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Serving: NE

Corn Board hosts international customers

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A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE: Brandon Hunnicutt, farmer and Nebraska Corn Board vice chairman, notes the virtual event was a different experience compared to most international trade visits or missions.
The virtual visits were held in conjunction with USGC's first Virtual Grain Exchange series.

Despite the limitations on international travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nebraska Corn Board recently hosted two trade teams to promote the state's corn, ethanol, distillers grains, beef and pork industries to international customers. The virtual visits were held in conjunction with the U.S. Grains Council's first Virtual Grain Exchange series.

Both Nebraska visits took place Oct. 15. In each virtual trade mission, preproduced video field trips highlighted key sectors of Nebraska's agriculture. The videos were followed by live question-and-answer discussions led by farmers and industry leaders within the state's agricultural sectors.

"Nebraska is home to some of the most efficient and productive farmers in the world," said Steve Wellman, Nebraska Department of Agriculture director. "While the coronavirus may have greatly impacted the world as we know it, our agricultural industry is still going strong in our state.

"We're open for business, and we must continue to identify new customers and maintain positive relationships with our current buyers. Thankfully, technology allows us to be able to do this. Obviously, we'd prefer to meet with these customers in person, but this is the next best thing."

Courtesy of Nebraska Corn BoardZoom meeting with the Nebraska Corn Board partnered with the U.S. Grains Council

TECH AIDS TRADE: With the aid of technology, the Nebraska Corn Board partnered with the U.S. Grains Council to reinforce that trade continues despite the pandemic.

The day kicked off meeting with customers from North Africa, Israel and Turkey. During this virtual Zoom meeting, the potential buyers met with Wellman; Joan Ruskamp, farmer and cattle producer; Walter Cronin, chief commercial officer with Green Plains; and Jeff Wilkerson, NCB director of market development.

The second trade team included customers from Taiwan and included panelists Mark Jagels, Nebraska Department of Agriculture agricultural trade representative; Shana Beattie, farmer and pork producer; Brandon Hunnicutt, farmer and Nebraska Corn Board vice chairman; and Roger Berry, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator.

"It certainly was a different trade mission experience for me," Hunnicutt said. "While I prefer to visit with our international friends on Nebraska soil, so I can help walk them through our production process, I can tell we still had an impact from behind a computer screen. Our guests were engaged and asked several really good questions."

Nebraska was only one of several states that partnered with the U.S. Grains Council to host trade missions as part of the Virtual Grain Exchange. In total, more than 1,200 international customers registered for the series, including international buyers and end users of coarse grains and coproducts from 54 countries and members of the U.S. grain export value chain.

"Even though trade teams are virtual this year, the fact remains that all end users want to get a good look at the entire U.S. agricultural value chain when making decisions about U.S. grains," said Ryan LeGrand, U.S. Grains Council president and CEO.

"The teams visiting Nebraska are eager to not only see the state of corn harvest there, but also are keenly interested in getting a peek inside major production facilities, so they can see for themselves just how high-quality Nebraska corn is. By allowing them to do so, we can strengthen the relationships between U.S. farmers and these buyers, and we appreciate Nebraska Corn Board's assistance in this process."

Source: Nebraska Corn Board, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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