Secretary Sonny Perdue to headline Montana ag summit

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will headline the Montana Ag Summit in Great Falls later this month. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

By Missoula Current

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will deliver the keynote address at the Montana Ag Summit this year in Great Falls.

Sen. Steve Daines confirmed the news on Monday.

“This will be a great opportunity for Secretary Perdue to see Montana’s number one economic driver firsthand and talk with our hardworking farmers and ranchers,” Daines said. “Nothing replaces seeing our state and hearing what’s on the minds of Montanans.”

The ag summit, co-sponsored by Daines, will focus on strengthening international relationships for Montana agriculture. It also looks to showcase technological advancements, promoting the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

The conference will also discuss the challenges of federal policies and regulations.

Last month, Daines traveled to China and Japan to discus trade. He came back feeling confident that new trade opportunities with the two nations would result from the visit, including expanded imports of Montana beef and wheat.

“The easiest place for us to focus for the moment is agriculture,” Daines said. “Ninety-five percent of the world’s population is outside the U.S. So when you look at these emerging Asian markets, it presents a tremendous growth opportunity for Montana agriculture.”

Daines serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and serves as Chairman of the Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources Subcommittee.

The Montana Ag Conference will be held on May 31 and June 1 this year.

Additional speakers include:

  • U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
  • Phil DiPofi, President & CEO of Northwest Farm Credit Services
  • J. Christopher Giancarlo, Acting Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • Augusto Bassanini, President and CEO of United Grain Corporation
  • Juan Ramon Alaix, CEO of Zoetis
  • Keith McGovern, CEO of the R.D. Offutt Company