The DeLong Company is no stranger to helping build up an industry. With more than a century of success, it’s safe to say the family business understands the importance of reliable products, services and well-timed information.
To do those three things well, The DeLong Company is actively engaged with industry leaders, buyers and other ag organizations. Sometimes that means providing speakers at regional outreach events, promoting U.S. identity-preserved (IP) soy and grains or networking with global buyers. Among all those activities, DeLong has been a big supporter in the growth of the U.S. SOY Global Trade Exchange & Specialty Grains Conference, hosted each year by the U.S. Soybean Export Council and Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (formerly Midwest Shippers Association).
“USSEC and Midwest Shippers, now SSGA, do a great job bringing in groups from throughout the world for U.S. companies to meet and network with,” says Austin DeLong, who heads non-GMO soybean export sales for the company.
The DeLong Company has been a Gold Sponsor of the conference since the two groups started the joint conference in 2013 in Davenport, Iowa. DeLong says bringing together suppliers and buyers from the U.S. and abroad can be a more meaningful way to build business relationships.
“There is only so much you can do via a phone call or emails,” he says. “The conference brings a lot of people together in one location.”
He’s quick to point out that the conference isn’t just for exporters, but has something for everyone in the industry, from testing equipment, to logistics, to farmer producers and agriculture organizations.
“The locations have worked well the past few years as well,” DeLong says. “We’ve been able to bring trade teams visiting the conference to our facilities to show them firsthand our operations.”
SSGA Executive Director Eric Wenberg gives kudos to The DeLong Company’s commitment to the U.S. IP soya and grains industry.
“To have an industry leader step up year after year to support the conference, along with USSEC and SSGA, is amazing,” Wenberg says. “Commitment from the top has a way of trickling down and inspiring, and The DeLong Company’s commitment to the GTE and the industry does just that.”
DeLong says he takes a lot of pride knowing his family’s business, which spans more than 100 years, connects well globally.
“Often times when chatting with customers, it is interesting to find out so many are also family businesses, and that connection is pretty special.”