(Posted Mon. Apr 13th, 2015)
Last week, the National Corn Growers Association represented corn farmers’ interests during the Keystone Monarch Collaborative meeting held in St. Paul, Minn. This meeting brought together farm organizations, farmers, government agencies, monarch researchers, companies in the agricultural supply chain and conservation organizations to discuss the need for more collaboration and public private partnership on monarch recovery and conservation efforts.
During the meeting, participants shared information about existing efforts underway, including research and monitoring. After identifying areas for immediate engagement for those already taking active measures, the group explored the usefulness of a more comprehensive planning process.
“NCGA came to the table for these discussions to learn about the type of conservation efforts recommended for farmers to improve the health of monarch populations,” said NCGA Director of Public Policy Ethan Mathews. “While our proposed solutions to this issue may vary widely, we understand the importance of having a seat at the table and working on areas of mutual agreement to find the best outcome possible that takes farmers’ concerns into consideration.”
These discussions come on the heels of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services announcement it had opened a status review on monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act. The outcome of this action could potentially impact farmers by impairing their ability to use many common tools and practices. NCGA is working with a broad array of groups and with government officials currently to demonstrate this potential impact and to ensure only sound, well-verified science holds weight in the review process.