(Posted Thu. Mar 24th, 2016)
Officers for the National Corn Growers Association and U.S. Grains Council spent the week in the Indianapolis area on a “look and listen” tour. The trip gave officers the chance to meet face-to-face with stakeholders in the grain, livestock, and ethanol industries, discuss challenges and opportunities, and ultimately drive demand for U.S. corn and corn co-products both domestically and around the world.
“To build profitable demand for U.S. corn, we need strong relationships with the customers who are using our products. An important part of that is being able to see their facilities and operations, and hear directly from them about what’s happening in their industry,” said NCGA First Vice President Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas. “This trip provided us a great opportunity to ask how we can be better partners with our customers, and what we need to do, working together as the corn industry, to help them succeed.”
Managers at The Anderson Ethanol Group’s Indiana facility highlighted growing demand for the ethanol co-product Dried Distiller Grains (DDGs), and briefed the team on the challenges of moving product to market. The Andersons has been supplying bulk DDGs to livestock producers for more than a decade.
At the Elanco Pulse Institute™, NCGA and USGC officers learned about how Elanco listens to and responds to consumers’ social media conversations on food, pet care and health issues in real-time. The officers discussed what their organizations and farms could learn from Elanco’s experience as the industry looks to better engage consumers.
Researchers at Purdue University shared their latest research into plant phenotyping, advanced biofuels, and potential new uses for corn, and discussed the challenges of global acceptance of biotechnology traits. The officer teams met with a representative from Rose Acre Farms to understand the feed needs of the egg laying industry. They also toured livestock operations at Fair Oaks Farms, where they discussed feed needs and supplies, sustainability, and consumer acceptance and education efforts. The officers also discussed the stewardship of new biotechnology traits with leaders from Dow AgroSciences.