The Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF), is USDA’s oldest and largest annual gathering.
USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum began in 1923 to distribute and interpret national forecasts to farmers in the field. The goal was to provide the information developed through economic forecasting to farmers so they had the tools to read market signals and avoid producing beyond demand. Since then, the Forum has developed into a unique platform where key stakeholders from the agricultural sector in the United States and around the world come together every year to discuss current and emerging topics and trends in the sector. On average, 1,600 people attend the Forum each year.
The Forum, which is organized by USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist together with other USDA agencies, is independent of commercial interests and aims to facilitate information sharing among stakeholders and generate the transparency that leads to well-functioning open markets.
The Forum offers opportunities for exchanging ideas, information and best practices among producers, processors, policymakers, government officials, and non-governmental organizations, both domestic and foreign.
During the Forum, USDA’s Chief Economist unveils USDA’s Outlook for the domestic agricultural economy and trade for the year. Forum sessions explore a wide range of current and emerging topics in agriculture relating to global trade, innovations in agriculture, developments in animal and crop biotechnology and commodity markets. An exhibit hall showcases resources from USDA agencies and private organizations.