Corn Growers Serve as Part of the “Voice of Agriculture” in Custer County

Corn Growers Serve as Part of the “Voice of Agriculture” in Custer County
Custer County Corn Growers members along with NCGA President Lynn Chrisp (4th from left, 2nd row) and Lt. Governor Mike Foley (2nd from right, 2nd row) during Saturday night's banquet

BROKEN BOW—The first annual Custer County Corn Growers Association (CCCGA) Commodity Classic Banquet brought in local, state, and national representation on Saturday night.

Nolan Hueftle of the CCCGA said the event was put together in just two and a half weeks with the hopes of recognizing the individuals and businesses who contributed to the local test plot which produced “outstanding yields this year.”

The test plot, located west of Broken Bow this year, consisted of 42 entries and Hueftle said it is used to sell from, learn from, and share ideas amongst local growers who all have a “common interest in corn.”

It was echoed throughout the evening that local and state Corn Growers Association membership leads to policy development at both the state and federal levels.

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp made a pilgrimage to Custer County this weekend to speak at the banquet saying there are 300,000 corn growers across the United States and what they do impacts everyone.

Chrisp grew up on the west table and graduated from Arnold. He now lives in Hastings but serves as president of the 40,000-member organization. The NCGA works to continue the conversations of fuel standards, the Farm Bill, oil vs. ethanol disputes, trade agreements, and the environment.

“Just to give you a flavor of all of the things that are going on with National—it starts here in rooms like this all across the county,” Chrisp said. “The National Corn Growers Association and you are part of that voice in agriculture that is making a difference on the world stage.”

Also addressing the crowd at the One Box Convention Center, Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley described corn growers as part of the backbone of Nebraska’s agriculture sector. He said Nebraska ranks number two in ethanol production and number three in corn production.

“Agriculture is the history, it’s the present, and it’s the future of our state,” Lt. Governor Foley said.

Lt. Governor Foley said times are tough right now with low commodity prices and high property taxes, which are doing damage for ag producers. He said both rural and urban representatives need to pull together in the legislature because “agriculture is what drives the state’s economy” as approximately 90% of Nebraska is made up of ag or ranch land.

“We are absolutely determined to address this property tax problem because it’s really causing great damage to our agricultural sector and a solution has eluded us for a number of years. And if it were an easy answer someone would have found it by now. So it’s just going to take a lot of work between a lot of people in our legislature to pull together and rally around one plan,” Lt. Governor Foley said.

At the end of the evening, winners were selected for a three-day trip giveaway to the Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida. Duane Kimball of Callaway won a trip as well as Marilyn and Lon Bohn of Gibbon.