NEWS STORIES

JANUARY 2019

Grower Leaders Hone Skills in Nation’s Capital

(Posted Thu. Jan 31st, 2019)

Corn farmers from across the country traveled to Washington this week to take part in the second phase of the annual leadership development programs co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and Syngenta. While in town, the group visited numerous congressional leaders and got an inside look at parliamentary procedure and how lobbying works on Capitol Hill.   “For three decades, the Leadership At Its Best program has played an important role in helping corn growers become leaders at the state and national level,” said Kevin Ross, NCGA’s current first vice president and a LAIB graduate himself. “In Washington, our farmer leaders saw firsthand how decisions made in our nation’s capital impact us all back on our farms. Using the skills developed here, these farmer leaders effective, compelling voices will concretely benefit NCGA and all its farmer members through their current and future endeavors.”   The Leadership At Its Best class received briefings on the issues...

NCGA Announces Winners of the Fields-Of-Corn Photo Contest 

(Posted Mon. Jan 28th, 2019)

It was a record-breaking year for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. More than 590 images were submitted for judging in the 2018 contest.   In total, 25 prizes were awarded, representing photographers from 16 states. This year’s grand prize photo was submitted by Ryan Kanode from Colorado with the photo titled “Golden.”   “Every year it gets harder and harder to judge the photos as the quality and quantity continues to grow,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “One of the things the judging committee loved about Ryan’s photo is that it represented part of the story of agriculture that we typically don’t see captured in photography. This photograph could have a variety of different meanings to it, depending on who is viewing it. For some, it signals the last load being delivered and the end of the season. For others, it could represent the beginning of harvest. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.”   “We continue to...

RFA & NCGA Co-Title Sponsorship of 2019 Crappie Masters Tournament Trail Begins This Week

(Posted Mon. Jan 28th, 2019)

Keywords: ethanol sponsorship Crappie Masters

The 2019 season of the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail begins later this week, with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) signed on as co-title sponsors for the third consecutive year. The first of 16 tournaments begins Friday, Feb. 1 in Deland, Fla., between Daytona and Orlando, at St. Johns River.   “Crappie Masters is pleased to again have the Renewable Fuels Association as a 2019 co-title sponsor of the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail,” said Crappie Masters President Mike Vallentine. “We have done significant education outreach to the boating community on the benefits of 10 percent ethanol blends (E10), and have helped push back on misinformation on higher blends like E15. Every Crappie Masters tournament winning team for the past four years has safely used E10 fuel with no reported engine issues. We plan to continue to help dispel the myths propagated by ethanol’s opponents, and support homegrown,...

(Posted Fri. Jan 25th, 2019)

Keywords: Trade

In a follow-up to its October 2018 meeting, five members of MAIZALL, the international maize alliance, were in Geneva this month to advocate for agricultural innovation with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo and five other WTO country representatives.   Rapid innovation in agriculture benefits farmers who can grow more and higher quality crops using fewer natural resources. But these same innovations push governments around the world to determine the best ways to regulate these modern practices, and the WTO helps determine whether these policies are fair. MAIZALL encourages countries to adopt science-based policies to prevent disruptions to trade.   “It is extremely important to show the Director-General that the farmer alliance that is MAIZALL believes innovation is important and we need to draw attention to innovation at the highest levels within the WTO,” said MAIZALL Board Member Chip Councell.   MAIZALL President Cesario Ramalho, MAIZALL...

(Posted Fri. Jan 25th, 2019)

Keywords: Trade

Today on Off the Cob, meet Lindsey Bowers, a Texas farmer who also works as a grain merchandiser and hedger near the southern border. From the storage situation in her part of Texas to the importance of the Mexico market to all U.S. corn farmers, she provides unique insights and a fresh perspective on American agriculture.   To listen, click here.

Don’t Miss Out! Consider Corn Challenge II Informational Webinar Next Week

(Posted Thu. Jan 24th, 2019)

Keywords: New Uses

Will you help the National Corn Growers Association find the untapped potential of corn? NCGA is holding the Consider Corn Challenge II and will be hosting an informational webinar January 28, 2019 at 11 a.m. EST. To register for the webinar, click here: 9sig.co/CCIIWebinar .   “The webinar is an opportunity for participants to hear directly from one of the previous Consider Corn Challenge winners, get more specifics about the contest and ask questions about the contest,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “We had a diverse set of applications last year and look forward to receiving more this year.”   “The goal of the contest is to identify and highlight new uses and markets for the U.S. corn crop,” McKay added. “Corn production continues to increase year over year, and corn farmers are able to do more with less. Corn is an affordable, sustainable and abundant feedstock for the bio-based chemical industry to use.”   Three to six winners will be selected for a...

Farmer Registrations for 2019 Commodity Classic Outpacing Past Two Years

(Posted Wed. Jan 23rd, 2019)

Farmer registrations for the 2019 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla. are trending well ahead of the past two years. As of January 23, farmer registrations were 17 percent ahead of the same period in 2018—and 23 percent ahead of 2017.     Commodity Classic will be held February 28 through March 2 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.   “We’re extremely pleased with the response and excitement being generated for the 2019 Commodity Classic,” said Wesley Spurlock, a Texas corn farmer and co-chair of the 2019 Commodity Classic. “In spite of a challenging farm economy, it’s clear that farmers see Commodity Classic as the can’t-miss event of the year where they can get the information they need to stay profitable regardless of market conditions.”   Those interested in attending Commodity Classic can avoid late registration fees by registering online by Thursday, January 28, 2019. To register and take advantage of hotel group rates before the deadline, visit...

(Posted Wed. Jan 23rd, 2019)

Keywords: Trade

NCGA is committed to helping corn producers weather this tough economy by creating market opportunities for U.S. corn, including expanding market access for our products around the globe. Exports of corn and corn products account for a third of corn farmers’ incomes.   To accomplish these goals, we work closely with our partners at the U.S. Grains Council. NCGA advocates for elimination of barriers to corn and corn products in the U.S trade policy agenda, passage of strong trade agreements by Congress and helps secure market development funds that USGC puts into action. USGC’s mission is clear - develop markets, enable trade and improve lives. USGC leaders, staff members, and consultants strive to be the most relevant, passionate and trusted ambassadors for free and fair trade between U.S. agriculture and our customers around the world.   The flow of goods, ideas, capital, and people are essential for prosperity, and for American competitiveness in the global economy. This is...

Commodity Classic Advance Registration Discount Ends January 28

(Posted Fri. Jan 18th, 2019)

Monday, January 28 is the last day to take advantage of the advance registration discount for Commodity Classic — America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.   The 2019 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, February 28 through Saturday, March 2 in Orlando, Fla. To register, reserve hotel rooms and sign up for email updates, visit CommodityClassic.com.  A complete schedule of events is also available on the website.   Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event, featuring a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.   Commodity Classic is presented annually by the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the...

Weak Farm Economy Not Hampering Drive to Healthier Soils

(Posted Thu. Jan 17th, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainability Conservation

This week’s Soil Health Summit 2019 with Soil Health Partnership was the largest ever—360 registered attendees made their way to St. Louis to learn and network. A diverse group including farmers, corporations, educators and environmental groups spent two days talking about soil health. The summit provided many takeaway messages and insights of interest. Here are just a few:   Enthusiasm for learning new sustainability practices and adopting new farm management tools to protect and improve soil is not being slowed by a prolonged downturn in the farm economy. Many farmers, landlords, and others are investing in the long game to assure more sustainable and profitable agriculture.   SHP outreach is building a diverse coalition of partners from farms all the way to consumers. The program and the network being created is growing rapidly.   The common interest of proving the latest farming techniques, building healthier soils, cleaner water while maintaining farmer...

Second Annual Soil Health Summit Awards Honor Best in Soil Health

(Posted Wed. Jan 16th, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainability Conservation

Five dedicated leaders in soil health received “Seeds of Change” awards at the 2019 Soil Health Partnership Summit, Jan. 15-16 in St. Louis. These awards highlight those participants in the Soil Health Partnership who go above and beyond to promote soil health throughout the year.    “The Soil Health Partnership’s strength has its roots in our committed and supportive partners—especially the farmers and agronomists who play an important role in our ability to support research-based practices,” said Dr. Shefali Mehta, executive director of the Soil Health Partnership. “These five individuals exemplify the very best of our dedicated partners, and we thank them for their great work.”   The five award recipients are:   Super Sprout: Brian Ryberg, Buffalo Lake, Minnesota. As a first-year member of the partnership, Ryberg has jumped right into active involvement with activities that included holding a field day. Ryberg values collaboration, according to SHP staff, and has worked...

Look Down, You Are Standing on Our Future

(Posted Tue. Jan 15th, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainability Conservation

How do we feed a growing population and meet additional, related demand from other sectors for crops (like corn) while also addressing farmers and consumers desire for continuous improvement, healthier soils and cleaner water? Enter the Soil Health Partnership.   Today and tomorrow, SHP is hosting a meeting with national significance called the Soil Health Summit 2019 in St. Louis, Mo.  SHP Executive Director Shefali Mehta says the diverse partnership is “a gathering of unlikely partners” that includes farmers, agronomists, environmental groups, and partners from throughout the value chain from the farm all the way to finished consumer products.   Mehta, notes a key thing that sets SHP apart is supporters moved beyond “just talking” quickly, and the “unlikely partners” rallied around their shared desire to help farmers improve soil health while maintaining and improving profitability. The result is a boots-on-the-ground effort that is turning farmers fields into a research...

NCGA Communications Shine at NAMA Region II Awards

(Posted Fri. Jan 11th, 2019)

Yesterday, the National Corn Growers Association and its CommonGround were recognized for excellence at the National Agri-Marketing Association’s Region II Awards Ceremony. NCGA’s World of Corn Publication, which is sponsored by Bayer, took the first-place award for Company Publications- Annual Report. CommonGround, one of the programs managed by NCGA’s Consumer Engagement Action Team, won the first-place award for Social Media Campaigns Directed to Consumers for its series of carpool moments videos.   See these videos by clicking here.   To see the World of Corn, click here.   “Consumers have many questions about how farmers and ranchers grow and raise food. It is understandable given their desire to raise healthy, happy families,’ said NCGA Consumer Engagement Action Team Chair Ted Mottaz. “Through programs such as CommonGround, NCGA works to bridge the gap from farm to plate so that families who buy the foods we raise can feel confident in their choices.   “When farmers...

Unique Soil Health Summit Launches in St. Louis This Week

(Posted Fri. Jan 11th, 2019)

It’s count-down time for the one-of-a-kind, Jan. 15-16, 2019 Soil Health Summit.  So, if you have an interest in improving soil for future generations, cleaner water and more profitable farming, you’ll definitely want to meet us in St. Louis at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch.   “Farmers, agronomists, environmental groups, consumer companies, Soil Health Partnership field staff and other partners,” will be attending so the networking opportunities are ripe for the picking,” said Nathan Fields, National Corn Growers Association’s vice president of production and sustainability. “No two fields are alike, so no two farm management plans are alike. But the people and information at this summit can definitely provide data and real-world examples to significantly accelerate farm planning to reach the next level of sustainability and profitability.”   And, for the first time, the Summit is also open to the public. The Summit fosters making soil health research relevant to operational...

NCGA Recognizes NAFTA Benefits

(Posted Thu. Jan 10th, 2019)

Keywords: Trade policy

NCGA is committed to creating new market opportunities for U.S. corn. This includes expanding market access for U.S. corn around the globe and securing our most important markets by injecting certainty back into our relationships with Mexico and Canada.   The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been an unequivocal success for American corn farmers. Since 1994, U.S. corn exports to these regional partners have increased 300 percent and Mexico is now the top export destination for U.S. corn.   Corn exports to Mexico were up nearly 13 percent for 2017/2018 from the previous year, reaching a record high of 15.7 million tons or 618 million bushels.   In 2016 alone, more than 17.3 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $3.2 billion. These exports produced $4.1 billion in economic activity as well as supported 25,000 jobs and 300,000 farms.   Now, as Congress looks to consider the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement,...

Download Now! The NCGA app has resources for you.

(Posted Tue. Jan 8th, 2019)

Keywords: grassroots

Now is a great time to download the NCGA app. From either the Apple App Store or the Google Play store, search for “NCGA Action” to download our free app. Alternatively, you can find download instructions on our website, http://ncga.com/app.   While our app has many key features, we want to highlight three that you might find extremely useful.   One, you can find out more about your new legislators or find out the committee assignments of your representative and senators. Click on the “Legislative Resources” to browse for your state and federal legislators. You can either browse by state, enter your address or by standing in your front yard and click the “Use my location” button.   Two, by clicking the “National Issues” button, you can find talking points on key policies affecting corn growers. You’ll always be prepared for that meeting, interview or coffee shop discussion.   Three, sometimes it is necessary to tell our legislators how we feel about an issue. You...

Commodity Classic Early Registration Discount Ends January 10

(Posted Mon. Jan 7th, 2019)

Thursday, January 10th is the deadline for the early registration discount for Commodity Classic—America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.   The 2019 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, February 28 through Saturday, March 2 in Orlando, Fla. To register, reserve hotel rooms and sign up for email updates, visit CommodityClassic.com.  A complete schedule of events is also available on the website.   Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event, featuring a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.   To learn more, click here.

NCGA Recognizes Senator Pat Roberts

(Posted Fri. Jan 4th, 2019)

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, today announced his decision not to seek reelection in 2020. Roberts was first elected to Kansas’s First Congressional District in 1980 before his election to the U.S. Senate in 1996.   Roberts has been an outspoken advocate for farmers and agriculture. He is the first member of Congress in history to have chaired both the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee. He has also served as the ranking member of each committee.    “Senator Roberts’ influence on agriculture, from his leadership roles on both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, is unmatched,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett. “He has been a steadfast advocate for farmers on a host of issues important to American agriculture. While we will miss his leadership in the Senate, we look forward to working with him during the 116th Congress and wish him and his family the best.”   "I can't think of a lawmaker who is more in touch...

NCGA Welcomes New Congress

(Posted Thu. Jan 3rd, 2019)

NCGA President Lynn Chrisp, First Vice President Kevin Ross, and Chairman Kevin Skunes were in Washington, D.C. this week for the swearing-in of the 116th Congress. The Leadership Team attended several Capitol Hill receptions to welcome both new and returning members of Congress and offer NCGA as a resource to lawmakers as issues of importance to corn growers arise in the new Congressional session.   “NCGA has strong relationships on Capitol Hill, but with so many new members of Congress, many of whom might not represent corn growers, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce NCGA. We were able to stress the importance of creating market opportunities for corn and lay the foundation for a good working relationship in the future,” said Chrisp.   The 116th Congress includes ten new Senators and 100 new Representatives.

(Posted Wed. Jan 2nd, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee reminds interested members that it is accepting applications for the 2020 Corn Board through January 11.  Through the Corn Board, members can become an integral part of the organization’s leadership.  Click here for the application, which provides complete information on requirements, responsibilities and deadlines.   “As a true grassroots organization, we rely upon farmers to volunteer to lead, helping to shape policy and drive efforts,” said NCGA Chairman and Nominating Committee Chair Kevin Skunes. “I have had the privilege of working with so many talented, dedicated volunteers who step forward to lead this organization during my years on the Corn Board. Their willingness to step forward as volunteer leaders plays a crucial role in building NCGA’s future successes. Serving on the Corn Board empowers farmers to play a proactive role in determining the collective future of our industry.”   The NCGA Corn Board...