Grains Leadership Visits Mexico to Meet Customers, New Administration Officials

Relationships between the U.S. feed grains industry and these groups run deep, having been built over more than 35 years of the Council's presence in the market and reinforced through the process of negotiating a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) over the past 18 months.

As the new presidential administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, prepares to take office on Dec. 1, deepening existing partnerships and building new ones is even more critical.

"In light of today's trade uncertainties around the world, it is always important to meet and maintain our relationships with our key customers. Mexico has a long history as a key customer for sorghum and other U.S. grain products. With the new administration soon to come to power, we must continue to work on maintaining a strong, positive relationship that helps our producers," said NSP and USCP Chief Executive Officer Tim Lust.

While in the country, the joint leadership team visited with USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) post in Mexico City; met with key customer organizations including the Mexican feed manufacturers' council, known as CONAFAB; and made a stop at the Mexican grain trade association, known as APPAMEX. They also met with officials already appointed by the new president-elect, including Victor Villalobos, the incoming head of the agriculture department.

"Mexico is a primary market for North Dakota barley and U.S. barley and malt. The years we have spent relationship building coupled with dedicated supply chain management and strong trade policy have resulted in solid business opportunities for U.S. growers and the brewing industry. We were happy to meet with customers on this mission," said Greg Kessel, a leader at the North Dakota Barley Council who traveled with the team.

The Council works in more than 50 countries globally to promote the export of U.S. feed grains and related products, including corn, sorghum, barley, DDGS and ethanol. Its membership includes checkoff and policy organizations for all five commodities as well as more than 150 agribusinesses that contribute funds matched by dollars allocated from programs authorized in the U.S. farm bill.

Additional team members traveling on the mission included Tom Sleight, USGC president and CEO; Jim Raben, USGC secretary/treasurer; Kevin Skunes, NCGA chairman; and Lynn Chrisp, NCGA president.

More information about the Council’s programs in Mexico is here.