Grain Bins


SD Corn attends 2021 Commodity Classic virtually

Posted on March 03, 2021
Commodity classic blog post 1

Commodity Classic, the annual convention for the agriculture industry, has taken to a virtual platform in 2021 and it’s happening this week, March 2-5, 2021.

Much like the live show from previous years, the digital experience of Commodity Classic is focused on high-quality educational sessions and providing farmers and ag industry leaders the opportunity to network with their peers. More than 50 educational opportunities are available to farmers across the country throughout this week via the digital platform.

2021 Special Edition

New this year, participants will be able to sit in on three different executive round table discussions as industry leaders talk about issues that affect farmers. Those who have registered for Commodity Classic will also be able to access the speakers' presentations and round table discussions online for a month after the end of the week’s event via a portal on the Commodity Classic website.

One of the major highlights of Commodity Classic that many look forward to year after year is hearing from agriculture leaders from across the country. The closing remarks for Commodity Classic’s virtual special edition will be delivered by none other than USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“Secretary Vilsack provides an experienced, in-depth perspective to agriculture and we’re excited to see him present virtually at Commodity Classic,” said Lisa Richardson, executive director at South Dakota Corn. “There is so much going on in the nation’s capital that impacts our farmers’ lives and we are eager to hear his thoughts on some of the top issues facing our growers, such as renewable fuels, trade and regulations.”

Be sure to tune in to the closing remarks on March 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Central. Check out all the speakers on the full schedule of this week’s sessions and roundtables on the Commodity Classic website.

A unique opportunity for farmers

Each year, Commodity Classic is the premier showcase to bring together a variety of agriculture industry farmers and professionals. It was created by farmers, for farmers, with the goal of helping to advance the industry in a multitude of areas, including exports and trade, ethanol and low-carbon fuels. It also helps industry leaders and national organizations, such as National Corn, to form policy and legislation for the industry with input from farmers, who are directly affected by those policies.

With so much going on in the industry, organizers of Commodity Classic intend to use the virtual platform as a way to connect with farmers who may have never attended the in-person event in the past.

“Thanks to our very generous sponsors, we are trying to bring Commodity Classic to more people with the ultimate goal to get them to attend next year in-person in New Orleans,” said Anthony Bush, National Corn’s Commodity Classic co-chair. “Being able to expose people digitally like this, and to see what Commodity Classic is about, is the most exciting thing about what this year has become.”

Setting the stage for South Dakota agriculture

Even though Commodity Classic is taking place virtually, this event is still crucially important to not only national ag organizations, but also state-driven entities such as South Dakota Corn. We help lead the way, not only for our members, but all farmers across the state and this allows us to let our policymakers and everyone in Washington, D.C. and across the country, know who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish as a grassroots organization.

John Linder, president of National Corn Growers Association, looks forward to Commodity Classic and Corn Congress each year, and despite the virtual platform, this year is no different.

“Across the country, many are looking to agriculture to be a leader, and they want to know what we are doing as farmers for the industry,” said Linder. “I think it’s a great story and Corn Congress and Commodity Classic are a great way to help set policies to position farmers for the future.

“We’re looking at the ways to position ourselves positively in the new administration and new Congress, as well as being able to showcase the innovations agriculture has been thriving on for so long, and we have a great story to tell.”

Member-states from across the U.S. have representation at Corn Congress with 127 delegates that bring a regional perspective of corn markets and production in their states to a national stage.

Some of the major issues up for debate during Monday’s Corn Congress session included exports, competitive markets within the farm input arena and increasing the market share of the ethanol industry. Each of these topics affect corn farmers in the state, as well as across the country.

Dave Ellens of Madison, a board member of South Dakota Corn Growers Association, is one of the delegates representing South Dakota this year.

“I take being a delegate for South Dakota as an honor, but also as a great responsibility to make sure our voice as farmers is well represented,” said Ellens.

“We really dive into the pressing issues affecting corn farmers and agriculture as a whole. It’s a great way for our organization to voice our opinions on a variety of topics and make sure new policy is in the best interest for agriculture and South Dakota corn farmers.”

Still time to register

There is still time to register and participate in the educational sessions Commodity Classic has to offer. Find all the information at

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