Trade School

Welcome to the U.S. Grains Council’s trade education hub!

If you’re diving into trade topics for the first time, looking to learn more about key topics like the WTO, China, USMCA and more, or wanting to find reports and podcasts to explore, check out our Learn About Trade page.

If you’re looking for tools to help you reach out to neighbors, colleagues, reporters or other audiences on trade topics, visit our Trade Toolkit page.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) have offered a series of in-person trade school workshops since 2016. While each of these events is different, they all focus on:

  • the importance of trade to farmers and agriculture;
  • current issues on the trade agenda; and
  • how participants can talk about trade in their communities and organizations.

More about future trade school events will be added to this page as those programs are developed. Please note that due to COVID-19, we will not hold in-person trade school events in the winter of 2020/2021.

Looking for more information? Have a comment or suggestion? Email Melissa Kessler, USGC director of strategic relations, at mkessler (at)

Past Trade School Events

In the winter of 2019/2020, USGC and NCGA partnered with nearly a dozen member organizations to offer a series of regional trade schools:

  • March 11/12, 2020 – Burlington, Colorado – in partnership with Colorado Corn
  • Feb. 19, 2020 – Moline, Illinois – in partnership with Iowa Corn and Illinois Corn  
  • Feb, 17, 2020 – Olathe, Kansas – in partnership with Kansas Corn, Nebraska Corn, Missouri Corn and Iowa Corn  
  • Jan. 21/22, 2020 – Indianapolis, Indiana – in partnership with the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, with participation from the Ohio Corn Marketing Board, the Michigan Corn Marketing Program and the Kentucky Corn Promotion Council 
  • Dec. 11, 2019 – Kent Island, Maryland – in partnership with the Maryland Grain Producers Board

Other trade school events have included:

  • July 2019, in association with Corn Congress, in Washington, D.C.
  • June 2018, in St. Louis
  • June 2016, in Washington, D.C.

Start learning about trade with these resources:

The Trade Toolkit includes talking points and resources.

Trade Toolkit

Get a good foundation on essential trade topics and trends.

Trade Backgrounder Booklet

USGC and NCGA have conducted analysis done of the impact of trade by state. An interactive map with one-pagers to download.

Value of U.S. Grains Trade

Trade issues outside of ag are critical to learn about, too! We covered that – mostly manufacturing and impact on the broader economy – as well as NAFTA in a webinar in 2018.

Trade And The U.S. Economy

Trade issues change rapidly. Keep up with the latest trade news.