Governor’s Agricultural Trade Conference Set for March 30

For the first time in 13 years, the Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade will be conducted virtually.

The event will be held 1-4 p.m. on March 30 and will highlight Gov. Ralph Northam’s trade priorities and initiatives. It’s co-hosted by Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, The Port of Virginia and the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

“I am pleased that Virginia Farm Bureau has been involved with this annual trade conference since it began more than a decade ago,” said Wayne F. Pryor, VFBF president. “We’ve seen a remarkable increase in agricultural trade across the globe. It’s helpful each year to step back and examine how much our farmers are exporting, and who they are trading with.”

During the conference, the governor typically summarizes agricultural trade throughout the past year. Also expected to speak this year is the newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. It is likely he will discuss international and domestic trade agreements.

Dr. Julie Callahan, assistant U.S. trade representative for agricultural affairs and commodity policy for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, is slated to talk about trade priorities for U.S. agriculture. Dr. John Newton, chief economist for American Farm Bureau Federation, will give an economic outlook for the nation’s farmers.

The conference also includes an international panel discussion with perspectives from Canada, China and the United Kingdom.

Invited panelists include: Andrew Brown, owner of Andrew Brown & Associates and VDACS’ European marketing representative for the past 8 years; Alison George, senior vice president of Argyle, a Canadian communications firm; Roger Zhang, co-founder and CEO of SMH International Limited, which works with agricultural and food imports to China and Hong Kong; and May Feng, marketing director for SMH.

For more information or to register, visit

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