USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to Headline IFPA’s Washington Conference

The fresh produce and floral community’s premier opportunity to advocate on issues impacting the industry is coming to DC next week at the International Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Conference.

The organization announced that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will deliver remarks at the upcoming Washington Conference, which runs June 10-12, along with IFPA CEO Cathy Burns during the State of the Fresh Nation Breakfast and morning General Session.  

“We look forward to welcoming Secretary Vilsack back to our Washington Conference next week and hearing his perspectives on the needs of a successful specialty crop industry,” Burns said.

“Advocacy is not just about voicing our industry needs, but it’s also about establishing connections with the people that have the power to address those needs.  Secretary Vilsack’s participation at The Washington Conference is a testament to just how important specialty crops are to our food system and nutrition security which we know is a matter of national security,” Burns added.

A Powerful Lineup of Speakers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

According to IFPA, Secretary Vilsack joins a powerful lineup of speakers from the industry, Congress, and the Administration.  This event provides not only the opportunity to hear from policymakers and experts, but most importantly, serves as the gathering point for hundreds of industry leaders to march on Capitol Hill.  

“Good policy doesn’t happen overnight, and it requires a constant drumbeat of support to gain traction and create change,” said IFPA Vice President of U.S. Government Relations Rebeckah Adcock. 

Adcock noted that The Washington Conference is the moment for the industry to come together to share their voices and stories with Congress and the Administration. “Taking time to share these personal stories is an investment in the fresh produce industry’s efforts to support policies that allow us to grow a healthier world. We look forward to seeing everyone there.” 

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In addition to education sessions which include speakers from CropLife America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, UNFI, National Grocers Association, and FGS Global, the founding members of the Congressional Specialty Crop Caucus are also featured on the program. 

Not to be missed will be the Joy of Fresh activation on Capitol Hill. For the second year, IFPA will turn the Rayburn Courtyard at the Rayburn House Office Building into a produce and floral destination spot. 

The event will welcome DC influencers, key congressional and administration staff, consumer advocates, industry leaders, and more. 

Attendees will celebrate the bounty that fresh produce and floral provide for health, happiness, and the economy in the heart of the offices of the elected officials who can make a difference for the industry. 

There is still time to register for The Washington Conference and be part of advancing key public policy priorities and ensuring lawmakers and regulators understand the industry and the challenges it faces from those on the front lines.