A cadre of international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products from more than 35 countries are scheduled to arrive in Minneapolis next week for Export Exchange 2018, ready to meet with U.S. suppliers and service providers across the value chain.

Export Exchange is an educational and trade forum for U.S. feed grains that will host approximately 200 participants organized into 21 USGC trade teams. The biennial conference, scheduled for Oct. 22 to 24, is sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy.

“At a time when we have just agreed to a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, highlighting the importance of international trade can be no better illustrated than by Export Exchange and the trade team visits before and after the event,” said Tom Sleight, USGC president and chief executive officer. 

“It is essential for us to strengthen the bonds between suppliers and partner countries, and the connections made at this critical event will not only help propel our industry this year, but for years to come.” 

The Export Exchange conference is the conduit between buyer teams from countries interested in purchasing U.S. feed grains and U.S. suppliers. The meeting brings these groups together to help each broaden their networks and forge new relationships by facilitating trade of U.S. corn, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), sorghum and other commodities.

“Next week’s event allows producers to promote the many benefits of ethanol and its coproducts like DDGS to key foreign markets like Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, South Korea and many others,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We’re excited for the opportunity to tell the story of how they are produced and how they can support agriculture at home and abroad.”

During the conference, speakers – including Roger Watchorn, Group Leader at Cargill, Dr. Robert Johansson, Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Kelly Davis, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at the Renewable Fuels Association will speak about the state of the agricultural supply chain, the 10-year PS&D outlook for feed grains and food safety regulations for DDGS manufacturers, respectively, among other topics including transportation options for U.S. feed grains.

“Trade is incredibly important to our industry, as nearly one out of every three tons of animal feed produced by the U.S. ethanol industry is exported,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “The Export Exchange provides an excellent opportunity for U.S. producers to strengthen relationships with current customers in the international market, as well as to cultivate new partnerships. We’re looking forward to another exciting and productive event.” 

Before and after the conference, trade teams from countries around the globe will travel to various grain-producing states where they will engage in specialized farm visits, tour the 2018 corn harvest, as well as explore ethanol plants and get a better understanding of transloading facilities so they have a clear picture of the U.S. value chain for these commodities. 

Registration is available online via www.exportexchange.org. USGC, Growth Energy and RFA members will be eligible for discounted registration pricing and should identify themselves as such when registering. Reporters wishing to cover Export Exchange are eligible for complimentary registration by sending an email to info@exportexchange.org and asking for the registration code. 

U.S. suppliers of coarse grains and co-products, industry representatives and members of the grain trade should make hotel reservations before the Oct. 1 cutoff for Export Exchange 2018. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy, Export Exchange 2018 is scheduled for Oct. 22-24 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Make hotel reservations online at http://www.exportexchange.org/hotel

Register online at www.exportexchange.org.

This biennial event focuses on bringing together international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products, including distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), with U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives. Export Exchange generates sales on a global scale, and relationships built at this conference help build future demand for in overseas markets.

In addition to networking opportunities, the conference will feature general sessions that will address critical issues facing U.S. agricultural exports, offering the customers and sellers in attendance an increased awareness of the benefits of U.S. coarse grains and co-products. View a conference agenda at http://www.exportexchange.org/agenda.

Registration is available online via www.exportexchange.org. USGC, Growth Energy and RFA members will be eligible for discounted registration pricing and should identify themselves as such when registering. Reporters wishing to cover Export Exchange are eligible for complimentary registration by sending an email to info@exportexchange.org and asking for the registration code.

More information will be distributed in the coming months to members of the grains industries and will be made available online at www.exportexchange.org or on social media using the hashtag #ExEx18. Those interested can sign up for a mailing list to automatically receive conference updates by emailing info@exportexchange.org.

Please visit www.grains.org for more information about the Council.
For more information about RFA, visit www.ethanolrfa.org.
For more information about Growth Energy, visit www.growthenergy.org.

Contact: 
Bryan Jernigan, U.S. Grains Council, bjernigan@grains.org
Rachel Gantz, Renewable Fuels Association, rgantz@ethanolrfa.org
Leigh Claffey, Growth Energy, lclaffey@growthenergy.org

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About the U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 13 key markets and representatives in an additional 15 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture's profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.

About Growth Energy
Growth Energy represents producers and supporters of ethanol working to bring consumers better choices at the fuel pump, grow America’s economy and improve the environment for future generations. The organization’s national campaign – online at www.GetBiofuel.com – serves as the leading source of information for consumers seeking cleaner, more affordable fueling options. For more information on our organization, visit www.GrowthEnergy.org, follow on Twitter @GrowthEnergy, or connect on Facebook.

 About the Renewable Fuels Association
The Renewable Fuels Association is the leading trade association for America’s ethanol industry. Its mission is to advance the development, production, and use of ethanol fuel by strengthening America’s ethanol industry and raising awareness about the benefits of renewable fuels. RFA’s members are working to help America become cleaner, safer, more energy independent and economically secure. For more information, visit EthanolRFA.org.