Last week, members of National Corn Grower Association’s (NCGA) Corn Sustainability Advisory Group (CSAG) came together in Philadelphia. NCGA formed the CSAG in 2019 to proactively drive U.S. corn’s sustainability story and to build consumer trust and to grow competitive market demand. Eighteen months after its formation, in June 2021, members of the group—largely corn farmers from across the U.S.— launched the U.S. Corn Sustainability Goals and the first U.S. Corn Sustainability Report. CSAG members were involved at every step of the process and made all decisions, including setting U.S. corn’s 2030 environmental sustainability goals.
Since the launch of the report and goals, the advisory group has grown and now includes grower representatives from NCGA’s Ethanol, Market Development, Member & Consumer Engagement, Sustainable Ag Research and Stewardship Action Teams; 2 state staff and the 5 national staff leads for each of the four Action Teams; plus, an ex-officio member from the NCGA Corn Board, bringing the group to a total of 17 members.
With the environmental goals solidified and launched, CSAG came together to begin formulating the next steps for impacting positive, authentic change in the arenas of economic and social sustainability. FMC Corporation graciously hosted the advisory group at their corporate headquarters; the opening, given by their own Global Sustainability Director Rachel Greengas, outlined the approach and goals of their company vision: Greater than Green. Next in the agenda lineup, social sustainability panelists, Roxi Beck from The Center for Food Integrity, and John Fowler, professor at Oregon State University and chair of Maize Genetics Cooperation, Inc. Committee on Outreach, Diversity, Inclusion and Education (CODIE), offered up concrete ideas and examples surrounding social trust and relationship-building. To round out the day, Shelby Meyers from the American Farm Bureau Federation gave a comprehensive overview of environmental and economic sustainability progress being documented through Farmers for a Sustainable Future. CSAG spent the second day in open discussions and brainstorming paths forward to appropriate and achievable benchmarking, milestones and goals. The group will reconvene in the fall of 2022 to continue progress.
To learn more about NCGA’s commitment to environmental sustainability, visit Growing a More Sustainable Future.