ANAHEIM, Cal. (Mar. 2, 2018) — Farmer leaders from the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) and Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) stressed the importance of biofuels and NAFTA directly with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue at the Commodity Classic this week in California.
Commodity Classic is the joint annual conference of national commodity groups including the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the American Soybean Association (ASA). At this three-day, annual conference commodity groups like ASA, NCGA and their state counterparts gather from across the country to discuss important issues and develop public policy priorities for their organizations. Discussion of White House Meetings that happened this week on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and trade, issues of tremendous importance to U.S. farmer, dominated this year’s convention.
And Hoosier farmers were there to represent their home state. Mike Buis, who served as an ICGA member for 9 years and currently represents Indiana on the NCGA Engaging Members Committee, enjoyed several minutes talking with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
“The RFS is a true success story for American agriculture,” said Buis. “Ethanol has raised the value of the corn I grow, cleans the air we breathe, and has boosted the economy of rural America – and RINs are a huge part that success. I’m just glad I had the opportunity to tell the Secretary how much this program means to my farm and my community.”
On Tuesday morning, President Trump held a meeting with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)., Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Sen. Pat Toomey (D-PA) and other administration staff at the White House. The meeting – convened to discuss possible changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard – riled corn farmers riled after President Trump indicated support for a proposal by Senator Cruz that would cap the value of Renewable Identification Numbers or “RINs,” the essential tool for ensuring compliance under the RFS.
Farmers were able to use scheduled appearances with Secretary Perdue at the convention on Wednesday and Thursday to express to the Secretary the importance of the RFS to all US commodity farmers.
Farmers at the convention were also concerned with news this week that President Trump is considering a possible tariff on foreign steel and aluminum imported into the US.
“You might not think that trade relations around metals would matter to farmers, but these tariffs could send our commodity prices crashing,” said ISA Membership and Policy Committee Chairman Phil Ramsey. “Agricultural products are one of the few US industries with a significant positive trade balance. A ten or 25 percent duty on exported steel or aluminum, may cause countries to retaliate with a tariff on the ag products they import from the US. And since we export 30 percent of our soybeans to China and 60 percent of our soybeans overall, this is a real concern.”
Volunteer farmers like Mike Buis and Phil Ramsey can only represent Hoosier farmers because of the dues paying members of the ICGA and the ISA Membership and Policy Committee. To make your voice heard in protecting markets for your crops, join by visiting INcorn.org and indianasoybean.com.
The Indiana Corn Growers Association board, which works with the state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers, consists of 9 farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of the nearly 800 ICGA members statewide.
The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies
that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, grain marketing, aquaculture, new soybean uses, and research. ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the ISA’s 800 dues-paying members. Visit www.indianasoybean.com for more information.
This communication was not funded with corn checkoff dollars.