(Posted Thu. Jan 3rd, 2013)

Jan. 3: The National Corn Growers Association’s Production and Stewardship Action Team focuses on a wide variety of issues impacting growers including: promoting scientifically-based domestic environmental policy, promoting locally led, voluntary stewardship, strengthening U.S. transportation infrastructure and supporting livestock as the largest market for U.S. corn. In each of these areas, 2013 will continue to bring exciting programs and reenergized efforts under the leadership of the 14 growers who, along with state and national staff assistance, keep a sharp eye on program efforts in these three areas.

Following the meetings, Off the Cob caught up with PSAT Chair Dean Taylor, a grower from Prairie City, Iowa, to see what his team discussed and what NCGA members can expect to see in 2013.

“One of the most important topics that we covered is the NCGA National Corn Yield contest, which recently released the 2012 results” said Taylor. “We see the contest as important to our future because it keeps national attention on innovation in corn, spotlights our best growers, fosters competition and helps growers outside of the traditional Corn Belt get involved in the association.”

In addition to traditionally important areas, such as the contest, Taylor sees issues which the team has dealt with for the past few years rising to greater national prominence.

“Farmers can expect to see increased public importance placed on water quality issues in 2013,” he said. “Facing differing approaches to water quality and to water quality analysis, PSAT is focusing on what we want down the road in regards to this issue and on what consumers expect. Right now, we are trying to pull together the scientific information needed to determine where we stand, where we need to go and what must be done to get there.”

“Another major issue getting kicked around in public discourse is that of sustainability,” he said. “I say kicked around specifically because everyone seems to have an opinion but no one can seem to clearly define what it means to me in a concrete way. PSAT is looking at what sustainability means while trying to get the scientific measurements that will allow proper assessment of our current practices and situations. We want to find what works, what doesn’t and provide a clearer picture of what needs to be done to get food on consumer’s dinner tables across the country.”

To listen to the full interview, click here.

In addition to Taylor, team members include Vice Chair Don Glenn, Corn Board Liaison Keith Alverson, Jim Burg, Ronnie Burleson, Dan Cole, Pat Feldpausch, Brent Hostetler, Jay Lynch, Ronnie Mohr, Bruce Peterson, Kyle Kirby, Lyle Pugh and Mark White. The Mycotoxin Task Force operates as a special team under PSAT and is chaired by Don Glenn. In addition to Glenn, task force members include Vice Chair Charles Ring, H. Grant Troop, Dan Cole and Mark White.

This story is the second in a series looking at the challenges and opportunities to be faced by NCGA’s action teams and committees in the months ahead.