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I-LEAD Class 8 International Mission

This past March the I-LEAD Class 8 had an opportunity to go on their international mission to Vietnam and Japan. The class would like to say a special thanks to the US Grains Council for helping coordinate this mission. 

Mission Objectives: 

  1. Relevant to Iowa Farmers and its Corn Growers​

  2. Emerging and Establish Market​

  3. Visit End Use Markets: New Technologies and Processing.​

  4. Learn more about Water Quality efforts in different countries.​

  5. Learn more about how regulation and policy can affect trade.​

  6. Understand the importance of Infrastructure - visit ports.​

  7. Collaborate with USMEF and learn more about protein markets.​

  8. Learn more about other countries Biofuels efforts and how they are progressing.


Why Vietnam and Japan? 

Vietnam is the 10th largest customer of US agriculture products and Japan is the number one consumer of US agriculture products. 


Take home points: U.S. Ag is doing well in Vietnam because of the importance of food safety amongst consumers. • Prefer a darker reddish colored corn, which is more common in South America. • Prefer their corn imports naturally dried to 12%. • Major challenge/hurdle will be TPP and the lower tariffs rates for other TPP countries. • Another major challenge/hurdle will be further developing the cold chain—most Vietnamese do not own a fridge and purchase meat/food from the local market daily. • Young growing population ~ 1%/yr. increase. As they increase disposable income food demand will be huge opportunity for US markets.


Take home points: The class saw firsthand the importance of relationship between Japan and Iowa during their visit with the Vice Governor of Yamanashi. • Branding is important to Japanese consumer, during a grocery store visit the class got to see brand imaging created with a collaboration between U.S. Pork and USMEF.  94% of Japanese’s costumers recognize the US Pork brand and Japanese customers are loyal to the US Pork brand.  • Japan has a declining population, and this was voiced as a concern at several of the class visits.  • Buying power will still be strong for years to come but tourism will play a key factor in this market long term.



The class would like to thank everyone who donated in order to make the ILEAD International Mission a success! 

Platinum Sponsors $7,500 plus

•Beck's Hybrids •CHS Stewardship team •Iowa Corn •Monsanto

Gold Sponsors $5,000 to $7,499

•Dupont Pioneer •Farm Credit Services of America •Growth Energy •Landus Cooperative •Nationwide Agribusiness

•R.J.O'Brien •Renewable Energy Group •River Valley Cooperative •Syngenta •Winfield United

Silver Sponsors $2,500 to $4,999

•Iowa Farm Bureau Federation •Iowa State University -College of Ag and Life Sciences

•Green Plains Renewable Energy (Omaha) •Helena Chemical •John Stewart & Associates •NEW Cooperative

Bronze Sponsors $250 to $2,499

• CoBank •ABIS Crop Insurance •Adair County Corn and Soybean Association •Adair County Farm Bureau

•Ag Partners •Almaco •BASF •Calhoun County Farm Bureau •Corn LP •Corporate Farmer Inc

•Dave and Kim Sieck •EDF MAN •Farmers Elevator & Exchange •Gold Eagle Cooperative

•Heartland Coop •INTL FCStone Financial •Iowa Institute for Coops •Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

•John Deere •Kent Seed Sales •Kevin and Gayle Keiser •Key Cooperative •Land O'Lakes •Latham

•Madden Ag Services •Palo Alto Country Farm Bureau •Sinclair Tractor •State Line Cooperative

•Strategic Farm Marketing •Thrive Agronomics •Vision Ag

Partner Sponsors Up to $249

• Daniel Sieck •First Central State Bank •Go or Broke Production

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