WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) encourages farmers, members and other industry representatives to register soon for its 13th International Marketing Conference and 56th Annual Membership Meeting scheduled Feb. 15 to 17, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida, U.S.

The February meeting will follow USGC's annual theme of Excellence in Exports, with opportunities for attendees to learn about new developments and challenges emerging in the global grain trade. They will also get to meet face-to-face with USGC’s international directors who will travel to the sessions to provide insights into their dynamic markets.

“The council’s Monday general session will focus on trade policy and the unique role it plays in our businesses as farmers,” said USGC Chairman Alan Tiemann. “We plan to discuss the two multinational trade agreements currently being negotiated, the long-term impacts that the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) had in Mexico and more.”

This meeting’s speaker line-up is scheduled to include political analyst and publisher of The Cook Political Report, Charlie Cook, who will delve into the 2016 presidential election and how it may impact the global grain trade.

“After hearing from expert speakers like Charlie and our international staff, we are hopeful our members will leave the meeting fired up and dedicated to the work that needs to be done to continue expanding grain exports,” Tiemann said.

A significant amount of time at the Sarasota conference will be spent in meetings of the USGC Advisory Teams (A-Teams) and commodity-specific stakeholders. These groups will go in-depth on global strategies and compare notes about the global grain trade. During this time, members will also provide input into the council’s planning process to enhance its strategic cohesiveness.

As a member-led organization, the council depends on its delegates’ commitment and participation and encourages stakeholders to make plans soon to attend the February meeting.

“This meeting will be a step toward achieving our goals of Excellence in Exports,” Tiemann said. “Come to Sarasota this winter to build relationships with both new and old friends, collaborate with like-minded people and nurture your dedication to this organization.”

More about the meeting is available online at www.grains.org. grains.org or on social media using the hashtag #grains16. Registration is available here.