(Posted Fri. Mar 14th, 2014)

This week, representatives from 15 agribusinesses gathered with National Corn Growers Association leadership in Washington for NCGA’s Agri-Industry Council’s biannual meeting.  Over the course of two days, attendees received updates on key NCGA programs, heard from several outside speakers and discussed topics of special importance to the entire agricultural community right now, including a review of recent research on DC policymakers attitudes and opinions about agriculture and farmers. 


“The discussion in AIC meetings helps NCGA fulfill its mission of creating and maintaining opportunities for corn growers,” said NCGA Chairwoman and AIC Co-Chair Pam Johnson. “Only through sharing NCGA’s position throughout the industry will we make our voices loud enough to reach the best possible outcomes for growers as we face the challenging political landscape.”


Rebecca Naser of Hart Research Associates presented “DC Policymakers and Influencers Attitudes and Opinions about America’s Corn Farmers: Findings from the Focus Group Research.” The information for this presentation came from focus groups conducted recently by NCGA in order to develop relevant messages for use in this year’s Corn Farmers Coalition Campaign.


To learn more about CFC, click here.


One major topic of conversation was how many acres of corn U.S. farmers would plant this season and how price fluctuations would impact overall production. During a session, looking ahead at the 2014 crop year, NCGA Vice President of Production and Utilization Paul Bertels presented several possible trends and the probable outcomes should each be realized.

Following Bertels, NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett offered insight into implementation of the new Farm Bill in the coming months. Additionally, Doggett provided an overview of scenarios unfolding in Washington that could impact the ethanol industry.


Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) addressed the group on the final day, providing an insider’s perspective on the current climate in the Senate. Speaking candidly, the group warmly received his refreshingly honest insights.


While there, participants also had the opportunity to attend a joint reception and dinner that brought them together with a similar group organized by the American Soybean Association. The evening featured lively discussion of the many issues these groups face jointly as well as a speech given by political analyst Mark Shields. Shields authors a syndicated column and has frequently provided commentary for the program PBS News Hour.


The group will meet again in August.


NCGA’s AIC works to ensure stakeholders throughout the industry exchange information on key issues and work collectively to ensure fair and equitable policies that foster continued growth.  To learn more about NCGA, please visit