10th Annual Commodity Classic Overview

NCGA’s Tumbleson Calls 2006 Commodity Classic ‘Great Event’

The 2006 Commodity Classic, the joint trade show and convention of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) held last week in Anaheim, Calif., was an overwhelming success, said NCGA President Gerald Tumbleson.

More than 3,400 people attended this year’s Commodity Classic. Several board directors, members and staff of the South Dakota Corn Growers and South Dakota Corn Utilization Council were present at the event.

The 10th annual event featured more than 180 agribusinesses and 640 booths on the trade show floor; speeches by Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty; an announcement that the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) will join Commodity Classic in 2007; and an Evening of Entertainment with country music artist Lorrie Morgan. In addition, NCGA held its first Corn Congress session of 2006.

“Every part of this year’s Commodity Classic was great,” said Tumbleson. “Our General Session was one of the best ever. The trade show provided ways for our producers speak face-to-face with industry leaders and to learn about cutting-edge products, services and technology from agribusinesses. Growers attended seminars about production, marketing, management and agriculture issues.

“It was truly a great event, and NCGA thanks all of the growers who attended.”

Johanns and Pawlenty emphasized the future of agriculture and renewable fuels, respectively, in their speeches. It was the second consecutive year Johanns spoke at Commodity Classic.

Another highlight of this year’s Commodity Classic was the announcement that NAWG will be represented at the 2007 Commodity Classic, March 1-3, in Tampa, Fla.

“The National Association of Wheat Growers will be a wonderful addition to Commodity Classic,” Tumbleson said. “NCGA and ASA look forward to working with the wheat growers and discussing the key issues that affect all three of the groups.”

NCGA also held the first of two Corn Congress sessions at this Commodity Classic. Delegates discussed resolutions and policy recommendations for the future.

“Our delegate body did a fine job in discussing the future policies of our association,” Tumbleson said. “I think everyone believes we accomplished quite a bit this week.”

For more information on Commodity Classic, please visit www.commodityclassic.com.

NCGA Unveils 2006 World of Corn at Commodity Classic

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) released its 2006 World of Corn publication, titled “Raising American Standards,” at the 10th annual Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif., last week.

The publication focuses on the strengths of the American farmer and highlights the roles producers have played in raising economic, environmental and security standards. In addition, the World of Corn contains important statistics about world and U.S. corn production and consumption and several facts the public may not know about corn.

“The World of Corn is NCGA’s way of providing key materials to the public about corn production and the role corn plays in American society,” said NCGA CEO Rick Tolman. “The corn industry is constantly changing, and corn growers are adapting nearly every day. The 2006 World of Corn tells the story of how producers are delivering the products that America depends on in the face of this constant change.”

The publication, distributed to all NCGA members through Farm Progress Company magazines, notes the corn industry plays an important part in the world economy by supplying a new generation of products, such as nutraceuticals, enzymes and corn-based plastics. The industry has also adapted to biotechnology, which has helped to reduce pesticide and herbicide use, and has incorporated no-till practices and buffer strips as methods to protect the quality of the land and water. In addition, the booklet indicates that American corn growers provide the nation with an affordable and secure food supply and are helping to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil by providing ethanol as a renewable energy.

The 2006 World of Corn is online at www.ncga.com.

Commodity Classic Attendees Call on Congress to Pass WRDA, Increase Genome Funding

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) members and 2006 Commodity Classic attendees sent more than 1,000 letters urging their members of Congress to pass the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and to increase funding for the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Initiative at the NCGA booth at the Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.

The letters give growers the opportunities to let their voices be heard on two key issues important to corn growers and agriculture.

“These letters are a good way for our association’s members to get involved in the political process,” said NCGA President Gerald Tumbleson. “These letters bring attention to two issues that affect corn growers and agriculture: transportation and genomics. Both issues play a significant role in creating more value for our crops.”

Even if growers did not attend Commodity Classic, Tumbleson said they can still send the letters.

“If you didn’t go to Commodity Classic, NCGA members still have the opportunity to contact their members of congress by visiting www.ncga.com and clicking on the Action Alert icons on the left side of the screen,” he said. “We encourage our producers to send letters and to ask their friends and family to do so as well.”

Jerry Demmer, member of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team, said he was amazed at the number of people sending letters throughout the weekend.

“On Friday, I thought we signed up a lot of people,” said Demmer. “But on Saturday, I couldn’t believe how many people stopped by the booth to sign up. It was nonstop traffic through the booth to send the letters. It’s a good program and a good way to get people involved. I’m glad we are promoting these initiatives.”

The push to get WRDA to the floor continues this week, with a number of Illinois corn growers going to Washington, D.C., to walk the halls of the Senate.

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