This article was originally posted on the U.S. Grains Council website. To read the original article, click here.
The year 2011 brought an exceptional roster of new grower delegates to the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) membership, including four Illinois growers: Lou Lamoreux, Thomas Mueller, James Raben and Roger Sy. During the Council’s 13th International Marketing Conference and 56th Annual Membership Meeting, these producers were honored for their five years of service.
“There’s an inherent advantage to having such a group work with the Council,” Sy said. “With a big group you can always find someone who’s willing to give time.”
He said Illinois’ commitment is driven by the importance of what the Council does for exports.
“We’re a world-wide market now,” Sy said. “Where our grain goes makes a huge difference. It affects every one of us as producers.”
Just back from visiting the Panama Canal, Mueller has a similar perspective.
“What impresses me is the amount of effort that goes into developing our foreign markets,” he said. “A lot of people in this country don’t realize the number of people we’re dealing with around the world.”
Right now, Mueller sees distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) promotion as the Council’s biggest opportunity.
“A lot of countries would like to purchase DDGS. I think the Council does an excellent job promoting the corn co-product and that helps our corn markets,” he said.
Lamoreux said he is excited about the export potential in India.
“India now exports grains to many of the island countries in that part of the world, and there’s projections that in a few more years, the Indian population will grow large enough that they will not be able to export – which will lead to more markets for U.S. grain,” Lamoreux said. “A few years after that, India may need to actually import grain.”
Lamoreux praises the Council’s network of in-country offices, echoing the importance of their work for U.S. farmers.
“There’s a lot of Illinois corn that goes into exports, so we need to make that export market as strong as we can,” he said.