RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- At the close of the 2010 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif., BASF donated the LEGO bricks used in its featured custom barn sculpture to the National FFA in Indianapolis. The bricks will be used in leadership courses for a wide range of high school students.

To illustrate how BASF products provide building blocks to help growers get the most out of every acre, well-known brick artist Nathan Sawaya sculpted an impressive 3-D barn complete with the BASF logo, alongside an array of soybean pods, corn stalks and wheat shafts, using only standard LEGO bricks. Each day at Commodity Classic, Sawaya continued building the sculpture while attendees viewed his progress.

At the close of the trade show, the bricks were packed and shipped to National FFA. The organization plans to use the LEGOs beginning this fall as part of leadership conferences and workshops for more than 5,000 high school students. The LEGOs will also be used in October during the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.

"National FFA is very thankful to BASF for such a generous contribution to our organization," said Whitney Danker, Education Specialist for FFA. "The LEGOs will be part of the curriculum more than 20,000 students will use in order to glean leadership lessons to apply to their lives. We are grateful for the donation from BASF, which will help us strengthen the future leaders of the agriculture industry."

The BASF booth at 2010 Commodity Classic was abuzz with activity. Highlights include:

  • BASF partnered with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) to award a total of six scholarships during the show to students in agriculture.
  • Three booth visitors – Aaron Kreais of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, Richard Dobbins of Concord, Michigan, and Ken Scott of Paradise, Pennsylvania – each won a $1,000 American Express gift card when they were randomly selected as winners of a daily sweepstakes drawing.
  • BASF participated in two mini "What is New" (miniWIN) sessions, sharing the company’s latest innovations with growers, retailers and media. BASF Technical Market Manager Nick Fassler shared information about Headline AMP™ fungicide, and Dan Westberg, Ph.D., BASF Technical Market Manager presented on Kixor(R) herbicide technology.
  • Fassler and Regional Technical Service Manager Gary Schmitz, Ph.D., hosted a press conference on Plant Health during the show. They presented cumulative results of research showing how Headline(R) fungicide provides pre-eminent disease control, improves Plant Health and maximizes yield potential.

The 2011 Commodity Classic is scheduled for March 3-5 in Tampa.