USSEC Hosts 2nd Annual U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Milwaukee
- General News
USSEC’s second annual U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange was a resounding success.
The event was held at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from September 15-18 with approximately 600 delegates from 50 countries participating in this unique networking opportunity.
The week kicked off with a pre-conference reception held on Monday evening at Pier Wisconsin. Outgoing USSEC chairman Randy Mann introduced Phil Karsting, Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), who welcomed the international delegates.
On Tuesday morning, USSEC international trade teams and suppliers’ buyers/sellers met during exchanges pre-arranged by USSEC. These “speed meetings” provided another way for USSEC trade teams, export suppliers and visiting trade teams to forge relationships.
That afternoon, the conference officially opened with a welcome from USSEC CEO Jim Sutter; Bruce Abbe, executive director of the Midwest Shippers Association; and Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel.
A keynote session, “Global Soy & Grain Market Supply and Demand – Current Situation and Outlook for 2014 Crop Production and Trade,” presented by analyst David Hightower followed. Mr. Hightower discussed global soy and grain markets, pointing out how soybean meal could displace fish meal in aquaculture rations and that global demand for beef, pork and poultry continues to climb, a large factor in soybean demand's continuous growth over the last decade. According to Mr. Hightower, “. . . 2015 [won’t] be any different than the last ten years. It's still going to be the same thing: You've got to have a lot of production, and you've got to be able to get it from where you have it to where the world needs it, or it's going to cause a commodity crunch."
“Changing Leadership for Global Food and Agriculture Industries,” a general session focusing on women’s ever-expanding leadership roles in the agriculture industry followed. Sara Wyant, the editor/publisher of Agri-Pulse, served as panel moderator, and presentations were given by Laura Foell, newly-elected USSEC chair and United Soybean Board (USB) director; Teresa Babuscio, secretary-general of COCERAL; and Mariela Urguia, first vice president of AFACA, Venezuela Feed Manufacturers Association.
Later that afternoon, the trade show opened with special mini technical presentations by exhibitors. The USSEC booth featured many interactive displays, including a photo booth and soyfood samples, in addition to providing customers with information about the sustainability of U.S. soy and informing them about the recently-launched website USSOY.org.
The day was capped with a reception and tour at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Wednesday’s events began with a general session, “Global Economy, World Trade and Shipping Outlook & the Critical Importance of Transportation Infrastructure Development,” given by Mr. Abbe, followed by concurrent breakout sessions focusing on the quality and sustainability of U.S. soybeans throughout the day.
That evening, the trade show officially closed with an international trade delegation reception, held in the ballroom of the Wisconsin Center.
On Thursday, many international delegates and trade teams, together with grower leaders and USSEC staff, participated in Southern Wisconsin Tour Day, visiting the Case IH® headquarters, the Miller-Coors Brewery and the Global Water Center.
The 2014 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange was co-located with the Midwest Shippers Association’s Midwest Specialty Grains Conference and Trade Show.