CONTINENTAL — An international buying team was in Putnam County
Friday to see grain operations first hand. The delegation was a team
from Central America including the Panama Canal, El Salvador, Costa Rica
and Guatemala. The group visited three locations in Putnam County
including Glandorf Feed in Glandorf, livestock operation in Cloverdale
and the Vennekotter Farm near Continental.
“This is all about
relationship building,” said Brad Moffitt, Ohio Corn & Wheat
director of marketing development. He said these buyers like to see the
grain they will potentially be buying. “They are interested in how the
corn, the DDGs (dried distillers’ grains) and ethanol are made.”
said they are also interested in seeing how Americans prepare feed for
livestock, a process they were able to see at Glandorf Feed.
team is part of Export Exchange 2016 which is in Detroit this week. The
meeting is planned to give the Central American participants a better
understanding of the U.S. grain export value chain and to learn how U.S.
grain is produced, graded and marketed.
“We believe that by
seeing the U.S. corn value chain firsthand, the confidence of our
Central American customers in the U.S. grain export system will be
reinforced,” said Keith Truckor, chairman of the Ohio Corn Checkoff. He
said team participants would have a better understanding of the
advantages of buying U.S. grains and co-products.
Vennekotter, who is with the National Corn Growers Association and a
board member of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Checkoff, served as the
spokesperson who answered questions and explained about agriculture at
the Vennekotter Farms.
“We have an abundance of corn right now,
which is good for buyers,” Vennekotter said. He said it is important for
farmers to understand there is a whole world out there that wants to
feed their people or livestock.
Vennekotter said the team asked
many questions about the technology used in the U.S., how we have
increased our production per acre over the years, and how grain is taken
to elevators then shipped to different locations. They were also
interested in the production of ethanol.
Xenia Michel, who is an
International Trade Specialist with the Panama Canal, said she had
questions about the modern technology used in agriculture in the U.S.
a city girl, so all I’ve seen before is pictures in magazines,” she
admitted. Although this is not her first visit to the U.S., Michel said
it is her first visit to see the rural area of the country. “I was
interested in how the modern technology works, about contracts and how
weather affects agriculture,” she said.
Daniel Cespedes, works for
Melo in Panama, a division that produces eggs. He said his company is a
John Deere representative in Panama.He was interested in coming to the
U.S. to see how the corn is doing.
“The corn yield if very good,”
he said. He said this makes him happy because it can mean a lower price
for his country when they purchase corn.
Tadd Nicholson, Executive
Director with Ohio Corn and Wheat, said the team also wanted to see the
sustainability and quality of the corn and grain produced in this
country. He said this allows the grain buyers to see advantage of buying
U.S. grains and co-products.
“We are competing with many other
countries including Brazil, Argentina and the Ukraine,” Nicholson
said.”It’s essential to strengthen the bonds between suppliers and