Near-record attendance at the 2007 Commodity Classic, the joint convention and trade show of the American Soybean Association (ASA), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), enjoyed a lively General Session and information-packed What Is New, Early Riser Marketing and Learning Center sessions.

More than 4,000 people attended “Bounty on the Bay,” in Tampa, Fla., March 1-3. The event drew the second largest crowd behind the 2004 Commodity Classic in Las Vegas. More than 1,300 growers from the three largest U.S. crops came to Tampa to learn ways to improve profitability and productivity on their farms.

“Commodity Classic generated greater interest this year because of agriculture’s importance to the country and the world,” said NCGA President Ken McCauley. “We are in a new era of agriculture, and Commodity Classic showcased the new trends and products and highlighted the ways growers are contributing to producing feed, food, fiber and fuel for the world.”

The 12th annual event featured more companies than ever, with 197 represented and 675 booths on the trade show floor; a keynote speech by U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab; an inspirational message from Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and prisoner of war Ron Young; and an Evening of Entertainment with country music artist Collin Raye.

“We are delighted by the success of the 2007 Commodity Classic,” said ASA President Rick Ostlie. “The What Is New Sessions, Mini What Is New Sessions, Early Riser Marketing Sessions and Learning Center sessions were standing room only, and our exhibitors said they were pleased with the trade show turnout. By all accounts, this was one of the best shows ever.”

“Bringing these three commodity organizations together at one meeting was a great opportunity to strengthen the relationships between the groups and help us work more closely together for the benefit of our producers across the country,” said Dale Schuler, NAWG president during the 2007 Commodity Classic. “We thank the corn and soybeans organizations for their welcome and look forward to next year.”

Next year’s Commodity Classic will take place Feb. 28-March 1 in Nashville, Tenn., at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

For more information on Commodity Classic, please visit www.commodityclassic.com.