(Posted Mon. Jul 15th, 2013)
July 15: 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.
“Coming together in Washington right now provides us not only with an opportunity to work together in developing forward-facing, insightful policies for NCGA but also a chance to speak directly with our representation in the House and Senate at a critical moment,” NCGA President Pam Johnson said. “We are engaging in important conversations that will help guide the association at the same time we advocate for corn farmers on the Hill. Whether we are debating farm policy, ethanol issues or many others, we have a unique chance to take our message and push for action in real time. ”
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 Chip Bowling from Maryland as first vice president for the 2014 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 as having a physical presence, really putting a face and story with a name, truly impacts how they see policy playing out back home,” Johnson said. “They always want and need 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.