Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is delivering the keynote speech at the 2010 Commodity Classic Friday morning. Vilsack is expected to highlight USDA's focus on strengthening the U.S. agriculture economy and revitalizing rural communities. Efforts to increase exports of U.S. ag products will also be discussed.
American Soybean Association First Vice President Alan Kemper would like to hear a clear definition of the Administration's stance on agriculture.
"There is a sense that they lean more organic than mainstream agriculture is so we're hoping for him to clarify that position one way or the other," Kemper said. "We look for his trade position on the international trade - the free trade agreements. They have been somewhat lacking in getting those to go forward on Capitol Hill as well as around the world. And so just seeing where his signal is, I mean we're getting some real mixed signals out here that mainstream agriculture might be not on the forefront."
Kemper says the Commodity Classic stage is ideal for Vilsack to offer specifics and not just rhetoric.
"With the State of the Union address by the President I overhear a lot of rhetoric about American agriculture and about renewable fuels," Kemper said. "It would be nice for him to actually come in, dot some I's cross some t's on some actual policy that they are tremendously pushing."
Commodity Classic continues through Saturday with the general session set for 9 a.m. Pacific Time Friday.