Former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, the new chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, will be the distinguished speakers at the 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum Plenary Session in Arlington, Va., Feb. 24.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver the Forum’s keynote address, which will lead off two days of presentations on a broad range of issues related to risk management, renewable energy, rural communities, foreign trade, domestic markets, conservation and the environment, nutrition, land tenure, broadband, and sustainability. The Forum also will feature the traditional USDA commodity supply and demand and food price outlooks.

After leaving the White House in 2000, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.

Today the Foundation has staff and volunteers around the world working to improve lives through several initiatives, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative, and the Clinton Global Initiative. In the United States, the Foundation is working to combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Senator Stabenow has a long history as a champion for agriculture, forestry, and rural communities, serving on agriculture committees in the Michigan House, the U.S. House, and now the U.S. Senate. In the U.S. Senate, she played a leading role in crafting the most recent farm bill, authoring the first-ever specialty crops title, and bringing a new focus to agricultural research and conservation.

USDA has hosted the Outlook Forum since 1923 to provide farmers and ranchers, government, and agribusinesses with sound information for decision-making. Attendees are expected to include members of farm organizations, food and fiber firms, academia, foreign governments, and the news media.

For further information and register for the Forum, please go to: www.usda.gov/oce/forum. The Forum will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. Plenary speeches will be Webcast after 6:00 p.m. EST on Feb. 24, and breakout session speeches and PowerPoint presentations will be posted online after 6 p.m. Feb. 25.