Three USGC Delegates Honored for A Decade of Service

Three U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) delegates – Randy Ives of Gavilon; Ray Defenbaugh of Big River Resources; and Stan Garbacz from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture – were honored for 10 years of service to the organization at its 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting this week in Montreal, Canada.

Asked about their experiences with the Council, the three told different stories but were unanimous in recognizing its value.

The highlight for Ives has been seeing the ethanol industry come together to meet challenges from antidumping cases to biotechnology acceptance.

Five-Year Honorees Praise A-Teams, Personal Connections

Jerry Wang, delegate for Living Water Integra Trade Inc., and Russ Hurlbert, delegate for the South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation were honored for five years of service to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) during the organization’s 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting held this week in Montreal, Canada.

For both men, their years of service to the Council have brought practical rewards.

“It’s been an excellent experience working with the Council, and especially with the value-added Advisory Team (A-Team),” Wang said. “I learned a lot and also gave a lot of insights I have in the grain industry. The Council always listens to the members’ opinions.”

Council Recognizes Three Grower Organization Executives

The U.S. Grains Council recognized three state grower organization executives at its Montreal meeting this week for the years they have worked with the organization: Laura Knoth, Kentucky Corn Promotion Council, for five years of service; Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, for 10 years of service; and Joyce Woodhouse, Corn Growers Association of North Carolina, for 35 years.

State executives play a unique role in the Council’s efforts, providing continuity and a source of information on the Council’s work for growers in their states.

Thinking over her many years of involvement, Woodhouse highlighted the value of personal contact between Council officials, grower groups and leaders like the Corn Growers Association of North Carolina Past Chairman Bill Griffin.

Unlocking Opportunities For DDGS in Canada

A team of Canadian buyers and end-users of U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) as well as a Canadian agriculture journalist visited the United States this week on a learning journey co-sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council and the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan.

Their travel focused on exploring additional ways to cut logistical costs and increase demand for U.S. DDGS and corn and included a tour of an ethanol plant, which was a highlight for some of the Canadian participants who had never seen ethanol production.

Atkins Named Vice President and COO of U.S. Grains Council

Kimberly Atkins, a longtime staffer and current director of global programs for the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), will be the next vice president and chief operating officer (COO) of the organization.

In her new role, she will oversee the daily operations and management of the Council including relationships with strategic and member partners and oversight of the Council’s strategic plan. Atkins has been with the Council for 10 years, working in roles focused on management and execution of the Council’s global operations. She will assume the VP/COO role as of Aug. 1.

Audio: USGC Director Provides Outlook for Programs, Demand in the Middle East

The Middle East and North Africa region experienced a large increase in demand for U.S corn last marking year, importing 1,200 percent more than the 2012/2013 marketing year. This marketing year, the region is once again seeing strong sales and shipments of U.S. corn to the region, with outstanding sales and accumulated exports totaling 3.3 million metric tons (130 million bushels) as of July 9.

U.S. Grains Council Releases First Installment of 2015 Corn Production Video Series, Focused on Planting Progress

The first of three U.S. Grains Council (USGC) videos chronicling the 2015 U.S. corn growing season is now available online, highlighting planting conditions on farms in Iowa, Minnesota and Texas.

The segment is available online at

The story of the 2015 U.S. corn crop began with widespread cool temperatures across the U.S. Corn Belt that delayed planting.

Weather Patterns Point To Above Average Crop for 2015


Overall, U.S. farmers have had a positive start to the corn, sorghum and barley growing seasons. Weather patterns show favorable conditions throughout the summer and continuing into harvest for most of the country.

El Niño is partially responsible. El Niño is a large-scale, ocean-atmosphere climate interaction. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the phenomenon begins with a periodic warming of sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific and then affects weather across the United States.


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