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September 30, 2008 | Diana Klemme

Cash-forward Contracting, Financing Strategies to Headline NGFA Country Elevator/Feed Industry Confe

Join us as we preview the 2008 Conference, December 7-9 in St. Louis, MO, and the issues sure to be making headlines at the conference.

A major half-day session focusing on cash-forward grain contracting and financing strategies for 2009 will headline the program at the National Grain and Feed Association’s (NGFA) 37th annual Country Elevator and 12th annual Feed Industry Conference to be conducted Dec. 7-9 in St. Louis, MO.

More than 600 industry members traditionally attend the day-and-a-half conference and trade show at the Marriott Renaissance Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis. The major trade show, which will occur Dec. 7-8 during the conference, will feature 80 exhibitors showcasing products and services essential to the grain, feed and processing industry. Also conducted in conjunction with the conference is an annual Leadership Conference with state and regional grain and feed associations affiliated with the NGFA, as well as meetings of several NGFA committees.

Established in 1896, the NGFA consists of 900 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate about 6,000 facilities that handle more than 70% of all U.S. grains and oilseeds.

The half-day session devoted to cash-forward contracting and financing strategies focuses on the grain and oilseed market outlook for 2009; how different cash-grain marketing strategies may be affected by supply/demand fundamentals and factors influencing futures market performance; and the availability of capital for the country elevator and feed sectors in 2009 for financing grain purchases and risk-management/hedging strategies.

This session also will examine changes by the CME Group to CBOT futures contracts, and how they may affect basis and the convergence between cash and futures during the delivery period. Another major focus of this session will be contracting practices designed to reduce disputes and counter-party risk in volatile markets, including discussion of a model master grain purchase agreement with producers and commercial parties.

Other major program topics to be addressed at the NGFA December conference include:

» New drivers in food and feed safety, and how they will affect country elevators and feed and feed ingredient manufacturers. Topics to be discussed during this session will include congressional prospects for major food and feed safety legislation in 2009; the future of product-tracing requirements that may be imposed on grain elevators, feed mills and feed ingredient manufacturers; and how the food and consumer sectors will affect the way the industry does business.

» Key rail policy issues for country grain elevator and feed shippers in 2009, and the avenues available for shippers to address complaints with rail carriers through the federal Surface Transportation Board and NGFA’s unique Rail Arbitration System.

» An overview of the new presidential administration and Congress, including profiles of the new players expected to be influential in shaping future U.S. agricultural and trade policy.

In addition, the NGFA program will feature a major congressional leader discussing priorities for Congress in 2009, and two breakout sessions. One breakout session will examine front-burner safety, health and environmental quality issues for country elevators and feed mills in the coming year, with a major focus on work practices to minimize the potential for engulfment accidents resulting from employees entering grain bins, tanks or other confined spaces. A second breakout session will provide information that country elevators can use to inform farmer-customers concerning implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill, and well as top grain warehousing issues for 2009.

Conference registration information is available by contacting the NGFA at (202)289-0873, or by e-mailing Hotel reservations may be made by contacting the Marriott Renaissance Grand Hotel at (314)621-9600.

Identify with the “National Grain and Feed Association” to secure the special room rate of $129/night, single or double occupancy. The hotel reservation deadline is Nov. 14.

Schedule At-A-Glance

Sunday, Dec. 7
Noon - 4 p.m.: Exhibitor Move-In
3 - 5 p.m.: NGFA Country Elevator Committee Meeting
4 - 7 p.m.: Trade Show Open
5:30 -7 p.m.: Welcome Reception in Trade Show

Monday, Dec. 8
6:30 - 8 a.m.: Trade Show Open
(Continental breakfast in Trade Show )
8:15 a.m. - Noon: Country Elevator/Feed Industry Conference
Noon - 2 p.m.: Trade Show Open
(Buffet Luncheon in Trade Show)
2- 5:30 p.m.: Country Elevator/Feed Industry Conference
5:30 - 7 p.m.: Trade Show Open
6 - 7 p.m.: Reception in Trade Show Area
7 - 10 p.m.: Exhibit Breakdown

Tuesday, Dec. 9
8 - 11:30 a.m.: Country Elevator/Feed Industry Conference
Noon - 3:30 p.m.: Joint Agroterrorism/Facility Security Committee

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