Farmers go grassroots in D.C.

Corn farmers from across the country will gather in Washington D.C. this week for Corn Congress 2011 to discuss policy and meet with our nation’s leaders. Corn Congress not only allows the delegates to meet with politicians, but also delegates/farmers from other states that may share similar concerns.

“Coming to Washington is always an exciting time,” said SDCGA President and Oldham, SD farmer, Gary Duffy. “There’s no better place to be to develop policy and talk about the issues and the legislation that affect corn growers back on the farm.”

Items on this year’s agenda include the 2012 Farm Bill, Free Trade Agreements, biotechnology, agriculture transportation, and ethanol, but the number one priority to be voiced by the South Dakota delegates will be crop insurance. 

“South Dakota should take comfort in knowing that we always send high quality delegates to Corn Congress who are ready to tell the story of their constituents back home,” said Duffy. “Our delegates take pride in representing our states’ producers and appreciate the opportunity to spend time talking about their concerns directly with members of Congress.”

Twelve board directors from both the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and South Dakota Corn Utilization Council will be busy on Capitol Hill this week, including Keith Alverson, Chad Blindauer, Jim Burg, Bill Chase, Justin Davis, Kevin Deiter, Gary Duffy, David Fremark, Mark Gross, Darrin Ihnen, Brian Smith and Kurt Stiefvater.

All of the South Dakota delegates will meet personally with Rep. Kristi Noem, Sen. John Thune and Sen. Tim Johnson.

“Our organization is truly blessed to have such wonderful working relationships with our elected officials,” said Duffy.  “They’re always ready to help our producers and want their input on legislation that involves agriculture and beyond.”