Fargo, North Dakota – North Dakota Corn leaders and Action Team members were recently in Washington, D.C. to work on agriculture issues with Congressional staffs and participate in various meetings with National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) staff and representatives of fellow state corn organizations.
The trip included meetings with Congressional office staffs and USDA leaders to discuss issues affecting North Dakota corn producers. The Congressional meetings included visits with North Dakota delegation staff and with the staffs of Washington Senator Cantwell and Florida Congressmen Rooney and Ross. Meetings with the out-of-state congressman were enlightening to hear issues they’re working on while expressing North Dakota corn grower’s concerns.
In addition, several members of the ND Corn team served on or participated in Action Team meetings, were delegates at Corn Congress or had National Corn Board duties. Attending the meetings in Washington D.C. included Carson Klosterman, Scott German, Kevin Skunes, Larry Hoffmann, Randy Melvin, Jason Rayner, Clark Price and Dale Ihry.
Carson Klosterman, North Dakota Corn Growers Association president, was active in the Action Team he serves, the President’s meeting and was a delegate in the Corn Congress, plus worked the Hill and USDA. “Some main concerns we voiced to the Congressional staff and USDA was the need for strong support of the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) to bring the level of corn based ethanol to 15.0 billion gallons. We discussed the need for EPA’s re-registration of atrazine and not reduction of the usage levels. We also requested Congress find a way to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Our group continued to work on the ARC-CO county yield policy used by FSA/USDA, with concerns of yields coming out this fall for 2015 ARC-CO payment calculations.”
Scott German, chairman of the ND Corn Council, participated in Action Team meetings, the President’s meeting, was a Corn Congress delegate, and attended meetings with USDA and on the Hill. “We were able to educate folks on the Hill about the RFS and its value to North Dakota farmers. In addition, we asked USDA to complete its review of the Bio-Fuels Infrastructure Program (BIP) offer by North Dakota to help install additional blender pumps in North Dakota. The corn check-off funds are used to help enhance the use of ethanol and we were adamant that BIP be approved and implemented in North Dakota in 2016.”
At the 2016 Corn Congress meetings, Kevin Skunes received formal approval from the NCGA and state corn delegates for the First Vice President role of the National Corn Board effective
October 1, 2016. The following October, Skunes will become the President of the National Corn Board.
The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) was created in 1991 and consists of 7 members representing 7 districts. The NDCUC oversees how North Dakota’s corn checkoff dollars are spent on research, education and promotion of corn and corn products.
The North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) is the farmer-led organization focusing on policy that impacts North Dakota corn producers. The NDCGA consists of 14 growers from 7 districts along with 4 at-large directors. The NDCUC and NDCGA work together to grow a healthy, profitable business climate for northern corn.