SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Beginning Monday, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will host more than 20 international buyers from six different countries in an effort to increase export sales for the Illinois grain industry. Over the last five years, the Illinois Grain Tour has generated over $230 million in sales of grain, oilseeds, DDGS, and equipment.
“The export of Illinois grain is vital to the growth of our industry,” said Agriculture Director Raymond Poe. “Nearly half of the corn and soybeans produced in our state are exported, resulting in billions in direct sales annually. The Illinois Grain tour gives the Department the opportunity to showcase world-class facilities located right here in Illinois to foreign investors.”
Participants begin the tour by meeting with representatives from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The tour will also make stops at:
• Melvin Place Lock and Damn, Alton
o Every year millions of tons of commodities pass through the Melvin Price Lock and Dam. This is the first replacement structure on the Upper Mississippi River nine-foot navigation project. Construction of the Locks and Dam began in 1978 and was completed in 1994. The dam is 1,160 feet long with nine tainter gates, each 110-foot-wide by 42-feet-high. There are two lock chambers at Melvin Price. The main chamber is 1,200-feet-long by 110-feet-wide. The auxiliary chamber is 600-feet-long by 110-feet-wide.
• National Corn to Ethanol Research Center, SIU Edwardsville
o The National Corn to Ethanol Research Center is the only center of its kind in the world. Located 20 miles from downtown St. Louis in University Park on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Center supports a divers clientele, including industry clients, academia, government, technology providers, trade associations, and domestic and foreign ethanol producers. Services provided include third-party validation and commercial testing of products, technologies, concepts, and ideas.
• Lunch by Tim Seifert Farms, University of Illinois Farm
o Tim Seifert operates a 2,300-acre grain operation and is seen as leader in the community. Tim is a past District 9 Director for the Illinois Soybean Association, Auburn Township Trustee, District 6 Director for the Sangamon County Farm Bureau, and past District 10 Director for the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and member of the Industrial Committee.
• GSI, Assumption
o GSI is the world’s largest manufacturer of steel farm bins, commercial storage grain bins, and grain silos. In addition, they offer the most technologically advanced grain dryers in the industry and a large selection of material handling system including grain bin sweeps, spreaders, chain loop systems, and commercial bucket elevators and conveyors.
• ADM, Decatur
o Every day, the 30,000 people of Archer Daniels Midland Company turn crops into renewable products that meet the demands of a growing world. At more than 265 processing plants, they convert corn, oilseeds, wheat, and cocoa in products for food, animal feed, chemical, and energy uses. ADM is located in more than 75 countries.
• Dinner sponsored by Illinois Corn Marketing Board
o The Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) represent the interests of corn farmers in Illinois. ICGA works to constantly improve the business climate along with the regulatory and policy environments for corn production at the local, state, and national levels.
• Marquis Energy, Hennepin
o Marquis Energy, based in Hennepin, IL, began as a 100 million gallon Fagen-ICM ethanol facility in 2008. Drawing from a strong track record of growth, Marquis Energy completed its expansion in 2015. This expansion made it the largest dry-mill ethanol plan in the United States with a production capacity of about one-million gallon of fuel grade ethanol per day.
• Seedburo Equipment Co., Des Plains
o Seedburo Equipment Company is a leading manufacturer and distributor of handling, testing, inspection, and grading equipment for the grain, feed, and seed industries. Some of these products are the numerous Brass Grains Probes, Boerner Grain Divider and Precision Dividers, Count-A-Pak Seed Counters, Burrows Moisture Testers, SEEDBURO Computer Grain Scales, Ohaus Grading Scales, Official USDA Grading and Inspection Visual Reference images and Inspection Stations, SEEDBURO Germinators, Pollination bags, Paper toweling, Kimpack paper. They also handle the Capital Safety lanyards, harnesses, Lad Saf climbing systems and the personal Fall Protection equipment lines.
• CME – Traders Group, Chicago
o The world-renowned CME Group handles 3 billion contracts worth approximately $1 quadrillion annually. Buyers and sellers have the opportunity to come together with individuals, companies, and institutions that need to manage risk or accept risk in order to make a profit. CME Group provides access to many services such as the CME Globex electronic trading platform and CME Clearing, to those across the globe. They pride themselves on providing that global opportunity while working to eliminate third-party credit risk.
• Illinois Soybean Association, Chicago office
o The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents over 43,000 soybean farmers throughout the state and strives to provide them with the knowledge and tools to be some of the best producers in the world. This is done with the help of the state soybean checkoff program and legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts. The ISA is governed by a board of 24 volunteer directors/soybean farmers.
All participants of the Illinois Grain Tour are required to pay their own airfare and a participation fee prior to joining the tour.
Please note that any media outlet interested in covering the Illinois Grain Tour must first receive permission from the company/farm. Interviews can then be arranged and coordinated through representatives of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
— Illinois Department of Agriculture
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