This week, farmer leaders, state staff and National Corn Growers Association staff attended and participated in BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech in Des Moines, Iowa. Topics at the event ranged from sustainability, transforming chemical markets to biofuel market growth. NCGA staff participated in three different panels throughout the event.
To kick-off the week, NCGA announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II, holding a session where the winners were able to share with a large audience their technologies that will utilize field corn. NCGA Vice President of Market Development Jim Bauman moderated the session.
“Making the announcement at BIO was a great fit for our winners because they were able to participate in a number of one-on-one meetings with companies and researchers interested in learning more about their technology,” said Bauman. “It also allowed NCGA to talk about the various benefits of corn as an industrial feedstock with the various government agencies, investors and researchers who attended the session. Bio World Congress is the epicenter for what the Challenge aims to achieve.”
Vice President of Market Development Nathan Fields participated in a panel with Suzy Friedman of the Environmental Defense Fund and others to talk about how to advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
“We are a federation of our state organizations,” Fields told attendees. “Our environmental footprint in sustainability is something our states and national have been working on together for decades. While we are strongly active in this space, it’s an evolution of what our growers have been doing for decades. We want to continue to improve our sustainability efforts both environmentally and economically.”
Director of Market Development Sarah McKay headed a panel which included one of the original Consider Corn Challenge winners, Vertimass, on Ethanol as a Building Block for Renewable Biobased Fuels and Chemicals. “We are excited about the continued innovation in the ethanol industry,” McKay told the crowd. “Ethanol is positioned to recognize the value beyond fuel. We are excited about the tremendous potential for diverse corn-derived products within the bioeconomy. NCGA is continuing to work to connect the value chain stakeholders in order to help facilitate seamless technology rollout.”
Iowa Corn Growers Association’s Industrial Innovation Manager Alex Buck gave a technical presentation on the Plant-based MEG Process for Plastic and Apparel. There were 900 attendees from 40 countries representing the areas of business development, policy and advocacy, marketing and sales, investors, researchers and scientists as well as manufacturing and distribution.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.