The Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) recently hosted two trade teams to promote the state’s corn, ethanol, distillers grains, beef and pork industries to international customers.
The visits were held virtually and were in conjunction with the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) first Virtual Grain Exchange series.
In each virtual trade mission, preproduced video field trips highlighted key sectors of Nebraska’s agriculture. The videos were followed by live question and answer discussions led by farmers and industry leaders within the state’s agricultural sectors.
“Nebraska is home to some of the most efficient and productive farmers in the world,” said Steve Wellman, Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) director. “While the coronavirus may have greatly impacted the world as we know it, our agricultural industry is still going strong in our state.”
The day kicked off meeting with customers from North Africa, Israel and Turkey. During this virtual Zoom meeting, the potential buyers met with Director Wellman; Joan Ruskamp, farmer and cattle producer; Walter Cronin, chief commercial officer with Green Plains; and Jeff Wilkerson, NCB director of market development.
The second trade team included customers from Taiwan and included panelists Mark Jagels, NDA agricultural trade representative; Shana Beattie, farmer and pork producer; Brandon Hunnicutt, farmer and NCB vice chairman; and Roger Berry, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator.
“It certainly was a different trade mission experience for me,” said Hunnicutt. “While I prefer to visit with our international friends on Nebraska soil so I can help walk them through our production process, I can tell we still had an impact from behind a computer screen. Our guests were engaged and asked several really good questions.”
Nebraska was just one of several states that partnered with USGC to host trade missions as part of the Virtual Grain Exchange.
In total, more than 1,200 international customers registered for the series, including international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products from 54 countries and members of the U.S. grain export value chain.