WASHINGTON — The American Bakers Association this week met with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to discuss key policy priorities of interest to the baking industry, a meeting deemed "extremely positive" by Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A.

"We were able to hone in on specific proposals in the forthcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, as well as discuss the importance of enriched and whole grains in our diets and the success of the grain purchasing program included in the 2008 farm bill," Mr. MacKie said of the June 3 meeting with Mr. Vilsack.

Topics of discussion at the meeting also included the current state of the U.S. sugar supply, the need for stepped-up wheat research, solutions to overcoming decreasing wheat acreage in the United States, preventative food safety measures and the impact of volatile commodity markets on both consumers and producers.

"This meeting gave the A.B.A. the opportunity to begin key policy discussions with the new administration, as we were able to bring to the secretary’s attention important issues that impact the baking industry every day," Mr. MacKie said. "I was impressed with the secretary’s understanding of the issues and look forward to continuing these policy discussions with him and his staff in the future."