South Dakota corn producers had the opportunity to meet with the nation’s top ag official during Dakotafest 2008 where U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer talked positively about the role of biofuels to the nation’s energy security.
Schafer addressed a crowd of Dakotafest attendees alongside U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., during the final day of the event. Both stressed the importance of the production and expansion of biofuels.
“It was very encouraging to hear firsthand the administration’s dedication for the expansion of biofuels both for corn ethanol and the future of cellulosics,” said Bill Chase, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA). “Corn producers in our state and throughout the nation have proven our ability to provide our nation’s fueling and feeding needs. Sec. Schafer’s acknowledgement of that capacity is timely as we prepare to harvest our largest corn crop in South Dakota.”
Schafer said he’s expecting record corn crops in the nation this year, which, he said should help settle the debate about the impact increased production of ethanol has on higher food prices. The country is on track to produce approximately 12 billion bushels of corn, which would mean the second highest corn crop on record.
Chase met personally with Schafer along with SD Corn board directors Reid Jensen, president of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC); and Darrin Ihnen, SDCGA and SDCUC board director and second vice president of the National Corn Growers Association.