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U.S. Grains Council concludes 64th annual meeting

Industry experts discussed long-term trade initiatives, export market challenges and a agenda for American agriculture's global role.

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U.S. Grains Council

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) successfully concluded its 21st International Marketing Conference and 64th Annual Membership Meeting in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The event, which took place from February 14-16, was capped off with a board of delegates meeting and discussions centering on the Council's work in aquaculture and critical export markets for U.S. agriculture.

USGC Chairman Brent Boydston led the final day's proceedings, emphasizing the organization's long-term commitment to trade and agriculture. "Trade is a long game, and as my chairman’s theme, Growing the Future, demonstrates, the Council has a long history of playing the long game to the benefit of the American farmer and for our generations to come,” Boydston stated. The day included a summary of the conference's key points and detailed administrative and financial reports to ensure transparency and sustained organizational health.

Kurt Shultz, USGC Senior Director of Global Strategies, moderated a panel that provided insights into the Council's aquaculture programming across various regions. Panelists included Caleb Wurth, USGC Regional Director in Southeast Asia; Ramy Taieb, Regional Director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and Patricia Esqueda, Senior Marketing Manager in Mexico.

Another panel, led by USGC Vice President Cary Sifferath, focused on significant export markets for U.S. agriculture. The discussion featured insights from Heidi Bringenberg, USGC Director in Mexico; Reece Cannady, Regional Director in South Asia; and Manuel Sanchez, Director in China. They addressed topical issues and challenges in key agricultural export markets.

The meeting also included votes on several bylaw changes and recognized members and staff who achieved service milestones with the Council. The Council’s Advisory Teams (A-Teams) presented their meeting outcomes, and USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand provided a closing address, expressing optimism for the future of trade and the role of the USGC. "We are ready, we are willing, and we are already doing the hard work it takes to keep established markets open, open new markets and maintain robust trade for the commodities you grow as we head into a bright future beyond today, this year and for years to come,” LeGrand said.

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