WASHINGTON--The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and Growth Energy encourage U.S. suppliers of coarse grains and co-products, industry representatives and members of the grain trade to register now for Export Exchange 2018, scheduled for Oct. 22-24, 2018, in Minneapolis. Registration is available online via www.exportexchange.org. USGC, RFA, and Growth Energy members will be eligible for discounted pricing and should identify themselves as such at the time of registration. The biennial event, which is co-sponsored by the Council, RFA, and Growth Energy, is expected to bring together 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products, including distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), with approximately 300 U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives. "Export Exchange connects international grain buyers with U.S. suppliers," said Deb Keller, USGC chairman and farmer from Iowa. "We are excited to have export industry members join us, and so many of our customers in Minneapolis to learn the latest about U.S. exports and how to purchase." In addition to networking opportunities, the conference will have general sessions, which will address critical issues facing U.S. agricultural exports, offering the customers and sellers in attendance an increased awareness of the benefits of U.S. coarse grains and co-products, including DDGS. "DDGS and other co-products provide a value-added market for the U.S. ethanol industry, generating a record 41.4 million metric tons of distillers grains, gluten feed and gluten meal last year," said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. "DDGS exports alone were shipped to 50 countries on five continents last year, and is poised for further growth. The Export Exchange will help foster greater connections between producers and marketers of these co-products with customers around the world." Following Export Exchange 2016, buyers and end-users reported sales of approximately 2.6 million metric tons of grains and co-products worth $460 million traded either at the conference or immediately before or after. "Co-products like DDGS have become increasingly attractive to global markets for their high-quality, competitive price, and high protein content. Export Exchange is a chance to bring that product to key markets like Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, South Korea and many others," said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. "This event allows producers to promote the many benefits of DDGS to foreign markets and tell the story of how they are produced." More information will be distributed in the coming months to members of the grains industries and will be made available online at www.exportexchange.org or on social media using the hashtag #ExEx18. Those interested can sign up for a mailing list to automatically receive conference updates by emailing [email protected]. For more information about RFA, visit www.ethanolrfa.org. Please visit www.grains.org for more information about the Council. For more information about Growth Energy, visit www.growthenergy.org.