(Posted Wed. Jul 15th, 2015)
National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling today presented the NCGA President’s Award to U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. This award is given annually to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn farmers and agriculture.
“Senator Heitkamp has been a champion for farmers during her time in Washington,” Bowling said. “She promotes policies that help to tear down trade barriers and open markets for U.S. farmers. Her recent support of Trade Promotion Authority was critical to getting that legislation across the finish line. She has also introduced legislation to help increase agricultural exports to Cuba.”
“Every day when I come to work in the Senate, I’m fighting for rural America – and that includes the corn growers across North Dakota and the country who work hard to provide food and fuel for our families and communities,” said Heitkamp. “Thank you for this award, which reinforces that the work I’m doing in Congress is having an impact. Whether it’s supporting our ethanol production, giving more certainty to farmers, or removing trade barriers to enable farmers to export their products, I’ll continue to make sure corn growers and all farmers have the tools and resources to do their jobs and feed the world.”
“Senator Heitkamp understands the importance of ethanol and biofuels to America’s economy, rural vitality, and energy independence,” said Bowling. “She has defended the Renewable Fuel Standard and called on the EPA to provide greater certainty to the biofuels industry. Last year, she brought the EPA Administrator to North Dakota to hear firsthand from farmers and biofuels producers about how the Agency’s proposal would hurt the industry.”
Heitkamp is the junior Senator from North Dakota and the state’s first elected female Senator. She sits on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on which she helped write, negotiate and pass the 2014 Farm Bill. Heitkamp has been a leader in pressing the EPA to set strong Renewable Volume Obligations for renewable fuels. She helped introduce bipartisan legislation to require the EPA to redo its proposed Waters of the U.S. rule, and to help support and improve the export of American agricultural commodities to Cuba. She previously served as North Dakota’s Attorney General and as State Tax Commissioner.
“In a country that is too often divided by red and blue, Senator Heitkamp’s desire to seek common ground and find common-sense solutions is refreshing,” said Bowling. “We’ve had the privilege to work closely with her during her time in Washington, and we look forward to continuing that relationship.”