2017 USGC 57th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting

Highlights from the recent 2017 U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) 57th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in Vancouver, WA (July 31st – August 2nd, 2017).

Experts on the year’s most pressing topic for U.S. agriculture – trade – stirred the thoughts of delegates.  “Every farmer needs to work to be a foreign policy expert as much as we are crop or market experts,” Chip Councell, USGC chairman and farmer from Maryland, told the delegation. “This meeting serves as part of an ongoing series of events and information that make up a ‘trade school’ meant to help you know as much as possible about these important topics.” USGC to meet in Vancouver, WA

The first of day of meetings in Vancouver focused on the critical role trade plays in the growth of U.S. agriculture.

Darci Vetter, former chief agricultural negotiator with the U.S. Trade Representative, gave a keynote emphasizing the need for all in agriculture to not only understand the current trade environment, but also communicate its importance on the local, state and national levels.

“All of you should consider yourselves ambassadors of trade,” Vetter said. “Recurring, persistent conversation about trade is what will turn the tide. We have to tell that story.”

The next two speakers discussed Frontier Asia and the current geopolitical environment. Yadong Liu, president of the China Energy Fund Committee, spoke on China’s increasing influence on global trade through the One Belt, One Road initiative. Dr. Stephen Haggard, director of the Korea-Pacific program at the University of California-San Diego, followed with an outline of developments in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on the potential impacts of recent tensions with North Korea.

The morning general session concluded with a briefing from representatives from the Washington State Department of Agriculture on the important role commodity inspections play in keeping U.S. trade moving. The presentation preceded a moderated boat tour of local export infrastructure.

Through the next two days of meetings, discussions by Council members and delegates will continue to focus on the shifts in trade and trade policy discussions across commodities, sectors and countries around the world.

“Trade is in a time of change, and that makes the work of the Council more important than ever,” Councell said. “It is good to see these issues getting the attention they deserve. What we are talking about here is critical to our profitability.”

***To listen to the interviews, click on the Title (in red)***

Interviews from Vancouver, WA

  • Cary Sifferath is Senior Director of Global Programs with the USGC in Washington, DC
  • Kurt Shultz is Senior Director of Global Strategies with the USGC in Washington, DC
  • Floyd Gaibler is Director of Trade Policy and Biotechnology with the USGC in Washington, DC
  • Deb Keller is a corn producer from Clarion. IA and new Chairperson for the USGC
  • Ryan LeGrand is the USGC’s Country Director for Mexico in Mexico City

Members and delegates also deliberated priorities and activities during meetings Tuesday of the organization’s Advisory Teams, commonly known as A-teams, as well as at a general session.

The plenary conversations explored how the Council can capture new demand, including that for ethanol in Mexico, as well as the role of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Market Development (FMD) program and Market Access Program (MAP) in helping the Council drive export growth. Delegates also heard details of the Council’s newly-released demand model, which seeks to understand long-term growth potential in global markets and inform USGC strategy.

“By its very nature, the Council’s work must look at today and far into tomorrow, managing the need to be responsive to market conditions now with seeking and developing robust markets for future years and future generations,” Deb Keller, USGC vice chairman, told delegates in the general session.

“The work our team in Washington has been doing to look at where demand will be over the next several decades is revealing – and offers important context for our discussions about trade policy, programs and how we manage this organization.”

USGC’s A-teams, comprised of subject matter experts, provide critical insight and guidance for the organization as well further encourage member participation in USGC export market development efforts.

The Council operates seven advisory teams focused on key regions – Asia, Western Hemisphere and the Middle East and Africa – and topics – ethanol, trade policy, value-added products and innovation and sustainability.

USGC delegates also met Tuesday in sector-specific groups, including for corn, barley and sorghum producers as well as agribusinesses and general farm organizations.

The Council will utilize the input gathered from these meetings to guide development of the Council’s operational blueprint and strategic planning.

“Our program today focused on the changing environment of trade that affects the Council’s daily work,” Keller said. “Our speakers updated our delegates on issues that affect the cornerstones of our work and, in turn, our teams discussed how to more effectively carry out programs and support our offices overseas.”

Meetings in Vancouver will continue on Wednesday with business meetings of the full USGC Board of Delegates and Board of Directors as well as election of new Council Board of Directors members.

2017 All Ag, All Day DC Capitol Ag Tour

Highlights from the recent 2017 DC Capitol Ag Tour in Washington, DC (June 13th-16th). The purpose of the event is to talk with Congressional Representatives (House & Senate) who have a hand in policy that affects agriculture and rural America. Partners for the event include: American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), Corn Producers Association of Texas (CPAT), National Cattlemens Beef Association (NCBA), Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA), Plains Cotton Growers (PCG), Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).

***To listen to the interviews/presentations, click on the Title (in red)***

Interviews with Members of Congress

  • Rep. David Rouzer (NC-17): Chairman of the House Ag Subcommittee on Livestock & Foreign Ag
  • Rep. Mike Conaway (TX-11): Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee / House Intelligence Committee
  • Sen. John Boozman (AR): Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management & Trade
  • Del. Stacey Plaskett (VI): Member of the House Agriculture Committee
  • Rep. Will Hurd (TX-23): Chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Information & Technology / Vice-Chairman of the the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border & Maritime Security
  • Rep. Austin Scott (GA-8): Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy & Credit
  • Rep. Dr. Ted Yoho (FL-3): Member of the House Agriculture Committee and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia & the Pacific
  • Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-1): Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities & Risk Management
  • Rep. Mac Thornberry (TX-13): Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services

Interviews with Industry Leaders & Experts

  • Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council (PLC) Washington, DC
  • Veronica Nigh, Economist & Trade Specialist with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in Washington, DC
  • Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade & Market Access with the National Cattlemens Beef Association (NCBA) in Washington, DC
  • Kurt Shultz, Senior Director of Global Strategies with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in Washington, DC
  • Dale Moore, Executive Director of Public Policy with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in Washington, DC
  • Dr. John Newton, Director of Market Intelligence with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in Washington, DC
  • Floyd Gaibler, Director of Trade Policy & Biotechnology with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in Washington, DC
  • Kim Atkins, Vice President & COO with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in Washington, DC
  • Allison Cooke, Executive Director of Governmental Affairs with the National Cattlemens Beef Association (NCBA) in Washington, DC

Audio Wraps for radio stations
All wraps are 3:50 with outcue “I’m Tony St. James”…

  • WRAP-1: Sen. John Hoeven (ND-R) & Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR-D) on USDA’s Proposed FY18 Budget
  • WRAP-2: Sen. Jon Tester (MT-D) & Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on proposed budget cuts at USDA
  • WRAP-3: Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-R) (after shooting of Rep. Scalise) & Rep. Mac Thornberry (TX-R) on homeland security
  • WRAP-4: Rep. Austin Scott (GA-R) on writing a new farm bill in an era of budget cutting
  • WRAP-5: Rep. Dr. Ted Yoho (FL-R) talks about GMO’s and the misconception in the public
  • WRAP-6: Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-R) on fixing cotton and dairy in the next farm bill
  • WRAP-7: Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy (USDA-NIFA) testifying before the Senate on importance of ag research
  • WRAP-8: Rep. David Rouzer (NC-R) on the issue of “the cliff” in the Farm Bill’s SNAP program

EVENT: 2017 PCG Annual Meeting

Highlights from the recent 2017 Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association’s (TCGA) Annual Meeting & Cotton Trade Show AND the 60th Annual Meeting for Plains Cotton Growers (PCG) from the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Coverage is brought to you by Bayer CropScience (Fibermax Cotton)…

***To listen to the interviews/presentations, click on the Title (in red)***

60th Annual PCG Meeting (April 7, 2017)
Texas International Cotton School
Josh Burris (President of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange)

Cotton Farming/Eco-Drip Water Conservation & Profitability Award Presentation
Craig Hoelscher (CEO of Eco-Drip)

2016 PCG “Service to Cotton” Award
Dr. Danny Nusser (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Amarillo)

Award Winner
Dr. Charles Allen (San Angelo)

Cotton Incorporated Report
Kim Kitchings (Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Cotton Inc.)

President’s Annual Report
Johnnie Reed (President of PCG from Kress, TX)

Celebrate Cotton & Texas Tech Football
Rick Leach (Red Raider Sports Properties) with Andy Rowden & Tommy McVay (Texas Tech Athletics)

Motivational Message
Matt Rush

Washington, DC Update
Rep. Mike Conaway (Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from Midland, TX)

PCG PAC Report
Kody Bessent (Vice President of Operations & Legislative Affairs with PCG)

Executive Vice President’s Report
Steve Verett (Executive Vice President with PCG)

Interviews
Interview with Rep. Mike Conaway (TX-R)
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from Midland, TX

Interview with Rusty Andrews
CEO of Agrellus in Lubbock, TX

Interview with Brett Cypert
Sales Rep. for Phytogen Cotton in Sweetwater, TX

Interview with Tanya Foerster
Director of Advertising Capital Farm Credit in Lubbock, TX

Interview with Craig Jones
Sales Rep. for West Texas/Oklahoma for Netafim in Lubbock, TX

Interview with John Payne
Senior Market Analyst with Daniels Ag Marketing in Chicago, IL

Interview with Clay Post
District Sales Manager for NACHURS in Lubbock, TX

EVENT COVERAGE: 2017 Southwest Beef Symposium

Coverage of the 2017 Southwest Beef Symposium is brought to you by Amarillo National Bank.

Hosted jointly by the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, this educational forum is tailored for beef producers and was established to provide timely information annually, about current industry issues and practical management.

The event is held in January and alternates between locations in New Mexico and Texas. The 2017 Southwest Beef Symposium hosted by New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service was held January 11-12 at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center in Roswell, NM.

***To listen to the presentations, click on the Title (in red)***

Session I – Industry Issues
Global factors affecting domestic beef demand & what others expect from the U.S. / Sustainability: what it means around the world
Leann Saunders (Founder & President of IMI Global in Castle Rock, CO)

The New Administration: What Will It Mean to Agriculture
Caren Cowan (Executive Director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association in Albuquerque, NM)

What happened to the calf market?
Dr. Derrell Peel (Oklahoma State University Livestock Marketing Specialist in Stillwater, OK)

Key performance indicators for cow-calf producers
Bill Thompson (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Management Economist in San Angelo, TX)

Session II – Genetics
EPDs: Tools for progress
Dr. Marcy Ward New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Livestock Specialist in Las Cruces, NM)

Beef Genomics: Present and future
Dr. Kent Andersen (Associate Director of Technical Services with Zoetis in Lincoln, NE)

Residual Feed Intake: What is it and how can it be used to improve the bottom line?
Will Kayser (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Research)

Fetal Programming: What is it? Is it predictable? How can it influence management decisions?
Dr. Eric Scholljegerdes (New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Range Animal Nutritionist in Corona, NM)

Session III – Management
Developing immunity in calves
Dr. John Wenzel (New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Veterinarian in Las Cruces, NM)

Prescribed burning in the Southwest
Dr. Morgan Russell (Texas AgriLife Extension Service Range Specialist in San Angelo, TX)

NMSU Certified Calf Program
Patrick Kircher (Roosevelt County New Mexico Cooperative Extension Agent in Portales, NM)

The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)
Dr. John Wenzel (New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Veterinarian in Las Cruces, NM)

EVENT COVERAGE: 2016 Cotton Board/Cotton Incorporated Annual Meeting

http://www.cottonboard.org/sites/454/images/logo_reg.pngBoard members of both The Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated gathered at the Hotel Monteleone in the New Orleans (LA) French Quarter for their Joint Annual Meeting December 7th and 8th.

The Cotton Board is the oversight and administrative arm of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program, representing U.S. Upland cotton.

To fund the Program, The Cotton Board collects a per bale assessment of all Upland cotton harvested and ginned in the U.S., as well as an importer assessment for all Upland cotton products imported into the U.S. To conduct the Program, The Cotton Board contracts with Cotton Incorporated to carryout the actual research and promotion activities for U.S. producers and importers of cotton.

Every bale of upland cotton grown in the United States, with a few exemptions, is assessed a cotton fee at the point of first sale.  The assessment fee on that cotton goes to fund the Cotton Research and Promotion Program.

Of the Cotton Board’s 77 Members and Alternates, 47 are cotton producers representing every state in the Cotton Belt. These board members are the voice of  the producer segment of the industry to The Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated and provide valuable insight that helps to shape the activities of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. Producer members and alternates are nominated by Certified Producer Organizations. The remainder of the Members and Alternates are cotton importers representing major U.S. retailers and brands. All Board Members are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.

All of the cotton that is imported into the United States, with a few exemptions, is assessed a cotton fee at the time of entry.  Whether the imported cotton is in the form of  fabric, raw materials, t-shirts or denim jeans, the assessment fee on that cotton goes to fund the Cotton Research and Promotion Program.

http://www.cottoninc.com/resources/~img/logo-cottoninc-header.pngWhile Cotton Incorporated is consumer and trade focused, it is a charged function of The Cotton Board’s mission to keep U.S. producers and importers of cotton informed on the innovative developments coming from the Program.

Cotton Incorporated is the research and marketing company for U.S. Upland cotton, as administered by the Cotton Board. Cotton Inc’s World Headquarters and Research Center is located in Cary, North Carolina and its Consumer Marketing Headquarters is located in New York, New York. Supporting offices are located around the globe in Mexico City, Osaka, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

General Session-Part I

“TITLE OF SESSION”

Interviews-Part II
GUEST
Title of Guest
<link to audio>

 

District 19 (TX) Agricultural Issues Forum Podcast

District 19 (Texas) Agricultural Issues Forum

How will the next Congress address the issues of trade, food labeling and immigration/border security? One thing is for sure that Congress will debate the topics in 2017 and the new representative from the 19th Congressional District of Texas will be in the fray.

Early voting is underway in the Republican party runoff featuring Jodey Arrington and Glen Robertson. Both are attempting to move to Washington, DC to replace the retiring Randy Neugebauer. Historically, the 19th District representative serves on the House Agriculture Committee – which is currently chaired by another West Texan, Mike Conaway from Midland.

The two candidates squared off in an Agricultural Issues Forum on All Ag, All Day in an one-hour program. Here’s a podcast of the event.

AG ISSUES FORUM PODCAST

SPECIAL: 19th Congressional (TX) District’s Agricultural Issues Forum

As voters prepare to select a new Congressional representative for the 19th District of Texas, those in agriculture wonder who might be the best candidate to represent the most important industry in the region.  With nine different candidates all vying for support, All Ag News has produced an Agricultural Issues Forum.

The Ag Issues Forum provides each candidate 15 minutes to deliver an Opening and Closing statement as well as answering five questions.  Each candidate was given the questions prior to the forum and all were provided equal access and a choice of days/times to record (video). One candidate was unable to attend the video session but did choose to record via phone.

You can view each candidates statements and responses below and listen to the segment podcasts.  Thanks to the Bayer Museum of Agriculture for providing the venue and to Picador Creative for video and post-production work.

AUDIO SEGMENTS (video below):
Segment 01: Opening Statements

Segment 02: Opening Statements continued

Segment 03: Question 1 (farm policy)

Segment 04: Perspective of Congress with former Rep. Charlie Stenholm

Segment 05: Question 2 (renewables)

Segment 06: Question 3 (cotton)

Segment 07: Question 3 (cotton) continued

Segment 08: Question 4 (trade)

Segment 09: Question 5 (winning)

Segment 10: Question 5 (winning) continued

Segment 11: Closing Statements

Segment 12: Program Close

Opening Statements:

QUESTION 1: How will you explain good farm policy in Congress?

QUESTION 2: What is your stance on renewable energy?

QUESTION 3: How would you address other countries who aren’t as transparent as the U.S. on cotton policy?

QUESTION 4: What is your stance on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal?

QUESTION 5: How do you define a win?

Closing Statements:

 

EVENT COVERAGE: 2016 U.S. Grains Council’s Annual Membership Meeting

Welcome to coverage of the 2016 U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) 13th International Marketing Conference & 56th Annual Membership Meeting in Sarasota, Florida brought to you by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP).

Listen to the Argentina Forum (49:32)

Listen to a presentation from Charlie Cook, Cook Political Report (59:30)

Listen to an interview with Chip Councell (Maryland producer) Vice-Chairman of the USGC (8:21)

Listen to an interview with Floyd Gaibler, Director of Trade & Biotechnology with USGC (11:50)

Listen to an interview with Tommy Hamamoto, USGC Country Director for Japan (10:27)

Listen to an interview with Deb Keller (Iowa producer) Secretary-Treasurer for USGC (5:36)

Listen to an interview with Haksoo Kim, USGC Country Director for South Korea (11:20)

Listen to an interview with Ashley Kongs, USGC Manager of Ethanol Export Programs

Listen to an interview wit Ryan LeGrand, USGC Assistant Director for Mexico (9:00)

Listen to a panel discussion on NAFTA – what is working and what is not (24:06)

Listen to an interview with Kevin Roepke, USGC Regional Director for Southeast Asia (8:37)

Listen to an interview with Tom Sleight, President and CEO of the USGC (11:34)

Listen to an interview with Alan Tiemann (Nebraska producer) Chairman of the USGC (6:42)

Listen to a presentation from Darcy Vetter, Chief Ag Trade Negotiator with the U.S. Trade Representatives Office (29:31)

Listen to an interview with Joel Widenor, Founding Partner and Chief Administrative Officer with Commodity Weather Group (7:28)

Listen to an interview with Anne Zaczek, USGC (5:29)

Listen to an interview with Marri Carrow, USGC Regional Director for the Western Hemisphere