September 03, 2015

03/09/2015: Capturing the market opportunity in Cuba

Come see how the 10th Annual Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit sets itself apart from other industry conferences on September 30–October 2 in Minneapolis!
Global trade logistics: Capturing the market opportunity in Cuba and the Caribbean Basin, Thursday, October 1, 2015, 2:45 pm - 3:30 pm.

Following the keynote address by Alina Fernandez, Fidel Castro’s daughter, a panel of US and Cuban agricultural experts will discuss opportunities and challenges that improved relations with Cuba are expected to have on the US oilseed and grains sectors.

Panelist: Ron Gray, Past Chairman (2015), US Grains Council
Ron Gray is a farmer from Southeastern Illinois. He has farmed on his family farm and been involved in agriculture his entire life. The use of GPS and GIS farming technology and the meaningful processing of that data is key to future good management in production agriculture and this has been an emphasis on his farm. He has a Crop Insurance business helping area farmers manage and mitigate risk. Ron has served on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and on the BOD of the US Grains Council, recently as the Chairman. Learning to understand all aspects of markets has always been of interest to Ron and he believes there are opportunities in Cuba for US grains. He traveled to Cuba in March with USACC and again in June with the NCGA and USGC.
Panelist: Thomas Marten, Manager, Stark county Farm Bureau
Thomas Marten is the manager of Stark County Farm Bureau based in Toulon, Illinois. Thomas graduated in 2012 from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. For family reasons he returned home to help on his family’s corn and soybean farm near Raymond, Illinois. In the summer of 2012, Thomas joined farmers from around Illinois to travel to Cuba as a part of an Illinois Farm Bureau Market Study Tour. Following the December 2014 announcement of a shift in approach by President Obama, Thomas engaged the media with letters to the editor published in several local and regional newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, radio interviews, television interviews, letters to elected officials as well as emerging platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Thomas once again represented Illinois Farm Bureau as their representative on the March 2015 US Agriculture Coalition for Cuba delegation in Cuba.
Panelist: Bill Messina, Agricultural Economist, University of Florida
Bill Messina is an agricultural economist with the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) where he works on agricultural marketing, trade, development and policy issues. He is the founding Co-Director of the Department’s comprehensive research initiative studying the agricultural and fisheries sectors in Cuba. Begun in 1994, this research continues to be conducted in collaboration with a team of researchers at the University of Havana. Bill has traveled to Cuba frequently, published widely on Cuba’s agricultural sector and he has made presentations on the topic throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, including testimony before Congressional committees and the USITC, and staff briefings to the US Departments of Agriculture and State.

Visit the Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit site HERE.

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