U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman will be the keynote speaker during the general session of the Commodity Classic, Feb. 21 to 23, in Nashville, TN.

This year's Commodity Classic represents the seventh annual convention and trade show of the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). Veneman is expected to cover many of the topics affecting today's farmer, such as the 2002 farm bill and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).

At Commodity Classic, growers come together with key players in the agriculture sector for information and educational sessions. The premier trade show includes about 600 booths representing leading agricultural businesses and organizations.

Texas Corn Producers Executive Director David Gibson, said, "At Commodity Classic, corn and soybean producers will see the latest in technology at the trade show, where they also will have the opportunity to talk with the top agribusiness leaders and decision makers."

"We are honored to be able to hear comments from Secretary Veneman," said NCGA President Tim Hume, Walsh, CO. "There currently are a lot of agricultural issues on Capitol Hill, and I look forward to hearing what she has to say."

Also at the Commodity Classic general session, a panel of farmers and industry experts will discuss the future of biofuels and their importance to corn and soybean growers.

The general session entertainment will be provided by comedian and musician Dick Hardwick.

The Commodity Classic "evening of entertainment" will feature singer and performer Louise Mandrell, whose talent, personality and boundless energy make for an exciting show. The opening act will be a performance by Riders in the Sky.

For Commodity Classic details, visit the Web, at www.commodityclassic.com, or call 636-928-3700.

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