More than 4,000 people including more than 1,300 growers made their way to Anaheim this week for the events associated with the 2010 Commodity Classic.
Classic is the annual convention and trade show of the corn, soybeans, sorghum and wheat industries, and a place for much of the agriculture community to gather and discuss everything from the latest equipment and technology to pressing policy issues.
The National Association of Wheat Growers has been a part of Classic for four years and has its annual policy meetings in conjunction with the convention.
NAWG also is the principle sponsor of the Wheat Industry booth in the Classic trade show, which this year includes NAWG, U.S. Wheat Associates and the Wheat Foods Council and highlights an important wheat product often over looked when discussing a crop that provides 20 percent of the world’s food calories – pasta.
The booth opened Thursday with 500 packages of spaghetti and penne accenting the booth display, each package ready to go home with a booth visitor for future enjoyment. The mountains of pasta were generously donated by the National Pasta Association’s member-company American Italian Pasta Company.
Friday’s general session was headlined by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and grower-leaders of the Commodity Classic sponsoring organizations.
Vilsack talked to the thousands of attendees 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.
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 sponsoring 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.
NAWG Foundation and NAWG Board meetings are scheduled for Saturday after most Classic activities end. The NAWG Board is expected to elect new officers, with Jerry McReynolds of Kansas taking the presidency.
For more about happenings at Classic, visit http://www.wheatworld.org/newsroom/news-from-2010-commodity-classic/. This page is a compilation of all wheat news releases, audio and photos from the event.