(Posted Mon. Aug 20th, 2012)

Aug. 20: National Corn Growers Association officers and senior staff recently gathered with representatives of 12 leading agribusinesses for the biannual NCGA Agri-Industry Council meeting to discuss vital issues facing agriculture, share information on their companies and sectors, hear from recognized speakers and learn from NCGA about its current initiatives.  The Agri-Industry Council was established in 2007 to facilitate dialogue between agribusinesses and NCGA to collectively address issues of mutual concern.


“Providing growers with cutting-edge technology and constantly improving seed varieties, U.S. agri-business works hard to improve farming,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “These meetings bring key leaders from across the value chain together so that we move forward with a better understanding of the big picture and can coordinate to build a brighter future.”


Over the course of the meeting, NCGA officers, staff and consultants provided updates on the legislative outlook in Washington, the impact of government regulations set to go into effect and on the current crop outlook. Doane Advisory Services Chief Economist Richard Pottorff spoke to the group, providing outside insight on the megatrends in U.S. agricultural production and resource allocation.


Additional featured speakers from outside of the agricultural community provided input and insight into how farmers can improve approaches to handling issues to come. Kevin Coyne, a well-known author and commentator whose work has appeared in Business Week, Harvard Business Review and Financial Times, addressed the group on how individuals and companies can develop breakthrough ideas, as well as other related strategy topics. Focusing on the ideas outlined in his most recent book, Brainsteering: A Better Approach to Breakthrough, Coyne helped the group understand how to hone strategy, cultivate organizational effectiveness and identify groundbreaking ideas.


Gary Herwick also offered the group deeper insight into the implications of 2017 and later fuel economy standards and greenhouse gas emissions regulations. President of Transportation Fuels Consulting, Herwick is an expert in vehicle emissions transportation fuel quality and alternative fuels. With his in-depth technical knowledge and understanding of the various economic and production implications of government regulations, Herwick walked attendees through the longer-term ramifications possible if government regulations go into effect on the current timeline.


The two-day meeting featured discussion on key issues impacting corn and the ag industry, such as the 2012 drought, the farm bill, the Renewable Fuels Standard and GMO labeling initiatives.