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Md. Commodity Classic to feature variety of speakers

June 30, 2004

The Maryland Commodity Classic to be held Thursday, July 29, at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Md., aims to meet growers' needs on multiple levels.

The event is a joint effort between the Maryland Grain Producers Association and the Maryland Soybean Board.

"We truly have the complete package at this year's classic," said Lynne Hoot, executive director of MGPA. "From market development to crop diseases and insurance, there is a speaker that will have almost any producer walking away enlightened."

Gene Gantz of RMA will conduct a workshop on "Tips to avoid traps" when using crop insurance. MGPA will provide a free lunch to participants in the 11 to 11:45 a.m. workshop.

Keynote speaker David Kolstrud is co-op manager for CORN-er Stone Farmers Cooperative, which owns an ethanol facility and invests in several other agricultural ventures.

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MGPA member Bob Hutchison said Kolstrud believes farmers should pool their resources and invest together. "He doesn't necessarily think these investments should be in your own backyard. They should be wise investments that generate a good return on capital," Hutchison said.

Kolstrud will share his experience with ethanol plants, soybean processing and wind power.

USDA Risk Management Agency Director Ross Davidson will discuss opportunities for Maryland farmers using crop insurance and share how to select the best products and levels of coverage.

Speaking next is Dr. Reid Frederick from the USDA, Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Md., a leading authority on Asian soybean rust.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. The business meeting begins at 1 p.m. followed by speakers and concluding with the Crab Feast, Pork and Beef Barbecue. Entry prior to 2:30 p.m. is $10. After that, the entry fee is $20. No entry will be allowed after 3:45 p.m.

For ticket information regarding the classic, contact Hoot at 1-410-956-5771.

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