Posted on May 22, 2013 at 12:17 PM by Iowa Corn
From a small town in Southern Iowa to a similar looking town in North Central Iowa corn grows with rich soils, technology, and careful planting. It is in these same small towns that the planting of a much larger global partnership began. "We are competitors," says Julius Schaaf, a corn farmer from Shenandoah, past chair of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the current Vice President of the US Grains Council. "And we will remain competitors. But we grow the same crop, we serve the same customers, and we face the same problems on market access issues. We have a common interest in working together to open markets and improve food security around the world.” Simply put, the new partnership is called MAIZALL. It is an alliance of the leading corn producing countries; the United States, Brazil, and Argentina. A formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed May 14 by the presidents/chairmen of the U.S. Grains Council, the National Corn Growers Association, ABRAMHILO (Brazil), and MAIZAR (Argentina).
Pam Johnson from Floyd in North Central Iowa, who is also a past chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the current National Corn Growers Association President said, "MAIZALL is a farmer-to-farmer alliance, and in every instance we have had a meeting of the minds about the key challenges we face in opening markets. Food Security is a priority for every country. Countries can be food secure without being self-sufficient by establishing relationships and building trust with exporting countries to be long-term, reliable suppliers of quality feed and food supplies."
Following the signing of the MOU, the MAIZALL partners met for two days to establish organizational details and meet with agricultural, scientific, and government leaders in Buenos Aires. A tentative agreement was reached on many key issues including the structure of the MAIZALL Board of Directors, officers, preliminary funding targets, and next steps. Over the next several weeks, the proposed organizational structure will be presented for approval to the Boards of the four participating organizations.
The primary focus of this new alliance is emphasize the need for better consumer understanding of production agriculture, including the benefits of biotechnology and advancing the global acceptance on the capacity to produce maize for feed, food and fuel. MAIZALL will also conduct outreach to governments and stakeholders on the need for trade-enabling biotechnology policies and regulatory procedures.
For more information on the partnership visit: www.grains.org
For photos visit: www.flickr.com/photos/usgc/sets/72157633480797361/
Mindy Williamson is the communications and public relations director for Iowa Corn. She grew up on an acreage, raising various 4-H livestock projects and tormenting her younger siblings. Mindy has a degree from Iowa State University in BPMI with an emphasis on botany and has worked in ag communications for almost 15 years. Mindy, her husband, Kevin, and their two children, live close to his families’ farming operation where they get in the way whenever possible.