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National Summit on Agricultural and Food Truck Transport for the Future
Executive Summary

The first ever National Summit on Agricultural and Food Truck Transport for the Future was held in Washington, D.C. April 25-26, 2007, with more than 200 attendees and 40 speakers participating.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns gave the opening keynote address stressing the importance of the Summit to the agricultural and trucking sectors of the U.S. economy and the vital role of commercial agricultural trucking in the 21st century economy. He also emphasized that the implementation of this first ever Summit was most timely in view of pending significant agricultural legislation (the 2007 farm bill), trucking legislation and federal emphasis on renewable fuels, biofuels, and energy independence, all of which impact both the trucking and agriculture industries.

Nationally recognized speakers included experts from agriculture, trucking, members of Congress and various federal agencies. The speakers addressed ways to strengthen commercial agricultural trucking to ensure safe, secure, and efficient success of agricultural and food transportation in the future. The Summit examined the impact of farm and energy policy changes on domestic agricultural production and processing; the ability of commercial agricultural trucking to meet the demands from agricultural shippers and the food industry; and the influences of energy costs and the environment on trucking and agriculture. Other critical issues considered were truck driver recruitment, training, and retention; the affect of the many new security requirements in transporting agriculture and food products; and the importance of the agricultural hours of service exemption to the federal hours of service regulations.

The Summit was a success in its mission of bringing together leaders and experts in commercial agricultural trucking and agriculture, as well as members of Congress and federal agency staff, to discuss issues they all have in common and identify future policy and legislative initiatives to improve the transportation of agricultural commodities and food, critical to the nation's economy. Issues emerging from the Summit for future consideration included food security regulations, size and weight requirements on highways - especially rural infrastructure, adjustment of the 100 air mile radius requirement in the federal hours of service rules to 150 air miles, and the need to address the future workforce needs of the commercial agricultural trucking industry.

The Summit was organized by the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of the American Trucking Associations and the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at the North Dakota State University, with support from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050