(Posted Thu. Jul 10th, 2014)

Corn farmers from across the country are preparing to gather in Washington next week. Over four days, they will participate in a series of action team and committee meetings, Capitol Hill visits with lawmakers and the semi-annual Corn Congress, where grower-leaders from 28 states will elect five new members of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.


“Coming together in Washington at this critical moment provides not only an opportunity to work together in developing forward-facing, insightful policies for NCGA but also a chance to speak directly with our representation in the House and Senate,” NCGA President Martin Barbre said. “We will engage in important conversations that will help guide the association at the same time we will advocate for corn farmers on the Hill. Whether we are debating ethanol issues, federal regulations or many other issues, we will have a unique chance to take our message and push for action in real time. ”


The week begins Monday with action team and committee meetings running through the day Tuesday. NCGA’s action teams and committees, small groups of growers charged with defining and implementing programs under their jurisdiction, work in a variety of subject areas to further the mission of NCGA in creating and increasing opportunities for corn growers. The major areas of focus include: ethanol; public policy; production and stewardship; trade policy and biotechnology; research and business development; and grower services.


On Wednesday morning, the Corn Congress holds its first session with a vote on the ratification Rob Elliott from Illinois as first vice president for the 2015 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The Congress will also elect five new board members. Wednesday’s session will also feature reports from the chairs of the action teams and committees.


Time is set aside on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning for Capitol Hill visits to senators, representatives and key staff.


“We have heard time and time again that our federal legislators want and need to hear from the farmers personally and directly,” Barbre said. “These meetings provide a great opportunity to get in and spend time with the lawmakers and their staff. We are able to have a physical presence, putting a face and story with a name. These meetings truly impact how they see policy playing out back home.”


Corn Congress reconvenes after lunch Thursday with further policy discussions, presentations from federal legislators and regulators as well as farewell remarks from outgoing board members.