Vancouver, Washington – Members and delegates of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) deliberated priorities and activities during meetings Tuesday of the organization’s Advisory Teams, commonly known as A-teams, as well as at a general session of the USGC Board of Delegates.
The plenary conversations explored how the Council can capture new demand, including that for ethanol in Mexico, as well as the role of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Market Development (FMD) program and Market Access Program (MAP) in helping the Council drive export growth. Delegates also heard details of the Council’s newly-released demand model, which seeks to understand long-term growth potential in global markets and inform USGC strategy.
“By its very nature, the Council’s work must look at today and far into tomorrow, managing the need to be responsive to market conditions now with seeking and developing robust markets for future years and future generations,” Deb Keller, USGC vice chairman, told delegates in the general session.
“The work our team in Washington has been doing to look at where demand will be over the next several decades is revealing – and offers important context for our discussions about trade policy, programs and how we manage this organization.”
USGC’s A-teams, comprised of subject matter experts, provide critical insight and guidance for the organization as well further encourage member participation in USGC export market development efforts.
The Council operates seven advisory teams focused on key regions – Asia, Western Hemisphere and the Middle East and Africa – and topics – ethanol, trade policy, value-added products and innovation and sustainability.
USGC delegates also met Tuesday in sector-specific groups, including for corn, barley and sorghum producers as well as agribusinesses and general farm organizations.
The Council will utilize the input gathered from these meetings to guide development of the Council’s operational blueprint and strategic planning.
“Our program today focused on the changing environment of trade that affects the Council’s daily work,” Keller said. “Our speakers updated our delegates on issues that affect the cornerstones of our work and, in turn, our teams discussed how to more effectively carry out programs and support our offices overseas.”
Meetings in Vancouver will continue on Wednesday with business meetings of the full USGC Board of Delegates and Board of Directors as well as election of new Council Board of Directors members.