The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed plenary speakers for USDA's 83rd annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, "Agriculture at the Crossroads: Energy, Farm and Rural Policy," March 1-2 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns delivers the keynote address on Thursday, March 1.

"USDA's 2007 Agricultural Outlook Forum explores renewable energy's future in biofuels, cellulosic, methane, and wind," said Johanns. "The Forum's national conversation about agriculture centers on the fascinating opportunities and challenges of renewable energy in the next farm bill and beyond."

"Renewable Energy — Inroads to Agriculture," the Forum's plenary panel, includes Archer Daniels Midland President and CEO Patricia Woertz; Cargill Chairman and CEO Warren R. Staley; American Petroleum Institute President and Chairman Red Cavaney; and CHS, Inc. President and CEO John Johnson. Scott Kilman, of the Wall Street Journal, will moderate the panel.

Forum dinner speaker, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels will explore "21st Century Economic Development — A Renewed Focus on Agriculture."

"U.S. Potential for Biofuels," is addressed by Robert Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association. William A. Frey, DuPont's global business director for biofuels, explores the marketplace for biobutanol.

Chief Economist Keith Collins provides an overview of U.S. agriculture's economic outlook, with individual USDA sessions to address major commodities.

Discussion of the next farm bill features panelists Bob Stallman, president, American Farm Bureau Federation; Ralph Grossi, president of the American Farmland Trust; Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever; and Ambassador Tom Nassif, president and CEO of the Western Growers Association and co-chairman of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance.

The discussion will be moderated by Bruce Gardner, distinguished university professor of agriculture and resource economics at the University of Maryland.

Mark Keenum, under-secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services presents USDA's farm bill perspective with specialized insight from Thomas Dorr, under-secretary for Rural Development; Bruce Knight, under-secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; and Mark Rey, under-secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.

The moderator will be Arlen Lancaster, chief of Natural Resources Conservation.

Examining the options and challenges of risk management are Roger Bernard of Pro Farmer and Dave Juday of World Perspectives.

Deputy Under-Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services A. Ellen Terpstra will address international agricultural trade.

Stanford University's Tim Josling and William Cline of the Peterson Institute for International Economics discuss trade with developing countries.

Addressing agricultural exports is William C. Motes of Informa Economics. Our trading partners also bring viewpoints from Sweden, Brazil, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Belgium, and France.

A full roster of speakers, program preview, and registration are available at www.usda.gov/oce/forum Registration is $300 until Feb. 5 and $350 thereafter.

Plenary speeches are Webcast after 3:30 p.m. EST on March 1, with speech and PowerPoint presentations posted online at the end of each day's session.