Governor’s conference to highlight global ag trade

Published 10:40 am Thursday, March 24, 2022

American trade officials, foreign diplomats and representatives from leading agricultural agencies will gather to discuss agriculture and global commerce at the 14th annual Virginia Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade.

The conference will be held March 29 at the Richmond Marriott and is co-sponsored by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Virginia Port Authority and the Virginia Tech Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics. Agenda details and online registration are available at

Historically, the conference has been a forum for speakers to provide analysis on agricultural trade throughout the past year and offer insight on future trends. Gov. Glenn Youngkin is expected to announce Virginia’s 2021 agriculture and forestry export numbers and discuss his trade priorities.

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Matthew Lohr, Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry, will deliver the event’s opening and closing remarks. U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Jewel Bronaugh will give an update on U.S. trade and domestic policy.

Brett Bruen, president of the Global Situation Room Inc. and former director of global engagement for the White House, will discuss how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is affecting world trade. Veronica Nigh, senior economist for American Farm Bureau Federation, also will talk about current events in Europe and their effects on U.S. agriculture.

Additionally, USDA’s chief meteorologist, Mark Brusberg, will address “megadroughts” and the adaptation of trade to extreme and variable weather patterns.

The conference also will include panel discussions about the Phase One Trade Agreement with China and supply chain challenges and opportunities for agriculture and forestry.

Invited panelists for the Phase One discussion are agricultural trade consultant Sharon Bomer Lauritsen; Rosalind Leeck, senior director for global market access for the U.S. Soybean Export Council; and Bill Westman, senior vice president of international affairs for the North American Meat Institute.

Tom Capozzi, chief sales and marketing officer for Virginia International Terminals, and Greg Edwards, director of agriculture and forest product sales for the Port of Virginia, will lead the supply chain panel.