In The News

Jul 2021

Jul 30, 2021

NCGA: Passage of Bill to Fund Improvements on the Upper Mississippi River System Will Help Farmers

Key Issues:Transportation and Infrastructure

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would allocate millions of dollars in funding to improve the navigability of the Upper Mississippi River System, a vital national artery for the shipment of corn and other crops.   “Corn growers depend on the Mississippi River to deliver corn to key markets. When barges are delayed because of problems on the river, farmers are economically affected,” said Brooke Appleton, Vice President of Public Policy for the National Corn Growers Association. “That’s why we have worked closely with members of Congress to get funding for this project passed.” The House bill, which includes appropriations funding on other issues, provides $8.66 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Mission. From those funds, $22.5 million will go toward construction funding for the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP). NESP funding will be used to construct new locks on the river and help address efficiency issues with...

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Jul 29, 2021

EP. 22 - Transportation Energy Reality Check, with Fuels Institute Executive Director John Eichberger

Key Issues:Ethanol

Corn and ethanol still have an important role to play in fueling America’s transportation needs.   Between a couple of recent high-profile court cases and all the hype surrounding electric vehicles, stakeholders in the corn and ethanol industry are looking for a little reassurance right now.   But the reality of the transportation energy puzzle is a little more complex than what you’ve heard on the news.   So in this episode, we’re joined by John Eichberger, executive director of the Fuels Institute, for a reality check about the present and future of the transportation energy sector. Together with NCGA CEO Jon Doggett, he discusses the shifting makeup of the American transportation fleet, the hurdles to mass adoption that electric vehicles still face, the probable impact of recent court cases, and why ethanol remains the best option for decarbonizing American transportation today.         Direct Share Link   TRANSCRIPT   John Eichberger: There are very low carbon...

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Jul 26, 2021

NCGA Seeks Action Team, Committee Members, Leadership

Key Issues:Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on 2022 NCGA action teams, which begin Jan. 1, 2022. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping their industry’s future and becoming a part of the national agricultural leadership community.   The action teams specialize in important subject areas, including Ethanol; Market Development; Member & Consumer Engagement; Production Technology Access; Risk Management & Transportation; Stewardship; and Sustainable Ag Research. Positions are also available on Standing Committees, which include CornPAC and the Resolutions Committee.    Qualified applicants must be an NCGA member or prospective member and/or contribute to their state checkoff program, if applicable. Ideal candidates should have an interest or expertise in a particular area relevant to the team focus.   Action Teams represent a cross-section of corn production. The teams may utilize staff,...

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Jul 22, 2021

NCGA Attends Chicken Marketing Summit

Key Issues:Animal Agriculture

This week, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Market Development Manager Michael Granché attended the Chicken Marketing Summit, hosted by the National Chicken Council in Fernandina Beach, Fla.   Participants covered a wide array of topics spanning animal protein demand to trade outlook reports and from sustainable poultry production to a panel discussion on broiler welfare; all while defining opportunities for post-pandemic success.    “As more organizations and sectors within the agriculture industry continue to set their focus on developing sustainability goals, it becomes increasingly more important to cultivate and lean into partnerships, so that together we can tackle our sustainability goals successfully while feeding an exponentially growing population. It was great to meet with industry folks again in person and to help tell corn’s story,” said Granché.   Through this partnership, NCGA is promoting poultry product exports while reminding organizations that corn...

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Jul 21, 2021

Next Generation of Ag Professionals Gain Insights from Experience of Alums

Agriculture Future of America (AFA) held their Crop Science Institute virtually July 18 – July 20. On Monday evening, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Manager of Market Development Michael Granché joined the Career Roundtable representing jobs in associations, nonprofits and member services. Granché was joined by Ellen Zimmerman, Director of Industry Relations for U.S. Grains Council, and together they spoke to three rounds of college students from across the country, answering their questions, providing advice, and sharing their own agriculture story, including how they began working for associations.   “I was involved with AFA as a college student and was actually one of the first three students to attend AFA from Virginia Tech. The experience had such a huge impact on me and definitely helped shape me into who I am today. AFA has a great program, and they’re truly helping equip the next generation of leaders who will help solve the agriculture industry’s challenges...

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Jul 21, 2021

New NCGA Campaign Promotes Environmental Benefits of Ethanol in Washington D.C.

Key Issues:Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) launched a new campaign in Washington D.C., outlining the environmental benefits of corn ethanol that can be realized today. The digital campaign is made up of non-skippable video units on streaming services, video on local websites within Washington D.C. and social media marketing on Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, NCGA was the sole sponsor of the latest Agri-Pulse Podcast Deep Dive series on biofuels and sponsored content in Politico. All of these efforts explore not only the environmental benefits of ethanol, but the policy demand needed to ensure the industry is on a level playing field moving forward in the transportation and energy sectors.   “It is important for us to have a voice in our nation’s capital where decisions that impact how the ethanol industry operates are made,” said NCGA Ethanol Action Team (ETHAT) Chair and Iowa Farmer Mark Recker. “The timing of these communications efforts comes at a critical time for the...

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Jul 20, 2021

NCGA Expresses Opposition to Anti-Ethanol Legislation

Key Issues:EthanolFarm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association strongly opposes a bill that was introduced in the U.S. Senate today, referred to as the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” which would remove the implied conventional biofuel blending requirement from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), increasing harmful emissions and use of fossil fuels.   “This bill is ill conceived and would have a devastating impact on air quality, the diversity of our energy supply, fuel prices and rural economies,” said NCGA president John Linder. “Blending ethanol into the fuel supply is one of the most effective ways to lower carbon emissions to combat climate change and replace the most toxic components of gasoline.”   Today’s corn growers sustainably produce more corn on less land with fewer resources than when the RFS was enacted and are committed to further improvements in sustainability. These extraordinary results have been accomplished as food price inflation has decreased as ethanol production has...

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Jul 20, 2021

Bryan Goodman Joins NCGA as Director of Policy Communications

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased to announce that Bryan Goodman joined NCGA as the Director of Policy Communications on July 19. He will provide strategic communications counsel on NCGA policy priorities, work closely with reporters covering farm policy and implement communications tactics that will help advance NCGA’s advocacy priorities on Capitol Hill.   Bryan has spent years working on policy issues for some of Washington’s leading associations. At the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, he devised and implemented communications plans to shape public policy on a range of issues, including electric vehicles, trade and data privacy. At the American Chemistry Council, Bryan provided communications counsel to executives from some of the country’s leading chemical companies, while supporting the work of ACC’s federal and state lobbyists.   “Bryan’s experience will be incredibly valuable as we work with Congress on policy issues that are important to corn...

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Jul 19, 2021

NCERC Submits Two Grant Proposals to BETO, Expanding Use of Corn as an Industrial Feedstock

Key Issues:New Uses

The National Corn to Ethanol Research Center (NCERC), a partner of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), submitted two grant proposals to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) FY21 Bioenergy Technologies (BETO) Multi-Topic Funding Opportunity Announcement. Both proposals would expand the use of corn as an industrial feedstock. NCGA was integral in getting BETO to clarify corn grain as an acceptable feedstock, meaning that starch-derived sugars, specifically starches from field/feed corn, were clarified as acceptable.   The first proposal included NCERC as a Co-PI and was led by Marquis Energy. The purpose of this collaboration is to scale up a conversion method that utilizes corn as a feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel. The work being done at the intermediate scale will be performed at NCERC and brings together additional research centers, including the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and US Navy NAWCWD China Lake, to see through a solution that brings...

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Jul 14, 2021

NCGA Supports Legislation to Provide E15 Market Access Solution

Key Issues:Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) thanks bipartisan members of Congress in both the House and Senate for their continued support of corn growers and rural America through the introduction of legislation that would ensure higher blends of ethanol, specifically E15, are available in the marketplace year-round. Led by Representatives Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and co-chairs of the House Biofuels Caucus, 22 House members introduced H.R. 4410, the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act. In the Senate, Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), led introduction of the Consumer and Fuel Retailers Choice Act with 10 bipartisan cosponsors.   “Corn growers stand behind the many benefits of higher ethanol blends like E15 and support ensuring its continued access to the marketplace on the same terms as standard ten percent blends. E15 is lower in carbon, tailpipe and evaporative emissions, not to mention lower in price, so it’s no surprise oil companies have...

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Jul 14, 2021

NCGA Elects Five Members to Serve on Corn Board

  Delegates attending the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress, which was held today in New Orleans, La., elected five farmers to serve on the organization’s Corn Board.  Taking office on Oct. 1, the start of NCGA’s 2022 fiscal year, are new board members Randy DeSutter of Illinois, Bob Hemesath of Iowa and Dan Wesely of Nebraska. Current board members Deb Gangwish of Nebraska and Harold Wolle, Jr. of Minnesota were re-elected. Four were elected to three-year terms with Wesely elected to the one-year term left open by FY22 First Vice President-Elect Tom Haag of Minnesota.   “The many talented, well-qualified candidates who stepped forward are a testament to the work done by NCGA as well as the importance of our mission,” said NCGA Nominating Committee Chairman Kevin Ross. “All of the candidates already had established impressive track records of service to their fellow farmers.  As we welcome the FY22 Corn Board, I look forward to seeing the progress we will make...

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Jul 14, 2021

NCGA Recognizes Representative Bustos with President’s Award

  National Corn Growers Association John Linder today recognized Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-17) with NCGA’s 2021 President’s Award. The President’s Award is given annually at NCGA’s Corn Congress summer meeting to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn growers and agriculture.   “Congresswoman Bustos has worked tirelessly during her tenure in Congress to represent agriculture, rural America and corn farmers through her advocacy for low-carbon ethanol, support for inland waterway infrastructure essential for moving our crop to export markets and ensuring a role for rural areas when it comes to addressing climate change,” said Linder. “It is an honor to present Representative Bustos with this year’s NCGA President’s Award. We thank her for being an agriculture champion in Congress.   In a video to Corn Congress delegates and attendees, Bustos discussed her passion for agriculture, the environmental and economic benefits of corn ethanol and the...

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Jul 12, 2021

Gaylen Holloway Joins NCGA as Grassroots and Leadership Development Manager

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased to announce Gaylen Holloway joined NCGA as the Grassroots and Leadership Development Manager on July 5. Holloway will foster grower activism, execute grassroots advocacy campaigns, and oversee NCGA’s slate of leadership development programs.   Gaylen comes to NCGA from the University of Florida, where she worked as their Legislative Coordinator in the Office of State Government Relations in Tallahassee, Florida. Her responsibilities included directing the university’s formal advocacy network (Gator Advocates), advocating for the university’s interests in the Florida legislature, and developing legislative communications and engagement strategies.    “Gaylen’s background and experience in growing grassroots advocacy programs and training farmer leaders will be a real asset to our organization as we look to expand our footprint in this space,” said NCGA State and Industry Relations and Development Director Joe...

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Jul 8, 2021

Why Illinois’ Choice of a State Microbe Matters to the Nation’s Farmers

Key Issues:New Uses

The State of Illinois recently introduced legislation to name a state microbe—Penicillium ruben. This fungus, with its humble beginnings -- first isolated from a rotting cantaloupe at a Peoria, Illinois farmers market--has saved countless lives.   History tends to repeat itself.    Just as we have seen amazing advances in vaccine development this year, penicillin represented a sea change in human health and disease treatment. Prior to the widespread availability of penicillin, even a small cut could mean death or disfigurement. So, when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, it was clear that it could be an essential tool to save lives. However, it wasn’t until the 1940s that production was successfully scaled up to help the allies in WWII.   The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) lab in Peoria was the key to scaling up penicillin, and in doing so, saved millions of lives.  In addition to penicillin, the Peoria Lab has made several impressive advances,...

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Jul 7, 2021

Nourish the Future Brings STEM Synergy to St. Louis

Nourish the Future (NTF) had two St. Louis events happening in tandem during the week of June 21.  The first was a three-day Teacher Leader Conference that brought together the selected educators for NTF’s Community Class II. During that time, the group participated in peer teaching, curriculum writing and networking as well as an industry dinner at Jungermann Farms in Troy, Missouri, and a presentation and tour at the Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois.   “This opportunity allowed me to bolster my science knowledge and also make some amazing connections with educators I know I can call up,” said Bernadette Harwood, who teaches at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County in New York. Harwood is an Agriculture in the Classroom teacher, and her job is to push into the pre-K through 12th grade classroom to teach students the science behind the food we eat. Through her experience at the conference, she states that “I now have that knowledge to go home and say [to...

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Jul 6, 2021

NCGA Women and Mentors Program Holds First-Ever Conference

The National Corn Growers Association hosted the first-ever in-person meeting of the Women and Mentors program through the generous sponsorship of Bayer and Syngenta. The 15 attendees, who learn invaluable skills through this retreat to help them make an impact on not only the agricultural industry but also in their other endeavors as well.   Noteworthy industry leaders shared their personal leadership experiences and insights gained, including CEO of U.S. Dairy Export Council and former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden, Syngenta Industry Relations Manager Macie O’Shaughnessy and Bayer President of North America Crop Science Jackie Applegate.  Experts led professional development sessions on Quieting our Inner Critic and Making Mentorship Work for You with separate breakout groups for mentees and mentors.   The Women and Mentors Retreat allowed the attendees to network and be supported by other female industry leaders to inspire and empower them. This conference...

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Jul 2, 2021

NCGA Supports New Bill to Close Door on RFS Waiver Abuse

Key Issues:Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association thanks Representative Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa) and Angie Craig (D-Minn.) for introducing new legislation today to prevent future Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waiver abuse in response to last week’s Supreme Court decision, clarifying the intent of the law that small refineries must have received continuous RFS exemptions in order to have an exemption to extend.   “Corn growers thank Representatives Randy Feenstra and Angie Craig for taking the lead on helping close the door on RFS waiver abuse,” said National Corn Growers Association President John Linder. “With 70 waiver petitions pending, corn growers join Members of Congress in urging EPA to use the tools they do have from the Tenth Circuit Court decision and EPA’s stated support for the Court’s opinion to resolve those waivers and move forward with putting the RFS back on track with strong volume requirements.”   For more information on the new House SRE bill, click Read More

Jul 2, 2021

GROWTH ENERGY, RFA, NCGA DISAGREE WITH COURT DECISION TO REVERSE E15 YEAR-ROUND

Key Issues:Ethanol

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a 2019 rule by the Environmental Protection Agency that lifted outdated restrictions on the sale of a fifteen percent ethanol fuel blend (E15). The case, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, et al. vs. EPA, was a challenge by oil refiners to the rulemaking that allowed the year-round sale of E15. Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, and the National Corn Growers Association were intervenors on behalf of EPA in the case and issued a joint statement expressing disappointment in the court’s ruling:   “We disagree with the court’s decision to reject EPA’s move to expand the RVP waiver to include E15, a decision that could deprive American drivers of lower carbon options at the pump and would result in more carbon in the atmosphere.   “We are working to ensure the continuity of E15 sales through the 2021 summer season and beyond. This decision could impact summertime sales across all non-RFG areas where nearly two-thirds...

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Jul 1, 2021

NCGA Supports Biofuel Infrastructure Legislation

Key Issues:Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association thanks Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and bipartisan co-sponsors for the introduction of three new bills that would help expand the use of higher ethanol blends in the marketplace and thanks bipartisan House members for introducing and supporting similar legislation.     “The three pieces of legislation introduced by Senators Klobuchar, Ernst and Thune offer pathways to include biofuels in ongoing congressional discussions over an infrastructure package and clean energy incentives,” said NCGA Director of Public Policy and Renewable Fuels Kathy Bergren. “Ethanol’s low carbon and environmental benefits should be recognized and utilized in any infrastructure package. Getting higher blends of ethanol into the marketplace and more vehicles on the road that can use those higher blends further reduces greenhouse gas emissions, provides consumers more options, and gives farmers a stable market for their sustainable corn crop.”   The Biofuel...

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