Action Team Discusses Trade and Tech

Kelly MarshallAg Group, NCGA, Policy

NCGA-Logo-3National Corn Grower’s Association‘s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team met in St. Louis this month.  During their meeting the team reviewed policy for NCGA, discussed the progress of current programs and heard about upcoming challenges from others in the industry.

Using their combined knowledge of agriculture the team made new recomendations for the Coarn Board to use when shaping new policy.  The Action Team assessed issues like supporting ag exports, refuge requirements, and communications across the value-chain.

“It can begin to feel like farmer leaders spend a large amount of time participating in meetings for a variety of agricultural groups during the winter months,” said Team Chair John Linder, a farmer from Ohio. “Yet, as I have become increasingly involved, I have come to deeply appreciate the breadth and scope of the myriad issues facing farmers today. By developing teams with specialization in major areas of opportunity and taking the time to analyze the issues in a critical, thorough manner, we are able to most effectively provide input on how, in our area, the Corn Board can shape NCGA policy and, subsequently, maximize the effectiveness of farmer-funded market development and production activities.”

The meeting, held in conjunction with meetings for the other five action teams and committees, allowed the growers to dig into the specific policies listed in the portion of the strategic plan corresponding with their team’s focus area. Carefully debating the implications of any proposed changes, team members worked diligently to carefully craft a precise, well-constructed document for presentation to the Corn Board and, eventually, Corn Congress.

In addition to Linder, team members include Vice Chair Don Duvall of Illinois, Corn Board Liaison Kevin Ross of Iowa, Mike Beard of Indiana, Chris Edgington of Iowa, Janna Fritz of Michigan, Robert Hemesath of Iowa, Wayne Humphreys of Iowa, Jon Miller of Ohio, Jim Raben of Illinois, Jay Reiners of Nebraska, Chad Wetzel of Texas, Tim Wiersma of Minnesota and Patrick Pfingsten of the Indiana Corn Growers Association. NCGA staff in attendance included Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Nathan Fields, Director of Public Policy Zach Kinne and Administrative Assistant Maggie Fogerty.