Shaping the 2012 Farm Bill: CropLife America Hosts Debate on Agricultural Policy

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Experts Discuss Modern Agriculture’s Role in Creating Innovative, Safe and Sustainable Solutions

Today’s conference establishes the forum needed to debate the role modern agriculture has in meeting the needs of a growing and changing world.

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CropLife America (CLA) is hosting today its inaugural national policy conference, Modern Agriculture: Exploring its Relationship with Technology, Science & Society, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together leading experts from across the country in the fields of agriculture, food safety and security to offer highly diverse perspectives on the many issues facing modern agriculture and how these issues will impact the 2012 Farm Bill.

Among the leading authorities participating are James McWilliams, associate professor, Texas State University-San Marcos; Margaret Mellon, director, Agricultural and Biotechnology Program, Union of Concerned Scientists; and Andrew Kimbrell, executive director, Center for Food Safety. Marc Gunther, contributing editor at FORTUNE magazine and a senior writer at, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. Luncheon remarks will be given by Michael Specter, author of Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives.

“As Congress begins to shape the 2012 Farm Bill, CLA recognized the need for a frank and detailed discussion on the immense challenges facing modern agriculture—from consumer choice to food security to the environmental services farmers provide,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “To find solutions to these challenges, it is essential to elevate the conversation about modern agriculture. Today’s conference establishes the forum needed to debate the role modern agriculture has in meeting the needs of a growing and changing world.”

With specific consideration for future policy, Vroom is also holding a conversation with those who played key roles in the development of previous Farm Bills. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), current chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), former chair of the House Agriculture Committee, are joining Vroom to provide a unique political perspective on the necessary role of modern agriculture in the 2012 Farm Bill.

The full conference webcast and agenda are available online at . Viewers participating through webcast may submit questions by e-mail (nationalpolicyconference(at)gmail(dot)com), Twitter or Facebook. The conference is comprised of four main sessions:

  •     Session 1: Nine Billion Hungry People Coming to a Planet Near You
  •     Session 2: Modern Agriculture: What is it? What Stands in its Way?
  •     Session 3: Planting the Seeds for the 2012 Farm Bill: What factors should lawmakers weigh and who should they listen to?
  •     Through a Political Lens with Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)

Established in 1933, CropLife America ( represents the developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of plant science solutions for agriculture and pest management in the United States. CropLife America’s member companies produce, sell and distribute virtually all the crop protection and biotechnology products used by American farmers.

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