Online Registration Now Open for USGC Winter Annual Meeting

Registration is now open for the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) 12th International Marketing Conference and 55th Annual Membership Meeting, scheduled for Feb. 9 to 11, 2015, in Heredia, Costa Rica.

A small but strategically located market, Costa Rica takes about 47 percent of its total imports from the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“While Costa Rica may represent only a small portion of the total U.S. agricultural exports, it is a valuable contributor to our new record high exports of $152.5 billion,” said USGC Chairman Ron Gray.

This year’s conference will feature dynamic discussions about new developments and challenges in markets throughout the world as well as the current status of trade negotiations and trade barriers. Attendees will also be able to participate in educational site visits to learn more about Costa Rica’s agricultural systems.

“These tours will provide a perfect opportunity to see local agriculture and to embrace this year's theme of Global Awareness, Global Connection,” Gray said. “If we achieve this goal, we will provide for more transparent markets around the world, allowing both producers and end-users to maximize market opportunities.”

USGC Advisory Teams (A-Teams) and commodity-specific stakeholders will meet during the February sessions to review global strategies and compare notes about the global grain trade. This is also the time for attendees to provide input into the Council’s planning process as well as enhance its strategic cohesiveness.

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

“This is your meeting,” Gray said in a note to members. “And I hope you take the opportunity to help the Council chart its course for another successful year of exporting U.S. coarse grains and co-products around the world.”

All potential attendees of the USGC meeting should have up-to-date passports. Passport information for those who do not hold a passport or who hold a passport that expires before August 2015 is available via the U.S. State Department at

More about the meeting is available online at or on social media using the hashtag #grains15. Registration is available directly at