DANVERS, Mass., August 25, 2014 – Keynote speaker USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will detail the most pressing issues in agriculture at the third annual Women in Agribusiness Summit, to be held October 6-8 this year at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, La. Harden will speak at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, October 7.
The Deputy Secretary, who comes from three generations of Georgia farmers, helps lead the effort to strengthen the American agricultural economy and heads up the USDA’s implementation efforts for the 2014 Farm Bill. Her top priority in this position is to facilitate access to relevant programs, such as disaster assistance for livestock producers, and support the growing ranks of agriculture. She recently launched a new website, www.usda.gov/newfarmers, dedicated to helping new and beginning farmers get started in the field of agriculture.
In her presentation, Harden will describe how the next generation of agricultural leaders, with a focus on women, can be successful in helping America continue to feed the world and maintain a strong agriculture economy. The Deputy Secretary also will discuss the implementation of the new Farm Bill.
“We are so pleased to have Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden as a featured guest and keynote speaker at our third annual Women in Agribusiness Summit,” said Joy O’Shaughnessy, event director from HighQuest Group, the globally recognized strategic consulting, events and media company serving the ag sector that hosts the Summit. “Enlisting this caliber of speaker to address our attendees is a testament to the importance of supporting initiatives for women in agribusiness, and for providing those in the sector with the most relevant and current knowledge and tools for success in the field.”
Harden was sworn in as the Deputy Secretary last summer and previously served as chief of staff for Secretary Tom Vilsack and the assistant secretary for congressional relations.
From 2004 to 2009, Harden was the chief executive officer of the National Association of Conservation Districts. She worked with the American Soybean Association as senior vice president of Gordley Associates from 1993 to 2004 where she concentrated on conservation and renewable energy issues. She also served 12 years on Capitol Hill, as staff director for the House Subcommittee on Peanuts and Tobacco and as chief of staff and press secretary for former Congressman Charles Hatcher. Harden received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Georgia.
Harden joins keynote speaker Leslie O’Donoghue, executive vice president, corporate development and strategy and chief risk officer at Agrium, who will speak on Monday, October 6 about “Partnerships Bringing Positive Change” and why agribusiness is an industry with great growth potential, particularly for women.
More than 500 attendees are expected at this year’s Women in Agribusiness Summit, whose goal is twofold: to make the agriculture and food sectors career destinations for today’s talented women, and to provide tools for women to become more informed leaders in the sector.
About HighQuest Group
HighQuest Group, headquartered in Danvers, Mass., is a globally recognized strategic consulting, events and media company serving the agriculture, agribusiness, grains/oilseed, food and biofuels markets.
Its consulting business has guided hundreds of public and private sector organizations in over 100 countries in making informed strategy, M&A, capital investment and management decisions.
Founded in 2000, the company also hosts the premier Global AgInvesting conference series, held annually in New York, Singapore, London and Dubai, as well as the annual Oilseed & Grain Trade and Women in Agribusiness Summits. The company also publishes the annual Soya & Oilseed Bluebook, the leading industry and agribusiness directory.