August 18, 2008

Hearing takes a look at today's ethanol - and tomorrow's

A variety of people testified at the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing in Omaha this morning - including corn producer Tim Recker, president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Recker testified on behalf of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Corn Board and National Corn Growers Association.

He and others told Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) that corn producers in will continue to supply enough corn for food, feed and fuel -- and that ethanol is good for the United States. For a copy of Recker’s written comments, click here.

In a news release (click here to view), Jon Holzfaster, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board, said, “It is important for members of the Senate to hear from corn growers and others about the importance of ethanol to rural communities, how it is lowering prices at the pump and helping to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.” Holzfaster is a corn and cattle producer from Paxton.

“The world has a growing demand for both protein and petroleum, and we firmly believe that American corn producers can help satisfy both by producing energy from ethanol and protein from corn-fed meat and poultry,” he said.

Nebraska Ethanol Board chairman Jim Jenkins also testified. Jenkins is a rancher and restaurant owner, and he gave some insight into how higher energy and grain prices on his own businesses. “Record diesel prices impact the cost of food more than anything else. I know this for a fact,” he said.

He also noted that $2 corn isn’t good for anybody, even livestock producers.

Besides an examination of the current ethanol situation, the hearing included testimony on second generation biofuels, which Sen. Nelson noted wouldn't be possible without today's corn ethanol industry. To see Sen. Nelson's opening remarks, click here.

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