Iowa Corn Growers Association farmer-leaders convened in Washington, D.C., this past week alongside other corn farmers from across the country to advocate for key ag issues and priorities as part of the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress annual meeting.
The Capitol Hill meetings focused on:
- passing the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA)
- stopping the abuse of small refinery waivers (SREs)
“It was another successful year at NCGA Corn Congress visiting and collaborating with all six members of the Iowa congressional delegation, as well as visits with congressional representatives from non-corn states on Capitol Hill,” says ICGA President Curt Mether, who farms in Harrison County in western Iowa. “We appreciate their time, as it is vital that all members of Congress understand the importance of American agriculture and the current hardships farmers are battling.”
Lobbying senators, reps
Mether joined other ICGA farmer-leaders in meetings with the Iowa congressional delegation including Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, and Rep. Cindy Axne, Abby Finkenauer, Steve King and Dave Loebsack.
The ICGA leaders discussed the need to work with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to maintain a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The ICGA leaders also proclaimed their continued opposition to the unjustified granting of SREs by EPA. In addition, ICGA members introduced the low-carbon octane standard to begin laying the groundwork for future ethanol blends.
“We appreciate the support of the entire Iowa congressional delegation for pushing back on the EPA for granting SREs. Most notably we appreciate Sens. Ernst and Grassley who continually support Iowa farmers during threats to the RFS,” Mether says.
Iowan next NCGA president
During Corn Congress, NCGA delegates re-elected Iowa farmer Chris Edgington from Mitchell County to the National Corn Growers Association board for a three-year term. Edgington will join NCGA directors Bruce Rohwer of O’Brien County and Kevin Ross of Pottawattamie County on the national corn board. Ross will serve as NCGA president for fiscal year 2020, beginning Oct. 1, 2019.
“Over the last several years, it has been my sincere pleasure to serve on the NCGA board representing corn farmers across the nation. Being re-elected I’m looking forward to the next three years,” says Edgington, who farms near St. Ansgar in northeast Iowa. “Corn farmers like myself continue to face many challenges. I’m pleased to be serving on the board to continue to fight for the corn industry and the future of U.S. agriculture.”
The NCGA corn board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations. Board members represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokesmen for NCGA and enhance the organization’s public standing on all organizational and policy issues.
Farmers elected to ICGA board
Also, recently announced were the results of the board of director elections for ICGA and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.
The farmers elected as ICGA directors will continue to bring grassroots policy issues forward and be the collective voice for nearly 7,500 Iowa corn-farmer members, lobbying on ag issues at state and federal level. The individuals recently elected are:
- District 1, Dean Meyer, Lyon County
- District 6, Lance Lillibridge, Benton County
- District 7, Adam Bierbaum, Cass County
- District 8, Steve Kuiper, Marion County
Meyer, Lillibridge and Kuiper were re-elected; Bierbaum is a newly elected member of the ICGA board of directors.
Since 1978, Iowa corn farmers have elected their peers to serve on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board to oversee the investment of funds generated by the Iowa corn checkoff. ICPB directors will continue to promote a thriving Iowa corn industry through research into new and value-added corn uses, domestic and foreign market development and providing education about corn and corn products. These individuals include:
- District 2, Jerry Maier, Wright County
- District 3, Derek Taylor, Winneshiek County
- District 5, Rod Pierce, Boone County
- District 7, Ralph Lents, Adair County
Maier, Taylor and Pierce are newly elected; Lents was re-elected. Both ICGA and ICPB are focused on creating opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. Elected directors will begin to serve on Sept. 1.