(WASHINGTON) – Registration is now open for the 96th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF), the largest annual meeting and premiere event of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The two-day Forum will take place on Feb. 20-21, 2020, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.
The 2020 Forum, themed “The Innovation Imperative: Shaping the Future of Agriculture”, will feature more than 30 sessions covering topics such as innovations in agriculture, global trade trends, food loss and waste, frontiers in conservation, and the science of food safety.
In addition, USDA Chief Economist will unveil the Department’s outlook for U.S. commodity markets and trade in 2020 and discuss the U.S. farm income situation.
An exhibit hall will showcase resources from USDA agencies and private organizations.
The 2020 Forum’s program will be announced at the beginning of November.
About USDA’s Outlook Forum
USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum began in 1923 to distribute and interpret national forecasts to farmers in the field. The goal was to provide the information developed through economic forecasting to farmers so they had the tools to read market signals and avoid producing beyond demand.
Since then, the Forum has developed into a unique platform where key stakeholders from the agricultural sector in the United States and around the world come together every year to discuss current and emerging topics and trends in the sector. On average, 1,600 people attend the Forum each year.
The Agricultural Outlook Forum, which is organized by USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist together with other USDA agencies, is independent of commercial interests and aims to facilitate information sharing among stakeholders and generate the transparency that leads to well-functioning open markets.
Future Leaders in Agriculture Program
The USDA Future Leaders in Agriculture Program selects undergraduate and graduate students in agriculture-related studies for a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C. During their visit, students will attend the Outlook Forum and take part in a USDA briefing, discuss career opportunities with agriculture leaders in academia, government, and industry, and tour the nation’s capital. Winners receive free registration, transportation, and lodging.
For more information about this real-world training experience in agribusiness, scientific research, and agricultural policy, you may apply for the Future Leaders in Agriculture Program (PDF, 131 KB).
Pre-Forum Field Trip
As part of the Agricultural Outlook Forum, USDA offers a pre-forum field trip for early arrivals. The 2020 pre-forum trip will focus on urban agriculture. It will feature a local urban farm enterprise and a visit with scientists who conduct research on microgreens, locally adapted fruit varieties and other urban farming topics at USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. A nominal fee covers transportation and a boxed lunch.
Visit the Agricultural Outlook Forum website to register, reserve discounted room rates, join the pre-forum field trip, or apply for the USDA Future Leaders in Agriculture Program. Follow the conversation at #AgOutlook on USDA’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.