The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is the IL Corn partner that works to promote corn and corn co-product sales around the world.
To do this, USGC takes funding from IL Corn and its many other members and leverages funds from the Foreign Agricultural Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to provide programs, educational efforts, and important relationship building opportunities that increase opportunities for global corn sales.
USGC aspires to be the most relevant, passionate and trusted ambassadors for free and fair trade between U.S. agriculture and their customers around the world.
As an example, USGC places experts in international offices all around the world, the location of which is key to a growing market opportunity or a valuable historical trading partner. Each expert is able to speak the language in his or her region and has relationships and contacts to aid in building or maintaining the market.
USGC also often brings international buyers to the U.S. for a tour of the corn belt. IL Corn has facilitated these trade missions many times, showing international buyers what an Illinois corn farm looks like, letting them meet and ask questions of an IL corn farmer, connecting buyers with ethanol plant contacts and helping them understand the production process of corn-based ethanol, or building relationships with local grain elevators to facilitate direct buying relationships.
Most recently, IL Corn has worked with USGC to cultivate and provide ethanol experts in key international markets where adding ethanol to their fuel blends will significantly impact air quality and environmental impact. USGC has opened an ethanol market in Mexico and continues to work on this issue in other countries using Illinois experts!
Relationships like the one between IL Corn and USGC are key to improving the profitability and prospects of corn farmers in Illinois.