June 28, 2013

Life Through the Eyes of an Intern: Life is Getting Busy

By: Lauren Ibach, Communications and Outreach Intern

I’m about to round out my second month here at the Nebraska Corn Board and I must say things have really picked up around here. It seems like all of my projects are approaching their deadlines all of a sudden. Last week was an especially big week for me. Last Friday I traveled to Osmond, Nebraska for a blender pump opening. In case you were wondering from Lincoln it takes 3 hours to get to Osmond so I had a long drive. I had a great time talking to members of the community about ethanol and educating them on Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV’s). I find it very interesting listening to people’s different perspectives about ethanol. Through my summer at the Corn Board I have come to realize that there are a lot of common misconceptions when it comes to ethanol just as there are common misconceptions about agriculture in general so I enjoy hearing people’s thoughts and working to educate them on the facts about the industries that the Nebraska Corn Board focuses on. All in all it was a good day and made that long drive worth it.

Pumping E85 for a hog farmer

On Saturday June 22nd I traveled to PrairieLand Dairy for their annual Dairy Days Celebration. I was really looking forward to this trip because working with younger kids and educating them about agriculture (specifically corn) is something I am very passionate about. I spent the week punching holes in plastic bags, cutting 200 pieces of string, and designing labels for my activity the kids would get to participate in. The kids started coming at 11:00 and boy were they excited. We made “Corn Necklaces” together. For this project the kids got a bag with a string around it and were instructed to put in two cotton balls and a couple pieces of corn. They were then instructed to take the bag home and place it in the sun so they can grow their own field corn. During this process we also talked about the different portions of a dairy cows feed ration and how corn helps to produce the milk we drink every day. By the end of the day I realized I should have brought more supplies because I ran out of stuff early. This was one of my favorite experiences so far with the Nebraska Corn Board.

I have never seen gas this cheap!
This week hasn’t slowed down one bit. Earlier this summer I was assigned a job to develop a brochure and a photo book for a mission trip that is coming up here within the next two weeks. I have been working around the clock to finish these items and get them sent off to the printer before it’s too late. Some other things I have been up to are traveling to Omaha with other staff members to host an ethanol promotion at various Kum and Go stations. The new stations have put in flex fuel pumps that offer E85 and the Nebraska Corn Board along with the Iowa Corn Board worked together to offer E85 for only 85 cents at these locations. My responsibilities during these events were to pump the E85 for the customer and talk to them about ethanol. This was another chance for me to hear different opinions on ethanol and educate them about how ethanol is good for Nebraska.

As you can see I have been up to a lot lately and it doesn’t look like there will be any slowing down.

June 27, 2013

Holzfaster Running for Reelection to NCGA Corn Board

As he will complete his first term of service on the National Corn Growers Association's Corn Board in September, Nebraska Corn Board's District 8 Director from Paxton, Jon Holzfaster is running for reelection and a second term helping develop policy to guide the association. A native Nebraskan, Holzfaster provides unique perspective when balancing issues involving the interaction between the livestock and ethanol markets.

Holzfaster decided to run for reelection to the Corn Board because he strongly believes in NCGA's grassroots vision and focus. He is proud to have played a small role in the organization's successes since 2002 and looks forward to working toward greater accomplishments in the future.

"In order to be an effective leader, you have to be familiar with the organization which you have been chosen to lead," said Holzfaster. "You have to be receptive to your fellow board members, staff and, most importantly, the membership base. At NCGA, I have found that it is key to listen to the membership and the staff and to apply the things that you have learned in the past. For almost nine years, I have been picking up the nuances at NCGA and, by applying these along with what I learn from listening, I can play an active role in developing solutions that lead us forward as an organization."

As a member of the Corn Board, Holzfaster believes that he can and does provide the leadership and vision necessary for continued positive change and for evolution within the industry. To do so, he aggressively promotes and supports the corn industry's two largest customers, ethanol and livestock.

"I strive to see the 'big picture' and avoid rash decisions that may create unintended consequences. With leadership experience ranging from local civic groups to state and national commodity representation, I absorb all sides of a discussion before stating my opinion. "

Holzfaster owns and operates the same farm in southwest Nebraska that his family has for three generations. On their farm, they produce corn, popcorn, soybeans, dry edible beans, wheat and alfalfa. Together, his family also operates a 1,000-head non-commercial feed yard that utilizes feed produced on the farm.

To listen to the full interview with Holzfaster, click here.

June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Photo courtesy of Fullerton FFA Chapter. You can view other photos submitted to us at Flickr or on our Pinterest page. We would love to see photos of your farm as well! Please post pictures to our Facebook page or Twitter.

June 25, 2013

Moisture Levels Continue to Improve


This corn plant is over 3 feet tall!

 Rain across most of the state combined with above average temperatures to boost the growth of crops this past week. Some portions of the state recorded 2 or more inches of rainfall but most totals were less than that. A high number of storms popped up throughout Nebraska but most were extremely localized. There were reports of hail damage in a number of counties and high winds during the day made herbicide application challenging.

The next leaf is starting to develop
on this corn plant.
Temperatures were 3 to 5 degrees above normal in the east and south parts of the state but were near normal elsewhere. Statewide there was 5.7 days considered suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture rated 33 percent short/very short, 65 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. This is well above the moisture ratings from last year. However very short moisture conditions continue to exist in parts of South Central, Southwest, and Northwestern Nebraska. Subsoil moisture supplies ranked 54 percent short/very short, and 46 percent adequate.

Corn conditions rated 3 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 60 percent good, and 15 percent excellent.

All crop progress photos can be viewed at Pinterest or Flickr.

Podcast: Farm Bill Discussion

In this podcast, Curt Friesen, District 3 Director and Vice Chair on the Nebraska Corn Board, and farmer from Henderson, NE, urges pertinent information about the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act—otherwise known as the 2013 Farm Bill.

Curt first thanked Senators Johanns and Fisher for their support of the bill out of the U.S. Senate. The Senate bill would reduce overall spending by $24 billion over ten years, compared to about $38 billion in the House version. Much of the savings would come from the consolidation of conservation programs, reductions in the food stamp program and cuts to farm subsidies.

The Senate and House versions of the legislation mirror each other in terms of the area of reductions, but it's the scope and depth of those reductions that are expected to be the subject of debate.

Listen for more!

Nebraska Corn Kernel podcasts are also available on iTunes! Click here to subscribe.

June 24, 2013

Trade teams and intern networking


By Bryce Vaughn, U.S. Grains Council intern

Since my last blog post in May, I have been busy working on my main project for the U.S. Grains Council. As you may know, the U.S. Grains Council is hosting a team of nine Korean biotechnology committee members to the U.S. July 11-20. The objective for the team is to gain an insight on the future of the stewardship of the science-based technology and improving their understanding on the U.S. biotech regulatory system, including the framework-principles and safety/risk assessment fundamentals and dossiers preparation protocols. The goal is to have the programs participants become effective and efficient in evaluating the safety/risk of biotech events and also propose changes in biotech regulatory system to streamline the process. The team will travel to Washington D.C., St. Louis, Des Moines and Seattle while in the United States and will visit with APHIS, EPA, FDA, Monsanto, Pioneer, Iowa Corn Farmers, TEMPCO port facility, and Croplife International.

The Korean biotechnology risk review process has been potential threat to the flow of U.S. grains to the world’s third largest grains import market. The biotechnology regulatory regime appears inadequate to handle the growing number of new biotech events that are being developed. The process of the Korean government approving new biotech events has been unpredictable in the time required for approval of new biotech products and has been considered as a latent threat. In Korea a total of five agencies are involved in the review process for biotechnology, and lack experience and understanding by new regulatory officials and review committee members has been cited as a reason for the delay in risk review. For single events the average time required for the approval process had increased from ten months in 2004 to 39 months in 2013. For example in 2012, eight new events have been waiting for the outcome of the approval process for more than 30 months. In order to address the issue, the USGC will help the safety/risk reviewers improve their understanding on U.S. biotechnology regulatory system and risk assessment process of the U.S. government and technology developers.

I have learned a lot about the international discussion on biotechnology since taking on this project. On June 4, I attended a debate on biotechnology at CATO Institute in Washington D.C. This was the first event of its kind and featured speakers such as Jon Entine, Founding Director, Genetic Literacy Project, Kevin M. Folta, Interim Chair, Horticultural Science Department (University of Florida) and Karl Haro von Mogel, Co-Founder, Biology Fortified, Inc. Despite increasing population, global food production per capita is at all-time highs, even as the amount of agricultural land is reaching new lows. The prime driver has been technology, beginning with the Green Revolution of the 1960s, when Norman Borlaug discovered the key to high-yielding wheat. Since then, “slow” genetics has been replaced by DNA-splicing, giving rise to fears of genetic “mistakes” damaging the world food supply or resulting in inadvertent harm to consumers. Jon Entine and Kevin Folta embrace these innovations, promoting genetic literacy and post-modern agriculture. One of the main take aways from this event was that anti-biotechnology groups are using factual information to attack biotech companies such as Monsanto, while leaving out the rest of the story, for example the base line in the study. Also, both industry studies of biotechnology and independent studies are showing that same outcomes, that GMO, biotechnology is not harmful to humans or the environment. This just clarifies that companies such as Monsanto are not twisting the results for their economic gain. I think everyone should watch this lecture, it can be found online here.

 From left to right (Audrey Smith-
Congressman Adrian Smiths Office,
Senator Fischer, Emily Ibach-
Monsanto, Bryce Vaughn-
U.S. Grains Council)
I have taken part in a couple different networking opportunities while in D.C. Last week Kyle McGinn (NCGA intern), Emily Ibach (Monsanto intern) and I attended the Nebraska breakfast on Capitol Hill. This was a good opportunity to hear from the Nebraska congressional delegation while also meeting staff members for the Senators and Representatives offices. After the breakfast we had the opportunity to meet Senator Fischer and also take a picture with her.

A group of agriculture interns from across the U.S. are organizing ourselves in Washington D.C. and kicked off our group last week with a luncheon hosted by Croplife America. Later this month the group is planning on attending a Nationals baseball game hosted by Monsanto. Kyle and I are organizing a luncheon for the group at the NCGA/USGC office in July, Jon Doggett and Tom Sleight will give an overview of each organization and update the interns on recent activities.

 Non-work related, last weekend my roommate and I went wakeboarding with some friends on the Potomac River. This was a great experience to get outside the beltway. I can say that we have much cleaner water in Nebraska though!

June 20, 2013

Agribusiness Virtual Roundtable–Dan Duncan

*The Business Leaders "Virtual Roundtable" discussion was gathered for the Spring 2013 CornsTalk publication. The responses of these business associates were consolidated for the publication, but you can find the full responses through this blog series.

Daniel J Duncan , Asst. Dean Agricultural Research Division University of Nebraska–Lincoln Photo by Craig Chandler / University CommunicationsDan Duncan, Executive Director, Innovation Campus

How does Nebraska's strength in agriculture—and corn, livestock and ethanol specifically—influence your business/organization? How does the fact that you are located in Nebraska provide a competitive advantage or growth opportunities for you?
Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC) is attempting to leverage the tremendous agricultural assets of our state and the diverse assets of the University of Nebraska to create additional value added opportunities in Nebraska. I feel that there is no other state better positioned to take advantage of the convergence of global demand (food, fuel and water), Nebraska expertise, university expertise and private sector expertise. NIC is launching in the right place at the right time, no doubt in my mind.

What should Nebraska do to leverage its strength in agriculture to enhance economic vitality across the state—and position the state for long-term success in meeting global demand for food, feed and fuel?
Focus and invest where the greatest chance of success lies. Spreading funds into multiple pots dilutes results and leads to multiple areas of mediocrity. We have to define our identity, what can we do better than anyone else, and then put plans in place to become the world leader in that area(s).

What do you think Nebraska consumers—especially those in urban areas—need to better understand about Nebraska agriculture and your organization's relationship to agriculture?
Agriculture is not the iconic scene most people have in their minds. It is big business run by people with excellent business and environmental stewardship skills. Agriculture is farmers, millers, processors, researchers, logistics, transportation, engineering, research, etc. These people deliver a cheap, safe food supply that protects our natural resources and allows the majority of the population to pursue other interests.

How important is it that Nebraska corn farmers continue to invest in the future of their industry through their check off?
If corn farmers do not invest in things important to them, they leave the investment to others - which leaves the future of the industry out of corn farmer’s control.

What concerns you most about the future of agriculture in Nebraska? And what will it take to address those concerns?
Agriculture is always going to need to evolve to meet ever changing needs and expectations. Moving from a reactive to a proactive position on social, production, drought and other issues will be key to a successful future. Doing so takes consensus, resources and leadership.

Any other comments or perspectives regarding Nebraska agriculture that you wish to share.
Having been involved in my family’s farm and ranch for a number of years, it is really gratifying for me to see production agriculture doing well financially. I think the future can be really bright for Nebraska agriculture and the state economy as a whole if Nebraskans can pull together, overcome differences and exploit the advantages we have in this state.

June 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Please visit our many social media outlets to view photos and info graphics. FlickrFacebookTwitterPinterestYouTube   

June 17, 2013

Exciting times to be an intern in Washington, D.C.!

Kyle McGinnBy Kyle McGinn, NCGA-DC Intern 

Greetings! My name is Kyle McGinn, and this is my first blog entry. I am a native Nebraskan and a student at the University of Nebraska College of Law. With the gracious support of the Nebraska Corn Board, I have the pleasure of serving as the summer intern in the Washington D.C. office of the National Corn Growers Association. The NCGA D.C. office is a tight-knit team, who supplement the efforts of the NCGA Headquarters Office in St. Louis, Missouri, to protect corn producers.

I have been fortunate to join the office during an exciting period. Both houses of the U.S. Congress are presently working towards the passage of a new Farm Bill. Indeed, the U.S. Senate just passed their version of the Farm Bill earlier this week, and the House should begin consideration of their version shortly. The NCGA staff has worked vigorously, to ensure that the new Farm Bill reflects the best interests of our nation’s 400,000 corn farms, and the 23,000 Nebraska corn producers.

A major component of the work of the NCGA D.C. office is monitoring legislation and hearings which may have an effect on corn production. To this regard, I have had the pleasure of accompanying NCGA staff to several Congressional hearings over the course of the past few weeks, including a hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements Hearing regarding bio-fuels, and examining the Environmental Protection Agency’s Role in implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee regarding the implementation of the Endangered Species Act, and a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee regarding international food aid. I also had the distinct pleasure of accompanying the NCGA staff to a luncheon keynoted by the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack of Iowa. Mr. Vilsack spoke of the importance of responding to climate change, and the resulting pressures on agricultural producers. He introduced new USDA led efforts to combat the negative effects of climate change, including new regional research hubs. Additionally, USDA is working to reduce food waste, which piles up at landfills and emits heat-trapping methane gas. Vilsack also said USDA is focusing on new land conservation efforts and encouraging farmers to make renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades.

Lastly, I have also been assisting the staff by researching various topics, including Farm Bill Amendments, free trade agreements (including the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the use of GMOs on National Wildlife Refuges, amongst other issues.

The NCGA D.C. Office is located nearby busy Union Station, which is a transportation hub in Washington. Commuters and travelers alike use Union Station to access the Metro (the local subway), trains, and busses. I myself have used Union Station frequently to navigate the city. Just a few days ago, the NCGA and other partners of the Corn Farmers Coalition began an impressive advertising campaign in Union Station, highlighting the achievements of U.S. corn producers in boosting yield while simultaneously decreasing inputs and promoting sustainable practices. Union Station is one of two Metro stations used most frequently by Congressional members, staff, and other policymakers. Several friends and colleagues have remarked to me on the posters, so they have certainly captured the attention of local travelers and residents. I encourage you to review the pictures of the advertising campaign, which are featured in a June 6, 2013 post on this blog.

On a personal note, I have greatly enjoyed my few short weeks in Washington. Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a Washington Nationals baseball game, versus the local rival the Baltimore Orioles. I have also had the pleasure of bicycling to visit the various monuments, and playing softball on the National Mall. Thanks for reading, and my sincere thanks to the Nebraska Corn Board for your support.

June 13, 2013

Field Notes Catches Up with Nebraska Farmer, Andy Jobman

Today, Field Notes catches up with Andy Jobman, a Nebraska farmer who also works as a crop consultant. Jobman explained that corn planting is complete on his farm and wrapping up in the surrounding area.

“Corn planting has been done for a while here and, right now, I just see a few guys out finishing planting soybeans,” he said. “For the most part, planting is completely done in my area.”

With the first estimates of crop condition coming in, Jobman explained the factors contributing to the overall condition of corn in Nebraska. “From what I have found scouting my clients’ fields and looking at my own fields, the corn crop was not really affected by the cold temperatures early in the season, at least not to the degree you would expect it to be,” said Jobman. “The temperatures have been getting gradually warmer during the days, but we still have a few cold nights. We have had a lot of wind lately, in addition to a lot of storm activity. The rain has been very good for the crop, considering that we are coming off of a drought year.”

To listen to the full interview with Jobman, click here.

June 12, 2013

June 11, 2013

Drier Conditions Allow for Field Work

A break in the rain allowed farmers to spend time in the fields finishing up planting and applying chemicals. Temperatures ranged between 2 to 8 degrees below normal during the week with some portions of central Nebraska receiving an inch of rain. Statewide producers had 5.3 days considered suitable for fieldwork which was high compared to the past weeks.

Root development on a corn plant
Topsoil moisture rated 27 percent short/very short and 69 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture's are also increasing with only 58 percent considered short/very short and 41 percent rated adequate. Hopefully we will continue to see rains this summer to help improve those numbers even further.  

Corn conditions are looking promising with 75 percent considered good/excellent. Nebraska's corn crop was 91 percent emerged which is behind last years 100 percent and 97 percent average.

To view all photos submitted this week visit our Flickr page. Also you can now view crop progress photos on Pinterest!

Frequent rains have helped get this corn up and growing

June 10, 2013

Intern projects: price of corn and the poultry industry, social media

Casey CampbellBy Casey Campbell, NCGA-St. Louis Intern

I really cannot believe that I’m done with my first month interning at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). It really has flown by! I have been busy with so many projects that are all so different and met so many great people.

One of the main projects I have been working on is researching data and creating graphs to prove that rising prices of corn are not negatively affecting the poultry industry. While my minor in Agricultural Economics is definitely helping this process, math and numbers are not always my friends, especially with some of these really confusing databases. Thankfully I have been able to get lots of help from Paul Bertels, our in-house ag econ expert, more formally known as the VP of Production and Utilization.

I have also been trying to revamp NCGA’s social media starting with their Facebook page. One of my goals within this is to make our page a place for farmers across the country to be able to interact with each other. I have been making posts with open ended questions trying to really engage our growers. At the same time I am trying to get more college students to become part of discussions on the page so I will be reaching out to many UNL students to start. Also, speaking of our Facebook page, everyone should go like it!

I had never been to Missouri before this summer and I’m pretty sure it’s one of the most beautiful places (after Nebraska, of course). Thankfully I am staying with a wonderful family here who has taken me to family BBQs and the zoo, which is free by the way if you’re ever in St. Louis. Plus I live next door to a woman I work with who has a great pool that’s perfect for lazy Sundays. I’m convinced I am the luckiest girl in the world to have this amazing internship and be living in this great area.

June 7, 2013

New Flex Fuel Pumps Open up in David City

New flex fuel pumps are now open in David City at the RB’s Corner Stop on Highway 15.

This is the 83rd retail location with E85/flex fuel pumps that offer ethanol blended fuels such as E85 for flex fuel vehicles. RB’s Corner Stop is offering E10, E20, E30, and E85. There is an ethanol blend for everyone.

These pumps were paid for in part by a grant provided by the Nebraska Corn Board. The location is supporting the local economy by offering a homegrown, locally produced fuel, ethanol.

“We have been working hard to get flex fuel pumps across Nebraska,” said Kim Clark director of biofuels development for the Nebraska Corn Board. “Over the last year we have doubled the number of locations that offer E85 and other ethanol blended fuels.”

Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board said, “Ethanol saves motorist money at the pump. Last year, ethanol saved Americans in the Midwest over $1.60 per gallon. A consumer’s choice and ethanol availability are high on consumer’s priority list with today’s gas prices.”

One in 10 Nebraska motorists currently own a flexible fuel vehicle which can run on any blend of ethanol and gasoline, up to E85, and many don’t even know it. To confirm if a vehicle is flex fuel, drivers can check their owner’s manual, their gas cap, look for the flex fuel emblem on their vehicle or click here.

When flex fuel drivers fill up on E85 and other ethanol blends, they’re strengthening Nebraska’s economy, making our country more energy independent and helping the environment. Blender pumps that offer higher ethanol blends are helping the nation move past the E10 blend wall.

Grand opening details will be available at a later date.

To find a list of retailers that offer E85 and other mid-level ethanol blends visit the Nebraska Ethanol Board website at www.ne-ethanol.org or check the Nebraska Corn Board website at www.nebraskacorn.org.

A Salute to Dairy Month

By: Lauren Ibach, Communications and Outreach Intern

For as long as I can remember my days have always included a glass of milk. Yes, I am a dairy lover. I just can't make it through the day without a glass of cold 2% milk. When I think back and try to discover where my love for milk came from one incident sticks out that sparked my addiction. That incident occurred in kindergarten, you see around Christmas time I was playing in my living room at home. I had been to little girls cheer camp earlier that morning and discovered a new activity called "the cartwheel" and like any 5 year old girl I was eager to try it. I decided that the best way to go about this activity was to first find the perfect spot to practice. I was looking everywhere in the house for a place big enough to perform this stunt when it happened...I fell of the back of the couch and broke both of the bones in my right arm. From that moment forward I was forced to drink milk with the hopes that my arm would heal quicker, and from there on my love of milk has continued.

When I learned that June was Dairy Month you can only imagine my excitement. Naturally with my current internship I think about corn 24/7 so I was interested in figuring out how corn is related to the dairy industry. I knew from growing up on a farm that the cows were most likely eating corn in their daily ration but how much corn do they eat? This is a hard question to answer because the amount of corn or distillers grains in rations tends to vary but I did learn that the average dairy cow consumes 1,000 pounds of feed a year. There are also around 61,000 head of dairy cows in Nebraska alone. Without doing all the math I quickly realized that dairy cows consume a lot of corn and distillers grains.

After doing some research to figure out how much a dairy cow eats I became interested in other dairy facts. I decided to narrow my search to strictly Nebraska dairy facts at first. It turns out that Nebraska is the 27th largest dairy producing state, we produce around 138 million gallons of milk annually, and there are 205 licensed dairy herds in Nebraska. This came as a surprise to me because I tend to not imagine Nebraska as being a very big dairy state. To finish up my research of the dairy industry I decided to take a look at the industry from a national perspective. It didn't take me long to learn that the estimated economic impact of the dairy industry is $140 billion, and dairy farmers and companies are a lifeline to 900,000 jobs in the United States. The dairy industry alone has a huge impact on our national economy and provides many Americans with stable jobs. If you are still curious about the dairy industry I encourage you to visit  Midwest Dairy Association's website for some fun facts and a further look into the dairy industry.

When I think back now that rough night successfully ended my future career as a professional cartwheelist, but it led me to develop an appreciation for milk which has inspired me to learn more about this wonderful industry and for that I am thankful.  

June 6, 2013

Corn Farmers Return to Nation's Capital in Advertising, Educational Campaign


8905476939_6a970b93f9_cFor the fifth year in a row, policymakers in our nation's capital are learning about the U.S. family farmers who produce corn, our nation's top crop, as part of the Corn Farmers Coalition program. Once again, the program, which is sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and its state affiliates, showcases how innovative and high-tech corn farmers have become by introducing a foundation of facts about farmers and farming.

"This has always been a crucial time of year in Washington to make sure our lawmakers and those who influence them remember the importance of corn farming to our nation and our economy," said Pam Johnson, NCGA president and a corn grower in Iowa. "Our state corn checkoff programs have seen the importance of this program each year for educating a very important audience about this essential crop and its high value."

8906096092_cf13d5a8df_cThe Corn Farmers Coalition program launched June 1 with a major advertising presence in Washington that puts prominent facts about family farmers in front of thousands on Capitol Hill, starting with "station domination" at Union Station through the month of June. The large-format ads will travel to the Capitol South Metro station for July. In addition, online advertising will appear in publications such as Politico, Washington Post, the New York Times, Roll Call, National Journal, and Congressional Quarterly.

Among the facts presented in the campaign, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

  • America's corn farmers exported $7.6 billion worth of corn last year-one of the few U.S. products with a trade surplus.
  • 95 percent of all corn farms in America are family owned, and family farmers grow 90 percent of America's corn.
  • Thanks to advanced technology, last year corn farmers delivered the 8th largest crop - despite the worst drought since 1936.

This year, the campaign also features important messages from Field to Market, the Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture:

  • America's corn farmers have cut soil erosion 67 percent by using innovative conservation methods.
  • The energy used to grow a bushel of corn decreased 43 percent, thanks to family farmers' use of technology.
  • The land required to grow a bushel of corn has decreased by 30 percent.
  • Corn farmers have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent, thanks to improved farming practices.


To learn more about this campaign or about the Corn Farmers Coalition visit http://www.cornfarmerscoalition.org/.

Click here for images of the current campaign at Union Station.

June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Help us celebrate Dairy Month by showing us your pictures of corn being incorperated into the dairy industry! Post them to our Facebook Page or Twitter.

June 4, 2013

Podcast: Upcoming NeCGA Events

In this podcast, NeCGA communications intern, Lindsay Long, from Springfield, Nebraska, shares about what's happening with the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

Ethanol Night at the Races at the Dawson County Raceway took place on Sunday, June 2nd. This event was sponsored by the Dawson Country Corn Growers, South Central Corn Growers, Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

Additionally with the racing world, with the National Corn Growers Association's sponsorship of American Ethanol, the NASCAR season is heating up. Members of NeCGA are entitled to exclusive online NASCAR news and discounts. You can get great deals on NASCAR tickets and NASCAR gear—even branded items from other NASCAR partners.

Information on the National Corn Yield Contest sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association has been mailed out. This contest has been held for nearly a half century—giving corn growers the opportunity to compete with their colleagues and to learn from their peers across the nation. Winners on the state and national levels will be recognized during the 2014 Commodity Classic held in San Antonio, Texas next February.

Listen for more!

Nebraska Corn Kernel podcasts are also available on iTunes! Click here to subscribe.

June 3, 2013

USMEF intern attends meeting, focuses on summer projects

Michael Chao
By Michael Chao, USMEF intern

Time flies, I can’t believe I am already two weeks into my internship at the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). I still remember the first day I walked into this office, Paul Clayton- the senior vice president of technical services called me into his office and gave me a whole list of projects to work on. It seems like I will be composing tons of technical fact sheets on topics like animal health, beef and pork quality assurance programs, food safety, human nutrition…etc for internal use.

Also, I will be constructing a step-by-step guide to teach foreign importers how to obtain dry-aged beef products from U.S. Finally, I will work with directors from International USMEF offices to compile a list of subprimals that U.S. exports to each country.

I was very fortunate to attend the USMEF board of directors meeting at Washington, D.C. last week. I learned so much about how USMEF operates and met tons of interesting and important people from the meeting. I also learned that there are still many trade barriers on U.S. meat products that are not science-based, and it is our responsibility as an industry to ensure our government can resolve these issues. In addition, I met last year’s intern, Jessica at the meeting. She told me so much about her experience as an intern at USMEF, and how that experience led her to her current career choice.

Denver is such a beautiful and diverse city. I finally got to enjoy some authentic Asian restaurants here in Denver. However, I do not enjoy the morning and afternoon traffic. I live only 8.7 miles away from the office, but it takes me about 40 minutes to get to work everyday. Both the freeway and the local routes are like big parking lots during traffic hours. Oh well, there is really not much to complain because everyone in the office is super nice and awesome and I am really enjoying every minute here in this office.