The 2016 Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) Annual Grassroots Summit took place this week in Cedar Rapids. ICGA renamed its annual meeting to the Grassroots Summit to emphasize its single purpose of setting the direction of the organization to support its mission of creating long-term profitability for Iowa’s corn farmers.
“The hard work that our members put forth and their involvement supports sound policy decisions that will continue to aid in the success of the corn industry,” said Iowa Corn Growers Association President Kurt Hora from Washington. “Our members are passionate about making a difference and cultivating a bright future for our industry and the generations to come. I cannot wait to see what we accomplish this next year.”
Delegates had the opportunity to review expiring policies and debate new resolutions. The Grassroots Summit is the year-end event in the policy development process. The process includes a member survey, roundtable discussions held across the state and the Grassroots Summit. Policies that are related to national issues are adopted and brought forth at the Commodity Classic meetings with National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).
The delegates deliberated on many important state issues impacting Iowa corn farmers including:
Securing long-term increased water quality funding to support Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy
Funding Iowa’s Biofuels Instructure Cost-Sharing Program
Supporting Iowa’s livestock industry and existing laws regulating livestock operations
Ensuring increased funding for ISU’s Experiment Station and long-term agricultural research
Obtaining Section 179 state coupling statute with the federal tax code
“This meeting reaffirmed that our highest priority is ethanol and our support of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) ensuring that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency follows the renewable volume obligation annual targets set by Congress,” said ICGA President Hora. “Environmental and water quality regulations and trade policy were also very clearly our top priorities. It was evident that our farmers believe in the continued investment in on farm conservation practices to protect Iowa’s water quality.”
Delegates weighed several key federal issues:
Defend against burdensome environmental regulations
Retain the RFS
Protect crop insurance funding
Expanding bilateral and multi-lateral trade agreements
Protect funding for Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD)
ICGA will release its top 2017 state and federal policy priorities in December based on grassroots input provided during the Summit.
ICGA members that were in attendance also had the pleasure of hearing from guest speakers such as Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett, State Representative Kraig Paulsen (District 67), Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and U.S. Congressman Rod Blum (District 1).
The complete 2016-2017 policy resolution book is available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 515-225-9242.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is an 8,000-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.