(Posted Tue. Jul 15th, 2014)
Action teams and committees charged with in-depth analysis and consideration of the topics most relevant to corn farmers met in Washington as the initial phase of a full week of meetings held by the National Corn Growers Association. These farmer-led teams discussed changing situations, and the possible ramifications of these changes, in areas including public policy, ethanol, biotechnology, government regulation, trade and grower services in anticipation of NCGA Corn Congress and visits to Capitol Hill scheduled later this week.
“NCGA’s action teams develop policies with a careful analysis of each situation while maintaining the grassroots approach vital to the association’s success,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “These small groups bring together grower-leaders from our various member states to develop a deep knowledge of specialized areas and collaborate on solutions that help NCGA create and increase opportunities and markets for our members.”
Many of the team meetings included presentations from special guests. In the Ethanol Committee meeting, staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality provided a valuable update on the regulatory issues facing the ethanol industry. Their insight helps team members understand the multifaceted situations legislators and Administration must take into consideration given the current legislative and regulatory environment.
Jeff Sandborn, chair of the Ethanol Committee, said the committee agenda is constructed with legislative visits in mind. Later in the week, growers will go to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators and staff.
“We want to prepare our grower leaders fully for the important visits they will make with their legislators on Wednesday and Thursday,” he said. “Right now, Congress faces rapidly evolving issues crucial to our members. The information and understanding coming out of these meetings will help each of our delegations make the strongest case possible for farmers.”
In the Public Policy Action Team, members discussed Farm Bill implementation with Farm Service Agency Assistant Deputy Administrator Craig Trimm.
Each team delved into its respective issues with a full slate of presentations from association and affiliated organization staff, industry experts and agribusiness representatives.
Action team and committee meetings conclude today, with Corn Congress convening early on Wednesday and running through Thursday. During this meeting, delegates will consider proposed policy changes and will elect leadership to the Corn Board for the 2015 fiscal year beginning October 1.