ST. LOUIS -- U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab has accepted an invitation to deliver the keynote address at the 2007 Commodity Classic General Session in Tampa, Fla., March 2. Commodity Classic is the combined convention and trade show of the American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Association of Wheat Growers.



As USTR, Schwab is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy and for overseeing negotiations with other countries. She is a Cabinet member who serves as the president's principal trade advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues.



"Producers know how important the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round is, as it affects trade with other nations and domestic farm policy," said Commodity Classic Co-chairman and NCGA member Richard Peterson. "Susan Schwab is playing a key role in the talks as the USTR, and we are certain she will deliver an informative speech."



"Susan Schwab is a great addition to our General Session," said Commodity Classic Co-chairman and ASA member Curt Sindergard. "The WTO will play a vital role in how the next farm bill is structured and a lot of attendees are looking forward to hearing what she has to say. We're very excited she will be there."



"We're always interested in learning what the trade negotiations might bring forward and how they might affect the profitability of growing wheat or potential new markets for our wheat," said Commodity Classic Grower Committee member and NAWG grower Mark Gage.



The General Session is the highlight of the three-day Commodity Classic. U.S. Farm Report host John Phipps is the emcee of the General Session. He will bring together the presidents of the three commodity associations for a candid discussion on each organization's goals for the upcoming year and how producers can promote agriculture to the American public.



Tom Tevlin of Greenspirit Strategies will inform producers how they can defend their industry against attacks from outside interest groups. Ron Young, a prisoner of war during Operation Iraqi Freedom, will also share his personal story of dedication, courage and inspiration.



With the addition of NAWG to Commodity Classic this year, the nation's top three crops will be represented at the event. Corn, soybeans and wheat account for more than two-thirds of U.S. cropland.



For more information on Commodity Classic and to register, visit www.commodityclassic.com.




SOURCE: Joint ASA, NAWG and NCGA news release.