(Posted Wed. Feb 3rd, 2016)

Today, the National Corn Growers Association’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team wrapped up its spring meeting in Long Beach, Calif., where team members reviewed recommendations coming out of NCGA's Priority and Policy Conference held earlier in January and met with representatives from across the value chain to explore upcoming challenges and opportunities. 


Looking at a variety of issues, including goals set out in NCGA’s strategic plan can be achieved, the team used their in-depth knowledge of the subject matter to develop the nuanced, strategic suggestions needed to help the Corn Board guide NCGA policy effectively.


“During the winter months, it can begin to feel like farmer leaders spend a large amount of time participating in meetings for a variety of agricultural groups,” said Team Chair John Linder, a farmer from Ohio. “As my involvement has increased, I have come to even more fully appreciate the breadth and scope of the myriad issues facing farmers today.  By developing teams with specialization in major areas of opportunity and taking the time to analyze the issues in a critical, thorough manner, we are able to most effectively provide input on how, in our area, the Corn Board can shape NCGA policy and, subsequently, maximize the effectiveness of farmer-funded market development activities to increase demand.”


The team also delved deeply into a variety of areas certain to impact the future of corn farming through presentations and discussions with industry representatives.  Through these discussions, the farmers gained up-to-the-minute information that they will scrutinize and, as events unfold, incorporate into future recommendations.


Meetings included a tour of shipping facilities at the Port of Long Beach, where they took an up-close look at the logistics of trade.


In addition to Linder, team members include Vice Chair Don Duvall of Illinois, Corn Board Liaison Kevin Ross of Iowa, Mike Beard of Indiana, Chris Edgington of Iowa, Janna Fritz of Michigan, Robert Hemesath of Iowa, Wayne Humphreys of Iowa, Jon Miller of Ohio, Jim Raben of Illinois, Jay Reiners of Nebraska, Chad Wetzel of Texas, Tim Wiersma of Minnesota and Patrick Pfingsten of the Indiana Corn Growers Association. NCGA staff in attendance included Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Nathan Fields, Director of Public Policy Zach Kinne and Administrative Assistant Maggie Fogerty.