September 4, 2009

Japanese media team impressed with corn, farming practices

A team of journalists from Japan were in Nebraska this week, hosted by the Nebraska Corn Board as part of a U.S. Grains Council trade mission, the Nebraska Corn Board said in a news release today. Japan is a major buyer of U.S. corn, beef and other agriculture products.

For some members on the team, this trip to the United States was the first time they had ever seen corn growing in fields.

“The size and scope of agriculture in the Midwest is impressive if you’ve never seen it, while the technology and management practices used by farmers today demonstrates our commitment to the land,” said Alan Tiemann, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and a farmer from Seward.

The team visited Tiemann’s farm as part of the tour. (The picture above shows Tiemann, in a blue shirt, with two members of the team examining a combine. Click for a larger image.)

The team included reporters from three major Japanese newspapers, one major newswire and two industry newspapers. Two representatives from a consumer’s union group were also along.

“Team members were impressed by the high quality of Nebraska corn and the farmers’ use of agronomics and biotechnology to produce an abundant crop more efficiently,” said Tommy Hamamoto, the U.S. Grains Council’s director in Japan, who accompanied the group. “Journalists on the tour have a better understanding as to how U.S. corn is produced and used, which will help them better explain the U.S. grain system in fact-based news articles back home.”

The stop in Nebraska was part of a longer mission organized by the Grains Council to provide a forum for team members to learn about the benefits of biotechnology, the U.S. infrastructure for grain distribution and the lifestyle of U.S. farm families. Additional stops were made in Missouri and Washington, D.C.

While in Nebraska, the group visited Darr Feedlot in Cozad, Tiemann’s farm in Seward, the Monsanto Water Utilization Learning Center in Gothenberg, Advanced BioEnergy in Fairmont, Bunge Milling in Crete and the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

The picture to the left (click for a larger image) shows some team members examining a ration containing corn and distillers grains at Darr Feedlot.

The feed, held by Darr Feedlot's John Schroeder, will be fed to cattle that will be processed and shipped to Japan.

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