March 7, 2017

Commodity Classic 2017

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With my internship at the Nebraska Corn Board, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. As I have had this trip planned for the past several months, I was looking forward to not only the convention itself, but also to escape the cold Nebraska winter. Although the weather wasn't much of a change from the unusually warm winter we've had here, I still had a great time at Commodity Classic, a time that I will never forget.

Commodity Classic is an annual event that is held in different parts of the United States where farmers and agricultural leaders meet to discuss current and rising policy, technology, communication, education and business within the industry. This years Commodity Classic was held in San Antonio, Texas from March 2-4. Through this blog you will gain an overview of my time while at the classic.

DAY 1

Waking up at 2 a.m. isn't something that I particularly enjoy, however I had no difficulty getting out of bed when my alarm went off early Wednesday morning as I knew I was about to embark on a trip that I would never forget. I departed Lincoln at around 3 in the morning for the Omaha airport and after a
The view outside of my hotel room (Tower of the Americas)
connecting flight through Chicago, I arrived in San Antonio around noon on Wednesday.

After my arrival in San Antonio, I was off to a meeting right away. The first session of the afternoon was the Nebraska Caucus. Nebraska brought 11 delegates to Commodity Classic which were individuals who weighed in and voted on policy revisions during Corn Congress. The Nebraska caucus session was a briefing for all Nebraska delegates and staff to collaborate ideas and viewpoints of policy topics which would be covered during Corn Congress.

After the Nebraska Caucus, I attended the welcome reception in the evening. Here, I visited with other attendees of the 2017 Commodity Classic, as well as enjoyed some tasty Texas hors d'oeuvres. Needless to say, I was ready for bed after a LONG Wednesday.

DAY 2

Corn Congress went into session on Thursday morning. Corn congress is an event where delegates from different corn growing states discuss and debate certain policy issues within the corn industry. It was a very informative and interesting session for me, as I was unaware of several current policy issues within the agriculture field.

After corn congress, I attended the national communicator's meeting. There, we heard from CEO of Growth Energy, Emily Skor. Ms. Skor spoke about the common misconceptions of ethanol and how we as communicators can address those misconceptions and promote ethanol. After hearing from her, all of the corn communication directors from across the nation spoke about different issues and topics within their state that they are currently addressing. Working as the market development and communications intern with the corn board, this meeting was very beneficial as it broadened my knowledge as to what I can do to better our communications of corn and corn-based products within Nebraska.
Corn Congress

After the communicators meeting, I attended the EducationProjects.com reception. EducationProjects.com is a company that encourages the application of agriculture into the high school classroom. They provide curriculum and train science teachers on how to incorporate agriculture into their lessons. This reception was one of my favorite parts of classic, mainly due to the fact that I am an ag education major and will soon be pursuing a teaching career within the agriculture field.

After the education reception, I wrapped up the evening by enjoying food and conversation with all of the Nebraska Corn representatives attending Commodity Classic at the Hard Rock Cafe on the River Walk.

DAY 3


Trade Show
To start off my Friday, I attended the "general session". At this session, I heard from several ag industry leaders and their viewpoints of the current ag economy. Many of them had a strong hope that our economy would improve in the near future, which was very comforting. Also at the general session, John O'Leary, a motivational speaker, visited with us about how we must keep a positive attitude about the industry's current events and economy, even though it has been hard to do.

Following the general session, I made my way to the enormous trade show and helped work the National Corn Grower's Association booth where I visited with several growers and businessmen from around the country.

DAY 4

Since I didn't get the chance to explore the trade show much on Friday, I took Saturday morning to walk around and visit with company professionals a bit more. The trade show was comprised of several hundred agribusiness decision makers and also showcases state of the art products and services within agriculture. After I completed all of my stops at the trade show, I attended the second and
final session of corn congress in the afternoon.

Evening fun with Nebraska Soybean staff
DAY 5

When Sunday came, I still felt as if I had just arrived in San Antonio, however it was time to head back home. We flew out of the San Antonio airport at about 8 a.m. and after a connecting flight through Dallas, arrived back in Omaha a little before noon.

Although my stay in Texas seemed to fly by, I had an absolutely phenomenal time. I made connections with professionals that I never would have otherwise, broadened my agricultural knowledge, and made memories with friends and colleagues that I will never forget. I want to thank the Nebraska Corn Board for providing me with this amazing opportunity, and also want to thank everyone who made this adventure so much fun!

River Walk view while walking to supper