WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take those virtually attending its annual outlook forum down “New Paths to Sustainability and Productivity Growth,” the department said Nov. 30.

That theme will unite the keynote address, panel discussions and breakout sessions during the USDA’s 98th Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF) on Feb. 24-25, 2022. The Agricultural Outlook Forum, the USDA’s flagship event, traditionally takes place near Washington, most recently in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Va. The forum went virtual in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and drew 5,000 attendees. The AOF will be virtual, and free, for a second year in 2022.

The AOF draws a wide range of stakeholders from across the agricultural sector, including producers, processors, policymakers, government officials, and nongovernmental organizations. The 2022 program will focus on innovations to minimize the environmental footprint of agriculture and ensure sustainability while improving crop yields, the USDA said.

“If we are to produce enough to feed a growing global population while minimizing our environmental impacts, we must develop new ways to do things,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I look forward to discussing with sector leaders how we can work on climate smart solutions that will improve the profitability and resilience of agricultural producers and open new market opportunities.”

The 2022 AOF agenda opens with a presentation by USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer, who is expected to offer outlooks for US commodity markets and trade and US farm income in 2022. Then, following tradition, Vilsack will deliver the keynote address followed by a plenary panel of distinguished guest speakers. 

Thirty breakout sessions will comprise the bulk of the two-day conference and address the following areas of interest and concern to agricultural stakeholders: climate mitigation and adaptation; frontiers in agricultural innovation and production; US agricultural trade and global markets; commodity outlooks; supply chain resilience and equity and inclusion.

Click here to complete the required registration for the free event and view the detailed agenda. Social media enthusiasts can follow conversations related to the event and its subject matter using the hashtag #AgOutlook on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.