3 months ago by Jim Dewey
Martin Barbree says the Farm Bill and the Renewable Fuel Standard are top priorities
The National Corn Growers Association was at last week's Farm Progress Show in Decatur and incoming President Martin Barbree from Illinois shared a few thoughts about the NCGA's Activities.
Barbre noted NCGA has been working with members of Congress even though Congress is on vacation.
"There's been a lot of work during that time, we've had a lot of our members talking to Congressional folks," he said.
Barbre said the big topics remain the Farm Bill and the Renewable Fuel Standard. He said there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes trying to get a new Water Resources Development Act bill through the house. The senate has passed its version of the bill which still needs to be funded before anything can happen regarding improvements to the locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. A debate Barbre says, has "been going on a long time."
He said "it's a shame that the country doesn't understand the real scope of what the river system does for our economy." Barbre noted that agriculture is a big part of that, but he said there are a lot of commodities that go up and down the river including coal, jet fuel for O'Hare Airport and even salt for Chicago streets and highways. "What happens if one of those locks breaks down and they're shipping salt to Chicago and then mid December they have a snow storm, no salt?" asked Barbre.
Barbre said there would be trucks running all over trying to bring salt to Chicago which he said is not environmentally friendly.
There are some positives in the NCGA including membership growth. Membership has surpassed 40 thousand members and has been growing at a rate of nearly 2 percent a year for the past 15 years.
Barbre says that means the nation's largest commodity group is doing its job representing its members correctly.
Barbre takes over a president of the NCGA on October first.