June 13, 2011 12:30 PM
Thomas J. Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, will speak at a National Press Club luncheon on June 13, 2011, in advance of the G-20 Summit of Agricultural Ministers in Paris on June 23.
Vilsack, who will participate in the gathering, plans to speak on how the innovative efforts of U.S. scientists, farmers and policy-makers are essential to feeding a growing global population, mitigating the effects of climate change and meeting increasing energy demands. The secretary also will address what he says are misconceptions about the production of U.S. biofuels and the impact of rising commodity and food prices.
Recently, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization stated that developed countries should shift their assistance priorities from providing emergency food to helping develop the agricultural sectors of developing nations. According to the U.N., the number of hungry people in the world has topped one billion because of rising food prices and the global economic slump. The June 23 summit will be the first meeting of the G-20 agriculture ministers.
Tom Vilsack, 60, became the 30th Secretary of Agriculture on January 21, 2009. Previously, Vilsack served as a two-term governor of Iowa. A native of Pittsburgh, Penn., Vilsack started his political career as mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, in 1987, and also served in the Iowa state senate. As agriculture secretary, he's advocated for greater funding for: child nutrition programs and research into childhood obesity; revitalizing rural American communities with infrastructure enhancements and implementing new strategies to restore U.S. forests and water supplies. He received a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College in 1972 and earned his law degree from Albany Law School in 1975.
The June 13 Press Club lunch will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. Remarks by Vilsack will begin at 1:00 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. Advance reservations should be made through (202) 662-7501 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost of the luncheon admission is $18 for National Press Club members, $29 for their guests, and $36 for the general public. Tickets must be purchased at time of reservation.
National Press Club Luncheons are webcast live on press.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #NPCLunch, or on Facebook at (facebook.com/PressClubDC) and Twitter (@PressClubDC). Submit questions for speakers in advance and during the live event by sending them to @QNPCLunch on Twitter. Or to email a question in advance, type VILSACK in the subject line and send to email@example.com before 10 a.m. on June 13.