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Published June 09, 2010, 07:43 AM

Knight to moderate panel at ag forum

Bruce Knight, former chief of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, will moderate a panel at a forum on agriculture and carbon policy at noon Thursday in Valley City.

Bruce Knight, former chief of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, will moderate a panel at a forum on agriculture and carbon policy at noon Thursday in Valley City.

The forum will be held at the Valley City Eagles, 345 12th Ave. N.E. Lunch will be provided.

The North Dakota Ag Carbon Markets Working Group is hosting the forum to share information about new markets for carbon and renewable energy.

Knight was under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2006 to 2009. In this post, he provided leadership and oversight for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. These agencies protect animals and plants and promote fair, open and orderly markets for U.S. agricultural products.

From 2002 to 2006, Knight served as chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the lead USDA agency for conservation on private working agricultural lands. Under his leadership, the agency assisted 1 million farmers and ranchers in applying conservation on more than 130 million acres of working farm and ranchlands.

A third generation rancher and farmer and lifelong conservationist, Knight operates a diversified grain and cattle operation using no-till and rest rotation grazing systems.

Knight also has many years experience in developing U.S. agricultural policies and programs as a congressional staff member and on behalf of major agricultural producer groups. He served on the staff of Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, Kan., focusing on development of the conservation title of the 1996 farm bill and was a legislative assistant to Rep. Fred Grandy, Iowa, and Sen. James Abdnor, S.D. In addition, Knight served as vice president for public policy for the National Corn Growers Association and also worked for the National Association of Wheat Growers.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and representatives from commodity groups and conservation groups will participate in the forum. A social and supper will follow after the conclusion of the forum at the Bill Noeske farm.

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