March 13, 2018

Commodity Classic or Vacation?

Take me back to the palm trees.

I spent the week of March 26th in Anaheim, California at the 2018 Commodity Classic and Corn Congress! Before I left for this trip everyone I talked to who had been before said I was in for a treat, and boy were they right! The week was filled with learning, networking and fun!

Reflecting back, I applied for an internship with the Nebraska Corn Board in the first place because I wanted to learn more about the corn industry, in addition to the communication skills. Attending Commodity Classic accomplished that. At Corn Congress, as the delegates moved through the different revisions I learned more about corn policies, insurance and the basic concerns that corn farmers face every day. I was most fascinated by the discussion over base acres. This was a topic I was not familiar with before and the discussion in the room had my wheels turning. Question after question, I came to understand the concept of base acres and its importance to corn farmers livelihood. I learned how base acres are used in the different corn insurance policies as well. Another major topic was RINS (Renewable Identification Numbers) and RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard). The discussion also included topics on GMOS, trade, satellite imagery, conservation, greenhouse gases, biotech, labeling and drift.

My social butterfly skills were put to the test, I attempted to meet and get to know as many people as possible. It was sort of like a family reunion. All of the staff and board members from different states took this as an opportunity to catch up. I got to be a part of that. I met wonderful people who are making things happen for corn on a national level and others from different states who face problems just like Nebraska. The community support and comradery I saw made me realize how lucky I was. This is a trait I will now look for in future positions. However, National Corn has set the standard pretty high!

While I may have missed a week of school the week was still full of learning. However, I did have my fair share of fun with staff, board members and others while I was there. I want to go back, that’s for sure. The corn industry and all the wonderful people that work for it have roped me in!

It is great to be back, “Living the Good Life” but I definitely had a blast while I was on the west coast!

Catherine Jones
Marketing and Communications Intern
Nebraska Corn Board
301 Centennial Mall So.
Lincoln, NE 68509
Office: 402-471-2676

Nebraska intern takes on D.C.

This past February the Nebraska Corn Growers Association took 13 new leaders to Washington D.C. for the annual D.C. Leadership Mission. Throughout the week we made several industry stops. On Monday night we met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary, Greg Ibach. He gave us an update on the progress of the 2018 Farm Bill and other federal issues. We also had the opportunity to meet with the Corn Refiners Association, National Pork Producers Council, CropLife, American Farm Bureau, Growth Energy, US Grains Council, Renewable Fuels Association, and Animal Ag Alliance, just to name a few. When talking to our industry partners we focused on trade, the Renewable Fuel Standards (RSF), 2018 Farm Bill, and Waters of the US (WOTUS). Each group shared their concerns on these topics and discussed how they plan to work on these issues. They all had similar concerns for the coming year.

While we were in D.C. we also had the opportunity to meet with all of our congressional leaders; Senator-Deb Fischer, Senator-Ben Sasse, Congressmen- Adrian Smith, Jeff Fortenberry, and Don Bacon. When we met with them we discussed several issues including trade, the RFS, 2018 Farm Bill, and WOTUS. We shared how important NAFTA is to our local agricultural economy in Nebraska. We also talked about the need to protect crop insurance for our farmers.

We wrapped up the week on Thursday afternoon at the National Corn Growers Association office. The attendees shared their thoughts and experiences from the trip. Many said it pushed them out of their comfort zone and helped to build their leadership skills as well as share their passion and concerns they have on policy and legislation. They were able to see first-hand how policy affects their farming operations every day. One leader said that policy affects us all whether we are a big or small farm, and we the producers are the ones that have a voice to impact the decisions that congressional leaders make in D.C. It is our job as leaders in the corn industry to share our stories. The attendees were excited to network with different industry partners and build connections with other producers from the state that will last a lifetime.

We also had a little fun while we were in DC. Some of our group leaders took us on a hike around DC to see the beautiful monuments at night. This is a view one doesn’t get to see during the day. It also helped to walk off the delicious meal that we had earlier that evening! Needless to say, it helped contribute to my 9-mile average workout each day.

Overall, the trip was very educational, and our leaders were eager to come back to Nebraska and share their leadership experiences with fellow corn producers. If you are interested in attending in 2019, contact Morgan Wrich at 402-438-6459!

Brooke Tempel
Nebraska Corn Growers Association
1111 Lincoln Mall #308
Lincoln, NE  68508
Office: 402.438.6459