This is the first in a series of stories that feature outside institutions with which the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) works to accomplish its mission of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives. Look for additional stories in upcoming issues of Global Update.
Threads of partnerships can be seen through all aspects of the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) work, including an association with Kansas State University’s (KSU) IGP Institute (IGP) to bring technical, research-based training to industry professionals throughout the world.
IGP enhances the market preference for U.S. grains and oilseeds through its global education center, housed in Manhattan, Kansas, and, more recently, virtual education. Course offerings are led by KSU faculty and industry professionals in the areas of flour milling and grain processing, grain marketing and risk management and feed manufacturing and grain management.
“We see our relationship with IGP as an invaluable partnership between our two organizations,” said Kurt Shultz, USGC senior director of global strategies. “The ability to have a weeklong, hands-on short course at IGP during normal times allows our offices to do a deep dive into some fundamental topics surrounding the global feed industry’s development and IGP’s staff bring technical expertise that compliments the Council’s marketing programs.”
Most recently, IGP helped USGC conduct trainings to provide beginning and intermediate buyers the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Taiwan with a comprehensive overview of U.S. grain procurement and purchasing. More than 80 attendees participated in the multiple-day training sessions focused on topics including container markets and freight, contracts, commodity flows, risk management and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grain grading.
These IGP-led events help the Council expand market access by educating new buyers on the whole process of U.S procurement and purchasing, as well as how the U.S. supply chain works to ensure top-quality grain gets to end-users around the world.
“When customers are able to visualize the supply chain, they will be more likely to choose U.S. origin when price is competitive relative to our competitors,” said Chuin Shern Lee, USGC regional marketing manager for Southeast Asia and Oceania, who worked with IGP on a recent training. “No other origins offer such insights through training, such as the ones USGC hosts in collaboration with IGP.”
The Council received positive feedback from the IGP event attendees, with many participants wishing to join again in the future.
“The staff at IGP goes above and beyond to fully support our customers’ requests and needs,” Lee said. “They conduct trainings in the U.S. evening hours to accommodate the buyers in our region, and they thoughtfully answer every question from the audience to make sure the group understands.”
IGP’s programs help the Council target both seasoned customers and the next generation of decision makers to maintain demand and support customers by educating buyers on the competitiveness of U.S. grains.
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 28 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.