Corn Farmers Coalition promotes corn, corn facts to Beltway policymakers
The Nebraska Corn Board and organizations from nine other corn states plus the National Corn Growers Association have formed the Corn Farmers Coalition as a way to educate policymakers in Washington, D.C.
When corn prices spiked last year, big food manufacturers and oil companies claimed there wasn't enough corn to feed everyone and make ethanol.
"Now the public knows that was not true," said Mark Jagels, a member of the Nebraska Corn Board and a grower from Davenport. "There was always plenty of corn to make ethanol, not to mention corn to export and to feed ourselves and the livestock and poultry that are raised on corn and distillers grains, the feed product produced by ethanol plants."
To help get its message across, the coalition launched a website, www.CornFarmersCoalition.org, that has begun an advertising campaign within the Beltway and compiled a statistical abstract on America's biggest crop. Advertisements, statistics and more are all at the website.
"We need to let the folks in Washington know that corn farmers use some of the most advanced technologies in the world to grow more corn with fewer resources year after year," Jagels said. "We need to remind policymakers that American corn farmers are some of the most productive in the world. In fact, it takes corn growers about 40 percent less land and 50 percent less energy to produce a bushel of corn today than it did just 20 years ago."
As part of the coalition's efforts, members will meet with reporters, think tanks and members of Congress to talk about what's ahead: how U.S. farmers, using the latest technologies, will continue to grow enough corn in an environmentally friendly way to meet all needs; the prospects for making the farm bill more responsive to the market; and the future of renewable fuels, a vital issue for our economy and national security and a key issue for the new administration.
"The Nebraska Corn Board is excited to be part of the Corn Farmers Coalition and these important initiatives," Jagels said.
The Nebraska Corn Board is a self-help program, funded and managed by Nebraska corn farmers. Producers invest in the program at a rate of 1/4 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research and education.