Commodity Classic is getting bigger. So is AG CONNECT Expo and Summit, and in 2016 in New Orleans they will begin a melding of the two events into one for even larger growth. The announcement was made Tuesday morning.
“It’s great news for our growers,” said Martin Barbre from Illinois, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “It’s going to bring them a bigger, a better show, with so much more to see and do. Anyone who has been to Commodity Classic has seen how much we’ve grown in recent years. We’ve added in our wheat and sorghum affiliates, and now with AEM joining in, we’re going to have a show that just simply can’t be missed.”
Barbre added the announcement for 2016 is the perfect evolution of the event, “and it’s coming at just the right time.”
He says one reason it’s the right time is the continual growth of Commodity Classic.
“Last year in Kissimmee, Florida or record attendance totaled more than 6,200. That included a record number of more than 3,300 corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers. There were also more than 1,000 first time attendees.”
Danny Murphy, president of the American Soybean Association said the decision was made by farmers for the show about farmers and produced and led by farmers.
“I think that’s reflected in this decision. The decision was the result of a farmer led strategic vision taskforce comprised of NCGA and ASA farmer-leaders that met this past summer. As farmers we want to see the newest innovations from all our solution providers, from seeds to equipment, and be able to talk to the companies’ top executives too. This partnership allows us to get that right along with everything else that makes Classic the place to be each year.”
Bill Schuermann, ASA’s executive director, Member & Industry Relations, says new, larger venues for Commodity Classic will be needed.
“The Classic already has outgrown many of the cities that we were already attending, so as we were looking ahead we were already looking at larger venues. Obviously with AG CONNECT and Commodity Classic coming together that will impact where we can have our show.”
Charlie O’Brien, senior vice president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers which owns and produces AG CONNECT, says they’ve emphasized quality in their shows just as Commodity Classic has, so it will be a great fit.
“WE also feel that the vision of both Commodity Classic and AG CONNECT experiences are consistent in the vision of the future in creating a premiere, must attend event that focuses on quality and not just quantity. It’s really the quality in exhibits, quality in attendees, quality in the educational programming, and the quality of the overall experience for both the attendees and the exhibitors.”
Next year Commodity Classic will be in San Antonio and in 2015 it moves to Phoenix. AG CONNECT Expo & Summit is next scheduled for Indianapolis in late January of 2015.