ST. LOUIS, MO. Oct. 22, 2013 –Commodity Classic and AG CONNECT Expo & Summit plan to partner for a joint event in 2016, creating the ultimate “one stop shop for farmers,” noted American Soybean Association Danny Murphy. In 2013, about 6,200 farmers and industry leaders attended the Commodity Classic, with over 11,000 attending AG CONNECT.

The inaugural event will be held March 3-5, 2016, in New Orleans. The Commodity Classic shows scheduled for 2014 and 2015 will take place as planned. The biennial AG CONNECT will not be held in 2015, moving its focus to the combined show with Commodity Classic in 2016 and continuing to meet on an annual basis.

Commodity Classic is a joint venture owned by the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association, with National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers participating as affiliates. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) owns and produces AG CONNECT Expo & Summit.

Illinois corn grower and NCGA President Martin Barbre, said the new partnership will create an event that “simply can’t be missed. As a farmer, I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.

“We have great respect for the professional approach the Commodity Classic has brought to the industry and feel it is consistent with the vision AEM members have designed into the AG CONNECT experience,” noted Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president. “We both want to focus on quality and not just quantity.”

While New Orleans has the capacity to handle the initial combined show, Bill Schuermann, ASA’s executive director, Member & Industry Relations, noted that the projected growth in the combined event will limit locations for future events to those cities with enough hotel and convention space, but no future dates and locations have been announced.

Asked if the groups might be open to including even more commodity and trade associations, Schuermann said the associations have always been open to including other groups and “we will see where those connections might fit.”

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