Houston: Home of the Astros, Astronauts—& ASA!!!

Feb 20, 2024

Okay, maybe Houston is not the permanent home of the American Soybean Association, but it is for three glorious days during the 2024 Commodity Classic, “New Frontiers in Agriculture!”

As you pack for Houston and plan your 2024 Commodity Classic schedule, we hope you’ll take note of some of the various opportunities to engage with U.S. soy and ag industry leaders during the show.

Wednesday, Feb. 28, to Friday, March 1

George R. Brown Convention Center, First Floor

Swing by ASA Booth #2303 for a chance to chat with ASA grower-leaders, policy and executive staff! You can also test your ASA knowledge by giving our trivia wheel a spin for the chance to take home some swag!

Show hours:

  • Wed. 3 – 6 p.m.
  • Thurs. 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

In addition, ASA will host or participate in a variety of panel opportunities and events throughout Classic that we hope you’ll add to your schedules.

Thursday, Feb. 29

ASA Government Policy Update

10:30–11:15 a.m.

Convention Center, Third Floor Trade Show Stage

Sponsored by American Soybean Association

Skip the baseball diamond and flight simulators and stay grounded at Houston’s Convention Center Thursday morning—the best opportunity of the day to hear straight from D.C. decisionmakers!

ASA’s policy team welcomes USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Robert Bonnie, FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux, RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger and NRCS Chief Terry Cosby for this engaging discussion. Attend ASA’s in-person, town hall-style session and gain a wealth of information straight from top D.C. officials.


  • Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, USDA
  • Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator, Farm Service Agency
  • Marcia Bunger, Administrator, Risk Management Agency
  • Terry Cosby, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service

ASA Press Conference

1:00– 1:20 p.m.

Convention Center, 351A-C

We haven’t witnessed them rounding bases or orbiting the globe, but we can vouch for them helping hit policy home runs for agriculture and logging outrageous in-atmosphere airtime flying to the nation’s capital and elsewhere to advocate for soy.

At Bat:

  • ASA President Josh Gackle, Kulm, ND
  • ASA Vice President Caleb Ragland, Magnolia, KY

Note: If you have a pinch hitter and your media organization can be at two places at once, we’d also encourage you to attend United Soybean Board’s session, “The Whole Bean: How U.S. Soy Helps Feed and Fuel the World,” which takes place from 12:45-1:30 p.m. on the First Floor Trade Show Stage. Otherwise, grab some peanuts and Crackerjack and come on over to the press conference room and we promise to catch you up on Whole Bean later! :)


"Building New Markets to Meet the Challenge of Feeding the World"

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

Convention Center, Trade Show Stage, Third Floor

Sponsored by ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health with support from United Soybean Board

Astronauts get a true birds-eye view of the Earth, but WISHH and other leaders in agriculture are likewise taking a 360  view of our planet when it comes to feeding the world. As global food security continues to make headlines, this is your chance to hear how U.S. agriculture and U.S. farmers are leaders for food security, building new markets around the world. Find out how WISHH at the American Soybean Association, U.S. Soybean Export Council, United Soybean Board, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation and U.S. Grains Council are part of the effort to meet the nutritional needs of 8 billion consumers as they cultivate new global markets.


  • Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare, Chair WISHH Committee & ASA Director
  • Meagan Kaiser, Immediate Past Chair, USB
  • Stan Born, USSEC Chair & ASA Director
  • Mark Wilson, Secretary/Treasurer, U.S. Grains Council
  • Randy Spronk, USMEF Chairman
  • Representative, USAPEEC

Friday, March 1

Commodity Classic General Session

Agriculture Leader Roundtable, an Astronaut (really!) & Rare Double-Header Ag Keynote

8:30-10:30 a.m. (doors open 8 a.m.)

Convention Center, General Assembly Room, Third Floor

As one of your Classic hosts, we are very pleased to have a double-header Cabinet keynote opportunity this year, featuring USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

In addition, hear from Mike Massimino, former NASA astronaut, New York Times bestselling author, Columbia University professor, and media and television personality.

We welcome back a grandstand-pleaser. The General Session will again include a panel discussion with leaders of the five associations that present Commodity Classic each year: American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Learning Center Session

The Agricultural Outlook

1:45 - 2:30 p.m.

Convention Center, Room 310

Sponsored by American Soybean Association & United Soybean Board

If you don’t know an AB from an R from an RBI, that’s okay! We’re not talking baseball stats or astrophysics in this session, but we are talking ag economy, which can itself get pretty tricky. This panel of leading experts will break it down for both you and your audiences.

The agricultural sector is constantly experiencing dynamic changes. This session brings together leading agricultural economists from different sectors to discuss the agriculture outlook and what it means for crop and livestock prices, input costs and government payments over the next several years. Short presentations from each economist, covering their respective outlook, will be followed by audience Q&A. This is a chance to see what to expect for prices, costs, and payments on your farm.


  • Seth Meyer, Chief Economist, USDA
  • Scott Gerlt, Chief Economist, ASA
  • Erin Borror, Vice President, Economic Analysis, U.S. Meat Export Federation
  • Mac Marshall, Vice President of Market Intelligence, USB

ASA Awards Celebration 

4:30– 7:00 p.m.
Hilton Americas-Houston, Lanier Grand Ballroom

(Ticketed event—please contact ASA comm’s in advance for entry)

Sponsored by USB/Our Soy Checkoff, Corteva Agriscience, John Deere, FMC, UPL, supporting soy states.

ASA’s annual awards event is where the real John Glenns and Jackie Robinsons come out! Join ASA for this reception and celebration of soy’s VIPs. Awards will honor achievements by volunteers, industry leaders and farmers from state soybean affiliates across the country. Hear from the ASA president and key industry supporters and enjoy this fun-, memory-, food-filled evening with soy industry members, MVP rookies and GOATs alike.

Saturday, March 2

ASA Voting Delegates Session

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Hilton Americas-Houston, Lanier Grand Ballroom

ASA’s Voting Delegates Session is where the soy rubber hits the soy asphalt road! If you’ve not experienced the collaboration that is the annual ASA policy resolutions process, we invite you to sit in on this final stage as the voting delegates approve ASA’s guiding principles for the next 12 months.

ASA Welcomes Booth Guest Rural Minds Throughout Classic

ASA welcomes Rural Minds to the ASA booth this year during Classic, where the rural mental health nonprofit will introduce its Rural Mental Health Resilience Program. This new program provides information and resources to confront the mental health crisis in rural communities and its impact on America's farm families. ASA is supporting the launch as a program distribution partner.

The Rural Mental Health Resilience Program acknowledges the self-reliance and do-it-yourself mindset that are common among farmers and others living in rural areas by providing online access to free educational content that can be printed for distribution, links to mental health support services, and a toolkit for planning, promoting and leading community conversations about rural mental health.

In support of launching the Rural Mental Health Resilience Program, ASA is helping promote the program’s free rural mental health materials as a distribution partner. The initiative builds on ASA’s commitment to addressing rural mental health through our #SoyHelp program, which serves as a resource for national and state-specific mental health information in the primary states with soy farmers. ASA is a member of the Rural Minds Partnership Council.

Connect with the Rural Minds team at the ASA booth during Classic, and read the joint press release on Rural Minds’ Rural Mental Health Resilience launch here.