(Posted Fri. Jan 8th, 2016)

Members of the National Corn Growers Association’s Public Policy Action Team met in St. Louis recently to discuss progress in implementing the 2014 farm bill, as well as to hear updates on other federal programs affecting corn farmers. PPAT’s mission is to offer direction to NCGA in developing public policy issues. The action team is comprised of 16 farmers and staff from across the country.


Officials from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Risk Management Agency briefed team members on how the agencies collect farm production data, which are essential to the delivery of federal commodity and crop insurance programs. Dr. Carl Zulauf, who recently retired from The Ohio State University, also shared his analysis and perspectives on changes in the farm safety net and possible policy changes that corn growers may want to consider in the future. Zuluaf was one of the chief architects of the Agriculture Risk Coverage program adopted in the 2014 farm bill.


“The 2014 farm bill included major reforms, including ARC, a more market-based approach to risk management,” said PPAT chair Steve Ebke of Nebraska. “NCGA pushed for this crucial safety net, which kicks in only when needed. Many farmers are seeing that situation right now, with their gross revenue for corn at or below the cost of production.”


Additionally, PPAT members received updates on a variety of other topics, including the crop insurance program changes, federal tax reform, CornPAC and the NCGA strategic plan.


In addition to Ebke, team members include: Vice Chair Ken Hartman of Illinois; Corn Board Liaison Bruce Rohwer of Iowa; Jed Bower of Ohio; Ryan Buck of Minnesota; Sarah Delbecq of Indiana; Brandon Hunnicutt of Nebraska; Kyle Kirby of Missouri; Tom Mueller of Illinois; Doug Noem of South Dakota; Bruce Peterson of Minnesota; Joe Reed of Texas; Dean Taylor of Iowa; Jack Irvin of the Iowa Corn Growers Association; and NCGA staff Sam Willett and Steve Uram.