Ag Under Secretary Edward Avalos to Address Farm to Table International Symposium

Ag Under Secretary Edward Avalos to Address Farm to Table International SymposiumEdward Avalos, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture, has been announced as the closing keynote speaker at the Farm to Table International Symposium (F2Ti), August 2 – 4, 2014 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

In his role with the USDA, Mr. Avalos has worked on “buy local” initiatives, Indian agriculture and numerous promotional and trade activities with industry organizations and other stakeholder groups.

Among the topics to be included in Under Secretary Avalos’ address are the Farm Bill and how it will impact small famers, local and regional food systems, and organic agriculture. He will also discuss the technical assistance USDA has provided FDA throughout the development of their produce safety regulations within the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Mr. Avalos grew up on a family farm in the Mesilla Valley of Southern New Mexico. Prior to his appointment at USDA, he served as Director of Marketing and Development at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. He has over 30 years experience in livestock and agriculture marketing in both the domestic and international arenas. Mr. Avalos has spent considerable time working closely with producers to address industry demands; with distributors to ensure timely and feasible delivery of goods; and with retailers to showcase, promote, sell, merchandise, and inform the consumer utilizing numerous promotional and educational tools.

Mr. Avalos holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Agriculture from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The symposium, produced in partnership with the SoFAB Institute and the LSU AgCenter, brings together the leading practitioners in the growing farm-to-table movement to explore the cultivation, distribution, and consumption of food and drink sourced locally while presenting the opportunity to connect consumers and chefs and producers.

This year’s theme, “The Process,” examines the agricultural-culinary cycle at all levels and will feature its own organic fertility research project. Topics include the best practices for urban farming, bringing products to market, sourcing locally, sustainability, and the latest on the imposing Food Safety Modernization Act. Chef Michel Nischan, CEO, Wholesome Wave, is this year’s Chairman.

Destined to become the single most important annual forum on farm-to-table topics, F2Ti occurs concurrently with the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s 61st Annual Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO; F2Ti attendees will have access to the almost 200,000 square feet of exhibits.

About F2Ti
The Farm To Table International Symposium (F2Ti) offers practical knowledge for all those interested in the topics of sourcing, producing, and consuming foods locally. Join in lively discussions on the topic which will feature the brightest thought leaders and leading practitioners in the burgeoning farm-to-table movement. This year’s theme, “The Process,” examines the agricultural-culinary cycle at all levels and will feature its own organic urban farm research project.

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s partnerships with the SoFAB Institute and the LSU AgCenter reflect an abundance of knowledge and expertise that will be showcased at F2Ti.

SoFAB documents and celebrates the food and drink of all cultures through exhibits, programming, and a range of media. SoFAB is home to several entities, among them the SoFAB Center for Food Law, Policy & Culture, SoFAB Culinary Library & Archive, the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, Museum of the American Cocktail, and SoFAB Media.

The LSU AgCenter is a part of a nationwide network of research-based extension offices within the land-grant system of universities and provides innovative research, information and education to improve people’s lives in Louisiana and the world.

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