It’s always been a competitive market, but today in a volatile environment when margins are razor thin, it’s more important than ever to look at your business play book and seek out new strategies. New ways to squeeze out more profit. New suppliers you can rely on. New ways to maximize production. And new ways to win at business.

In their study of 30 emerging business leaders, Herminia Ibarra of the London Business School and Mark Lee Hunter of INSEAD, found that most leaders underutilized what is known as “strategic networking,” of which the purpose is first to figure out future priorities and challenges, and then to get stakeholder support for them.

“Strategic networking puts the tools of networking in the service of business goals,” Ibarra wrote in an article of the Harvard Business Review. “At this level, a manager creates the kind of network that will help uncover and capitalize on new opportunities for the company. The ability to move to this level of networking turns out to be a key test of leadership.”

As registration opens for the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange & Specialty Grains Conference (GTE), let this be your opportunity to step back, network and evaluate the landscape today and what analysts forecast is ahead.

Hosted by the U.S. Soybean Export Council and the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance and funded in part by U.S. soybean farmers and their checkoff, this meeting provides opportunities for international buyers to connect with value chain experts and U.S. exporters to build relationships and conduct business.

As an attendee, you’ll hear the latest on the supply and demand landscape, global supply chain trends, sustainability, innovations in food, new tools to maximize value, and much more. Participants will be able to hear from some of the world’s foremost soybean thought leaders, ask questions and download collateral material. Besides presentations, the ninth annual GTE will include farm tours, panel discussions, business networking sessions with U.S. ag stakeholders and suppliers, and more.

Last year, as COVID-19 put restraints on travel and in-person meetings, GTE went virtual. It was a huge success and helped business leaders from 69 countries create new connections! This year, GTE will be a hybrid event, designed to provide an interactive experience for those who attend. Whether you attend in-person or virtually, you can expect the energy and excitement of an in-person event with the interactivity and engagement of a virtual event.

GTE will be Aug. 24-26, and attendees can participate online or in-person in St. Louis, Missouri — a primary hub for U.S. agriculture, nestled where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers converge. The epicenter of ag sustainability, innovation, and agribusiness, St. Louis sits within about 805 kilometers of 50% of the United States’ production agriculture.

St. Louis truly is the Gateway to agriculture and U.S. Soy. We’re excited to bring the best and brightest of the Gateway City to attendees and share the spirit that drives our ingenuity, commitment and partnerships each and every day.

So, what are you waiting for? Make plans to take your business game to the next level and register today. The agenda and more information about the conference is available at

We look forward to seeing you there!