TEGMA Newsletter
April 2013
In This Issue
2013 Annual Meeting
Speaker Summaries
Class 1 Workforce
Prospective Plantings Report
Carload Freight Up
Joint Venture Announced
Thank You Sponsors
Southern Minn. Ethanol Plant May Be Sold 

An ethanol company says it may sell a plant it owns in Fairmont, in southern Minnesota. It's the latest indication of the ethanol industry's financial troubles.


Denver-based BioFuel Energy shut down the plant last September when high corn prices made the facility unprofitable. The drought last year caused corn costs to spike, and made it too expensive to produce ethanol.


"When those corn prices rise that takes a big chunk out of the profitability for the plants," said Paula Emberland with the Willmar-based consulting firm Christianson and Associates. "That's about 85-90 percent of the plant's overall expense."


BioFuel Energy also owns an ethanol plant in Nebraska. The company says it's exploring selling one or both facilities.

Source: RFA SmartBrief
Talks Break Down with Longshoremen

The first contract talks in three months between grain companies and the West Coast longshore union broke down Friday (March 22), and negotiators canceled a session they had planned for Saturday (March 23).


Representatives of three grain terminal operators declined to discuss an agreement the union recently reached with Temco, a competing company. The three companies -- United Grain Corp., Columbia Grain and Louis Dreyfus Commodities -- instead wanted union proposals based on a final contract offer they made in November.


To read more, CLICK HERE.

Source: The Oregonian
TEGMA Welcomes
New Member

TEGMA is pleased to welcome two new members so far in 2013.


Bunge North America

Active Member

Representative: Terry McDermott & Ryan Warner


Since the early 1900s, Bunge North America has been trading commodities for domestic use and for export to world markets. The business has grown and expanded into oilseed processing, edible oils and shortenings, and corn dry milling.  In addition to originating agricultural commodities, they make a wide range of products. From soybeans, canola and other oilseeds they produce shortenings and margarines, as well as salad and cooking oils for food processors and foodservice operators. They make protein meal for the animal feed industry. They also mill corn to create grits, meal and flour for cereal, snack food and pet food companies. 





Central States Enterprises

Active Member

Representative: John Skelley & Greg Roy


Headquartered in Heathrow, Florida, Central States Enterprises is a grain storage and marketing company. Central States has locations in LaOtto, New Haven and Montpelier, Indiana and Lake City, Florida. The company has relationships with feed operations, independent elevators, cooperatives, integrated poultry and swine producers and international consumers. 



Fall Transportation Symposium 2013

TEGMA's Annual Fall Transportation Symposium, will be held at the  Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri, September 12 & 13, 2013. 



Mark your calendars!


Keep updated by checking the Symposium's page on our website!

TEGMA Leadership




Todd McQueen

The Scoular Company 


First Vice Chairman

Mark Huston

Louis Dreyfus Commodities 


Second Vice Chairman

Brian Mehrmann

Gavilon Grain 



Board of Directors


David Ayers


Grain Inspection Depts


Bill Eilbracht

Union Pacific


Roger Fray

West Central Cooperative


Pete Goetzmann

ADM Grain Company


Barbara Haertling

BNSF Railway


Michael Keasling

CIT Group


J.L. (Joey) Meibergen III

W.B. Johnston Grain Co.


Ryan Pellett

JD Heiskell 





Bob Petersen



Erica Venancio


Director of Communications

Abigail Hiles


Contact Info


TEGMA Office

P.O. Box 26426

Kansas City, MO 64196


Tel: (816) 569-4020

Fax: (816) 221-8189


Issue: 2013.1
April 1, 2013
2013 TEGMA ANNUAL MEETING: Rain or shine!!
Despite an uncharacteristic rainy week in Arizona, TEGMA members and guests enjoyed a wonderful Annual Meeting on January 25-26, 2013, held for the first time at the Montelucia Resort and Spa in (sometimes) sunny Scottsdale. 

With over 110 attendees, the 2013 Annual Meeting looked to be one of the largest in TEGMA history. Meeting attendees enjoyed 6 speakers, a panel of past chairman, and a wonderful banquet presentation from former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Richard Myers. 

For pictures of the event, or to view speaker presentations, visit our website. Also, if you see pictures that you'd like a copy of, email Abigail (abigail.hiles@tegma.org) and she will send you a digital copy.

Next year the 2014 TEGMA Annual Meeting will once again be held at the Montelucia, but this time on January 24-25, 2014. Registration information will come out after the Fall Transportation Symposium in September. We look forward to having all of you back with us in Scottsdale.
2013 Speaker Summaries 


"Latest Practices in Grain Elevator Design"
Mr. Fry began his presentation with a look back at the very first grain elevator, in an effort to show attendees how far the industry has come in grain elevator design. River Consulting specializes in helping their clients build or modify a facility to do more, faster and more efficiently. Mr. Fry concentrated his presentation on a few of the latest pieces of technology they now incorporate in new projects, including their work with dust suppressors, and their take on shiploaders. However, Mr. Fry didn't only speak on the physical aspects of the elevators, he also focused on the change in elevator automation. From control rooms which were manually operated and required extensive training to the current easy-to-use, touch screen controls, Mr. Fry closed with the remark that elevator automation has come a long way in the last century.



"JBS: A World of Protein"

Over the past 15 years and 30 key acquisitions, JBS has become the world's top meat producer, asserted CEO Don Jackson. Mr. Jackson began his presentation by discussing past meat consumption in the U.S. and what meat consumption will look like in the next 20 years. Population growth paired with rising living standards will continue to drive consumption in the U.S. and abroad. Jackson then addressed the worldwide demand for feed, and how the current structure was based on a history of cheap and abundant corn with low volatility, and with that no longer being the case, it will affect meat prices globally. Jackson predicted a decline in cattle production through 2014 and for consumers to expect high beef prices. Jackson also addressed poultry, and discussed how ethanol forever changed the cost structure of chicken in the U.S. Jackson finished his presentation with his analysis of the hog market and explained how China's exports of pork helps the U.S. market. 


John Kraemer, Group VP, Ag Products, Norfolk Southern

"Norfolk Southern: One Line, Infinite Possibilities"

Norfolk Southern Group Vice President of Ag Products, John Kraemer, gave a Class 1 railroad non-member perspective at the Annual Meeting. Currently, Norfolk Southern covers 74% of the U.S. population with his very diverse and extended network. A surprise to most attendees was that 45% of the NS network is intermodal, covering a bulk of their business. Kraemer's expertise, however, lies in the Agricultural products group. With a widely diversified portfolio, NS proudly transports over 12 separate facets of agricultural products, including ethanol. Kraemer discussed the NS interest in ethanol, with a growing distribution network of over 70 terminals served on the east coast. 



Mark Stoppel, Managing Director, Sales & Logistics, AEP River Operations 

"Navigating Changing Tides"

For an outlook on river and barge operations, TEGMA welcomed Mark Stoppel of AEP River Operations. AEP River Operations, located in St. Louis, MO is a wholly owned subsidiary of AEP, one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S. AEP River Operation boasting 3200 hopper barges, 62 towboats, and 25 shuttle boats. Stoppel gave attendees an overview of river transportation in the U.S., which covers 12,000 miles of waterways and carries 600 million tons of freight. Stoppel also outlined current challenges to the river transportation industry, such as the recent weather extremes (2011 flood and 2012 drought), aging infrastructure and rising natural gas prices. Stoppel, however, sees opportunities for his industry in the future as waterways in the U.S. are the most efficient and most environmentally friendly mode of transportation


Mike Tannura, Meteorologist and Agricultural Economist, T-Storm Weather, LLC 

  "U.S. and South America Grain and Oilseed Weather Considerations for 2013"

To offer a meteorological perspective, TEGMA turned to Mike Tannura, of T-Storm Weather. Tannura gave attendees an overview of the current drought and stated that currently in the midwest we were over 24 inches short of average precipitation, and weren't likely to make it up. Tannura stated that from May - December 2012 was the driest period in 118 years in KS, NE, and OK. However, Tannura did leave meeting attendees with hope, saying that historically drought neither increases or decreases the odds for above or below trend corn and soybean yields.  


Stan Barnes, President/Founder, Copper State Consulting
"Political Prognostication Sure Ain't Baseball"

 Always a crowd favorite, Stan Barnes of Copper State Consulting made a triumphant return to the TEGMA annual meeting with his candid and fascinating take on the current political scene. After short remarks concerning what to expect in the coming presidential term with the re-election of President Obama, Barnes opened the room up for questions, fielding inquiries on who he expects to run in 2016, how he really feels about Hillary Clinton, and what will be on Congress' plates in the next few years.   


Panel Discussion - TEGMA: Past, Present & Future
To wrap up the final general session, TEGMA President Bob Petersen joined a panel of three past TEGMA chairman to discuss the history of TEGMA, how it became the successful organization it is now, and finished with a discussion of where TEGMA will be in the future. Panelists included Bruce Benschoter, Gavilon; Mike Mandl, Louis Dreyfus; and Eric Wilkey, Arizona Grain.

To view any of the speakers presentations, including Bob Petersen's TEGMA: A History, visit our website: www.tegma.org  
U.S. Class I workforce grew incrementally in February

Employment levels at the U.S. Class Is increased a skosh last month. As of mid-February, the large railroads employed 162,228 people, up 0.1 percent from January's level and 0.9 percent from February 2012's mark, according to Surface Transportation Board data.

Only two employment categories registered month-over-month declines: maintenance of equipment and stores, down 0.4 percent to 30,046, and executives, officials sand staff assistants, down 0.1 percent to 9,838. The size of U.S. Class Is' professional and administrative staff was relatively flat at 14,143, while their maintenance of way and structures force rose 0.6 percent to 36,268, transportation (train and engine) ranks inched up 0.1 percent to 65,135 and transportation (other than train and engine) workforce ratcheted up 0.1 percent to 6,798.

On a year-over-year basis, only the transportation (T&E) sector shrunk, decreasing 0.4 percent. The other categories posted the following gains: executives, officials and staff assistants, 3.5 percent; professional and administrative staff, 2.4 percent; maintenance of way and structures, 1.5 percent; maintenance of equipment and stores, 1.5 percent; and transportation (other than T&E), 1.3 percent.


Source: Progressive Railroading

USDA Prospective Plantings Report: Corn Planted Acreage Up Slightly From 2012; Soybean Acreage Down Slightly; All Wheat Acreage Up 1%
Corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2013, up slightly from last year and 6 percent higher than in 2011. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936 when an estimated 102 million acres were planted.


Soybean planted area for 2013 is estimated at 77.1 million acres, down slightly from last year but the fourth highest on record, if realized.

Compared with 2012, planted area is down across the Great Plains with the exception of North Dakota. Nebraska and Minnesota are expecting


 the largest declines compared with last year, while Illinois and North Dakota are expecting the largest increases.


All wheat planted area for 2013 is estimated at 56.4 million acres, up 1 percent from 2012. The 2013 winter wheat planted area, at 42.0 million acres, is 2 percent above last year and up slightly from the previous estimate.

To read more, CLICK HERE.
Source: GrainNet.Com
New streak? U.S. carload freight up again


U.S. freight carload traffic logged a second straight week of gains, albeit modest ones, measured against the comparable period in 2012, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday.


For the week ending March 23, 2013, U.S. freight carload volume was up 0.2% over the comparable week in 2012; it moved up 0.5% in the week ending March 16.


U.S. intermodal volume for the week continued on its own, much longer winning streak, up 1.4% from volume of one year ago.


AAR said four of the 10 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum products, the current freight star, up 57%. Commodities showing a decrease were led by grain, down 17.3%.


To read more, CLICK HERE.

Source: Railway Age
ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS Announce Agreement to Form Joint Venture 

ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS announced a definitive agreement to combine their North American flour milling businesses to form Ardent Mills, a new flour milling company that will serve customers in the baking and food industries. 

Ardent Mills will bring together two of the nation's leading and most
respected flour milling companies: ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, a
Cargill-CHS joint venture formed in 2002. The new company will take advantage of the combined assets, capabilities and experience of ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS to bring innovative flour and grain products, services and solutions to the marketplace. 

Ardent Mills' vision will be to help customers increase their growth and
profitability in an ever-changing marketplace. Its products will be backed by an extensive network of wheat sourcing capabilities and flour milling and bakery mix facilities across North America. The company will offer a unique set of services, including product development resources, technical and application support, supply chain management and commodity price risk management. Ardent Mills also will tap the market knowledge, transportation logistics, consumer insights, food ingredients and culinary expertise currently available through
ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS. 

Suppliers, including the many farmers and cooperatives that currently
provide wheat to the milling operations of ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, are expected to benefit from the additional sourcing opportunities provided by Ardent Mills' asset base, as well as from more opportunities to make value-adding connections to consumers. 

Thank You Sponsors!

Thank you to the following sponsors for their support of the 2013 TEGMA Annual Meeting:


Louis Dreyfus Commodities                   The Scoular Company
BNSF Railway                                       Gavilon

Union Pacific                                        Bartlett Grain
Champaign Danville Grain Inspection     CIT Rail
Farm Credit Services of America           North Dakota Grain Inspection
W.B. Johnston Grain                             NIK Marketing
Arizona Grain