NSP Update 2011 Commodity Classic Wrap Up By Lindsay Kennedy
breaking the previous record set in Nashville three years ago by almost 300 people. More than 1,600 sorghum, corn, wheat and soybean growers were in att endance as well as 126 media.
Commodity Classic is a great opportunity for NSP to tell grow- ers about the latest ad- vancements and im- portant issues in the sorghum industry.
t was a record-sett ing 16th annu- al Commodity Classic in Tampa, Fla. Total att endance topped 4,820,
National Sorghum Producers’ D.C. representative Tom Sell of Combest, Sell and Associates spoke at the sor- ghum general session and off ered key issues that will be important to watch as the writing of the next farm bill approaches. Budget pressure will be enormous, Sell says, but agriculture
in their districts than ever before, with only about 75 out of 435 districts now having a farm or ranch presence within their borders.
Americans currently have the safest, most aff ordable food supply, largely because of agricultural policy, and that is something Americans should make every eff ort to protect, Sell said.
“You should never ever bet against the American farmer because if you do, it’s a losing bet.”
Sorghum General Session
The sorghum general session, which is held each year during Commod- ity Classic, aims to highlight key is- sues aff ecting the industry with a sor- ghum-specifi c focus.
has cut spending and programs over the last decade and needs to tell that story as the policy options are dis- cussed in 2011 and 2012.
Sell said there are fewer members of Congress representing signifi cant amounts of agricultural production
“If we’re going to feed these 9 billion people with increasing appe- tites, we’ve got to have
the American farmer to do it,” he said.
Sara Wyant of Agri-Pulse Communica- tions also discussed the current budget environment on Capitol Hill and the challenges that lie ahead for ag.
Of particular interest at the sorghum general session was a presentation given by Carlos Rionda, president of Southeast Renewable Fuels (SERF) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who discussed the energy potential of the emerging sweet sorghum industry sector. SERF is building an advanced biorefi nery in Florida that will produce ethanol from sweet sorghum.
NSP Vice Chairman and Colorado sor- ghum farmer Terry Swanson joined Tom Sell for a farm bill Q&A where they answered questions regarding budget cuts, farm policy priorities, and educating the large number of new House and Senate ag committ ee members about sorghum.
Secretary Vilsack stopped by the NSP booth to visit with NSP Chairman Gerald Simonsen and other NSP directors during commodity Classic, March 4, 2011.
NSP Strategic Business Director, Chris Cogburn, and Camco Vice President
SORGHUM Grower Spring 2011
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