Japanese Media Team Visits U.S. Ethanol Production Chain In Illinois

Last week, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) led a group of Japanese journalists interested in biofuel production on a tour of several U.S. ethanol plants and organized meetings with supply chain leaders and policymakers to help the Japanese market better understand the sustainability advantages and production practices of ethanol.

The busy agenda began on April 22 with a tour of Marquis Energy, the largest dry-milling ethanol facility in the world. The group also visited the Illinois Corn Growers’ Association to gain an understanding of the conservation efforts of local corn farmers and finished the day with a discussion on crop lifecycles at Argonne National Laboratory.

“Japan is already one of U.S. agriculture’s most important markets and furthering that strong relationship through these visits will only serve to add value to U.S. exports in the future,” said Tommy Hamamoto, USGC director in Japan. “The media team is eager to learn about the industry after recent changes in Japan’s biofuel policy, which is an opportunity for the Council to share information about the outstanding quality of U.S. ethanol production from start to finish.”

The next day kicked off with a visit to a corn and soybean farm followed by a tour at ADM, a major food processing company that sequesters carbon onsite. This was followed by a visit to Green Plains, a leader in biorefinery and agricultural technology.

The tour transitioned to the east coast on April 24, as participants landed in Washington, D.C., to meet with staff from the Council and the National Corn Growers’ Association.

On April 25, the group held a meeting with the Renewable Fuels Association and visited Capitol Hill.

The agenda concluded on April 26 with a meeting with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Foreign Agricultural Service, a critical partner in the Council’s work in international markets, and USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer. In the afternoon, participants visited Growth Energy, a member-based organization focused on biofuel and animal protein production.

“The team’s busy schedule in Washington, with so many high-level meetings across the public and private sectors, was a perfect way to wrap up the program,” said Caleb Floss, USGC manager of global programs. “The agenda’s shift from tours of farms and production facilities to visits with top industry influencers gave our participants a well-rounded view of the ethanol value chain.”