ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, U.S. — The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) met with business leaders from China to talk about U.S. corn industry and NCGA’s role in working to create opportunities for corn farmers.

The meeting comes as China and the United States continue trade talks since July 2018 when U.S. President Donald Trump announced 25% tariffs on various Chinese products. China responded with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, including soybeans.

Robyn Allscheid, director of research and productivity at the NCGA, said the visitors were intrigued by NCGA’s focused mission of sustainably feeding and fueling a growing world in a way that is profitable for nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide as well as the 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs.

Rong Zhang and Rui Li are touring America as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The program connects current and emerging leaders who travel to the United States for programs that reflect their professional interests and U.S. foreign policy goals.

Zhang, manager at Dalian Yigu Information Consulting Co., Ltd., and Li, an associate professor of phytochemistry at Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, are specifically looking at food safety and security in the United States, Allscheid said.

“They were very interested in how farmers make independent planting decisions but also the role the market plays in determining corn prices,” Allscheid said. “Ethanol use is growing in China, so they were also interested in ethanol policy and NCGA’s role in growing the market for ethanol.”

While in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., they also met with a farmer, AG Business Consultants, Bayer and the University of Missouri Extension.