Farmer Delegates Help USGC Bring Corn Quality Report Overseas

Two corn farmers traveled to Morocco and Egypt and an additional three corn farmers traveled to Japan and Korea this week to help roll out the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) 2015/2016 Corn Harvest Quality Report to eager international audiences.

While there, the producers were able to make face-to-face connections with key buyers and end-users, interactions that are the building blocks for mutually-beneficial working relationships for years to come.  

“Whenever possible, the Council likes to have farmer-members attend our crop quality roll outs and speak to the day-to-day management and production that went into growing this year’s corn crop,” said USGC Senior Director of Global Programs Cary Sifferath, who accompanied the producers in Japan and Korea.

“By providing the U.S. farmer’s perspective, along with the information in the corn quality report, the Council and its members are able to build rapport and trust in key markets around the world. In addition, they can hear any concerns and issues directly from our international customers and take that information home to inform work in their associations and checkoffs.”  

This week’s groups met with traders, feed millers, major livestock producers, corn processors, food and beverage companies and government officials to provide them information on U.S. corn quality, supply, production and demand as well as anticipated changes in future corn supply and demand.

For customers in mature markets like Japan and Korea, this information and visits from corn farmers help to bolster confidence in the United States as a reliable supplier and encourage purchases from the U.S. versus other available origins.

The two conferences in the Middle East were regional events, with the 60 participants in Cairo hailing from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Lebanon and the 60 participants in Casablanca coming from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Turkey.  

"Exports are so important to our marketing and to the price we receive for our corn, so we need to keep strong relationships with foreign buyers and users of U.S. corn through these corn quality conferences," said Ken Rosenow, a Wisconsin farmer, to the Wisconsin Ag Connection news outlet. "We have a great story to tell about the quality and volume of the 2015 corn crop."

Other farmers who participated in this week’s roll outs included:

  • Jeff Sandborn, from Michigan, who traveled to Morocco and Egypt.
  • Jim Birchman, from Wisconsin, who traveled to Japan and Korea.
  • Phil Wenig, from Ohio, who traveled to Japan and Korea.
  • Russell Braun, from Michigan, who traveled to Japan and Korea.  

This week’s roll out events are two of many such happenings this month around the globe. A companion report, the 2015/2016 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, will be available in the spring to help educate customers about the quality of U.S. corn as it is loaded for export.  

Click here to read the full 2015/2015 Corn Harvest Quality Report. Click here for photos of the events this week in Japan or here and here for photos of the events this week in the Middle East, via USGC's Flickr page.