Commodity Classic Work Begins in Nashville

The work has started at the Commodity Classic in Nashville, Tennessee for delegates to the American Soybean Association. Chairman Alan Kemper from Lafayette visited with HAT Wednesday and said delegates writing the direction for the ASA officers and board will have the 2012 Farm Bill at the top of the list. And there are some differing opinions to work through.

“Like the state of Iowa still thinks there need to be some Direct Payments so they’re going to be suggesting that to the delegates as we go through the open resolution process in the delegate session. Meeting so to speak in the middle, ASA has had their Risk Management for American Farmers out for a long time; shallow loss provisions above crop insurance. Chairman Stabenow and others like that provision, so I think at the end of the day the delegates will give us some flexibility to move forward on that.”

Sustainability, exports and biodiesel will also get some serious discussion time this week.

Kemper says, “I think the worldwide movement for sustainability is going to be addressed by the delegates, and in particular some possible pathways forward with the joint task force of USB, ASA, and United Soybean Export Council over the next short period of time. The trans-pacific partnership which deals with exports of soybeans to some of the Asian countries will be addressed.”

He added delegates will provide other direction for the Farm Bill and what we need to do in Congress, not only on the Farm Bill but biodiesel.”

Speaking of the Farm Bill, Kemper is cautiously optimistic it can be completed this year.

“Chairman Stabenow still sees it as possibly having out of the Senate by possibly Memorial Day or shortly thereafter. Then if we can get to Chairman Lucas and get the House to pass it, we would hope it would be done right after Labor Day, and if not hopefully come back in the lame duck and do it.”

A record 5,400 attendees are at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center as the Classic begins Thursday. Kemper hopes attendance might even reach 6,000.[audio:|titles=2012 Commodity Classic opens]

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