The importance of trade to U.S. agriculture dominated discussions at the USMEF booth and among all grain producers attending this year’s Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida. The annual convention organized by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers attracted thousands of farmers and ag industry leaders from across the country.
A brief video from Commodity Classic can be seen by clicking the photo at right.
“It seemed like every producer I met at this year’s Classic – whether he or she grew corn or soybeans – had questions about exports and trade agreements,” said Dean Meyer, co-chair of the USMEF Feedgrain and Oilseed Caucus and a corn and soybean producer from Iowa. “We also had a lot of grain producers stop by to say they support what we are doing around the world.”
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was the keynote speaker in the general session and later stopped by the USMEF booth, where he was greeted by USMEF Chair Conley Nelson.
“It was a very active show, with several people stopping by the USMEF booth to talk about exports,” said Nelson. “And they were not just interested in corn or soybean trade. They also wanted to learn about beef, pork and lamb exports. It was clear they realize we are all connected and rely upon each other.”
USMEF shared with attendees the results of an updated study aimed at quantifying the value delivered to U.S. corn producers through exports of red meat. The original 2016 study, as well as the 2018 follow-up, were conducted by World Perspectives Inc., a leading agricultural consulting firm. Highlights from the updated study show that since 2015, one in every four bushels of added feed demand for corn is due to beef and pork exports and that about 11 percent of the price of corn this year will be derived from red meat exports.
USMEF also sponsored a luncheon on the final day of Commodity Classic to thank the corn and soybean industry for its partnerships and contributions to the organization. Meyer offered opening remarks and Nelson presented an overview of USMEF’s efforts to grow U.S. red meat exports to more than 100 luncheon attendees.