To promote the use of U.S. feed grains and co-products in the Western Hemisphere, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) hosted the Regional Nutrition Conference in Medellin, Colombia, last week. As part of the program designed for technical staff, nutritionists and procurement staff in Latin America, Council staff highlighted the organization’s 2017/2018 corn quality report.
“Given that nutritionists are key decision makers in the feed, poultry and livestock industries in the region, having this conference focus on things they are interested in helps the Council establish relationships with them,” said USGC Regional Director for the Western Hemisphere Marri Tejada.
“I think the value of knowing what is important to them is that it helps the Council identify topics that should be included on our current programs or design new programs that help nutritionists understand, appreciate and gain better knowledge on handling and using U.S. grains and co-products. It also allows us to inform our farmers of what is important to the markets.”
The meeting boasted 73 participants from Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.
The conference is part of a broader platform of programing that helps the Council establish trust with end-users of U.S. grains and co-products. By offering clear and credible information, speakers were able to address myths about these products and facilitate additional sales, particularly of DDGS. Over two days, the sessions focused on field to market exports and nutrition analysis.
The first module offered the perspective of several Council staff members, including Ryan LeGrand, USGC’s office director in Mexico, who spoke on supply and demand for U.S. corn, sorghum and co-products; and Alejandra Danielson Castillo, USGC’s manager of global trade, Alejandro Gonzalez, USGC regional consultant and Catalina Correa, USGC marketing specialist for the Western Hemisphere, who presented the recently-released quality report.
Additionally, Kenneth Cote, AgriTrade USA, Intertek, discussed quality control measures at origin, and Dr. Samuel Cook, post-harvest engineer and feed technologist from Iowa State University, reviewed storage practices and recommendations. The session ended with a panel of end-users from Mexico, Peru and Costa Rica who discussed their experiences with U.S. commodities from field to export.
The second session included a thorough analysis by Dr. Joe Hancock, Kansas State University professor, of the nutritional characteristics of U.S. sorghum; a review of the production process of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), including new co-products, by Kelly Davis, vice president of regulatory affairs, Renewable Fuels Association; and a panel of livestock end-users who discussed relevant nutritional characteristics of DDGS for in cattle, poultry and swine.
“We were very pleased to see the conference received very high marks from the participants,” said Ana Maria Ballesteros, USGC’s marketing director for the Western Hemisphere. “Based on the success of this event, we plan to offer this nutrition conference every other year.”