Louisville was host to the U.S. Grains Council's (USGC) 56th Annual Board of Delegates meeting this week, with members in attendance focused on emerging opportunities for the grain industry and the need to spread the positive message of ag trade.
USGC, export arm of the grain industry, works in more than 50 countries and the European Union to develop export markets for corn and other feed grains as well as co-products like DDGS and ethanol. It's members include farm organizations like Kentucky Corn as well as agribusinesses, and it receives grant funding from market development programs in the 2014 Farm Bill.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles kicked off the sessions by offering a special welcome at the general session, spotlighting the importance of agricultural trade to the local industry and encouraging those in attendance to advocate for trade and agriculture.
The rest of the week offered a full agenda with a look at the global economy and current trade environment, the return on investment of USGC programs, the Tanzania Food for Progress Program, ethanol programs globally and future feed grain demand that the Council is working to tap.
Another highlight of the week was the presentation offered by Leanne Ragland, LaRue county farmer and Commonground volunteer. Leanne spoke to a group of delegate spouses about how her organization uses farm women to share accurate information about the agriculture industry with other farmers and consumers.
During the meetings, USGC's membership also elected new board members and officers and adopted its fiscal year 2017 budget.
"We were excited for the opportunity to be in Kentucky for this meeting and truly appreciate the hospitality Kentucky Corn has shown us from start to finish in the planning process," said Chip Councell, a Maryland farmer who became USGC chairman at the Louisville meeting.
"The Council's work totally depends on the engagement of our members to help us set direction and carry out our programs globally. We definitely saw and felt Kentucky's support this week."
For more information about USGC, visit www.grains.org.