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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to lead U.S. Delegation at the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2013 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will lead the U.S. delegation at the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture on April 29-30, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Open access to publicly funded agriculturally-relevant data is critical to increasing global food security.

"I am pleased to partner with G-8 colleagues in ensuring that agriculturally relevant data is readily available to users around the world. By making our data accessible and encouraging others to do the same, we will enable collaborations that will spur innovation and increase economic growth around the world," said Secretary Vilsack.

The U.S. delegation will also include: Dr. Catherine Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics and Chief Scientist, USDA; Paul Weisenfeld, Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau for Food Security, U.S. Agency for International Development; Jonathan Shrier, Special Representative for Global Food Security, State Department; and representatives from the National Science Foundation, Millennium Challenge Corporation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The conference is a commitment that was made at the 2012 G-8 Summit in Camp David, Maryland. Open data is being used by innovators and entrepreneurs around the world to accelerate development. At last year's G-8 Summit, leaders committed to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition—including an agreement to share relevant agricultural data available from G-8 countries with African partners and convene an international conference on Open Data for Agriculture. The conference is being organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the United Kingdom, which holds the G-8 Presidency this year.

"The U.S. government places high priority on open access to data as a forward-thinking approach to address the global food and agricultural challenges facing us. From replicating new findings to developing applied outcomes, we've seen that international collaboration facilitates much of the progress in agricultural research," said Dr. Woteki. "The G-8 is also pleased to invite government delegations from the New Alliance as well as Australia, Brazil, China, India, Mexico to attend the conference."

For more information on the upcoming conference, visit the Conference Website:


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