Farmers and other Commodity Classic attendees will once again have the opportunity to welcome U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to the annual convention and trade show for corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers. For the fifth year in a row, the secretary will deliver a keynote address to an expected crowd of more than 6,000 during the event's General Session, scheduled on Friday, Feb. 28, in San Antonio, Texas.
"We are honored to welcome Secretary Vilsack-someone who has been a strong advocate and voice for agriculture-to a conference that is both focused on and led by farmers," said American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser. "As we face many challenges in this industry throughout this next year- trade agreements and access, conservation and water quality, moving the RFS forward and access to innovative technology-we are excited to hear the secretary speak on these issues and other important topics that impact farmers who grow the nation's food."
"Secretary Vilsack has done a lot to support our growers, and to encourage all farmers to speak out and represent their industry at a time when the general public is more removed than ever from the farms that feed them," said National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre. "We're looking forward to his visit to Commodity Classic so he can speak with our growers and learn more about our great efforts to rebuild consumer trust in what we do."
Secretary Vilsack was appointed by President Barack Obama as the 30th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and took office in January 2009. He was reappointed soon after the president's reelection in 2012. Previously, Vilsack served two terms as governor of Iowa.
The 19th annual Commodity Classic is Feb. 27-March 1, 2014, along the banks of the famous River Walk at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Tex.
Presented annually by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers, Commodity Classic is America's largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show. The event offers a wide range of learning and networking opportunities for growers in the areas of production, policy, marketing, management and stewardship-as well as showcasing the latest in equipment, technology and innovation.