The 2009 Commodity Classic may be a joint meeting of the corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum industries, but several corn-specific meetings and events will keep corn farmers busy this week and provide them the opportunity to network, learn and share with peers from around the country — having some fun in the process.

“Growers sacrifice a lot in taking time off away from their operations, and we always want to make sure they have a lot to see and do,” said Steve Yoder, co-chairman of the 2009 Commodity Classic Committee. “Coming to Commodity Classic is always a good investment and an opportunity for farmers to expand their horizons.”

The meetings start Wednesday afternoon with the NCGA Issues Briefing, Open Forum and Policy Discussion, where growers will get the latest news from Washington, learn about the new economic stimulus package’s impact on the industry, and are invited to share their own concerns with NCGA staff and officers.

Also on Wednesday, a series of state caucuses will allow growers to meet together to discuss issues at the state level. Wednesday night, the popular CornPAC Auction gives growers a chance to relax and have fun while supporting the organization’s political outreach efforts.

Corn Congress is the major policymaking meeting of state delegates, and it takes place in two sessions, during Commodity Classic, Thursday morning and Saturday afternoon. Growers who are not delegates have the opportunity to watch their state representatives in action as new policy resolutions are proposed, discussed and voted on, and priorities for the coming year finalized.

Two other NCGA-specific events that occur at Commodity Classic are the National Corn Yield Contest award breakfast honoring the 520 state winners, Friday morning, and the NCGA Awards Banquet that honors national corn yield contest winners and top membership recruiters.

Singer and motivational speaker LaDonna Gatlin will entertain attendees at the banquet this year.