The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that Lawrence H. Summers, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, and Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be distinguished guest speakers on Feb. 26 at the 2009 Agricultural Outlook Forum, "Global Agriculture & Rural America in Transition," at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

Summers, who will speak at 8:15 a.m. during the plenary session, was appointed director of the National Economic Council by President Barack Obama.

Jackson will deliver the Forum's dinner speech at 6:30 p.m. As the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa P. Jackson leads a staff of approximately 18,000 professionals dedicated to protecting the public health and environment of all Americans. She was nominated to lead the Agency by President Obama on Dec. 15, 2008. She is the first African American to serve in that position.

Administrator Jackson lists among her priorities reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, managing chemical risks, cleaning up hazardous waste sites and protecting America's water.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver the keynote address and more than 140 moderators and speakers will present their expertise and outlooks on agriculture.

USDA has hosted this annual event since 1923 to provide farmers and ranchers, government and agribusinesses with sound information for decision-making. This year the Forum will focus on a broad range of topical issues related to energy, trade, technology, farm policy, risk management and rural America. The Forum will also feature USDA's traditional commodity supply and demand and food price outlooks.

The Forum begins at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26 and ends at 3:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27. For a roster of speakers, program and registration, go to www.usda.gov/oce/forum.

Registration is $375. Plenary speeches will be Webcast after 3:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 26, with speech and PowerPoint presentations posted online at the end of each day's sessions.