Iowa corn growers discuss key policy issues with Gov. Branstad

Iowa corn growers discuss key policy issues with Gov. Branstad

Iowa Legislature needs to find ways to provide more funding for the state's water quality efforts.

The Harrison County Corn Growers Association in late June hosted Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad on the farm of Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) director Curt Mether for a discussion on policy issues affecting corn farmers. This visit was part of the Governor's 99 Iowa County Tour where he met with 11 farmers.

The group talked about the need for the Iowa Legislature to pass legislation to set consistent funding for the state's water quality efforts, support for Section 179 income tax coupling in 2017 and the signing of the state of Iowa’s biochemical tax credit. The state legislature passed the biochemical tax credit in the recent 2016 session, and Branstad signed it into law.

WATER QUALITY: Harrison County Corn Growers Association members recently hosted Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (front center) on the farm of Iowa Corn Growers Association director Curt Mether (front right) near Logan, Iowa. They discussed issues important to farmers, including the need for increased cost-share funding for water quality practices.

ICGA seeks significant long-term funding for water quality efforts

"We appreciate the governor taking the time to hear our views on a number of policy issues," said Mether, a farmer from Logan. "We appreciate the legislators’ efforts on water quality issues and also the governor’s work on water quality funding legislation even though no additional funding was passed in the 2016 session. The Iowa Corn Growers Association remains committed to seeking significant, long-term funding for improving water quality in the state of Iowa. We are hopeful the state legislature can come to a consensus this coming session which begins in January 2017."

Local and county corn grower groups such as the one in Harrison County make up the backbone of ICGA's membership organization. Grassroots members guide policy, help establish legislative priorities and build relationships with elected officials in helping to advance the Iowa Corn Growers Association's key policy objectives.

The next step in the policy development process is the ongoing ICGA membership survey and roundtable meetings, which will be held across the state in early July. These meetings allow ICGA members to gather together and discuss policy directions for the upcoming year. To see ICGA's full list of state and federal priorities, please visit 2016 Iowa Corn Growers Association Policy Book.

Iowa Corn’s website receives an upgrade

Visitors to Iowa Corn’s website at iowacorn.org will notice it has received a significant makeover as of late June. This new sleek design allows users the ability to easily navigate to desired content. The fresh look continues to keep with the consistent Iowa Corn brand voice while elevating relevant content throughout the site.

“We wanted to create not only an aesthetically pleasing website, but also one that is able to function regardless of your device whether that is a computer, tablet, or phone,” says Iowa Corn Promotion Board president Mark Heckman, a farmer from West Liberty. “We also want a site which will offer information and resources depending on whether you are a farmer or a consumer. If you take a moment to poke around the new site, you will see an “I'M A...” button at the top left-hand side and you will be able to select whether you want to receive information relevant to farmers or information relevant to consumers. Of course, you also have the option to select neither and take a look at the content that is populated on the main site.”

Key improvements include:

•Addition of scrolling 'hot topic' banners at the top of the home page. At all times, five topics continuously scroll and you are able to click any banner which will then take you to a different page within the site dedicated to the specific topic. 

•Major content categories sections on the top navigation including About, Membership, Corn Production, Corn Uses and Resources.

•An “Updated Events” section that allows events to be searchable by category as well as by date.

•Refreshed Checkoff, News and Membership sections prominently displayed in the middle fold of the homepage.

•Incorporation of the CornStalk Blog to allow posts to be searchable within the site.

•Special home page call-out buttons for the Iowa Corn 300, Iowa Corn Cy-Hawks Series, Corn It’s Everything Campaign, Common Ground, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S. Grains Council as well as a place for learning more about corn through watching farmer videos and taking action on corn policy issues. 

“If you have some time, take a moment to check it out,” says Heckman “Things may look a little different, but all the same, informative content is still there. I think you’ll agree with me, it’s a site you will want to keep as one of your favorites to learn about the good things happening at Iowa Corn.”

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