Theresia Gillie: Commodity Classic a Place to Work Together

It seems like winters are full of many meetings and events. Last week, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) sent delegates to Commodity Classic in New Orleans for the American Soybean Association (ASA) annual meeting. This is a terrific event that brings soybean farmers from all around the United States to discuss the resolutions and vision of ASA.

It was our job as delegates to speak up on behalf of Minnesota soybean farmers. Our grassroots involvement in agriculture gives us the voice on the the issues that are affecting Minnesota soybean growers. As leaders, it is our job to shape the policy that affects you. The resolutions document helps ASA and farm leadership speak as a unified voice to congressional officials on various concerns.

We were lucky to have our caucus with North Dakota, South Dakota and the Wisconsin Soybean Growers Association. These neighboring states experience many of the same issues that we do. We do not consider ourselves divided, as we can easily understand the state and national issues they are also dealing with. By working together, we can ask pertinent questions and find solutions to help you on the farm while hopefully clearing a path for younger sons and daughters as they transition into the mix.

Commodity Classic hosts the annual meetings for ASA, National Corn Growers, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and for the first time, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The trade show hosts many of the ag business partners we work with. If you are looking for a new product or tool to help on your farm, I can just about bet it is at the Commodity Classic trade show. These businesses come to talk with the many farmers that attend, while helping maximize yield, minimize expense and increase efficiency.

Commodity Classic is also a large farm show with many learning and educational sessions. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke of the challenges we are facing in agriculture. All in all, it was a very busy four days. As one of the Minnesota delegates, it was truly a pleasure to speak on behalf of all Minnesota farmers.

Looking to next year, Commodity Classic will be held in San Antonio, Texas. With the educational sessions and networking opportunities available, I hope you all consider attending.

Theresia Gillie is a soybean farmer from Hallock, Minn. She is Vice President of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and is chair of the Advocacy action team. Theresia can be reached at

For a recap and highlights from this year’s Commodity Classic, click here.