Attendance records continue to be broken at Commodity Classic. This year, record attendance totaled 6,214, including a record number of 3,324 corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers. There were also 1,078 first-time non-exhibitor attendees, another record set.
"By the growth of attendance at Commodity Classic, it's clear that farmers are seeing the advantage of coming to this great show," said Classic Co-Chair Bob Worth. "The quality of the trade show and all of the educational opportunities makes attendees happy to come back year after year, and invite their neighbors and friends."
This year's show also experienced the highest number of exhibitors. The 1,010-booth trade show was sold out with a waiting list of interested parties ready to take advantage of cancelations.
Before a standing-room-only house, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made his fourth straight appearance before General Session attendees. As sequester became a reality in Washington, Vilsack encouraged farmers to continue pushing Congress for a five-year farm bill and reach out to strategic partners that rely on farming for the health of their industry.
"We are fewer and fewer folks living in rural America, and fewer and fewer people who call themselves farmers," said Vilsack. "We've got to figure out ways in which to enlarge our political relevance."
The 2014 Commodity Classic will be held Feb. 27 to March 1 in San Antonio, Texas.
Commodity Classic is presented annually by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers.
The event offers a wide range of learning and networking opportunities for growers in the areas of production, policy, marketing, management and stewardship.