SEWARD, NE—The Nebraska Corn Growers Association held its annual meeting in Seward this week. During the meeting, the association’s membership elected officers for the organization. The following corn growers were re-elected:

– Joel Grams of Minden, President

– Larry Mussack of Decatur, Vice President

– Rick Gruber of Benedict, Secretary and Market Development Chair

– Chuck Emanuel of North Bend, Treasurer

The association also gave its annual Golden Ear Award recognizing outstanding service and leadership in Nebraska’s corn industry. This year’s recipient was Chuck Woodside of KAAPA Ethanol in Minden.

There was considerable discussion regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent proposal to reduce the required amount of corn ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply—a proposed reduction of nearly 1.4 billion gallons for 2014.

During the annual meeting, the Nebraska Corn Growers Association passed a resolution urging the EPA to rescind its proposal and to retain the RFS in its current form.

As part of a statewide grassroots campaign, members of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association will be asking other organizations to adopt a similar resolution. This effort will include local chambers of commerce, county commissioners, city councils, school boards, banks and services clubs.

“The point is that cutting back on our nation’s commitment to renewable fuels is bad for America’s energy security, our economy, our environment, and our rural communities,” said NeCGA president Joel Grams of Minden. “As corn farmers, we also need to be concerned about the potential loss of demand for corn—and the effect that will have on corn prices and our bottom line.”

Grams said that the nation should be focusing on building infrastructure for higher ethanol blends including more flex fuel vehicles and more flex fuel pumps. “Cutting back on the RFS sends a bad signal to companies developing the next generation of biofuels—and it plays right into the hands of the oil companies who have spent huge sums of money to keep ethanol from taking their market share,” he said.

On November 29, the EPA opened a 60-day comment period regarding its proposed ethanol reduction. “As corn farmers, we need to speak out against this proposal,” Grams said. He directed growers to the National Corn Growers Association website at ncga.com to send a comment to the EPA.

The Nebraska Corn Growers Association (www.necga.org) is a grassroots commodity organization that works to enhance the profitability of corn producers. Now in its 40th year of service to its members, NeCGA has more than 2,300 dues paying members in Nebraska. NeCGA is affiliated with the National Corn Growers Association, which has more than 36,000 dues paying members nationwide.