This year’s Commodity Classic last week in Las Vegas went into the books as the best show ever, as records were set for both overall attendance and grower attendance. The event, sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and American Soybean Association (ASA), drew more than 4,000 attendees.

This year’s overall attendance of 4,112 easily surpassed the previous record of 3,945, set in 2001 at San Antonio. The event’s grower attendance mark of 1,518 topped the previous record of 1,310, achieved in 2002 at Nashville. The 2004 overall attendance figure marks a 31 percent increase over last year’s show in Charlotte, which drew 3,148 attendees.

“The attendance numbers really are a testament to the dedication and commitment of the NCGA action teams and staff,” NCGA President Dee Vaughan said. “The figures also prove that corn and soybean growers are deeply interested in meeting each year to discuss current issues and to see the newest commercial technology and products. This year was a smashing success and we have the growers to thank for that.”

The trade show featured more than 170 agribusinesses in 675 booths. The event once again drew a considerable number of representatives from the agricultural media industry. More than 90 agriculture media outlets were represented at the event, and numerous live broadcasts and press conferences were conducted.

While this year’s Commodity Classic will be remembered as the best-attended show in the event’s nine-year history, organizers are already looking ahead to another record-breaker at Austin in 2005. Vaughan said Commodity Classic has come to be known as the U.S. agriculture industry’s premier annual event.

“Every aspect of Commodity Classic seems to improve with each passing year,” he said. “The entertainment, the trade show, the learning centers, the General Session and the many other events were better than ever this year. And we’re hoping for even more excitement next year in Austin. Records were set in Las Vegas that we hope will be broken next year.”