From Commodity Classic (Anaheim, Calif.) – Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and grower-leaders of the Commodity Classic sponsoring organizations highlighted the 2010 Classic general session held Friday before thousands of attendees.
Vilsack talked about expanding trade through commodity promotion programs, feeding the world through biotechnology and the importance of agriculture and rural communities to national security. He reminded the growers in the audience that most citizens don’t have first-hand experience with being deprived of food, and that farmers now feed 150 people each, versus only 20 people each in decades past.
Commodity Classic is the annual convention and trade show of the U.S. wheat, corn, soybean and sorghum industries, and is also host to NAWG’s annual meeting. Sponsoring organizations include NAWG, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association and the National Sorghum Producers.
As part of the general session show, NAWG President Karl Scronce of Klamath Falls, Ore., joined moderator Mark Mayfield on stage to discuss wheat priorities, focusing on the importance of a robust trade agenda and research and technology work. He also participated in a roundtable discussion with the other association presidents about sustainability in agriculture and how to communicate better with the urban populace.
Earlier in the morning, Vilsack met privately with association grower-leaders and senior staff. The conversation covered a wide range of issues including trade, the dynamics of rural development, nutrition programs, biotechnology and connecting farmers with consumers.