CALGARY, CA — U.S. Grains Council (USGC) members are touching down north of the border for the first time since 2017 for its 63rd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in Calgary, Canada, held July 26-28.
USGC Chairman Josh Miller opened the meeting by greeting Council members, guests and staff and sharing a preview of the conference:
“My theme for this past year, Live the Mission, recognized the tireless work of our members and staff in pursuit of greater economic possibilities for U.S. farmers,” Miller said. “This meeting is an opportunity for everyone involved with the Council to come together and refocus our goals and strategies for the upcoming year and learn from our fantastic lineup of speakers about the latest agricultural developments, challenges and opportunities around the world.”
After a welcome address from Tourism Calgary, attendees were treated to a recorded message from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Under Secretary Alexis Taylor. Taylor discussed the strong gains made in U.S. agriculture’s top 10 markets and headwinds facing the industry from drought and geopolitical tensions.
“Market access wins don’t happen overnight, but can take months, years or sometimes even decades and it’s with partners like the USGC who are critical to securing these successes,” Taylor said. “I look forward to further strengthening USDA’s relationship with all of the markets touched on today and to continue the partnership with the USGC in advancing U.S. grain, feed and ethanol exports to the international marketplace.”
First generation cattleman and motivational speaker Matt Niswander followed to share his experiences working in rural healthcare and the importance of being a leader in your community.
The general session concluded with a roundtable discussion of bioethanol experts including Hagan Rose, director of sales and international marketing at Eco-Energy; Ian Thomson, president at Advanced Biofuels Canada; and Dan Pfeffer, managing director at PAA Advisory.
In the afternoon, attendees spent time in one or more of seven Advisory Team (A-Team) meetings. Each A-Team has a specific focus: Asia, ethanol, innovation and sustainability, Middle East/Africa/South Asia, trade policy, value-added and Western Hemisphere. These meetings allowed members to offer input and set priorities to determine the Council’s course of action over the coming year.
On Thursday, programming will feature an outlook on Canadian feed grain production from USGC consultant Tom Dowler; updates on global shipping logistics from Jay O’Neil of HJ O’Neil Commodity Consulting and Elizabeth Hucker of CP Rail; a presentation on upcoming soy crush capacity from Pete Meyer of S&P Global; and a panel on the Council’s bioethanol promotion strategy with USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand, USGC Vice President Cary Sifferath and USGC Director of Global Ethanol Export Development Mackenzie Boubin.
The meeting will conclude on Friday with the Council’s Board of Delegates meeting, appointment of new A-Team leaders and election of members to the 2023/2024 Board of Directors.
More from the meeting is available on social media using the hashtag #Grains23 or through the website www.grains.org/event/calgary/.