When U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns addresses the Commodity Classic General Session Friday, March 3, he will recap his first year as head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, outline ongoing discussions on the upcoming farm bill and discuss policy issues affecting corn and soybean growers.

Commodity Classic, the combined convention and trade show of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the American Soybean Association (ASA), will be held March 2-4 in Anaheim, Calif.

NCGA President Gerald Tumbleson said he is pleased to welcome Johanns to address corn and soybean growers. “Mike Johanns has been one of the most accessible and engaged agriculture secretaries,” he said. “He has a strong voice for America's farm industry; he has worked aggressively to promote farm policy and trade issues that benefit agriculture and the nation as a whole. He understands the issues facing agriculture producers and is working to ensure their future is bright.”

“Listening to Secretary Johanns speak during the Commodity Classic General Session will give corn and soybean producers a unique opportunity to learn about the latest developments at USDA,” said ASA President Bob Metz. “We greatly appreciate that Secretary Johanns will be speaking to our growers, and hope he will again have time to walk through our trade show, as he did at Commodity Classic last year.”

Commodity Classic's general session promises to be dynamic and will also feature Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty in a lively discussion on renewable fuels; Jay Lehr will discuss the truth about agriculture and the environment; and country music artist and speaker Michael Peterson will provide the audience a moving message about Americans' call to duty to their country and communities.

In addition, attendees can see the latest in technology, products and services at the trade show, which will showcase 175 exhibitors in more than 625 booths. The Commodity Classic agenda is one of the most diverse educational agendas, touching on all facets of the agricultural industry. Growers are sure to receive the latest in-depth information that is important to them, while also benefiting from the numerous networking opportunities and outlooks from agricultural industry leaders.