January 17, 2012

Agenda Now Available for Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture

The agenda for the 2012 Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture has been finalized and is now available online. The Conference, held Jan. 19-21, 2012, is coming to Kansas City for the first time in its history and will host more than 40 state and national speakers addressing current issues that impact the agriculture industry. The three-day event will highlight Missouri products and include discussions on river management, genetically modified crops and international marketing.

The 43rd Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture will kick off Thursday evening with the Taste of AgriMissouri welcome reception featuring some of Missouri's greatest foods and beverages. Following two discussion-packed days, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will conclude the Conference Saturday evening with an awards presentation and a special performance by country music star Mark Chesnutt.

On Friday, the day begins with a buffet breakfast and the Conference's official welcome from Missouri's Director of Agriculture, Dr. Jon Hagler and United States Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II. Friday's sessions include an in-depth discussion of the co-existence of conventional, organic and genetically engineered food production and an update on legal issues facing the agriculture industry now and in the future. After lunch with University of Missouri System President Designate Timothy Wolfe, panel discussions on meeting the growing demand for food production, agricultural research and education fill the afternoon. On Friday evening, guests will enjoy Kansas City BBQ and an auction benefitting the 4-H, FFA, ALOT and AFA programs for youth and young professionals in agriculture.

On Saturday morning, the Conference will host Brigadier General John R. McMahon of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Tom Waters of the Missouri Levee & Drainage District Association, Richard Oswald of Missouri Farmers Union, Rob Korff of the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and Blake Hurst of Missouri Farm Bureau for a session titled "Managing Missouri's Rivers for Agriculture." That session will be immediately followed by a seminar hosted by representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency titled "Agriculture and the Environment."

During lunch on Saturday, USDA Acting Under Secretary Michael Scuse will address national agriculture issues he sees impacting Missouri. Afternoon seminars will offer attendees the opportunity to explore international marketing and a rare opportunity to participate in a panel discussion featuring secretaries, commissioners and directors of agriculture from 10 states. The final afternoon panel will address future needs for infrastructure improvement throughout Missouri and the U.S. The Conference will conclude Saturday evening with recognition of outstanding individual contributions to agriculture and a special performance by Mark Chesnutt.

The 2012 Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture will be held at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City. The Conference is open to the public, although registration is required for most events.

Conference registration forms are available online at http://mda.mo.gov through Tuesday, then onsite in Kansas City. The event is funded through sponsorships and registrations.

For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit mda.mo.gov.