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Iowa Corn Growers connect with lawmakers virtually

Photo by Ben Nuelle

Iowa Corn Grower’s Association (ICGA) members are reaching state lawmakers through different methods of communication.

Members typically meet with legislators in-person for their annual “Iowa Corn Day on The Hill.” However, legislators and their staff are working remotely, due to COVID-19. IGCA president Jim Greif says this “one-day effort to spread the message of Iowa Corn” looks a little different this year.

“(We’re) trying to contact all of our legislators personally with emails or phone calls,” Greif said. “We still have our state priorities, and it pays to stay in touch with our legislators.”

Iowa Corn Growers Association members today (Wednesday) advocated for conservation and water quality funding.

“We get blamed for a lot of things with water,” Greif said. “Most of us live on a farm with a well and have to drink what we put in the ground. Our water is what we take care of, and water quality is high on our list of priorities. We (also) like to maintain a funding stream for the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”

Another subject, which remains top-of-mind among Iowa corn growers, is ethanol. Ethanol markets have taken a big hit, impacting marketing opportunities for corn farmers.

However, Greif hopes Iowa corn farmers can receive some reprieve from the Senate’s version of a two-trillion-dollar economic stimulus package.

“That is going to be vital to (the) survival of a lot of farms,” Greif said. “One bright spot is that ethanol is the best sanitizer, but that isn’t a huge percentage of the market. It will get bigger, but we’re not talking about a 30-percent increase in corn prices because of hand sanitizer. But that’s one silver lining in this dark cloud.”