Raised on a produce and grain farm in northwest Mexico, Miguel Davalos had always wanted to grow up to be an agronomist like his father. But, one day at the grocery story with his mother when he was 11, he noticed an entirely different part of the agricultural industry at the cash register.
As their produce went across the scale, the cashier entered the appropriate code, which then added the charge to the receipt. Davalos said a light bulb went off and he told his mom he knew exactly what he wanted to do for a job in the future.
As she tried to decipher what he meant, he recalled telling her, “I want to sell the vegetables that my dad produces at the farm, run them through this machine and collect the money.”
Today, Davalos is senior merchant for Attebury Grain, LLC, managing origination and merchandising activities. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recognized Davalos for five years of service to the organization during its 59th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting this summer in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Davalos began participating with the Council through USGC trade missions into the Rio Grande Valley with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and the National Sorghum Producers. When he moved to Amarillo, Texas, in 2008, he started hosting USGC trade teams of international buyers from Mexico and Asia. Davalos provides information on how grain is produced, handled and delivered to export terminals in Texas and explains key indicators for price discovery and determination.
“It has been a gratifying experience to work with the Council over the years,” he said. “There is no doubt the Council adds a lot of value and knowledge to consumers around the world – from production and manufacturing matters to nutrition and logistics expertise.”
Davalos explained working with the Council has also allowed him to “take a little bit of Texas” to end-users and buyers through overseas missions to South America and Mexico, including a particularly memorable mission to Peru where he helped provide technical information to the poultry industry there.
“Though it was a short trip, I was able to see the very tangible value that the Council brought to nutritionists, poultry outlets and other feed and protein producers around the area,” he said. “I was able to experience the deep level of interactions that helped sow the seeds of future U.S. exports into those areas.”
Davalos explains that one of the Council’s strengths is a connection like this built between U.S. farmers and agribusinesses and international buyers and end-users.
“The Council encapsulates the work of many U.S. professionals and agricultural value chains that would be almost impossible for an individual exporter to create on their own,” Davalos said. “With boots on the ground in most regions around the world, the Council brings invaluable insight to U.S. exporters, which helps to bridge the gap of competitiveness.”
About the U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 13 key markets and representatives in an additional 15 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.