NCGA, USGC Officers Kick Off Marathon Trade Tour to Colombia, Mexico

This week, officers from the National Corn Growers Association joined with U.S. Grains Council leadership to begin a ten day mission that will promote U.S. corn exports in Colombia and Mexico. Through a series of high-level meetings and on-site visits, the U.S. delegation will explore key trade issues including biotech policy, the outlook for both countries feed industries and the future of trade talks such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Pacific Alliance.

"Corn farmers today are keenly aware of the need to foster all markets, both at home and abroad," said NCGA President Martin Barbre. "By working hand-in-hand with our partners at the Council, we have developed a schedule that will maximize the impact we have as we work cooperatively to expand the market for U.S. corn in these two important trade partners."

While in Colombia, the group will visit Italco Feed Company before a series of meetings with: Agri-BIO; Contegral; Ingredion; National Business Association of Colombia; Solla; U.S. Embassy staff; and Colombian staff for Cargill and Monsanto.

The team will then travel to Mexico where they will meet with officials from members of: the grain traders association APPAMEX; AGROBIO; ANFACA; CONAFAB; Emresas Guadalupe; Ferromex; Gavilon; Industrias Melder; OGM International; Pronua; Scoular; and representatives from Mexico's poultry and swine producers associations. Representatives from the Agricultural Trade Office, Illinois Marketing Office, Iowa Marketing Office, U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Meat Export Federation will join during portions of the agenda. They will also tour the MINSA flour plant and PROAN, the largest poultry and livestock industrial complex in Mexico.

Reinforcing trade ties with Mexico holds special importance as it has been the second largest export market for U.S. corn for several years, importing 876 million bushels total over the last three marketing years. At the same time, the Colombian market holds significant potential as imports of U.S. corn are expected to increase given the continued implementation of the trade agreement with that country.

The delegation from NCGA includes: President Martin Barbre; Chairwoman Pam Johnson; First Vice President Chip Bowling; and CEO Rick Tolman. Grains Council members of the delegation include: Chairman Julius Schaaf; Vice Chairman Rob Gray; Secretary/Treasurer Alan Tiemann; Past Chairman Don Fast; President and CEO Tom Sleight; Director of Global Programs Kimberly Atkins; Regional Director of Western Hemisphere Kurt Schultz; Director of Mexico Julio Hernandez; Marketing Specialist of Mexico Javier Chavez; and Colombia Consultant Jaime Cuellar.

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