(Posted Wed. Nov 25th, 2015)
Corn farmers from across the nation have been sending ears of corn to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in November, as part of a final push to remind the Obama Administration that the 2014-16 renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard will have significant implications for the 2016 elections.
“We are asking the Obama Administration: don’t write off rural America,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling of Maryland. “The Renewable Fuel Standard is good for our economy, our energy independence, and the environment. We have asked the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House to follow the statute and restore the 2014-16 corn ethanol volume.”
Over the past several weeks, corn farmers from Colorado to Maryland and Minnesota to Texas have been mailing tubes with either an ear of corn or corn kernels to the DSCC to highlight the importance of ethanol and the RFS to rural communities. State corn grower associations in Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin have also sent boxes of corn to Washington in hopes of capturing the Administration’s attention.
Jayne Dalton, a farmer from Endeavor, Wisconsin, and a political independent, said she wants President Obama to know what the Renewable Fuel Standard has meant to her family and her future.
“Ethanol has provided another outlet for my family to sell corn,” said Dalton. “My parents invested in our local ethanol plant in Wisconsin. The plant’s success, along with the profits from selling corn for ethanol production, helped my family to afford my college education.”
Dalton uses distillers’ grains, a byproduct of the ethanol production process, in her cattle operation.
“I have been using distillers grains in my cattle feed for a decade and have seen great results from this safe, local, and affordable food source. It’s really a win-win.”
Fellow Wisconsin farmer Bill Hoffman, also a political independent, stressed the importance of the RFS as a voting issue for him.
“I’m very interested in candidates who make decisions based on facts and science,” said Hoffman, who farms in Columbus, Wisconsin. “The facts are on the side of the Renewable Fuel Standard and ethanol. We have revitalized rural communities and reignited interest in farming among younger generations. Facts do not support the decisions the EPA and the Administration have been making. The RFS and ethanol will be a significant part of my decision in the 2016 election.”
Jeff Scates, a Democrat who farms in southern Illinois, wants President Obama to know the importance of ethanol to rural communities and his own farming operation.
“I’m a third-generation farmer, and my farm is still in business today because of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Scates. “Ethanol has played a huge role in creating good jobs in our community, and giving farmers a way to make a living. It’s hard for me to understand why the Obama Administration would back away from this. Are they caving to pressure from Big Oil? I will be making my 2016 voting decisions based on where candidates stand on ethanol and agriculture. I hope President Obama will listen to voters like me.”