NEWS STORIES

JULY 2018

(Posted Tue. Jul 31st, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on an NCGA action team in the 2019 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.   “NCGA’s action teams and committees offer unique, specific opportunities to participate in all of the areas the organization touches. As a grassroots organization, we rely on members to take an active role in shaping the course of our activities, programs and policies to unify and lead our industry forward,” said NCGA First Vice President Lynn Chrisp. “I encourage all interested members to take their involvement to the next level while exploring in great depth the areas which interest them the most.”   The teams, which will be entering their third fiscal year in this format include: Corn Productivity and Quality; Consumer Engagement;...

Good Steward Aug. 6, Deadline Rapidly Approaching

(Posted Mon. Jul 30th, 2018)

Keywords: Sustainability

If you have a farmer friend, neighbor or family member who epitomizes the title “Good Steward” then please take a minute to consider nominating them for the National Corn Growers Association’s Good Steward Recognition Program before the 5 p.m. CDT, Aug. 6, 2018 deadline.   We’re looking for a farmer who always does their job with a keen eye on improving the productivity and sustainability of their farm for future generations so if you know one let’s make sure they get recognized.   This year anyone can nominate a candidate for recognition if they are a Corn Grower member. NCGA affiliate states and organizational partners may also submit the nomination(s). One recipient will be selected from a field of nominees submitted by NCGA state affiliates and other corn industry and organizational partners.     Nomination forms must be completed jointly by the nominating party and the nominee and will be processed through NCGA. Selection of the Good Steward Recognition will be made by...

Volunteers Come Together to Grow, Share Passion at CommonGround Connect Conference

(Posted Thu. Jul 26th, 2018)

Farm women volunteers involved in the CommonGround outreach program, along with state and national staff, met in Chicago, Ill., to share their experiences with the program and welcome new members earlier this week.  Over the course of two days, the participants worked intensively to gain insight in consumer questions and hone the skills that they use to share their personal story and that of modern farming with urban and suburban moms.   To begin the meeting, participants gained insight into urban and suburban moms’ concerns through a series of focus group panels. Taking this knowledge, they then participated in an interactive consumer journey mapping exercise that helped delve more deeply into the experience of their urban and suburban counterparts and, in doing so, how they can best meet these women where they are and when they are most interested.   Also incorporating social media training, a session specifically for new volunteers and state staff-specific discussion...

(Posted Wed. Jul 25th, 2018)

With only days remaining, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to register for NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest by the end of July.   To enter today using the online form, click here.    Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through July 31. All harvest forms will be due by November 16. Contest winners will be announced on December 17.   Two new rules will be implemented in 2018. First, a recheck of 1.2500 acres or more using the same harvest pattern in the rows next to the complete harvest is required if the first check yields 300.000 bushels per acre or higher. Secondly, all yields of 325.0000 bushels per acre or higher require the supervisor to contact NCGA to report the first yield as well as the recheck yield.   Two clarifications of note will be implemented in 2018. There will be two testing options for obtaining moisture percentage. Contestants may do so through a state-certified moisture tester at a grain handling facility. In this case...

(Posted Tue. Jul 24th, 2018)

Lygos, a biotechnology company based in Berkley, California, recently announced the closing of $15.5 million of Series B financing. Lygos was a winner of the first ever Consider Corn Challenge, an open innovation contest put on by the National Corn Growers Association.   “We are thrilled that one of our Consider Corn Challenge winners was able to receive this level of commitment and funding to move towards the path of commercialization for their Bio-MalonicTM acid (Bio-MA) product family,” said Feed Food and Industrial Action Team Chair Bruce Peterson. “This is a great success story of one of our winners and we look forward to following Lygos’ continued progress.”   Lygos was one of six inaugural Consider Corn Challenge winners announced in February 2018. The biotechnology company is focused on developing new bio-based chemicals.  Lygos’ technology can convert corn-based sugars into high value environmentally friendly products that compete directly with incumbent...

NCGA Statement on USDA Trade Aid

(Posted Tue. Jul 24th, 2018)

Keywords: trade USDA

North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), made the below statement following this afternoon’s USDA announcement of an aid package for farmers negatively impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty.   “NCGA appreciates the Administration’s recognition of the harm to producers caused by tariffs and trade uncertainty. The fine print will be important. We know the package won’t make farmers whole but look forward to working with USDA on the details and implementation of this plan.   “NCGA’s grower members are confronting their fifth consecutive year of declining farm incomes while facing high levels of uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes and disruptions in the ethanol markets. Corn farmers prefer to rely on markets, not an aid package, for their livelihoods.   “NCGA will continue to advocate for Administrative actions including: rescinding the section 232 and 301 tariffs; securing NAFTA’s future; entering new...

Commodity Classic, NCGA Bring Insight, Info to Ag PhD Field Day

(Posted Mon. Jul 23rd, 2018)

National Corn Growers Association Senior Director of Public Policy Sam Willett will bring his insight into the most important public policy issues facing farmers today to the Hefty Brothers’ Field Day in South Dakota this week. Additionally, American Soybean Association Directors Wade Cowan and Brad Doyle will represent Commodity Classic in the Classic booth to promote awareness and interest in trade show.   NCGA and ASA members alike are encouraged to register (via www.agphd.com) to attend this free event, held on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in South Dakota, near Sioux Falls. Brian Hefty and Darren Hefty, hosts of Ag PhD on radio and television, produce this popular annual Field Day. The event features plots and demos, educational sessions, corn and soybean yield champs from across the country. Farmers from throughout the U.S. are expected to attend.

NCGA Recognizes Senator Hoeven with President’s Award

(Posted Thu. Jul 19th, 2018)

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes today presented NCGA’s 2018 President’s Award to North Dakota Senator John Hoeven. The President’s Award is given annually at NCGA’s Corn Congress meeting in Washington to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn growers and agriculture.   “Senator Hoeven has been a long-time advocate for agriculture and our country’s corn growers,” Skunes said. “I have worked closely with him for many years now and am proud to present him with this well-deserved honor.”   Hoeven serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, playing a crucial role in crafting and passing a farm bill that provides farmers with the certainty they need to plan for the future, as well as new tools to manage risk with enhanced crop...

(Posted Wed. Jul 18th, 2018)

Delegates attending the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress in Washington this morning elected five farmers to serve on the organization’s Corn Board.  Taking office on Oct. 1, the start of NCGA’s 2019 fiscal year, are new board members Deb Gangwish of Nebraska, Dennis Maple of Indiana and Harold Wolle, Jr. of Minnesota. Current board members Bruce Rohwer of Iowa and Jeff Sandborn of Michigan were re-elected. Gangwish, Maple, Rohwer and Wolle were elected to three-year terms. Sandborn will serve the unexpired one-year term left open by Kevin Ross, NCGA’s first vice president elect for Fiscal Year 2019.   “NCGA had a remarkable slate of candidates for the Corn Board, with many growers who already have an impressive history of service to American agriculture,” NCGA Chairman Wesley Spurlock, who chairs the nominating committee, said. “It encourages me to see such an interest on the part of these growers, particularly at this time when our industry faces so many...

NCGA Calls on EPA to Account for Refinery Waivers

(Posted Wed. Jul 18th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol public policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today called for EPA to maintain a strong, equitable Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that follows Congressional intent and levels the playing field for America’s farmers by using the annual volume rule to repair the damage from extensive refinery exemptions.   Michigan farmer Russell Braun provided testimony on behalf of NCGA during an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on the agency’s proposed biofuel targets for 2019.   “With corn prices low, EPA’s decisions have a greater impact on my livelihood and other farmers’ as well.  We believe EPA should use the Renewable Fuel Standard volume rule to remedy the harm caused by the extensive retroactive exemptions given to refineries over the past year and ensure future exemptions are accounted for. These refinery exemptions decrease ethanol blending and reduce demand and profits for my corn crop. Every gallon of renewable fuel blending waived by EPA reduces the consumer benefits of...

(Posted Fri. Jul 13th, 2018)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   This week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms just outside of Lawrence, Kansas. As the crop hits mid-season, unfavorable weather conditions are adversely impacting his corn.   “It is pretty dry out here,” Neitzel explained. “It has been super hot the last few weeks. We have gotten a few showers that some of our neighbors haven’t gotten, but, overall, we are really dry. I am hopeful that we will catch a rain this weekend. If we don’t catch a shower, we are in pretty bad shape.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field...

Meet the FY19 Corn Board Candidates: Deb Gangwish

(Posted Wed. Jul 11th, 2018)

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2019 Corn Board.   Since her childhood, Deb Gangwish found a deep love for agriculture rooted in her experiences growing up on a farm. Having gained many experiences throughout her life in varied fields such as education and the military, as well as service on NCGA’s Action Teams and leadership training, she hopes to grow her service to her fellow farmers as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Gangwish decided to run for the Corn Board because when she thinks about growing corn without NCGA by her side, she sees a disaster. Knowing she sees NCGA as an integral advocate for the industry, she wants to serve and contribute. As a Corn Board member, she would strive to increase demand, be it through trade, ethanol, livestock or new uses, while also continuing NCGA’s proud tradition to act as an advocate for agriculture in the public sphere.   “I see NCGA as a highly-respected grassroots...

Meet the FY19 Corn Board Candidates: Dan Cole

(Posted Wed. Jul 11th, 2018)

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2019 Corn Board.   After more than a decade of involvement with the National Corn Growers Association, Dan Cole believes that the need for growers to stand up and be counted has never been greater. After serving on many teams led by fellow farmers for whom he has great respect, he hopes to grow his service also as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Cole decided to run for election to the Corn Board to help bring the diverse perspective he has gained over the years, both through the people that he has met and from his unique experience as a small farmer. A man who has truly never met a stranger, he focuses on developing a deep understanding of his fellow farmers’ situations and, through his ability to communicate, he brings a grassroots voice to board conversations while also working to foster unity and cooperation.   “NCGA’s greatest strength lies in its grassroots, federation...

Meet the FY19 Corn Board Candidates: Mike Lefever

(Posted Tue. Jul 10th, 2018)

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2019 Corn Board.   After seeing the contributions of the Corn Board to the industry as a whole, Mike Lefever grew a deep respect for the work that these grower leaders do and what they accomplish for the industry as a whole. After serving on the Nominating Committee and the Market Access Action Team, he hopes to grow his service as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Lefever decided to run for election to the Corn Board after his involvement with NCGA deepened his understanding of the importance of NCGA’s work to the well-being of the corn industry as a whole and the work it has done on his behalf over the years. As a Corn Board member, he would strive to be the eyes and ears of production, uses and world needs. An ambassador for the industry to both the government and the public, he would ensure that grassroots voices are taken into account in all of NCGA’s actions regardless of the size...

Meet the FY19 Corn Board Candidates: Dennis Maple

(Posted Tue. Jul 10th, 2018)

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2019 Corn Board.   Having worked with many types of boards, Dennis Maple gives his time, energy and leadership to find solutions for the good of the whole. Seeing the Corn Board as a melting pot of corn grower leaders coming together to help improve productivity, policy and profitability, he hopes to continue his service as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Maple would be honored to serve on the NCGA Corn Board, working with other men and women to promote the corn industry whether in the field with the local farmer or at the national level lobbying Congress.   “As a Corn Board member, I would work to promote the industry on local, state and national platforms,” said Maple. “Working with other board members, I would ensure that growers’ interests are the top priority. The Corn Board has had some great leaders that have set good examples of how to lead, and I would like an opportunity to...

Meet the FY19 Corn Board Candidates: Bruce Rohwer

(Posted Mon. Jul 9th, 2018)

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2019 Corn Board.   Bruce Rohwer has served his fellow farmers at both the state and national level, including as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board for one term. Now, he hopes to continue to do so and is running for a second term.   Rohwer is running for re-election to the Corn Board to continue playing an active role in advocating for the future of corn farmers across the country. As a Corn Board member, he would bring his personal experiences and his state’s perspective to discussions while focusing keenly upon developing policies and programs that are in the best interest of farmers at the national level. By developing this higher-level perspective, he believes that NCGA acts as a cohesive voice on the national stage and offers a strong, unified approach to meet the challenges of tomorrow.   “NCGA is unique in that it brings together corn farmers from across the country to create a...

Meet the FY19 Corn Board Candidates: Jeff Sandborn

(Posted Mon. Jul 9th, 2018)

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2019 Corn Board.   Jeff Sandborn has served his fellow farmers at both the state and national level, including as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board for one term. Now, he hopes to continue to do so and is running for a second term.   Sandborn would like to continue serving on the Corn Board so that he can play a role in improving the farming industry while building on the tradition of excellence the board has established in the past. He holds a particular passion for NCGA leadership because he strongly believes in the effectiveness and strength in the association’s grassroots process of decision making.   “I see one of NCGA’s greatest strengths as not in the budget but in the grassroots support that shapes its policy and direction at every level,” Sandborn has explained. “As a member of the Corn Board, I will ask the hard questions and speak up on behalf of those who may not be able to do...

Meet the FY19 Corn Board Candidates: Harold Wolle, Jr.

(Posted Mon. Jul 9th, 2018)

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2019 Corn Board.   Harold Wolle brings both academic knowledge of business administration and extensive leadership experience to his service of fellow farmers. Having already served as president of his state association and on the national level, he hopes to continue his work on the behalf of his industry as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Wolle hopes to serve on the Corn Board in order to be a responsible spokesperson for our nation’s corn farmers while helping supervise the association’s activities and financial affairs. As a Corn Board member, he would use his 40-plus years of leadership experience, along with his formal education in business administration, to advance NCGA’s strategic priorities.   “NCGA has the powerful voice and influence needed to impact national policy in order to attain the organization’s strategic priorities,” Wolle has explained. “As a member of the Corn...

NCGA Statement on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Resignation

(Posted Thu. Jul 5th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s resignation.   “It’s no secret corn farmers have been frustrated with Scott Pruitt’s ongoing actions over the past year that have seriously undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   “Even with this leadership change at the EPA, our priorities do not change. We will continue to push the EPA to stop granting unjustified RFS waivers. We expect the EPA to account for the more than 1.6 billion gallons the agency waived from 2016 and 2017 RFS obligations, and we will continue ask EPA to follow through on the president’s commitment to remove outdated regulations to allow higher blends of ethanol like E15 to be sold year-round. We are hopeful Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler will work with America’s corn farmers to give consumers more options at the pump to save them money and reduce...

(Posted Tue. Jul 3rd, 2018)

Keywords: biotechnology

The National Corn Growers Association today provided feedback to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service as the Agency finalizes the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The feedback, which came in the form of comments submitted directly by NCGA, comments submitted by a broader coalition of ag-focused organizations and a set jointly submitted by the entire Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, aims to help come to a final solution that is beneficial to consumers, farmers and food manufacturers, while preserving the original Congressional intent.   NCGA’s direct comments emphasized the association’s overriding concern that some of the options being considered could potentially harm U.S. agriculture and stifle American farming innovation. Above all else, the comments call upon AMS to ensure that the NBFDS is a marketing standard, not a health, safety or nutritional standard.    “Corn growers are striving to increase transparency in corn...

(Posted Tue. Jul 3rd, 2018)

Over the coming days, the National Corn Growers Association will release a series of articles featuring the candidates running for election to the FY19 NCGA Corn Board. To initially introduce these volunteer farmers, NCGA’s Off the Cob has created a series of podcasts discussing the most important topics, from what inspires such service to their goals for the organization, to help acquaint membership and others with these exceptional leaders.   Please, click on the names below to hear the candidate’s interview:   Dan Cole   Deb Gangwish   Mike Lefever   Dennis Maple   Bruce Rohwer   Jeff Sandborn   Harold Wolle   Please note, if you have a weak or spotty internet connection, double click on the vertical stack of three dots to the right of the speaker symbol at the center of the screen that appears when you click the link above. This will allow you to play the podcast in its entirety without interruption.   Also- stay tuned as NCGA will also feature detailed...

(Posted Mon. Jul 2nd, 2018)

Keywords: Sustainability

If you have a farmer friend, neighbor or family member who epitomizes the title “Good Steward” then please take a minute to consider nominating them for the National Corn Growers Association’s Good Steward Recognition Program. We’re looking for a farmer who always does their job with a keen eye on improving the productivity and sustainability of their farm for future generations.   Every profession has its early adopters that point the way for others, and National Corn Growers Association thinks these good stewards of the land are special people who deserve to be recognized. If you agree and know of a good candidate, nominations are due 5:00 p.m. CDT August 6, 2018.    This year any one can nominate a candidate for recognition as long as they are a Corn Grower member. NCGA affiliate states and organizational partners may also submit nomination(s). One recipient will be selected from a field of nominees submitted by NCGA state affiliates and other corn industry and...

(Posted Mon. Jul 2nd, 2018)

Representatives from farmers through the entire production chain met in Madison, Wis. last week for the bi-annual meeting of Field to Market, including representatives of the National Corn Growers Association.   Field to Market is a collaborative effort emphasizing the inclusion of diverse perspectives, a foundation of science- and outcomes-based approaches to sustainability, and a focus on commodity crops with recognition of their unique supply chains.   “We approved our 138th member company at this meeting and I think it’s indicative of the support to grow sustainability in our society,” said Keith Alverson, who serves on the board of NCGA and Field to Market.  “This represents 9% growth since last year at this time and we continue to host important discussions on supply chain sustainability from all ends of the supply chain spectrum.”   Alverson said, “NCGA has a clear role and mission of engagement at Field to Market of representing a grower voice and help inform others...