In USGC Tenure, Rekeweg Balances Critical Access To Markets With Critical Access To Technology

Matt Rekeweg started working with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) five years ago after taking over as U.S. industry relations leader for Dow AgroSciences from a retiring colleague. From the very first meeting, he realized the value of the partnership between the Council and members of the broader grain supply chain.

“I had just begun my position, and I could already see from a brief environmental scan that connecting with and staying involved with the export-focused activities that the Council does is critical to customer success and to our company’s success,” Rekeweg said. “It was very clear, very quickly that is the sort of thing in which I wanted to make sure the company stayed engaged and involved.”

The export market is the difference between okay years and much better years for growers, he said. That makes foreign market opportunities unquestionably critical to profitability and success.

Throughout his tenure as a delegate and member of the Council’s Innovation and Sustainability Advisory Team, Rekeweg said he has witnessed engagement between sectors becoming even more closely knit together.

“One of the more subtle and less obvious things I have seen is an approach that brings all parts of the value chain together, that work clearly together,” Rekeweg said. “That has always been a hallmark of the Council, but it seems to me like it has become even closer and more aligned over the last five years.”

This unified industry approach allows the Council to have a market-facing position on the importance of reliable, predictable and science-based regulatory systems - both at home and abroad.

“Balancing access to markets and access to technology will be a perpetual challenge for the United States, and one for which the Council takes a very important role in leading decisions and carrying out developing strategies,” Rekeweg said. “While maintaining the long-term, strategic vision, the Council is also able to be nimble in addressing the issues of the moment.”

Beyond the needs of his own company, Rekeweg said he believes it is important to recognize how the Council provides services and benefits unique to the diverse spread of its members.

“I’m glad to be able to share with our folks at Dow that all parts of the Council’s constituents are being treated equally and their needs are addressed efficiently, that dedicated effort goes to each of our sectors,” Rekeweg said. “The Council does a great job of balancing that need to keep priorities for each of the members up front in order to meet the overall goal of increasing exports for U.S. growers and the companies that support them.”