The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) brought members together on Monday for its 62nd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in Sacramento, California.
USGC Chairman Chad Willis began the meeting by welcoming attendees and sharing a preview of the conference before establishing the focus of the day’s meeting:
“My theme for this year, Together in Trade, reflects both the opportunities and challenges of the current environment,” Willis said. “At this meeting, we gather to discuss issues facing our industry and explore future demand for feed grains, DDGS and ethanol around the world. Today, our focus will be on current events and trade policy, what the near future may look like and how trade may be affected.”
After a welcome from Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand, the nearly 250 attendees listened to Dr. Yuval Weber of the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Future Warfare at Marine Corps University present the background of the Russia-Ukraine war, its long-term implications and what this means for USGC members.
Angela Hofmann the vice president of international trade and supply chain resiliency and member of Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg firm shared what the situation in the Black Sea means for trade policy and how it impacts the developing of grain markets.
“Fourteen percent of the world’s grain exports come from Ukraine,” Hofmann said. “Eight to 13 million people could be affected by food insecurities caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”
Hofmann was followed by Dr. Antonia Broyaka, who shared her research on potential global food shortages as a product of the conflict as well as her insight on what it could mean globally and what some potential solutions could be.
In the afternoon, attendees spent time in one or more of seven Advisory Team (A-Team) meetings. Each A-Team has a specific focus: Asia, ethanol, innovation and sustainability, Middle East/Africa/South Asia, trade policy, value-added and Western Hemisphere. These meetings allowed members to offer input and set priorities to determine the Council’s course of action over the coming year.
On Tuesday, Council programming will focus on selected markets around the world, celebrate the success of the Council’s global missions and discuss the Farm Bill outlook.
The meeting will conclude on Wednesday with the Council’s Board of Delegates meeting, appointment of new A-Team leaders and election of members to the 2022/2023 Board of Directors.
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.