USGC adds overseas staff to boost global presence, grain sales

By U.S. Grains Council | November 02, 2017

The U.S. Grains Council is adding a new strategic director in Asia and assistant director in Southeast Asia as part of a global resource expansion meant to capture near-term demand for feed grain sales and build long-term demand for ethanol among global customers.

"Over the past year, the council's leadership has heard loud and clear that what our members want is new demand, and they are willing to invest in it by allowing us to hire high-quality people around the world," said Tom Sleight, council president and CEO. "Particularly as we have pivoted to promoting ethanol exports globally, we have focused on ensuring we have the right people in our overseas offices to do this work well and quickly."

Tim Tierney joined the council as director of strategic marketing/ethanol, North Asia, on Monday, filling a new role that seeks to capitalize on both longstanding relationships in the region and emerging opportunities for biofuels. Tierney will be based in Singapore.

Tierney came to the organization from Syngenta and DuPont, where he worked on products developed for the ethanol industry. Earlier in his career, he worked for the Council for more than 10 years as director in Japan, director of international operations based in Washington, and as a trade servicer.

Caleb Wurth will join the council's Southeast Asia regional office in Kuala Lumpur as assistant director in November.

Most recently with ADM, he has experience marketing corn and corn co-products to feedlots and working on containerized grain export logistics, both of which are particularly relevant to the region in which he will be working. As a student at Kansas State, he took part in a council- and FFA-sponsored I-CAL program to educate young leaders on international trade issues.

These additions complement other staff expansions over the last year that are meant to help find, develop and capture wholly new demand for corn, sorghum, barley, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol.

"We know that farmers need sales now to deal with the economic conditions they are facing. Demand supports prices, and we are in the business of both increasing sales over time and capturing purchases being made for this marketing year," Sleight said.

Many of the additional roles focus on ethanol, with consultants newly on board in Latin America, Canada, China and Mexico. The Council has added feed grain-focused consultants in Vietnam, the Arabian Gulf and Western Mexico. Assistant directorships in Mexico and Kuala Lumpur have been in place since late 2016.

This staffing-up process also included offering several existing staff promotions within the organization's global operations and filling positions that came open for consultants in Latin America and Egypt and staff in Tunis and China.

"A robust network of staff and consultants is what makes the Council so effective globally," Sleight said. "We are appreciative of the support and the confidence of our members, and we have our marching orders to find new sales wherever possible."