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Sustainable Agriculture Summit: Request for Breakout Session Proposals Extended to September 10, 2019

SISC Staff


Request for Breakout Session Proposals Extended to September 10, 2019 Proposals may be submitted through the online portal.

 A call for proposals is now open for the 2019 Sustainable Agriculture Summit 

November 20-21, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Background and Context 

The Sustainable Agriculture Summit is the premier annual gathering for major food companies, government agencies, academics, conservation groups, and farmers committed to advancing a coordinated and comprehensive approach to driving change in agriculture sustainability. 

The Host Partners for this signature event, Field to Market and Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and the Convening Partners, National Pork Board, Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, and U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, look forward to hosting the foremost gathering for anyone working at the intersection of agriculture and sustainability. Summit attendance has averaged over 500 attendees each of the past two years and is expected to continue to grow in 2019. 

The vision of the Sustainable Agriculture Summit is to strengthen the supply chain network of producers, agribusiness, retail/foodservice, and food and agricultural industry influencers who drive continuous improvement in agriculture sustainability and deliver food, fiber, and fuel to a growing world. The event will provide opportunities for members of the agricultural supply chain to engage with leading experts and learn more about key sustainability challenges and opportunities. 

The Sustainable Agriculture Summit organizers, composed of representatives from partner organizations, issues this call for proposals to provide the audience with panels, presentations, interviews, and interactive sessions from leading experts in sustainability and agriculture. Each session is scheduled to be 45 minutes in length, including ample time for questions and discussion. 

Summit Theme 

During a period of rapid change and innovation, farmers are pursuing tools, technologies and practices that help to improve productivity, profitability and environmental outcomes. Collectively, U.S. agriculture can create a roadmap for how global food and agriculture production will meet the challenge of the 21st century — producing more with less while staying economically profitable and preserving finite natural resources in a changing climate. The 2019 Sustainable Agriculture Summit, Accelerating Progress: A Roadmap for Sustainable Agriculture, will explore key drivers in defining and advancing sustainability across the industry, and surface innovative pathways and solutions to scale up our positive impact like never before. 

Considerations for Selection 

Proposals will be evaluated based on alignment with the conference theme and selection criteria, with emphasis on their appeal to our diverse audience of food companies, government agencies, academics, conservation groups, and farmers. Additionally, the ability to drive the sustainability conversation forward for the food, farming, and agriculture industries’ value chains will be considered. Preference will also be given to unique proposals that otherwise conform to the session formats outlined below and/or compelling speakers or panelists. Only presentations offering a vendor-neutral session will be considered. Selection and scheduling for breakout sessions will be at the discretion of the Summit organizers. 

The Summit organizers request proposals that: 

  • • Directly connect with the theme of this year’s Summit 


  • • Creatively showcase how challenges can be turned into opportunities 


  • • Consider the natural resource, economic, and human challenges and opportunities from which we can craft the sustainable supply chains of the future 


  • • Feature projects, collaborations, and successes that shine a light on possible sustainable futures for agriculture and the food industry 


  • • Are interactive and have given thought to different methods for involving the audience (see example session formats below) 


  • • Are engaging, with preference given to sessions that do not include lengthy, text-heavy PowerPoint presentations, with most interactive formats or photography rich presentations preferred 


  • • Include multiple, diverse perspectives (including supply chain segment, commodities, geography, experiences, etc.) 


To promote a more engaging, interactive, and dynamic environment, the following session formats are included as examples: 

  • Story Session – Speakers will be asked to share authentic experiences from their sustainability stories, including challenges, successes, and aspirations 


  • Technology Session – Discussing current technology that is redefining the industry, with an eye towards what is on the horizon 


  • Creative Session – Discussing a theme or research question from an out-of-the-box perspective 


Breakout Themes 

This year the Summit organizers will be looking for submissions that will fall into one of the themes outlined below. Themes are subject to change based on the quality of submissions. 

  • Innovative Pathways and Solutions – Hear from experts about advancements in technologies, sharing best practices and outlining unique strategies to arrive at sustainable solutions across the food and agriculture value chain. Showcase innovative pathways and solutions to advancing sustainable agriculture at scale. 


  • Key Drivers in Advancing and Defining Sustainability – Learn more about how consumer choices, investor pressures and advocacy efforts affect agricultural sustainability. How do we strengthen confidence and demonstrate impact to key constituencies? 


  • Resiliency and the Future of Food – Explore solutions to increase the resiliency of agriculture in the face of more volatile weather and an ever-changing climate. Identify strategies to meet rising demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel, while conserving our natural resource base. 


  • Economic Profitability and Feasibility – Define the challenges faced by the value chain in reconciling sustainability with profitability and identify strategies to overcome these roadblocks. Examine how the market potential for purpose-driven brands can create shared value for all links in the chain. 


  • A World Well Nourished – Examine the economic, social and technological solutions that are happening across agriculture to meet the increasingly urgent consumer demand for sustainable nutrition options-food that is not only good for them but good for the planet. How do value chains share a common vision for a healthy and sustainable food system? 


Speaker Responsibilities 

Selected breakout speakers are required to submit their final presentation outline, with permission to post, no later than 14 days prior to start of the Summit, to ensure material can be reviewed, approved and made available to attendees. 

Upon selection, it is the responsibility of the submission contact to confirm and communicate with all proposed speakers that they must register for the Summit and pay the registration fee unless otherwise approved in advance by Summit organizers in writing. 

Submission Requirements 

Proposals are due by September 10, 2019. 

Your submission must be submitted via ConferenceHarvester and include the following: 

  • • The name of your organization and contact information, including title 
  • • The names, affiliations and titles of proposed speakers that will participate in your session 
  • • Session Title 
  • • Short Session Description (less than 100 words) 
  • • A 500-word or less description of your session, including methods for engaging the audience 
  • • 3-5 learning objectives and audience takeaways 
  • Identification of target audience and sector(s) 


All submissions will be notified if their proposal has been accepted or denied by the week of September 23, 2019. You may be contacted prior to this notification if the Summit organizers have any questions or need additional information about your proposal. 

Only submissions that contain all of the required elements listed above will be considered. 

Please follow the link below to start the submission process 

Breakout Proposal Submissions 

Please note that there are other ways to engage with the Sustainable Agriculture Summit, including exhibiting, sponsoring, and attending as a participant. 

Please visit our website for details.