March 19, 2015

The Nebraska Corn Checkoff

“You have to be willing to support the industry of your chosen profession,” said Jon Holzfaster, corn farmer from Paxton and director on the Nebraska Corn Board. 

Nebraska has over 23,000 corn farmers, who collectively fund the corn checkoff. When they sell a bushel of corn, ½ cent of each bushel is sent to the corn checkoff program, which is overseen by the Nebraska Corn Board. The Nebraska Corn Board is an organization made up of nine full-time corn farmers that serve on the board of directors. There is also a six person staff in Lincoln whose job is to work on behalf of corn farmers full-time. Now, you may ask what happens to the ½ cent per bushel that combines with all other Nebraska corn farmers’ ½ cent per bushel when it goes to the checkoff fund?

The answer can be grouped into four different categories: market development, research, promotion, and education. For instance, the corn checkoff helps fund the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), which is an organization that works internationally to grow markets for U.S. corn and United State MeatExport Federation (USMEF) to grow red meat markets internationally. Corn checkoff dollars fund the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to conduct corn research and report back to the NCB. Ethanol and distillers grain research has helped increase the value of corn, thus helping fulfill part of the NCB’s mission of enhancing corn farmers’ sustainability and profitability.

Nebraska Corn promotes the corn industry in many ways including ag tours for teachers, support for FFA, ethanol promotions and education and through marketing our Nebraska corn. Lastly, education is the key to keep the public engaged and informed. Over the past several years, education has become increasingly important, and Nebraska corn has taken the lead in a number of consumer and influencer education programs both in-state and in collaboration with other states and national cooperators.

We hope this video about the corn checkoff program helps you understand more about how the Nebraska Corn Board is working on behalf of Nebraska’s 23,000 corn farmers. In the words of NCB executive director, Kelly Brunkhorst, “Collectively we can do something we can’t do individually.” 

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