(Posted Mon. Jul 16th, 2012)
July 16: Corn farmers from across the country have gathered in Washington for a series of action team and committee meetings, Capitol Hill visits with lawmakers and the semi-annual Corn Congress, where grower-leaders from 28 states will elect five new members of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.
“While coming to our nation’s capital to meet with our representatives in the federal government is always exciting, our work here comes at a critical period as the House considers the farm bill,” NCGA President Garry Niemeyer said. “I look forward to a series of productive, engaging discussions that will help us develop a forward-facing, insightful policy that carries growers into the future.”
The week begins today with action team and committee meetings running through the day Tuesday. NCGA’s action teams and committees, small groups of growers charged with defining and implementing programs under their jurisdiction, work in a variety of subject areas to further the mission of NCGA in creating and increasing opportunities for corn growers. The major areas of focus include: ethanol; public policy; production and stewardship; trade policy and biotechnology; research and business development; and grower services.
On Wednesday morning, the Corn Congress holds its first session with a vote on the ratification of Martin Barbre of Illinois as first vice president for the 2013 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The Congress will also elect five new board members. Time is set aside on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning for Capitol Hill visits to senators, representatives and key staff.
“It’s great to be able to get in and spend time with the lawmakers and their staff so they can hear our voices and see how important these issues are to us,” Niemeyer said. “They always want to hear from the farmers personally and directly.”
Corn Congress reconvenes after lunch Thursday with reports from the chairs of the action teams and committees and farewell remarks from outgoing board members.