At the recent Commodity Classic in New Orleans, the National Corn Growers Association finalized a new strategic plan that will focus NCGA's work on a vision of sustainably feeding and fueling a growing world.
The new plan sets four major strategic priorities that reflect the concerns heard through listening to farmers and key stakeholders:
- Increase Demand
- Strengthen Customer and Consumer Trust
- Enhance Productivity & Environmental Sustainability
- Strive for Organizational Excellence
Increasing demand is vital, noted NCGA President Chip Bowling at a news conference held earlier this month.
"Most corn farmers are well past the point of prices being below the cost of production, and prices have been there for some time now," Bowling said. "Facing this dramatic income drop, farmers have begun tightening their belts. We are already seeing the ripple effects of this on rural communities. Implement dealers are selling less equipment. Manufacturers are scaling back production. Agribusinesses have laid off employees."
For NCGA, this means a particular focus on increasing ethanol demand, exploring new uses, increasing livestock exports and pushing for transportation infrastructure that can more efficiently move corn and corn products to market. The target goal within the new plan is competitive market demand for 19 billion bushels of corn by 2025.
"Our growers know what's at stake," Bowling said. "They've worked hard to bring in the three largest crops ever over the past three years, and now we have the opportunity to lead in building demand, enhancing trust, and improving sustainability."