SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, US — The US Grains Council (USGC) has made progress building and strengthening relationships with industries and governments in a fast-changing world, and nearly 250 attendees heard updates on the Council’s global activities throughout the second day of the 62nd Annual Board of Delegates meeting in Sacramento, California, US. 

Cary Sifferath, vice president of the USGC, provided an update on USGC activities in markets in which the Council has a presence around the world during his morning session presentation.

“The Council has done a great job of establishing connections and relationships with industries and governments abroad,” Sifferath said. “As the industries have changed their focus, the Council continues to adapt with them on behalf of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives.”

Following Sifferath, attendees heard from selected USGC directors and managers who shared the Council’s global success stories.

Emily Byron, director of global programs, shared China’s sorghum purchases and Indonesia’s purchases of DDGS for the poultry industry. 

Stella Qian, manager of global ethanol market development, discussed the United Kingdom’s move to implement E10 ethanol standard to develop a net zero carbon emissions transportation sector. 

Katy Wyatt, manager of global strategies, reviewed how sorghum and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) feeding trials in Africa are changing the feed industries there. 

Ana Ballesteros, marketing director for the Latin America region, shared how implementing an extensive manufacturing training course has led to the modernization of Colombia’s feed industry. 

Sadie Marks, manager of global programs, discussed how the Council’s work with a major Mexican brewer has increased barley sales and encouraged future growth.

The morning session also featured Jon Doggett, chief executive officer of the National Corn Growers Association, who discussed the outlook for the coming farm bill that includes the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), both of which help fund the Council’s work overseas.

In the afternoon, attendees began work on USGC’s strategic plan, a guiding document that helps direct the Council’s actions over the next few years. Led by Melissa Kessler, director of strategic initiatives and engagement for the USGC, attendees discussed the priorities of each stakeholder group and how the plan should evolve over time.

The organization also held member sessions including agribusiness, general farm organizations, barley, corn and sorghum sectors that discussed issues of importance about the commodities the USGC represents. 

The three-day annual meeting concludes July 27.