The Nebraska Corn Growers Association, at its annual meeting in Seward late last year re-elected it slate of officers for 2014.
The following corn growers were re-elected:
•Joel Grams of Minden, president
•Larry Mussack of Decatur, vice president
•Rick Gruber of Benedict, secretary and market development chair
•Chuck Emanuel of North Bend, treasurer
The association also gave its annual Golden Ear Award recognizing outstanding service and leadership in Nebraska's corn industry. This year's recipient was Chuck Woodside, CEO of KAAPA Ethanol in Minden.
There was considerable discussion regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's recent proposal to reduce the required amount of corn ethanol in the nation's fuel supply—a proposed reduction of nearly 1.4 billion gallons for 2014.
The association passed a resolution urging EPA to rescind its proposal and to retain the RFS in its current form. As part of a statewide grassroots campaign, members of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association are asking other organizations to adopt a similar resolution. This effort will reach out to local chambers of commerce, county commissioners, city councils, school boards, banks and services clubs.
"The point is that cutting back on our nation's commitment to renewable fuels is bad for America's energy security, our economy, our environment, and our rural communities," said Grams of Minden. "As corn farmers, we also need to be concerned about the potential loss of demand for corn and the effect that will have on corn prices and our bottom line."
Grams said that the nation should be focusing on building infrastructure for higher percentage ethanol blends, including more flex-fuel vehicles and more flex-fuel pumps. "Cutting back on the RFS sends a bad signal to companies developing the next generation of biofuels, and it plays right into the hands of the oil companies who have spent huge sums of money to keep ethanol from taking their market share," he added.
On Nov. 29, the EPA opened a 60-day comment period regarding its proposed ethanol reduction.
"As corn farmers, we need to speak out against this proposal," Grams said.
He directed growers to the National Corn Growers Association website at ncga.com. To the right on the homepage is a "Renewable Fuel Standard" link which will lead you to a "Tell Washington: Don't GUT the RFS" tab which provides a link to send EPA your comments.