The 2016 Commodity Classic is being billed as the biggest and best ever, thanks in part to the addition of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. AEM joins the commodity membership organizations representing soybeans, corn, wheat and sorghum as presenting sponsors of the 2016 Commodity Classic. Illinois corn farmers will be attending Corn Congress during Commodity Classic. Corn Congress is the grassroots policy development meeting of the National Corn Growers Association. Members of the Illinois delegation will be representing a dozen or so policy suggestions that were discussed and voted upon at their November 2015 policy meeting in Bloomington.
The addition of AEM members is a significant reason that the 2016 Commodity Classic trade show will be the largest in the 20-year history of the event. Several hundred exhibitors have already signed up for space on the 600,000-plus square foot trade show floor—and several AEM members that have exhibited at Commodity Classic in the past have increased their footprint by two or three times.
The reputation of Commodity Classic and the types of farmers who attend were chief reasons that AEM chose to join the event this year. “Our members were attracted by the quality of grower that attends Commodity Classic,” said Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president. “These are serious, large-scale, progressive farmers—the type of farmers with whom AEM members want to engage and converse. We have a great deal of respect for the grower population that’s at Commodity Classic.”
O’Brien noted that AEM members will likely expand the number of people they have in their exhibit booth in addition to sales representatives and customer service personnel. “Many of our members will bring engineers and product managers—the type of experts who can speak in detail about the equipment and innovation,” O’Brien added. “When farmers come to the exhibit, they can ask deep questions of the people who are actually designing the equipment and get the answers they’re looking for right there and then.”