NEWS STORIES

AUGUST 2011

(Posted Wed. Aug 31st, 2011)

Aug. 31: The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance today announced that Monsanto is joining its movement to answer Americans' questions about how their food is raised. USFRA is a coalition of more than 50 national, regional and state agricultural groups, including the National Corn Growers Association, and their partners, committed to continuously improving how they grow and raise food that provides healthy choices for people everywhere.  NCGA President Bart Schott provided opening remarks at the conference announcing Monsanto's involvement with USFRA at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill. During his speech, Schott outlined the goals of the movement, announced the group’s first major series of events and welcomed Monsanto, and all agribusinesses affiliated with the coalition, to the movement.  Expressing the alliance's firm commitment to opening a dialogue on how food is grown and raised in America, Schott stated that the broad range of agricultural groups represented by USFRA...

(Posted Tue. Aug 30th, 2011)

Aug. 30: To aid any members still considering applying to serve on a National Corn Growers Association action team or committee in 2012, Off the Cob spoke with Growers Services Action Team Chair Brandon Hunnicutt about how he became involved with NCGA, what these positions entail and why he dedicates his time and effort to leadership.  “Initially, I was involved in Corn Congress as a delegate for my state, but I decided it was time to step up and put my name in to become a member of an action team,” said Hunnicutt. “Now, a year later, I am chairing my team.”  He went on to provide perspective on what he has gained through his efforts.  “Overall, it has been a great experience,” said Hunnicutt. “You get to meet some great people and, more importantly, you get to look at what we can do as an organization to get a good solid base of growers out there to represent corn well.”  Offering his perspective on involvement, he noted that, while the work is both important and rewarding,...

(Posted Tue. Aug 30th, 2011)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Aug. 30: The National Corn Growers Association held a news conference with Congressman Bobby Schilling (Rep.- Ill.) at the Farm Progress Show today n Decatur, Ill., highlighting preparations for the 2012 farm bill in light of the looming debt crisis. NCGA also focused on the top priorities for corn farmers regarding the need for a substantive safety net in today’s volatile economic environment.  “The Farm Progress Show is an awesome showcase of some of the best that American agriculture has to offer,” Congressman Bobby Schilling said. “As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, which will be tasked with writing a new farm bill, I highly value this opportunity to witness the advances in technology that farmers use to feed our country and the world.”  Expressing gratitude for the House member’s participation, NCGA leadership explained the importance of public-private partnership crop insurance programs and the role these tools play in ensuring a stable, abundant supply of...

(Posted Mon. Aug 29th, 2011)

Aug.29: With only days left, the National Corn Growers Association reminds members it is still seeking applications from those interested in working on an NCGA action team or committee in the 2012 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.  “As a grassroots organization, NCGA depends upon its members to step forward and play an active role in developing the policies that will guide our industry,” said NCGA First Vice President Garry Niemeyer. “This year, we have a broad array of opportunities that will allow members to take their involvement to the next level while exploring in great depth the areas which interest them the most.”  Positions are available on all teams and committees: Production and Stewardship Action Team, Research and Business Development Action Team, Public Policy Action Team, Grower Services...

(Posted Mon. Aug 29th, 2011)

Aug. 29: The National Corn Growers Association sends its collective prayers to farmers affected by Hurricane Irene this weekend, which devastated many farms along the East Coast just as harvest begins. With some growers experiencing more than 20 inches of rain in an extremely brief period, the storm highlights the unpredictable role that the weather plays on farms every day.  “We extend our heartfelt prayers to everyone affected,” said NCGA First Vice President Garry Niemeyer. “Over our lifetimes, farmers experience a vast array of difficult weather conditions. We pray that our fellow growers’ safety and that they are able to recover from this tragedy quickly. Despite such catastrophic conditions, we know that farmers will draw upon their innate resilience and strength of character to weather this storm and greet the next crop year with renewed dedication.”  Hurricane Irene affected several members of NCGA top leadership. Former Corn Board member Jamie Jamison, of Dickerson,...

(Posted Fri. Aug 26th, 2011)

Aug. 26: The summer may be winding down, but things are heating up for the National Corn Growers Association’s National Corn Yield Contest this August. While entries are still processing, preliminary reports indicate that members submitted approximately 8,300 valid entries forms this year. If this proves accurate, the 2010 contest would break the previous entry record set in 2010 with 7,125 entries.  While in its 47th year, participation in the contest has skyrocketed since 2007, when only 4,932 entries were submitted. Should entries exceed 8,300, the contest would have grown more than 68 percent in only five years and upheld its traditional status as the most popular program among members.  The contest, which bestows awards in a variety of categories and across a range of geographical areas, provides farmers with both a chance to compete and with a tool through which they can find the best ways to increase yields throughout their operations – thus increasing efficiency,...

(Posted Thu. Aug 25th, 2011)

Aug. 25: National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott yesterday presented on NCGA Initiatives in NASCAR, advocacy and policy to the American Coalition for Ethanol’s “Rooted in America: 24th Annual Ethanol Conference” in Des Moines, Iowa. During his presentation, Schott explained the incredible media attention that NCGA and its American Ethanol alliance partners, have drawn to both the importance and performance of this renewable, domestic biofuel.  Schott began with a brief overview of how the partnership was formed. In order to capitalize on the opportunity to reach NASCAR’s loyal fan base of more than 80 million, the groups formed American Ethanol and became an official NASCAR sponsor.  As part of its overall Green Initiative, NASCAR switched the fuel used in every car in all three series to the Sunoco Green E15 blend in 2011. The move to an ethanol blend created a natural opportunity to partner on an initiative highlighting both the sport’s dedication to a cleaner...

(Posted Wed. Aug 24th, 2011)

Aug. 24: While summer winds down, growers are ramping up their efforts to become the most effective leaders possible through the National Corn Growers Association’s Advanced Leadership Training Program, co-sponsored by Syngenta. Today, NCGA announced the second class, which will meet this September in Greensboro, N.C., to hone their leadership skills and prepare to lead the industry forward.  “As a graduate of the NCGA Leadership Academy, I understand the important role these programs play in developing the skill set required of an effective leader,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “This program develops the leadership NCGA needs to succeed in the future. We are grateful for Syngenta’s continued sponsorship of this key program."  During the nearly week-long course, a small group of active grower leaders will tackle tough leadership issues, such as organization design and behavior, troubleshooting, positive negotiations and advocacy communications.  The program, which provides...

(Posted Tue. Aug 23rd, 2011)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Aug. 23: As demand for corn and other crops continues to grow, farmers are meeting the challenge through the use of biotech crop varieties. Producing higher yields and alleviating stressors, the scientifically designed crops are growing in popularity the world over as farmers see firsthand their many advantages.  “Biotechnology has helped me produce more corn more consistently,” said South Dakota farmer Chad Blindauer, chair of the National Corn Growers Association’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. “It has helped me become a better farmer, a more efficient farmer, and I believe that is why we’ve seen biotech crops adopted at such a rapid rate not only here in the United States, but in a couple dozen countries around the world.”  In 2010, just 15 years after the first biotech crops were commercialized, farmers in 29 countries planted and produced biotech crops on 366 million acres, according to a report published earlier this year by the International Service for the...

(Posted Mon. Aug 22nd, 2011)

Aug. 22: National Corn Growers Association officers and senior staff recently gathered with representatives of 12 leading agribusinesses for the biannual NCGA Agri-Industry Council meeting to discuss vital issues facing agriculture, share information on their companies and sectors, hear from recognized speakers and learn from NCGA about its current initiatives. The Agri-Industry Council was established in 2007 to facilitate dialogue between agribusinesses and NCGA to collectively address issues of mutual concern.  “From improved seeds to modern machinery, U.S. agri-business works hard to improve farming,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “These meetings bring key leaders from across the industry together so that we move forward with a better understanding of the big picture and can coordinate to build a brighter future.”  Over the course of the meeting, attendees heard from government relations professionals and NCGA’s Washington staff on the current legislative environment and...

(Posted Fri. Aug 19th, 2011)

Aug. 19: Yesterday, the National Corn Growers Association’s 2011 Social Media Training Program hosted a webinar offering participants a comprehensive view of how to create an effective, successful blog. The program is generously supported by Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Business, and is the eighth of 12 free hour-long online learning sessions underway monthly through 2011.  “Each time we hold another webinar, I reaffirm my strong belief that social media can share our personal stories as farmers with a large audience, easily, and in a way that non-ag audiences relate to,” said Grower Services Action Team Chair Brandon Hunnicutt, a farmer in Nebraska very active in social media. “I look forward to reading blogs launched by our participants and seeing the real-world impacts of our program.”  As blogs have become a main source of news and information for people around the world, it is imperative that farmers use this tool to share their story with peers, consumers and decisions...

(Posted Thu. Aug 18th, 2011)

Aug. 18: Field Notes opened the farm gate this spring and provided followers with an inside look at the activities of several farmers from a variety of geographical areas. Today, this innovative series brings Chip Bowling from the shores of Maryland and Tom Martin from central Illinois together to share their perspectives on the crop condition in their respective areas and on the preparations underway for harvest.  While Martin finally got some rain that could have helped improve crop condition, it was accompanied by large hail, which is uncharacteristic for his area.  “While the hail was spotty and isolated, it hit about 30 to 40 percent of our acres,” said Martin. “There is about 40 percent damage on our soybeans. It is really hard to tell how much damage was done to our corn at this stage in the game, but we are more worried about grain quality if it did get down to some of the ears.”  With some corn in his area already mature and with moisture content steadily decreasing,...

(Posted Wed. Aug 17th, 2011)

Aug. 17: Following a successful campaign in June and July, the Corn Farmers Coalition announced it will extend its summer campaign to educate policy makers in Washington, DC. In its third year, CFC continues to bring messages to Capitol Hill about the U.S. family farmers who produce corn, our nation’s top crop. It is estimated that the total 2011 campaign will reach an extremely targeted audience with more than 40 million distinct impressions.  “This summer, we made amazing headway in bringing our messages about family farming and agriculture to our nation’s capital,” said National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott. “By bringing our campaign back in September, we will be able to reinforce this excellent work just as our federal legislators return from recess to create policies that will impact corn growers across the country.”  Corn farmers from 14 states and NCGA support the Corn Farmers Coalition program to introduce a foundation of facts seen as essential to...

(Posted Tue. Aug 16th, 2011)

Aug. 16: With more Americans growing up in urban and suburban areas, miles from farm life, there is an increasing disconnect between consumers and the people who grow their food. Last week, three Ohio farm women worked to reverse this trend by sharing their personal stories and experiences about farming and food at the state’s CommonGround launch event.  “The lack of knowledge about America’s agricultural system has caused confusion and distrust among people who are concerned about feeding their families safe, healthy food,” said volunteer and farmer Rachel Heimerl. “As a mother myself, I understand their concerns. We must rebuild confidence in our food system. To do that, we are working to show the commonalities between real farm families and consumers who benefit from all that farmers grow — to show there is, in fact, CommonGround.”  While it started as a national program, CommonGround is coordinated state-by-state. Ohio has now joined this movement and held a kickoff dinner...

(Posted Mon. Aug 15th, 2011)

Keywords: Trade

Aug. 15: Culminating years of U.S. Grains Council efforts, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has added corn gluten feed and distillers dried grains with solubles to its import feed ingredient subsidy list, creating a strong incentive for sales of these important ethanol coproducts.  The new list establishes a subsidy for 31 specified imported feed ingredients, which is to be passed down the supply chain to keep feed input costs low for producers and end-users. Ingredients not on the subsidy list have historically attracted little attention.  “The Council has ramped up its marketing activities tremendously in the past three years,” says Joe O’Brien, USGC regional director in the Middle East. “Saudi Arabia is a lucrative feed importing market that could quickly build its DDGS purchases to a half-million metric tons and could reach one million tons in time.”  He notes that Saudi Arabia has some of the largest dairy farms in the world, including several with 40,000 to 50,000 head and one...

(Posted Mon. Aug 15th, 2011)

Aug. 15: The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on an NCGA action team or committee in the 2012 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.  “As a grassroots organization, NCGA relies on its members to step forward and take an active role in developing the policies that will lead our industry forward,” said NCGA First Vice President Garry Niemeyer. “This year, we have opportunities in every area the organization touches that will allow members to take their involvement to the next level while exploring in great depth the areas which interest them the most.”  Positions are available on all teams and committees: Production and Stewardship Action Team, Research and Business Development Action Team, Public Policy Action Team, Grower Services Action Team,...

(Posted Fri. Aug 12th, 2011)

Keywords: Ethanol

A recent update to the Department of Energy’s Billion Ton Study, which was first conducted in 2005, reaffirms that America has the biomass resources needed to meet oil and other fossil fuel replacement goals outlined in the 2007 Energy Bill’s Renewable Fuel Standard 2.  For a full copy of the DOE analysis, click here.  Stating that there are sufficient biomass feedstocks to meet expanded renewable fuel standard, the study found that, given a $60 per dry ton price, biofuel feedstock could be plentiful enough to produce nearly 70 billion gallons per year of biofuels by 2022 and substantially more by 2030.  The study also specifically addresses corn stover levels, concluding that “corn stover, the largest single source of residue, was estimated between 170 and 256 million dry tons, depending upon yield and tillage assumptions.”  “Corn farmers have helped fuel America with domestically-produced, sustainable ethanol for decades now,” said National Corn Growers Association First...

(Posted Fri. Aug 12th, 2011)

Aug. 12: The National Corn Growers Association’s 2011 Social Media Training Program will feature a webinar next week that will offer a comprehensive view of how to create an effective, successful blog. The program is generously supported by Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Business, and is the eighth of 12 free hour-long online learning sessions underway monthly through 2011.  “Blogs have become a mainstream source of information over the past decade,” said Grower Services Action Team Chair Brandon Hunnicutt, a farmer in Nebraska very active in social media. “This webinar can help growers elevate their involvement by publishing a blog that shares the story of modern agriculture. Our critics have already mastered this medium; it is essential that farmers effectively use this tool in relaying our narrative.”  As blogs have become a main source of news and information for people around the world, it is imperative that farmers use this tool to share their story with peers, consumers and...

(Posted Thu. Aug 11th, 2011)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Aug. 11: One week after NCGA President Bart Schott sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlining concerns on the proposed guidance for operators of farm vehicles and off-road agricultural equipment, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released a statement saying no further regulations would be placed on the transport of agricultural products. Secretary LaHood also mentioned that more than 1,700 comments from agricultural organizations and members of Congress were received, with the majority requesting that states maintain their ability to preserve existing agricultural exemptions.  “We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy,” Secretary LaHood said in a statement. “Farmers deserve to know that reasonable, common sense exemptions will continue to be consistently available to agricultural operations across the country, and that’s why we released this guidance.”  Schott’s...

(Posted Thu. Aug 11th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

U.S. corn farmers are still on track to produce the third largest crop on record despite difficult growing conditions that have plagued much of the Corn Belt since planting according to USDA reports released today. Projected at 12.9 billion bushels, the total 2011 U.S. corn crop will only be 1.3 percent, or 177 million bushels, below the record set in 2009.  “This report confirms again that U.S. farmers continue to work hard to produce the most abundant, affordable crop possible,” said National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott. “While many of us have faced extreme drought or severe flooding, we have persevered and, through the use of improved technologies and practices, we will nearly reach the crop record set under more favorable conditions. It is important that the 98.5 percent of the population totally removed from agriculture understand that farmers, due to the triumphs of modern agriculture, can and will meet all demands for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”  The...

(Posted Wed. Aug 10th, 2011)

Keywords: Trade

Aug. 10: Today, Off the Cob spoke with National Corn Growers Association Director of Public Policy Sarah Gallo, who assists NCGA’s grower-led Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team, about the importance of free trade agreements to farmers and U.S. ag exports as a whole. In this interview, Gallo addressed pending FTAs with Colombia, Panama and Korea, as well as what farmers and their allies can do to promote passage over Congress’s August recess.  “Any free trade agreement, and particularly those currently pending, represents a market opportunity for corn growers,” said Gallo. “Free trade agreements reinforce our position as a reliable supplier and top producer and exporter of corn.”  Gallo went on to explain that the pending FTAs would better position the U.S. in potentially significant markets for ag products.  “As many know, the trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Korea have been around for roughly four to five years. Unfortunately, Congress was unable to vote on...

(Posted Wed. Aug 10th, 2011)

Keywords: Trade

Aug. 10: The National Corn Growers Association today expressed its disagreement with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission’s decision to raise the daily trading limit on corn. Under the CME Group plan approved by the U.S. futures regulator, the trading limit will rise from 30 cents per bushel to 40 cents per bushel, beginning August 22. NCGA believes that this will not aid price discovery and that, ultimately, growers will bear the cost.  “We believe that this rule change could negatively impact farmers by needlessly increasing market volatility and adding unnecessary risk,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “NCGA understands that both non-commercial traders and speculators play a valuable role in the futures market, but we also understand the importance of daily price limits, which serve as a check against irrational price runs.”  On May 11, NCGA sent a letter to CFTC opposing the proposed increase in daily trading limits. In this letter, it noted that CME failed to...

(Posted Tue. Aug 9th, 2011)

Keywords: Ethanol

Aug. 9: NASCAR drove ethanol into the spotlight again last weekend at the Iowa Speedway as Nationwide series drivers raced to victory powered by Sunoco Green E15, a 15 percent ethanol blend, during the U.S. Cellular 250 in Newton, Iowa, presented by Enlist Weed Control. American Ethanol and Iowa Corn took the spotlight during these festivities as Kenny Wallace’s No. 09 car featured unique artwork promoting the organizations.  “Kenny is passionate about racing and also about telling the American family farmer story,” said Dick Gallagher a farmer from Washington and chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. “Our sponsorship of American Ethanol and Kenny Wallace are key to showcasing the power and performance of ethanol to consumers.”  This was the second time this year that the Wallace car featured an ethanol-centric paint out.  Attendees enjoyed a broader array of ethanol-related activities on the midway including interactive exhibits explaining the science behind this...

(Posted Mon. Aug 8th, 2011)

Aug. 8: Because it is a grassroots-driven organization with growers comprising the board of directors and the larger body of policy delegates, the National Corn Growers Association offers a pair of programs aimed at helping members become leaders, passing along important skills in the area of communications, parliamentary procedure, public policy and even professional etiquette.  “Building a strong grassroots leadership is an important part of growing a respected and professional association,” NCGA President Bart Schott said. “Our grower leaders serve a great role as industry spokespersons and valuable thought-leaders, and we give them the opportunity to learn leadership and practice what they learned in several important ways.”  Last week in Minneapolis, 18 growers and a guest from South Africa came together for the first part of NCGA’s annual Leadership Academy, co-sponsored by Syngenta as part of its bigger Leadership At Its Best program. These growers will travel to...

(Posted Fri. Aug 5th, 2011)

Aug. 5: The National Corn Growers Association’s “Field Notes” podcast series this week visits with Maryland grower Chip Bowling, Kentucky grower Sam Hancock, Illinois grower Tom Martin and Minnesota grower DeVonna Zeug to get an on-the-ground assessment of the crop condition in comparison with the crop condition estimates released by the USDA in a report earlier this week.  Beginning in the east and heading westward, the farmers presented their views of the crop conditions personally witnessed over the past week. As the USDA does not include data on corn production in Maryland in this report, Bowling offered a glance into corn production on the Chesapeake Bay.  “We have seen many areas experiencing light, spotty rain in only small pockets,” said Bowling. “While more rain could help our soy crop, the corn crop is already matured beyond that stage. If I were to guess, I would estimate my farm will yield about 120 bushels per acre.”  In the south, Hancock agreed with the USDA’s...

(Posted Fri. Aug 5th, 2011)

Aug. 5: Today, National Corn Growers Association Past President Fred Yoder was inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Association Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed by the Ohio Agricultural Council. Yoder shared this prestigious honor with three other inductees also being recognized for committing their lives to working in, promoting and advocating for Ohio’s farm community.  “We congratulate Fred with a strong sense of appreciation for the tireless work he has done on behalf of corn growers both in his home state and across the country,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “His dedication to agriculture is evident, and his continuous efforts benefit our industry as a whole.”  Yoder, a resident of Plain City, Ohio, distinguished himself as a state and national leader in the corn industry. First a member of the Ohio Corn Growers Association Board, he served at the state level for 18 years, including two as the association’s president. Yoder also expanded his service to the national level...

(Posted Fri. Aug 5th, 2011)

Keywords: Livestock

Aug. 5: Economic conditions have improved for beef and dairy farmers since the implementation of the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007, according to a new study by Texas A&M University and Doane Advisory Services.  “For years, corn farmers have understood that we have the ability to supply both growing ethanol and livestock producers simultaneously without negatively impacting these valued customers,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “With advances in both seed and farming technology, we have increased our average yield substantially in the past few decades. This abundance allows us to meet increased demand, providing both feed and fuel that benefit our nation’s economic security.”  The study, which utilized Texas A&M University’s Agricultural & Food Policy Center’s premier farm-level modeling system and data from the University of Missouri’s Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute, determined that net cash farm incomes for representative beef-cow and dairy...

(Posted Thu. Aug 4th, 2011)

Aug. 4: Today, the National Corn Growers Association’s “Off the Cob” podcast series speaks with Dr. Jack Gardiner, the biologist selected to manage the NCGA-sponsored project developing software tools to be incorporated into the Maize Genetics and Genomics Database. In this position, Gardiner will work with software engineers and scientists to develop a tool that allows researchers to easily isolate and examine manageable data sets, thus decreasing the time and effort needed to utilize the massive amounts of genomic data on corn and produce results that will aid farmers.  “Not so long ago, when the National Corn Growers Association spearheaded the Maize Genome Sequencing initiative, a scientist spent 90 percent of his time conducting an experiment and 10 percent analyzing the results,” said Gardiner. “Now, due to the complexity of the data, scientists spend about 10 percent of their time generating information and the remaining 90 percent sifting through that data and trying to...

(Posted Wed. Aug 3rd, 2011)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Aug. 3:  The National Corn Growers Association this week submitted comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding proposed guidance for operators of farm vehicles and off-road agricultural equipment.  NCGA President Bart Schott identified several areas of concern that could impact growers, including whether grain being transported from the farm to the local elevator should defined as “interstate commerce.”  “When it comes to the shipment of agricultural commodities, in most cases corn growers do not know the eventual destination of their crop, its ultimate use and whether portions might leave the state after being mixed with grain from other farmers,” Schott said.  “If a broad definition of ‘interstate commerce’ is used, growers could be forced to obtain commercial drivers licenses for hauling their crop even short distances within state boundaries.”  Schott added that farmers transporting grain under a sharecrop agreement should not be treated as forhire...

(Posted Wed. Aug 3rd, 2011)

Keywords: Corn Sugar Farm Policy

Aug. 3: National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman today highlighted the ways in which the farm bill impacts U.S. corn growers as he addressed the 28th Annual International Sweetener Symposium in Stowe, Vt.  The program focused on overall farm policy while allowing attendees to explore related topics such as the U.S. and world supply and demand outlook and the effect of trade agreements on world sugar policies and U.S. commodity programs. Promoting an understanding of farm issues in the sweetener industry, Tolman covered several farm issues and recognized the importance of the sweetener industry and all of American agriculture working together.  “At NCGA, we recognize the importance of keeping stakeholders in all of our valued markets informed on the issues affecting our growers,” said Tolman. “We hope to work hand-in-hand with our sweetener industry partners to ensure that our farmers needs are recognized as key legislative or regulatory issues continue to arise.”  To...

(Posted Tue. Aug 2nd, 2011)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Aug. 2: The new White House Rural Council, established by President Obama this summer, is the first entity of its kind to focus on policy initiatives for rural Americans. The National Corn Growers Association hopes that it will help residents in rural areas to see improved programs and services that provide the maximum benefit possible, thus creating vibrant communities that will help attract the next generation of farmers back to farming communities.  “Today, most farmers operate near rural communities suffering from above-average poverty rates and decreasing populations,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “We applaud this effort to bring opportunities back to our communities and revitalize the rural areas that have contributed so much to our country’s heritage.”  As outlined in the Executive Order, the Secretary of Agriculture serves as chair of the council. Membership includes the heads of: the Department of the Treasury; the Department of Defense; the Department of Justice; the...

(Posted Tue. Aug 2nd, 2011)

Aug. 2: The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on an NCGA action team or committee in the 2012 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.  “As a grassroots organization, NCGA relies on its members to step forward and take an active role in developing the policies that will lead our industry forward,” said NCGA First Vice President Garry Niemeyer. “This year, we have opportunities in every area the organization touches that will allow members to take their involvement to the next level while exploring in great depth the areas which interest them the most.”  Positions are available on all teams and committees: Production and Stewardship Action Team, Research and Business Development Action Team, Public Policy Action Team, Grower Services Action Team,...

(Posted Mon. Aug 1st, 2011)

Aug. 1: Growers are gathering today in Minneapolis in anticipation of the first session of the National Corn Growers Association’s Leadership Academy, sponsored by Syngenta. Upon completion of the program in January, the participants will join more than 500 colleagues who have graduated from this program in the past 25 years.  At the meeting, participants will get up-close look at NCGA from President Bart Schott and First Vice President Garry Niemeyer, both of whom are Leadership Academy alumni. They will take part in media training and public speaking exercises as well as association management presentations. In addition, the class will look at the state of biotechnology and present challenges and opportunities for corn growers and enjoyed a comprehensive economic forecast from futurist Bob Treadway.  “As a Leadership Academy graduate, I have a deep appreciation for the expertise attendees develop in such a short time, and of the ability of Syngenta and other presenters to hone...

(Posted Mon. Aug 1st, 2011)

Aug. 1: At the U.S. Grains Council’s 51st Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in San Francisco last week, the Council delegate body elected its 2011/2012 leadership to serve on the Council’s Board of Directors.  “We congratulate the new officers of the U.S. Grains Council and look forward to working with them to increase export opportunities for U.S. corn farmers,” said National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott. “NCGA and the Council have historically enjoyed a productive, successful relationship, and these new officers will help us continue this legacy. Though our work together, we can help ensure the U.S. corn industry has the opportunity to fully utilize its ability to provide food, feed, fuel and fiber to a growing global population.”  The Council welcomed a new chairman, Wendell Shauman of the Illinois Corn Marking Board. Shauman and his wife, Janet, operate a corn and soybean farm in Western Illinois near the Mississippi River. Their farm operation also...