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Friday, July 29, 2016

Ethanol Research Presented at NACAT Conference

Last week more than 200 automotive technicians and educators met in Pasadena, TX for the 43rd annual North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) conference. NACAT is an international conference that provides educational and professional development opportunities for automotive educators from the U.S. and Canada. Attendees came for four days full of training and networking opportunities.  For the second year, Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) partnered with Corn Grower Associations from Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri on behalf of the American Ethanol brand to attend NACAT and present ethanol educational resources.
"This is one of the few conferences an educator can learn from not only their presenters, vendors and corporate trainers, but can also learn from peers and colleagues that are in similar classroom situations," said Mike Rodgers, Interim VP of Academic Affairs and Director of Advancement, OCTC. "NACAT provides such an array of educational topics, it makes the quality of the conference like no other."

OCTC instructors Fred Wright and Lewis Nall presented results found from an engine testing project that was commissioned by KyCorn and MoCorn.  In the investigation, flex fuel lawnmower engines manufactured by KOHLER engines were tested with various ethanol blends to document wear, durability.  In short, higher ethanol blends burned cleaner and led to less wear and tear; oil test results also indicated less were and tear at higher ethanol concentrations.  Detailed findings were distributed during the classes taught at NACAT. You can see that here
"The project we presented was a yearlong project. Every part of the presentation was built by students, including stands and wiring," said Fred. "We had a lot of positive feedback from instructors who thanked us for researching and presenting this type of information. If you get one teacher on board, you have 500 followers."

"It was extremely well received. After the first class, we noticed instructors came back for the second," said Lewis. "There is a lot of skepticism and we can prove that it's not true; not just with words, we can show them. During the trade show, our booth was busy the entire time. It shows there's a need for this kind of information to be disseminated."  If you are interested in the findings of this project, the principle investigators can be reached at and  

UK Field Day Spotlights Techniques and Research Findings

Yesterday hundreds of farmers, researchers and agribusinessman met in Princeton at The UK Research and Education Center for the annual UK Corn, Soybean and Tobacco Field Day. Attendees heard from different researchers about their past findings and what they are currently working on. 

"This year was tremendously successful in terms of additional research. We have a lot of new faculty who have started research on site," said Colette Laurent, University of Kentucky, Grain Crop Coordinator. "We enjoy the field day as an opportunity to showcase the new and continuing research. With the weather offering a bit of a challenge, we went to plan B and moved the event indoors allowing all attendees to hear the presentations as one group."

KyCorn was a sponsor of the event, as well as the research that generated much of the information presented. 

Louisville Host to U.S. Grains Council Annual Meeting

Louisville was host to the U.S. Grains Council's (USGC) 56th Annual Board of Delegates meeting this week, with members in attendance focused on emerging opportunities for the grain industry and the need to spread the positive message of ag trade.

USGC, export arm of the grain industry, works in more than 50 countries and the European Union to develop export markets for corn and other feed grains as well as co-products like DDGS and ethanol. It's members include farm organizations like Kentucky Corn as well as agribusinesses, and it receives grant funding from market development programs in the 2014 Farm Bill. 
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles kicked off the sessions by offering a special welcome at the general session, spotlighting the importance of agricultural trade to the local industry and encouraging those in attendance to advocate for trade and agriculture.
The rest of the week offered a full agenda with a look at the global economy and current trade environment, the return on investment of USGC programs, the Tanzania Food for Progress Program, ethanol programs globally and future feed grain demand that the Council is working to tap.
Another highlight of the week was the presentation offered by Leanne Ragland, LaRue county farmer and Commonground volunteer. Leanne spoke to a group of delegate spouses about how her organization uses farm women to share accurate information about the agriculture industry with other farmers and consumers.

During the meetings, USGC's membership also elected new board members and officers and adopted its fiscal year 2017 budget. 

"We were excited for the opportunity to be in Kentucky for this meeting and truly appreciate the hospitality Kentucky Corn has shown us from start to finish in the planning process," said Chip Councell, a Maryland farmer who became USGC chairman at the Louisville meeting.

"The Council's work totally depends on the engagement of our members to help us set direction and carry out our programs globally. We definitely saw and felt Kentucky's support this week." 
For more information about USGC, visit

Friday, July 22, 2016

KyCorn Attends Annual Summer Corn Congress

KyCorn Corn delegation with Senator Rand Paul's Staffers
KyCorn leaders meeting with Chip Bowling, NCGA President 

National Corn Growers Annual Summer Corn Congress session was held this week in Washington DC. Representing KyCorn as delegates were Richard Strode, KyCorn President, and Mark Roberts, KyCorn Vice President. Delegates elected five new NCGA Corn Board members and discussed policies such as trade, ethanol and atrazine.

While in D.C., KyCorn also made hill visits. "It is extremely important for corn farmers from around the country to come together to discuss issues impacting their industry and work together to find solutions and ways to improve," said Laura Knoth, KyCorn Executive Director. "It is equally important for our farmer leaders to make personal visits to capitol hill to share policy positions and discuss issues that affect the agriculture industry."

KyCorn Represented on NCGA Action Teams

This week KyCorn traveled to Washington D.C. for a week full meetings and networking opportunities. Starting off the week were farmer-led action teams and committees having in-depth conversations in areas of public policy, ethanol, biotechnology, government regulation, trade and grower services. 

Representing KyCorn this week on NCGA action teams were Quint and Leah Pottinger. Quint serves on the Research and Business Development Action Team and Leah serves on the Grower Services Action Team . 
"The Grower Services Action Team meeting was very productive and I am so excited about some of the things NCGA is working on to further our cause and increase our outreach," said Leah. "NCGA surveyed a group of members on what their first, second and third topics of interest are and they produced some interesting results. Some of the topics most interesting to members were Ethanol, Production and Stewardship Practices."

Action team and committee meetings concluded Tuesday afternoon. Click here for information on the action teams and committees.

Monday, July 18, 2016

High Priority GMO Labeling Bill Now Goes for President's Signature

Last Thursday, the House passed the Roberts-Stabenow agreement on GMO labeling with a vote of 306-117.  You can view the roll call here.  Now, KyCorn urges President Obama to quickly sign this bill into law. Once signed, the legislation will stop implementation of the Vermont mandatory GMO labeling law, and prevent other states from passing similar bills. The bill passed last week ensures that mandatory, on-pack labels do not place an unwarranted stigma on safe, proven technology.
Thank you to Senator McConnell and Congressmen Barr, Guthrie, Rogers and Whitfield, for helping advance this landmark legislation.  For more information on the need for a federal labeling standard, visit the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, at

KyCorn Board of Directors Discusses Important Initiatives

This week KyCorn held their board meeting in Louisville, KY. The meeting began Wednesday with a meeting of the KyCorn Promotion Council and Executive Committee and concluded Thursday with a joint meeting of the board members and promotion council. 
The board received updates and proposals from a variety of external organizations including NCGA, U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation and USA Poultry and Egg Export Council about their on-going projects, new projects and involvement opportunities for KyCorn. The board also heard from their longtime partner of biofuels efforts Thorntons about their current business plan for blender pumps in the Chicago area, and their plans for advancing a variety of mid-level and high-level ethanol blends in KY. 
Program, communications and legislative updates were also presented. The board authorized the fourth class of the CORE Farmer Program, an agronomy based leadership program, and approved new water quality communications plans that will take place this year. 

Wednesday night, Senator Paul Hornback, Senate Ag Committee Chairman and a farmer from Shelbyville, joined KyCorn board members.  Senator Hornback was awarded a plaque in appreciation of his service and dedication to Kentucky agriculture by one of his constituents, Philip McCoun, Chairman of the KY Corn Promotion Council.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Secretary of the KY Energy and Environment Cabinet Takes Grain Tour

Secretary Snavely climbs under Philip McCoun's planter to understand the precision of how crops are planted. 
Photos courtesy of Kentucky Soybean board. 
Secretary Snarly and his wife Shari climbing off a sprayer on Philip McCoun's Farm.
Photos courtesy of Kentucky Soybean board. 
This week, the KY Corn Growers Association and the Kentucky Soybean Board hosted Secretary Charles Snavely, Secretary of the KY Energy and Environment Cabinet, and his wife Shari Snavely on a Grain Tour. 
Secretary Snavely is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a B.S. in Mining Engineering and recently completed the Executive MBA Program through a joint program of the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.  Secretary Snavely was appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin as Secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet in December 2015.
The tour began Wednesday, July 6, and concluded Thursday, July 7, and had a total of five stops. The first stop took place at Philip McCoun's Farm, KyCorn Promotion Council Chairman, in Shelbyville. Secretary Snavely had the opportunity to tour Philip's grain and livestock operation and was able to get an up-close look at a planter.
Right away Secretary Snavely and his wife, Shari, were fascinated with the dedication and commitment farmers have to their land and lifestyle. "The depth of knowledge and passion Kentucky's farmers have is obvious.  Kentucky could, and should, be a national model for taking care of the environment," said Shari Snavely.
Up next on the tour was Ryan and Misty Biven's Fresh Start Farms in Hodgenville.  Ryan serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Kentucky Soybean Board. A group of corn and soybean farm leaders joined the Secretary at Biven's farm to discuss environmental and energy issues.  Before dinner, Secretary got to climb aboard one of Ryan's tractors and see first-hand the technology in today's farm equipment.

"I am pleased to see Kentucky as a leader in agriculture water quality, and am continuously amazed by the technology that goes into farming," said Secretary Snavely. 
The following morning, the group traveled to Maceo  for a tour of Gavilon Grain and continued the day with a tour of Joseph Sisk's farm, KyCorn board member, in Hopkinsville.
Sisk discussed what they are currently doing on his farm in terms of irrigation and variable rate technology. He also handed out print outs of the measurement tools they are using that showed the level of detail available for making wise resource decisions.
"The technology we are using helps us manage our water and energy resource," said Sisk. "The scientific measurement of irrigation is going to become more important in agriculture. We are always striving to be as efficient as possible with our resources, and it is important to let the public know that."
The tour ended with a stop at Commonwealth Agri- Energy for a conversation with Mick Henderson, plant managerand Wayne Hunt, owner of H& R Agri-power and a CAE board member, about ethanol production and different products made at the plant. Secretary Snavely and his wife were able to see ethanol and the other products including corn oil and animal feed. 

Joseph Sisk explained that having Hopkinsville Elevator and the ethanol plant as well as Siemer Milling and the canola crushing plant close together was a real benefit to local farmers and the community. "Is it very important to me that the four things I raise on my farm are vertically integrated within an hour of my house. That's huge," said Sisk.
"I am really proud that the Secretary of the KY Energy and Environment Cabinet would be willing to come out and see what Agriculture is about and see how he plays such a vital role in policies that effect farmers," said Philip. "It is important that we keep a good working relationship with him and his cabinet."

Friday, July 1, 2016

Submit Your Comments Today!

It is important that you file comments on the EPA's proposal for 2017 RFS volumes. EPA has proposed to lower the 2017 RFS requirement for conventional renewable fuels (like corn ethanol) to 14.8 billion gallons from the level of 15 billion gallons established by Congress in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. Please follow the simple steps in the  attached document to file your comment with EPA before July 11.

Also, the EPA published a draft Ecological Risk Assessment for atrazine, an herbicide used for weed control in growing corn and other crops. If it stands, EPA's recommendation would effectively ban the use of atrazine in most farming areas in the U.S. Visit to submit your comments to the EPA. The deadline to submit comments is October 4. For more information on atrazine, visit