Past U.S. Grain Council (USGC) chair and Maryland farmer Chip Councell was among the leaders of the USGC and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) who traveled to South Korea and Mexico recently in concurrent missions to engage with customers and government officials during a period of policy uncertainty in the U.S. corn industry’s #1 and #3 markets. Councell was a member of the delegation visiting Mexico, which also included Jim Stitzlein, USGC vice chairman; Kevin Skunes, NCGA president from North Dakota; Chris Novak, NCGA chief executive officer; Kim Atkins, USGC vice president and chief operating officer; and Melissa Kessler, USGC director of communications.
They met with the major grain associations representing the top buyers of U.S. grain products, a large grain processing facility and government officials. While discussions surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took precedence, the team also learned more about the Council’s grain and ethanol focused programming in Mexico. In 2016/2017, Mexico was the largest customer for U.S. corn, DDGS and malt (both roasted and non-roasted). Mexico also ranked as the second largest customer for sorghum and the tenth largest market for U.S. ethanol.