(Posted Tue. Mar 1st, 2016)
When corn farmers from around the country gather in New Orleans this week for the 21st annual Commodity Classic convention and trade show, it's not going to be just to enjoy much warmer weather than back on the farm - a series of important policy meetings are also taking place for members and leaders of the National Corn Growers Association.
"Commodity Classic gives us the opportunity not just to celebrate great work, meet with friends and learn about new products and services, it allows growers to get together in one place to shape policy for our organization," said NCGA President Chip Bowling. "This year, all eyes and ears will be focused on the importance of protecting the farm safety net and building profitable demand for our farmers when corn production is high and corn prices are low."
On Wednesday, growers will meet for an issues briefing and open forum, followed by caucuses at the state level, where they will discuss proposed resolutions and organizational priorities to come before NCGA at the two Corn Congress sessions, held Thursday morning and Saturday afternoon. With such topics as potential free trade agreements, ethanol market development and environmental regulations up for discussion, growers will have a lot to talk about this week. Growers will also have the chance to meet with candidates for the NCGA Corn Board for the 2017 fiscal year.
Also this week, growers are scheduled to hear from Val Docini, the administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, and Alexis Taylor, USDA acting under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services, at the Thursday Corn Congress session. And USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will speak before several thousand Classic attendees at the show's general session Friday morning.