TAMPA, FLORIDA, U.S. — U.S. Grains Council (USGC) members will convene in Tampa, Florida, U.S., for the organization’s winter meeting this week to 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.

  “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 Darren Armstrong, chairman of the USGC. “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 USGC’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,” Armstrong said. “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.”

  USGC’s winter meeting is an annual opportunity 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 Ryan LeGrand, president and chief executive officer of the USGC. “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.”

 Longtime USGC members and staff also 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 USGC priorities for the coming year.