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Commodities of fuel and food the focus of Friday conference

Commodities of fuel and food the focus of Friday conference
The Messenger 10.10.07

Fuel and food. They are two commodities that affect most aspects of Americans’ lives and are the focus of the North American Marketing Expo (NAME) and Trade Conference, “Encouraging Trade for the FUTURE of Tennessee.”
NAME is sponsored by the University of Tennessee at Martin, in cooperation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The conference — set for 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday at Boling University Center — will focus on North American market linkages, supply and distribution networks, border logistics and commodity pricing trends, among other topics.
“Our Center for Global Studies and International Education is excited to cooperate with the U.S. Chamber for this conference,” said coordinator Andrew Brown, UT Martin assistant director for international initiatives. “From agri-business to small and medium business and industry, we want to promote international business growth in our state and region.”
Michael Kergin, former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Hector Marquez, Mexican Embassy Trade and NAFTA Office director, and Megan Provost, U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service special assistant, will serve as keynote speakers covering impacts and trends related to American agriculture and NAFTA.
Concurrent sessions for small- and medium-business enterprises, agriculture and agri-business operations will include various market experts from the U.S., Mexico and Canada. “Getting Your Product to Market: Solutions for Cross-Border Logistics,” will be led by Sean Finn, Canadian National Railway senior vice president/public affairs. Panelists include Maurice Owen, Cates Landing-Mississippi Riverport executive consultant; Ernie Valdez, Averitt Express international services director; Tom Kaden, Mallory/Alexander Logistics Operations vice president/Southwest and Canadian Border; and Ekrem Sarper, United States Coalition of Service Industries director.
“Ethanol and Its Impact on International Commodity Prices,” will be led by Dr. Jim Byford, UT Martin College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences dean. Panelists include Dr. Alberto Aguirre, University Agrarian Antonio Narro president emeritus; Megan Provost, USDA Foreign Agriculture Service special assistant; Bob Friesen, Canadian Federation of Agriculture president; and Dale Miller, USDA Foreign Agriculture Service Office of Outreach and Exporter Assistance director.
Dr. Tom Payne, chairholder of the UT Martin Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking, will serve as facilitator for the closing panel that will include David Spann, U.S. Export Assistance Center/Memphis director; Bob Bathgate, AMCHAM Canada president; Kyle Holmberg, Tennessee Department of Agriculture Biofuels Program coordinator; Dr. Jamie Frakes, Tennessee Small Business Development Center/Dyersburg director; and Gabe Pellathy, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service deputy director general.
The EXPO also will feature booths with representatives from international logistics, shipping, freight-forwarding, financial institutions and government export-assistance agencies.
Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor, will provide opening remarks. Dr. Paul Crapo, UT Martin Center for Global Studies and International Education director, and Leslie Schweitzer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Trade Roots Program director, will close the conference.
Registration for the conference is $50 and includes lunch. For registration and other information, visit or call Brown at (731) 881-1092.

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