San Antonio hosted more than 9,350 agricultural producers, leaders and advocates during the 2020 Commodity Classic. Team Sorghum had a full schedule, including a spring NSP board of directors meeting, the 2020 NSP Yield Contest Awards Gala and the annual Sorghum PAC Casino Night and Auction.
San Antonio hosted more than 9,350 agricultural producers, leaders and advocates during the 2020 Commodity Classic. Of the 9,350 total registrants, a record-breaking 4,678 farmers flooded the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center for the largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show. The annual convention, held at the end of February, is presented by the National Sorghum Producers, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
Team Sorghum had a full schedule, including a spring NSP board of directors meeting, the 2020 NSP Yield Contest Awards Gala and the annual Sorghum PAC Casino Night and Auction. Sorghum board directors >and staff were continually engaged throughout the week, working the trade show booths and attending a variety of meetings and learning sessions.
During the Classic General Session on Friday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue delivered a keynote address covering trade, productivity and sustainability. Prior to Purdue’s address, attendees focused in on a video of President Donald Trump personally addressing Commodity Classic and assuring attendees of his commitment to U.S. farmers.
Following Secretary Perdue’s remarks, NSP Chairman Dan Atkisson and leadership from other Classic affiliate organizations took the stage to talk about current issues pertaining to each industry. Atkisson took the opportunity to address NSP’s action on behalf of growers relating to resumed trade with China, the current infrastructure challenges faced by sorghum producers and sustainability efforts being made within the sorghum industry.
This year’s NSP Yield Contest Gala, sponsored by Pioneer, highlighted 2019 NSP Yield Contest national and state winners. Both NSP Chairman Dan Atkisson and Sorghum Checkoff Chairman Craig Poore of Alton, Kansas, addressed the audience about the respective work each organization is doing on behalf of the sorghum industry and progress and milestones accomplished in the past year. Winter Johnston of McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, was inducted into the Yield Contest Hall of Fame in the Dry Land No Till East division.
CEO Tim Lust recognized NSP’s ongoing Director of Operations Debra Loyd for her years of service to both sorghum organizations, and he also recognized his parents, Glenn and Barbra Lust, as it was their first time in attendance to Commodity Classic.
The annual Sorghum PAC Casino Night and Auction kicked off at the conclusion of the NSP Yield Contest Gala. Throughout the night, there were a variety of raffles, auctions and casino games for guests to enjoy. In 2010, the board of directors established the bipartisan political action committee, commonly known as the Sorghum PAC, to further promote the legislative interests of sorghum producers. During this year’s fundraiser, more than $90,000 was generated to support NSP political endeavors. Have ideas for next year’s event? Contact Sorghum PAC event coordinator Jamaca Battin.
Over 9,000 farmers and agribusiness men and women from across the nation filled the trade show floor this year. Producers from across the nation and several international countries made appearances in educational sessions and booths throughout the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center.
Exhibitors visiting the sorghum booths were able to converse with fellow growers and board and staff members who spent time informing visitors about Leadership Sorghum and the Sorghum Smart Talk podcast plus market education information.
Commodity Classic will return to San Antonio, Texas, for the 25th annual convention. Join NSP on the San Antonio River Walk March 4-6, 2021, for the silver celebration. Take part in Classic events and learning sessions, along with the annual NSP Yield Contest Gala and Sorghum PAC Casino Night and Auction. For more information, visit www.CommodityClassic.com.
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2020 Issue of Sorghum Grower magazine in the NSP Update department.