I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2016 Commodity Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana. Commodity Classic is an annual convention and trade show that is farmer-led and farmer-focused. It provides farmers with an opportunity to learn about the latest improvements in agriculture, meet with industry leaders, attend educational sessions, and network with other farmers and agribusinesses from across the nation. While I was at this convention, I was also able to attend Corn Congress and listen to the discussions and presentations that were held there. There were two important discussions that I took away from this convention: the growing importance of sustainability in agriculture, and the need for innovation in order to feed our growing population.
I think that the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) spoke very well on these two important topics, that are so important to agriculture. Their vision is, "to sustainably feed and fuel a growing world." They stated that they are working within their organization to develop new programs that meet today's needs, and are also building new tools to communicate and coordinate better across the agricultural industry. In order to meet the demands of the growing population, NCGA is working with its value chain partners to create a competitive market demand for 19 billion bushels of corn through stable annual growth by 2025. They will do this by increasing ethanol use, developing three new uses for corn, promoting corn based food demand, increasing livestock exports, improving the quality of livestock feed, and several others. One important goal of NCGA will be to enhance customer and consumer trust over the upcoming years. They will accomplish this by creating new partnerships, telling the story of American corn farmers sustainability, engaging more members in advocacy, and several others. Overall, I believe that NCGA is on the path to success in regards to addressing the importance of sustainability in agriculture, and the need for innovation in order to feed the growing world.