Just before the growing season tends to get underway, the agricultural industry gathers for one final winter show event each year at the Commodity Classic. Sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Sorghum Producers, and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Commodity Classic features a range of products, companies, and speakers over its three days. This year’s show saw almost 8,000 attendees file into the Convention Center in Anaheim, CA during the last few days of February/first day of March time frame.
Now while there were plenty of things and products to see at the 2018 show, three things definitely bear mentioning. First, in the old category, John Deere continued its year-long celebration of 100 years of tractor making by featuring an old John Deere tractor at its booth. In fact, on March 15, the company will formally celebrate a century of ag equipment innovations at its facility in Waterloo, IA.
For something totally new, DowDupont introduced the new corporate name for its agricultural group at the show – Corteva. Although the company doesn’t expect to formally split into three different companies until the middle of 2019 at the earliest, the name change represents “the start of an exciting journey,” according to COO James Collins Jr.
Of course, the highlight of any Commodity Classic tends to be the state of the industry speech given by the acting Secretary of Agriculture. This year was no exception, as Sonny Perdue was on-hand for this reason. Perdue made it be known to all attendees that, despite efforts to undo trade legislation in some corners of Washington, DC, he has the industry’s back.
“Hear me clearly, all of you,” said Perdue. “I have not and will not support any policies that undermine demand and are harmful to our agricultural producers.”