Falls Church, Va. —The U.S. Apple Association announced that USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney will speak at the organization’s 2019 Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference in Chicago on Aug. 23. The Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference, Aug. 22-23, is the premier event to preview, forecast and discuss the global impact of the upcoming apple harvest.
Under Secretary McKinney leads the development and implementation of USDA’s trade policy, oversees and facilitates foreign market access, and promotes opportunities for U.S. agriculture through various trade programs and high-level government negotiations.
“USApple has worked closely with Under Secretary McKinney on many issues pertaining to trade and is honored to have him speak at our annual meeting,” said USApple President and CEO Jim Bair. “We are very much looking forward to his insight as the apple industry, and agriculture as a whole, continues to navigate the current trade landscape.”
President Trump appointed McKinney to the Under Secretary position in July 2017, and he was confirmed by the Senate that October. Previously he was appointed by then-Governor Mike Pence to serve as Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Under Secretary McKinney grew up on a family grain and livestock farm in Tipton, Ind. He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Agricultural Economics.
In addition to Under Secretary McKinney, the Outlook Conference will feature a strong line-up of experts covering domestic and international crop production estimates, the current legislative and regulatory climate and its impact on the industry, as well as the influence of consumer buying habits.
In his keynote address, Randy Riley, Director of Produce Merchandising at The Kroger Co. will identify the various consumer retail trends emerging in the produce category, and how the apple industry can continue to stay relevant as consumer choices and preferences diversify.
Best-selling author Eric Termuende will cover the changes workplaces are seeing across every industry, including agriculture.
Mark Seetin, USApple’s Director of Regulatory and Industry Affairs, will provide the much-anticipated annual crop outlook for the U.S. apple industry.