As the 2012 Farm Bill gets increasing scrutiny in Washington, D.C., the nation’s top corn growers will converge on the U.S. capital for the fourth year in a row as part of the Corn Farmers Coalition (CFC) educational program. The effort, intended to raise awareness of facts seen as essential to lawmakers’ decision-making, debuts June 1 at Union Station -- an important venue for reaching policymakers inside “The Beltway.”
The CFC is launching its major advertising campaign by taking over every available ad space at Union Station. The effort will also put prominent facts about family farmers in Capitol Hill publications, radio, frequently-used websites, and other Metro locations in June and July.
The CFC believes that important advances in corn production are well-known in Washington as lawmakers focus on the 2012 Farm Bill. “Awareness of the innovation, technology, and generations of accumulated knowledge on our farms today should be a part of our national dialogue about agriculture,” said Jay Lynch, fifth- generation farmer from Humboldt, Iowa.
Corn-based ethanol will likely be a major topic on the CFC agenda. Recently, ethanol opponents in Congress sent a letter to their colleagues in the House of Representatives that is full of misguided information about corn and ethanol, according the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA.)
“We need to remind members of the House of Representatives that corn ethanol helps keep gas more affordable at a time of rising oil prices, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and supports domestic jobs and the rural economy,” according to a NCGA press release.
Corn is incredibly versatile and our ability to grow it so successfully has made huge contributions to our economy and balance of trade, according to CFC. Farmers from 14 states and the NCGA are supporting the coalition program.
The coalition will meet with media, members of Congress, environmental groups and others to talk about the future of farming: how U.S. farmers, using the latest technologies, will continue to meet the demands of a growing population and how this productivity can be a bright spot in an otherwise struggling economy.
Other facts about U.S. corn production:
95 percent of all corn farms in America are family-owned.
America’s corn farmers are by far the most productive in the world, growing 20 percent more corn per acre than any other nation.
America’s corn farmers exported $10 billion worth of corn in 2011 – one of the few American products with a trade surplus.
America’s corn farmers have cut soil erosion 44 percent by using innovative conservation tillage methods.
There are more than 300,000,000 people living in the United States. Only 2,000,000 farm so the rest of us can eat.
Researchers estimate yields may surpass an average of 210 bushels by 2020 and reach a national average of 300 bushels by 2030.