New Orleans Events Sunday – Wednesday March 19- 22

New Orleans Events Sunday – Wednesday March 19- 22

Thank you to all who attended our NAEGA Annual Meeting last week in New Orleans! This year’s annual meeting featured 60 NAEGA guests participating in 7 events, including a Annual Meeting, Board Meeting, Committee Meetings, a regional industry workshop and a Contracts and Best Practices Seminar. Detailed reports and minutes are forthcoming

Committee Meetings
All three NAEGA Committees met while in New Orleans, including joint committee meetings between the NAEGA Production Technology Committee and the NGFA Biotechnology Committee and the between the NAEGA Grades and Inspections Committee and the NGFA Grains, Grades and Weights Committee. Committee meetings began on March 19 with a meeting of the Contracts Committee.

Committee action highlights include:

  • The Contracts Committee nominated a new set of NAEGA approved AAA arbitrators, including two new candidates - Todd Erickson and Lucien Agniel and welcomed two new members, Paul Erickson of Providence Grain and Liz Zezima of Lansing Trade Group. The Committee also continued its drafting of NAEGA 2 Revisions.  A current draft still under committee deliberation can be found here.
  • The NAEGA Production Technology Committee met in a joint session with the NGFA Biotechnology Committee. The briefing included recent comments to APHIS on Part 340 rule making and Gary updated the committee on international developments.  Representatives from Bayer, Dupont Pioneer, Dow, Monsanto and Syngenta individually briefed on their respective product pipelines and approaches to stewardship.
  • The NAEGA Grades and Inspection Committee met in conjunction with the NGFA Grain Grades and Weights Committee. Ongoing developments in China, Vietnam and Korea were discussed along with the U.S. Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) performance concerns. The Joint committees are focused on continued improvements to the FGIS services and are looking forward to providing input into the implementation of the 2016 U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA) and the upcoming U.S. Farm Bill deliberations.

Annual Meeting of Members
On March 20 NAEGA held its annual members meeting. During the meeting the NAEGA Members elected a new 14-member Board of Directors. Each member will serve a one, two or three-year term. Board members elected include:
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The members also approved the meeting minutes from the last NAEGA members meeting on March 14, 2016 in Coronado, CA. A copy of the minutes can be found here.

 Amstutz Award
During the Annual Members Meeting NAEGA was pleased to present the Amstutz Award to Warren Duffy, NAEGA Senior Advisor. The Amstutz Award is given by the North American Export Grain Association in honor of Dan Amstutz and in recognition of his outstanding and extraordinary service to the export grain and oilseed trade from the United States. The President and the NAEGA Executive Committee are responsible for identifying potential recipients of the award. Warren was selected by the committee and confirmed by the Board of Directors by a unanimous vote. To commemorate the award, Warren received a bronze Bull and Bear Duality Sculpture  and his name was engraved on the Amstutz Award plaque, which resides in the NAEGA President’s office.

Board of Directors Meeting
Following the Annual Members meeting the new NAEGA Board of Directors met. During the meeting the Board reelected Steve Smalley as Chairman and appointed the following executive positions:
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The Board Members also reviewed NAEGA financials, received an update  on the IGTC, heard reports from each of the Committees and approved the minutes from their last meeting, which can be found here. The Board also voted to approve NAEGA’s contribution and participation in the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance for the next 18 months and approved the Contracts Committee list of NAEGA approved AAA Arbitrator, which can be found here.

Regional Industry Workshop
On March 21, NAEGA and NGFA held a successful Regional Industry Workshop at the Sheraton New Orleans. During the workshop, attendees from the grain trade were briefed by the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (FGIS) on issues relating to the grain trade. FGIS’s substantial presentation included an introduction from the new FGIS regional manager for New Orleans, as well as information on FGIS hiring practices and the service’s ongoing retention and retirement concerns. Following FGIS, USCG briefed attendees on vessel safety and security concerns, including cybersecurity, and APHIS informed the group of ongoing phytosanitary issues to Vietnam, Russia and China.

Contracts and Best Practices Seminar
On March 22 NAEGA finished out its week in New Orleans with a Contracts and Best Practices Seminar. In all 10 people attended the seminar to learn more about the NAEGA No. 2 Contract, get briefed on upcoming revisions to the contract, and learn important details about contract execution. NAEGA is planning a number of other contracts throughout 2017. Let us know if you are interested!