Growing Markets at Home and Worldwide
It has been a pleasure serving as the KyCorn Promotion Council Chairman over the past few years. I and the other Promotion Council members have worked for our fellow corn producers by directing checkoff into worthwhile projects that will improve our farm profitability. That is accomplished through market development, research, promotion, and education.
A few projects we supported in 2017 that I would like to note are the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Beef Solutions ground beef startup, the O.Z. Tyler Distillery expansion in Owensboro, and the University of Kentucky’s Grain and Forage Center of Excellence. These are projects that will have impact on Kentucky corn use and improving production efficiencies. I believe keeping a portion of our dollars here at home is vitally important to the success of Kentucky agriculture.
It is also important, however, to improve global demand. We continue to work with the U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation, and U.S.A. Poultry and Egg Export Council to grow overseas markets for livestock feed, food markets, fuel ethanol, and corn-fed meats. Agricultural exports have reached all-time highs thanks to their efforts.
Trade is also where I feel I can make the greatest impact for Kentucky’s corn growers. This summer I was elected to the U.S. Grains Council Board of Directors. It is here I would like to devote my efforts and have asked to step down as chairman in 2018, but I will continue and look forward to serving you as a promotion council member.
Lastly, I want to take time to remember Jim Barton, whom we lost this past October. He was a founding board member of the Kentucky Corn Growers Association and served as Kentucky Corn Promotion Council Chairman for 16 years until he retired in 2013. In honor of his incredible legacy to Kentucky agriculture, we named the Jim Barton Memorial Scholarship that will be available to students studying agriculture for the 2018/2019 school year.
Thank you, Jim, for your vision for Kentucky’s corn growers and industry. I hope that we will continue to make you proud.
A Voice for Kentucky Farmers
KyCorn had a successful year addressing policy issues this past year. It took our leadership, staff, and members working together to make legislative visits, participate in policy and action team meetings, write letters, submit editorials, and make phone calls.
We are also proud that our members answered the call to participate in our 2018 Farm Bill Listening Sessions. It was vital to hear how our growers felt about different programs so that we may more effectively lobby on behalf of our entire membership base and vote on national association policy.
This is my last year on the Growers Association Board of Directors, but I look forward to continuing to serve you as Kentucky Department of Agriculture appointee on the Kentucky Corn Promotion Council.
Thank you for being a part of this organization and adding your voice to help our Kentucky farmers.
- Continued to defend the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) released for 2018 under the RFS were higher than anticipated for conventional renewable fuels such as corn-based ethanol. Additional attacks will continue.
- Several regulations were addressed this year. A key one was the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule which was withdrawn, but a new one will be formed to take its place so we will remain engaged in the process.
- We engaged on transportation infrastructure – roads, bridges, rail and waterways are crucial to our industry, and we continued to fight for funding to improve these important assets.