processing plants and other ventures that will help boost our rural economies,” Troxler said. “These agencies understand that agriculture is serious business in North Carolina.”

After lunch, Dr. Dan McChesney of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will give a presentation about FDA’s proposed rule on good manufacturing practices, hazard analysis and preventive controls for animal feed.

The forum is sponsored by John Deere.