Iowa Corn Growers Association sets legislative priorities for 2016

Iowa Corn Growers Association sets legislative priorities for 2016

Throughout the legislative session, members of ICGA meet with lawmakers to discuss issues important to the corn industry.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) has released the final list of state and federal legislative priorities for the upcoming year. These priorities are based on grassroots input from members across the state.

STANDING UP FOR CORN: "The single most important thing the Iowa Corn Growers Association can do for its members is lobby on state and federal issues and protect the rights of corn growers," says ICGA president Bob Hemesath. ICGA policy is developed at grassroots meetings around the state and confirmed at an annual policy meeting in December.

"As a long-standing, influential agricultural organization, our grassroots members drive our policy development process. ICGA knows that creating sound policy is the single most important thing that we can do for our members. We actively encourage engagement from ICGA members across the state to help develop policy to positively impact our farming operations," says ICGA president Bob Hemesath, who farms near Calmar in northeast Iowa. "We are grassroots driven at both the state and federal level, and continue working towards fair policy that protects the interests of our members and the Iowa corn industry."

The 2016 ICGA state and federal priorities are listed below.

2016 ICGA state priorities, listed in alphabetical order:
Conservation: 2016 funding for the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
Department of Agriculture: Funding for IDALS budget requests (state veterinarian, conservation, fuels, etc.)
Ethanol: Extend/renew income-tax credits for renewable fuel retailers (E15, E85, and increasing levels of biofuels)
Ethanol: Infrastructure cost-share for retail fuel stations up to E85
Ethanol: Tax credits for cellulosic ethanol production or other advanced biofuels
Livestock: Full $4 million funding for ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
Livestock: Support the livestock industry and the existing laws regulating livestock operations
Research: Increased funding for ISU Experiment Station, livestock related research re: animal stress and odor management
Research: Increased funding for ISU Extension programs
Value-Added Agriculture: State tax credits for bio-based products beyond food and fuel

2016 ICGA federal priorities, listed in alphabetical order:
Biotechnology: Create a national voluntary biotech labeling law
Environment: Repeal of the 2015 EPA Clean Water Act rule
Environment: Voluntary water quality efforts, not EPA regulatory nutrient limits
Ethanol: Reduce regulatory barriers to higher ethanol blends for conventional cars
Ethanol: Retain the Renewable Fuel Standard
Farm Bill: Protect crop insurance funding
Taxes: Extend or make permanent bonus depreciation, Sec. 179, and capital gains
Trade: Expand bilateral and multilateral trade agreements (ex: Trans Pacific Partnership)
Trade: Protect Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) funding
Transportation: Increase appropriations for river transportation, including locks and dams

ICGA's 2016 state and federal priorities originated from discussion at the ICGA Annual Meeting and Policy Conference held this past August, and they were finalized by the ICGA board of directors on behalf of the organization's nearly 8,000 members at the December 21, 2015 policy meeting. ICGA members will bring these key priority issues to their elected officials throughout coming year.

Top state and federal priorities for 2016 available online
To view all of ICGA's comprehensive policy, the 2016 Iowa Corn Growers Association policy book is available online at iowacorn.org/policy or contact the Iowa Corn office in Johnston. ICGA is an 8,000-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.

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