Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will speak on March 3 at a workshop on international trade of agricultural products in Norfolk, Va. The governor's remarks at the conference's opening luncheon will be his first major speech on agricultural issues since assuming office as the commonwealth's top elected official.

Sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, and the Virginia Port Authority, the international trade workshop will focus on the theme “Agricultural Trade: From Farm, to Port, to the Global Marketplace,” and will be held at the Sheraton Waterside on March 3 and 4.

“Trade is vital to the profitable growth of Virginia agriculture and to creating jobs in Virginia,” said Richard T. Crowder, former U.S. chief agricultural trade negotiator and professor of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We are particularly pleased that the governor will use this event to make his first remarks to the state’s agriculture community since he was inaugurated.”

Along with McDonnell and Crowder, the list of workshop speakers includes Joe Glauber, chief economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); Larry Pope, CEO of Smithfield Foods; Michael Scuse, USDA deputy undersecretary; and Everett Eissenstat, assistant U.S. trade representative. A previous news release has a list of additional speakers who will be at the 2010 workshop.

Registration is limited. For more information, call Spencer Neale at (804) 290-1153 or visit the international trade workshop website.