The Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) recently was represented by board members who attended three different international trade missions during early September. The three trade missions included visits to Vietnam, South Korea and Japan.

Jay Reiners, Chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Juanita attended the SE Asia U.S. Agricultural Cooperators Conference in Danang, Vietnam with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Sept. 12-14. Currently, USGC has 28 branches worldwide, including the Southeast Asia branch in Vietnam. The goal of the trade mission was to provide crucial information on the application of smart technologies in farming, fertilizers and irrigation, as well as training for workers in the animal feed industry. Nebraska and USGC assists in providing insight for science and technology in agriculture – to help Vietnam increase animal feed production, use fertilizer effectively and upgrade local irrigation systems. Reiners presented about sustainability methods he utilizes on his operation.

“Each trade mission provides us with a valuable opportunity to experience and meet with our cooperators from around the globe while promoting Nebraska corn and corn products,” said Jay Reiners. “While there, learning from peers across the globe and even from the States helps to build my knowledge to bring back to Nebraska.”

John Krohn, NCB District 7 Director from Albion, Neb. Joined Governor Pillen in South Korea and Japan on his trade mission from Sept. 5-12. During the 10-day journey to South Korea and Japan, the Nebraska delegation engaged in high-level meetings with government officials, key customers of Nebraska agriculture products, leaders of manufacturing companies and investors in Nebraska’s clean energy sector.

“This mission is well worth the time away from the farm; after returning home I have a newfound understanding of the direct impact my corn and product can have,” said John Krohn. “While at a restaurant distribution company that was looking into purchasing U.S. products, I showed them photos of my family and operation. Their reactions to seeing photos of my farm and the face-to-face communication helped them to make a connection to where the food comes from. Creating connections versus an online search can change the entire conversation and decision. Each interaction validated NCB’s goals and mission.”

Matt Sullivan, NCB District 2 Director from Superior, Neb. and Michael Dibbern, Nebraska Corn Growers Association Vice President and farmer from, Cairo, Neb. were members of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Heartland Team for a trade mission to both South Korea and Japan from Sept. 10-16. They met with U.S. Embassy officials and industry representatives, explored how U.S. red meat is merchandised and learned about emerging opportunities in food service, convenience stores and e-commerce.

“After recently joining NCB as a director, I experienced first-hand from USMEF what they are doing to build demand for red meat internationally with our local product,” said Matt Sullivan. “When walking through a grocery store in Japan, I found a package of “American Beef,” with the NCB logo, connecting over 6,000 miles from where it’s grown to consumed. Culturally, consumers want to see where their meat is coming from, and the specifics of Nebraska bridge the gap. This mission provided an invaluable global look at a locally grown product.”

Each of these three trade missions have the goal to collaborate and increase demand for corn, corn-fed red meat and value-added biofuels produced in Nebraska. They expand the reach of Nebraska-grown corn worldwide, create and deepen relationships with customers and provide first-hand knowledge of the impact locally grown corn can make. As Nebraska Corn continually evaluates livestock partners, partnerships and value created, the organization focuses in on international export growth and potential market exposure.

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