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Iowa Corn Farmer Leaders Set Policy, Attend Meetings at Commodity Classic in New Orleans

March 8, 2016

Iowa Corn farmer-leaders headed to New Orleans, Louisiana this past week to take part in the 2016 Commodity Classic. The delegation from Iowa consisted of both Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) directors, farmer-leaders, Premier County Achievement (PCAP) winners and the Collegiate Advisory Team (CAT).

A main task for ICGA at Classic is speaking in support of policies that the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) should promote to benefit Iowa’s farmers. ICGA policy is set annually by grassroots farmer members from across the state. This starts with a membership survey and local roundtables then moves to the ICGA Annual Meeting in August where the state policies are finalized, voted on and then placed in the Iowa Corn Growers Association Policy Book. From there, national policy resolutions are to be brought forward for consideration during the NCGA Corn Congress. Commodity Classic is the conclusion of this policy development process.

The Iowa resolutions passed by the delegate body include:

  • USDA’s preparedness for wide scale animal disease outbreaks such as the High Path Avian Influenza (“bird flu”) that struck Iowa in 2015
  • Preserving current 100-year floodplain standards
  • Continued support for involvement in the MAIZALL coalition, which addresses international market access related to biotechnology and other agricultural technologies
  • Mandatory point of sale disclosure of seed variety ID numbers for all hybrids

“ICGA delegates presented resolutions and in turn voted on these and other resolutions and policies brought forward by NCGA and other states,” said Hemesath. “These policy positions set the framework for our federal legislative efforts and directly influence our direction for years to come.”

The new NCGA policy document will be posted at iowacorn.org/policy when it becomes available. For more information on upcoming policy development meetings in your area, contact the Iowa Corn office at (515)225-9242 or email at corninfo@iowacorn.org.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack met with ICGA President Bob Hemesath and ICPB President Mark Heckman to discuss several key issues impacting Iowa’s corn farmers. At the start of the meeting, Hemesath and Heckman thanked the Secretary for his many years of service and for addressing Commodity Classic attendees every year of his tenure. “We commended him for his work in championing issues important to Iowa’s farmers especially his support of ethanol,” said Hemesath.

The meeting focused on: Federal voluntary biotech labeling, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, biotech market access, the Biofuels Infrastructure Program, and transportation infrastructure.

“We had a robust conversation on many topics that will directly impact our ability to create demand for U.S. corn,” says Heckman. “We appreciate the Secretary taking time to hear from us on these issues.”

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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.

For More Information:

Shannon Textor
Director of Marketing and Communications
Iowa Corn Growers Association
515-225-9242
stextor@iowacorn.org

Lisa Cassady
Public Relations Manager
Iowa Corn Growers Association
515-225-9242
lcassady@iowacorn.org

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