(Posted Fri. Feb 10th, 2017)
Members of the National Corn Growers Association’s Freedom to Operate Action Team met in Tampa, Florida last week to review programs, budgets and policies associated with the association’s work in areas such as crop inputs, data and biotechnology. While there, the team 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.
“Over my years working with both NCGA and our Illinois state corn association, I have come to truly appreciate the breadth and scope of the multitude of issues facing farmers today,” said Team Chair Don Duvall, a farmer from Illinois. “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 activities to increase profitability.”
The team also delved deeply into the state of data rights, including grower access to data. Additionally, they explored the challenges facing farmers in terms of crop protection in a changing regulatory environment. 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 the Mosaic phosphate mining facility nearby.
In addition to Duvall, team members include Vice Chair Brandon Hunnicutt, Corn Board Liaison Chris Edgington, Deb Gangwish, Morris Heitman, Roger Maurer, Ronnie Mohr, Jim Raben, Bob Timmons, Chad Wetzel and affiliate state staff representative Shane Kinne of Missouri.