Members of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) are arriving in Tampa, Florida, for the organization’s winter meeting this week, where they will concentrate on drivers of global demand including trade relations with China, the weather and global trade policy developments before heading into business and strategy sessions focused on ways to keep markets open and grain flowing around the world.
“We are excited to be in Tampa as we come off a particularly challenging year for trade and begin to right our course to make something happen for U.S. corn, sorghum, barley, ethanol, distillers dried grains with solubles and other co-products,” said USGC Chairman Darren Armstrong, a farmer from North Carolina. “We are looking forward to hearing from experts in their fields of policy and weather prediction to help us analyze what’s happened recently and plan a strategy for success in the coming year.”
Speakers will include Ambassador Craig Allen, president, U.S.-China Business Council; Eric Snodgrass, principal atmospheric scientist at Nutrien Ag Solutions; and Ken Levinson, executive director of the Washington International Trade Association. After each of their presentations, a panel of the Council’s global staff will react to the presentations and set the stage for later discussions by attendees in topical committees known as Advisory Teams (A-Teams).
“China, growing conditions and trade agreements were some of the biggest challenges our industry weathered in the last 12 months, so it only makes sense we would analyze them as we prepare our strategy for the coming year in trade,” said Armstrong.
“The good news is our staff around the world have been tackling these challenges in specific markets and regions where they live and work, and they will share with us the strategies they already have in place so our A-Team members may offer recommendations to build on them.”
The Council’s winter meeting is the annual chance for corn, sorghum and barley farmers and members of agribusiness who make up the organization’s membership to meet with their international staff, who work in dozens of locations globally on trade policy and market development issues.
“We couldn’t do what we do or be as nimble as we are in our markets around the world without these directors and their staff,” said U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “They – along with considered input from our A-Team members – are a huge part of how we get information, how we can anticipate market shifts and create winning strategies for continued sales for the commodities we represent.”
Later in the week, longtime Council members and staff will be recognized for their years of service and the event will end with a Board of Delegates meeting where A-Team leaders and sector directors will offer their recommendations and set Council priorities for the coming year.
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.