Overseas visitors observe grain production in Illinois

Each year, the United States Grains Council (USGC) travels the United States with directors and staff from around the world to build relationships and give industry leaders the opportunity to see how the United States grain production system works.

In exchange, the overseas team members are able to educate U.S. teams on important export markets. This program helps the USGC to develop markets, enable trade and improve lives, three key aspects of the council’s mission.

Two teams from Taiwan were hosted in Illinois by corn and soybean farmers Paul and Donna Jeschke. The first team included representatives of swine and poultry producers, researchers from the Taiwanese food and drug regulatory agency, and grain importers interested in corn and dried distiller’s grains with solubles.

“As the corn was still in the field waiting to dry down to harvest, the team was interested in observing the crop in the field, and learning about the current growing season and weather conditions, the economics of raising corn, soil testing and technology in our equipment,” Donna Jeschke said. “They were also very curious about our grain-handling facility and the dryer where corn is kept and handled.”

The members of the second team the Jeschkes hosted were part of the Taiwan Goodwill Mission composed of grain buyers and other industry members in the United States to sign letters of intent for grain purchases.
“It was really important to the team to see the quality of the grain coming out of the combine, as well as the quality coming out of the grain dryer,” Jeschke said. “It is critical to our foreign customers to know how the grain they will be buying is raised and handled.”

These visits help bring a face to a name of a United States farmer for the overseas buyers.

“The council is a resource for making and developing relationships between the United States and our foreign customers,” Jeschke said. “And they continue that development work on the ground in those countries with our customers. That is why our foreign customers come back to shop here.”

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U.S. Grains Council

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