National Summit on Ag and Food Truck Transport set for April 25-26

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The American Trucking Associations’ Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference, the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute and North Dakota State University will sponsor the first-ever National Summit on Agricultural and Food Truck Transport for the Future on April 25-26 at the Holiday Inn at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Michael Johanns will give the opening keynote address. “His keynote indicates the importance of the summit to the agricultural sector and trucking industry, and the vital role of commercial agricultural trucking in the 21st century,” says Dave Schroyer, AFTC chairman. “The summit is especially timely in view of comments made by President Bush in his State of the Union Address on renewable fuels, biodiesel and energy independence.”

Other featured speakers include U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Tom Dorr; Greg Webb, vice president of public affairs for Archer Daniels Midland; Roger Johnson, president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture; and U.S. Senators Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Richard Lugar of Indiana. In all, 30 speakers are scheduled.

The summit aims to provide a venue for the trucking, agricultural and food industries, and other stakeholders, to discuss critical issues as well as ways to strengthen commercial trucking to ensure the safety and success of the food and agricultural transport industry in the future. Developing legislative and policy initiatives in agriculture and food trucking for possible inclusion in the 2007 Farm Bill and other appropriate federal legislation will be key focal points of the summit.

The summit will examine the impact of farm and energy policy changes on domestic agricultural production and processing; the ability of trucking to meet increasing demands from agricultural shippers and the food industry; and the influence of energy costs and issues of the environment on the trucking industry. Critical topics also will include driver recruitment, training and retention; the effect of security requirements in transporting agricultural and food products; and the importance of the agricultural hours-of-service exemption to commercial agricultural transportation.

The Summit Sponsor Breakfast on April 26 at 7 a.m. will provide sponsors an opportunity to showcase the latest technologies and services available to attendees in the agricultural and trucking industries. Sponsorship opportunities for this event are limited at 20 spots with McLeod Software, Great West Casualty Co., Thermo-King Corp. and Safefreight Technology currently registered.

The Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference, founded in 1995, is the national organization representing commercial transporters of agricultural commodities, food, forest and mineral products. For summit updates and registration information, go to www.agandfoodtrucking.org or call Fletcher Hall, summit executive director, at 703-838-7999.