Friday, April 4, 2014

Celebration of Ag Dinner a Great Success

The USDA Whitten Building Patio was decked out on March 25, 2014, for the annual Celebration of Agriculture Dinner. Nearly 175 people were seated for a delicious dinner featuring pork provided by the National Pork Producers Council and prepared by the esteemed Mark Salter of Robert Morris Inn.

Beloved agricultural broadcaster Orion Samuelson, WGN Radio, This Week In Agribusiness, emceed the event. Deputy U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden expressed her appreciation of American agriculture and remarked upon the installation of Dr. Norman Borlaug’s statue in the National Statuary Hall earlier that day.

Dr. Borlaug developed high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties that greatly increased food security for Mexico, Pakistan and India. He is known as “the father of the Green Revolution,” and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his research and contributions to agriculture.

The 2014 written and video essay contest winners were also both recognized during the dinner. This year’s essay theme was “American Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.” The winner of the written essay contest was Clara Knipp from Tipton, Mo. Brackston McKnight from Jacksonville, Texas, won the video essay contest.

The Ag Day essay contest was sponsored by CHS, Inc., High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal, National Association of Farm Broadcasting, National Agri-Marketing Association, Country Living Association, Farm Progress Companies and McCormick Company.

Lindsay McQueen, Union/Jackson County, Ill. Farm Bureaus, accepted the Charles Eastin Award during the dinner. This prestigious honor recognizes individuals who stand out as advocates for accurate communication between rural and urban audiences.

This festive evening was a fitting and lively tribute to the importance of American agriculture and its vibrant future.