Hundreds of executives and managers from the grain, feed and processing industries will descend on sunny Scottsdale, Ariz., on March 26-28, 2008, for the 112th convention of the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA).

Registration materials were sent to all members in early January and registrants have until Feb. 25 to take advantage of early-bird registration rates. NGFA spokespersons say convention headquarters will be the scenic and relaxing Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, located in Scottsdale, Ariz. With a list of resort activities and a backdrop of beautiful surroundings, the NGFA convention will provide a welcome destination for the whole family. Information about the resort's features can be found at

Headline speakers

Meeting organizers have been working on what they say will be a very strong, high-level program. Among the confirmed and invited headline speakers are:


  • The Honorable Michael Leavitt (invited), U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Secretary Leavitt has led the Bush administration's efforts to develop fundamental changes to the way the United States regulates food and feed safety for imported and domestically produced products, and has been invited to preview its implementation plans.
  • Fernando Palacios, president, Land O'Lakes Purina Feed LLC. A key opinion leader for U.S. agribusiness, Palacios will discuss major issues for the success and profitability of the U.S. feed manufacturing sector.
  • House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (invited), (D-Minn.). Congressman Peterson has been invited to present a Congressional leadership update on farm bill changes, including CRP reform.
  • Hunter Harrison (invited), president & CEO, Canadian National Railway. Harrison has been invited to discuss his perspectives on U.S. rail policy, as well as rail service, performance, and infrastructure.
  • Additional program sessions will focus on: biofuels and the new RFS mandate; cellulosic ethanol; and, futures markets--how "big money" operates and how it impacts business.

The program will also feature afternoon tours and special events, including:

  • shopping in historic Scottsdale;
  • tours of local art studios and galleries;
  • river boat rides, skeet shooting, and other activities;
  • closing cocktail party and banquet; and
  • Friday evening entertainment.

Informal events include the traditional CME Group Welcome Reception on Wednesday, March 26; the annual Foundation golf tournament, played this year at Stonecreek Golf Club near the resort; several fun and exciting afternoon tours; and the closing cocktail reception and banquet, followed by an evening of entertainment.

Additional program and registration details are available at Convention organizers say to register now for a well-deserved end-of-winter break that doubles as an important and informative business event.