Ag event delivers industry development

“Cruising to success” was the theme of the 2010 Commodity Classic – America’s most-celebrated annual agricultural event. Held March 4 – 6, in Anaheim, Calif., the Golden State welcomed thousands of farmers to appreciate and advance the commodity sector of the agriculture industry.

Agriculture commodities are in-demand goods that are produced without fixed quantities. The balance of demand/supply of a commodity’s market dictates its price. Corn, wheat and soybeans are the U.S.’s main commodity crops, but in recent years, sorghum has established a presence in the commodity market.

Nearly 4,300 attendees attended the 15th Classic this year, including 1,363 growers from all over the country and more than 130 media outlets. According to the show’s Web site, it has more than doubled in size since the first Commodity Classic was held in 1996.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, addressed the convention during its opening ceremony. He highlighted agriculture’s significance to America’s economic health and prosperity, citing that every billion dollars of ag trade generates 9,000 jobs. Vilsack stated that he also believes that the USDA should be spearheading efforts to help the public realize the importance of agriculture.

“If you were Olympic downhill skiers you would be getting a gold medal or if you were professional athletes you would be going in the Hall of Fame. If you were CEOs, you would be getting big bonuses, but you’re not.”

Vilsack said he believes that the value system of the country is rooted in rural communities, which are faring poorly economically. Providing opportunities and alliances for farmers is important to help people invest and understand and to safeguard industry success, he said.

Top agriculture companies and organizations showcased new products, technologies and services that promise to enhance commodity growth. Numerous education sessions and briefings about ag issues were held concerning a variety of topics:

  • Farming Your Online Community: Social Media & Beyond
  • Marketing Strategies Your Lender Will Love
  • What Capturing Carbon Means for Ag
  • Take Technology to a Higher Level on Your Farm – and Make It Pay
  • What's Next For Ag-Based Biofuels?

Event buzz surrounded discussions about potential in cellulosic ethanol, particularly regarding the use of forage sorghum as a feed stock, the extension of the biodiesel tax credit and the magnitude of trade/exports to the agricultural commodity community, among others.

For a glimpse into the event, visit AgWired’s photo album.

This year’s convention introduced and reiterated vital issues, products and technologies to the progression of the national agriculture sector. Industry members and consumers alike have much to look forward to as the months unfold.

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