Family corn farmers from across the country including 10 volunteer leaders from the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and Utilization Council are taking time out of their busy summer schedules to meet in Washington, D.C. this week with lawmakers, discuss important policy matters with colleagues and attend a rally in support of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
South Dakota farmers participated in a number of National Corn Growers Action Team meetings yesterday and today, and will partake in Corn Congress this week as leaders set the national organization’s policy for the coming year.
While in D.C., the corn board directors and staff will roam the halls of Congress and visit with South Dakota’s delegation: Representative Kristi Noem and Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds.
“Having face-to-face discussions with our representatives is not only good for our members, but also for the lawmakers themselves who enjoy hearing first-hand about the various issues that are affecting growers back home,” said SDCGA president Keith Alverson.
Currently, the top issue facing South Dakota farmers on a national level is the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to lower the amount of corn ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard (click to learn more).
Other matters on the minds of farmers include the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule, GMO labeling legislation, railroad reform, farm bill implementation and the state’s large NRCS wetland determination backlog.
“There never seems to be shortage of hot-button issues affecting farmers today, which make these visits to D.C. critically important,” stated Alverson. “We are fortunate to have a wonderful working relationship with our entire congressional delegation, which is something our organization’s members should take pride in.”
Beyond hill visits and meetings, there are two other items of interest taking place this week.
Tomorrow at noon Eastern Time, corn farmers and others will assemble for an #RFSworks rally at Upper State Park in D.C. to demonstrate the important role that this policy plays in rural America and beyond by creating jobs and value-added opportunities in agriculture, as well as economic and environmental benefits.
On Thursday, EPA administrator Gina McCarthy will address the delegates at Corn Congress at 2pm ET to address her agency’s RFS proposal and WOTUS rule. Both sit sour with America’s family farmers.