As a member of the Animal Ag Coalition the National Corn Growers Association met with livestock-industry stakeholders to discuss future goals and outline some challenges facing the industry.

The United Soybean Board initiated the coalition to support and promote the livestock industry. Bill Chase, NCGA's production and stewardship action team chairman, and Max Starbuck, NCGA's stewardship and livestock, attended the meeting. National livestock groups, national and state commodity groups and several industry-related groups also attended the meeting.

"Animal agriculture is extremely important to corn farmers,” says Chase, a corn and livestock producer in South Dakota. “The coalition has extremely talented people working toward the benefit of animal agriculture. Their ability to strategize was amazing. I was overwhelmed by the talent at the meeting and the group’s desire to see animal ag go forward."

The livestock sector is corn growers’ largest market. Livestock consumed more than 55 percent of the 2005 corn crop.

The coalition is still in the early stages of formation.One issue discussed involved ways to counter local laws intending to limit concentrated animal-feeding operations and expansion of existing family operated livestock farms. Considerable discussion centered on animal activist groups, and how animal agriculture can respond.

The coalition is broad based, bringing together several commodity groups and all livestock species, in addition to industrial partners, notes Chase.

“It’s imperative to get together to promote animal ag or else it will get away from us,” he says. “Everyone has a stake in this coalition, and it's important to see animal ag succeed.”

Source: National Corn Growers Association