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USDA Deputy Under Secretary Merle Pierson to Address USDA's Role in Future Bio-Economy at Soyatech's Conference  (10.9.2007)

BAR HARBOR, ME -- Dr. Merle Pierson, USDA Deputy Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics, will deliver a keynote address at the upcoming Soya & Oilseed Summit 2007: Nourishing Innovations in Food and Energy. The conference, which will bring together thought leaders from the food, agribusiness and energy industries, will explore key issues and opportunities emerging in the rapidly changing global marketplace for food and fuel.

In remarks entitled "A New Paradigm for Agriculture: USDA's Role in the Future Bioeconomy," Dr. Pierson will present an overview of USDA's role in meeting the nation's energy goals, focusing on USDA efforts in bioenergy and biobased products research and development. He will discuss agriculture's role in energy production and the changing paradigm for agriculture as not only a producer of food, feed and fiber but also as an energy producer.

The Soya & Oilseed Summit, produced by Soyatech, one of the world's leading information resources for agribusiness and related industries, takes place in Chicago November 11-13, 2007 at the InterContinental Hotel.

"Through his role with the USDA, Dr. Pierson has gained a comprehensive knowledge of agriculture and its role in feeding and fueling the world. His perspective and vision on the important issues facing stakeholders in the food vs. fuel debate will add an invaluable dimension to the discussion at the Summit," said Soyatech president and founder Peter Golbitz, widely recognized as the one of the world's foremost experts on the soybean and oilseed industry.

Dr. Pierson provides leadership to the four agencies that comprise the USDA's Research, Education and Economics mission area: the Agricultural Research Service; the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; the Economic Research Service; and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Previously, he served as Deputy Under Secretary and Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety. Before joining the USDA, he served as Professor of Food Microbiology and Safety at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In addition, he held positions as Head of the Department of Food Science and Technology and Acting Superintendent of the Center for Seafood Extension and Research. Pierson is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is internationally recognized for his work on food safety management, and has authored or co-authored more than 150 articles and 7 books on food safety and quality in addition to presenting numerous workshops on HACCP and food safety management.

Dr. Pierson joins other general session presenters and panelists including Thomas Mielke, editor in chief, Oil World, who will present an overview of available feedstocks for food and energy; Harry True, director of global sourcing, Frito Lay; Wallace Tyner, professor of agriculture economics, Purdue University; Bill Lapp, president of Advanced Economic Solutions; and Thomas Redick, principal, Global Environmental Ethics Counsel, who will discuss the potential for modified seed traits for food and energy applications.

The USDA's evolving role is particularly relevant to Soya & Oilseed Summit's parallel food and energy tracks. Sessions in the food track will explore advances in soyfoods and ingredient processing as well as trends in natural and functional foods, while the energy track will address the next generation of biodiesel processing technologies, the impact of government policies, Brazil's biofuels industry and other factors on the North American market.

Attendees at Soya & Oilseed Summit 2007 are expected to include executives from the food and beverage industry, government agencies, the automotive and oil industries, biodiesel and ethanol manufacturers and distributors, private equity investors, hedge fund managers, and leaders in science and technology from around the world.

Information and registration is available at www.soyasummit.com, by email at soyasummit@soyatech.com, or by phone at 800.424.SOYA (7692), ext. 114.

Soyatech (www.soyatech.com) assists companies in the food and agribusiness sector assess and develop market opportunities through reports, conferences, publications and consulting. Founded in 1985, the company publishes the annual Soya & Oilseed Bluebook, the industry's leading source of information on companies and products, an industry-focused email newsletter (in daily and weekly editions), and Soyatech.com, the award-winning business-to-business online resource for the industry. Soyatech's information and news products and services are looked to by over 4000 of the world's largest agribusiness and biofuel companies in over 100 countries. Soyatech advises leading companies on their growth, market penetration, and positioning strategies across the value chain.

For more information about this report, contact:

Ann Seamonds

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