From the Michigan Corn Growers Assoc.
As the winter cold dissipates and we look forward to the spring days ahead, we are wrapping up a busy meeting season in the offices of the Michigan Corn Growers Assoc. (MCGA) and the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan (CMPM).
As growers hit the fields to plant a new crop for the upcoming year, they can look back on a productive winter, where participation and interest were high at numerous “Coffee with Corn” meetings, the national Commodity Classic conference and various board and research meetings as Michigan Corn set its course for a prosperous future.
Lonier elected president
Lansing corn grower Scott Lonier began his term as president of the MCGA at the group’s annual meeting in February. Scott and his brother, Steve, continue to work with their father, Jim, representing the fifth generation of Loniers to tend numerous mid-Michigan fields at Shady Lodge Farms, LLC.
The Lonier family has farmed in the area since 1876 and currently farm nearly 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans throughout the Lansing area. Last year, the Loniers were highlighted in the Corn Farmers Coalition, a national educational program that targets Washington, D.C., audiences to help raise awareness about the importance of agriculture and family farms. Scott served as MCGA vice president last term.
Corn growers attend Commodity Classic
Several Michigan corn growers recently returned from the record-setting 2013 Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, Fla. The 18th annual Classic had more than 6,000 participants from across the nation.
Michigan representatives from MCGA and CMPM included: John Burk of Bay City; Dan Cable of Maybee; Matt Cary of Alma; Richard Dobbins of Concord; Tom Durand of Croswell; Pat Feldpausch of Fowler; Alvin Ferguson of Allenton; Philip Gordon of Saline; Tony Igl of Mason; Mark Kies of Allen; Loren Koeman of Grand Rapids; Brian Kreps of LaSalle; Scott Miller of Elsie; Randy Poll of Hamilton; Jeff Sandborn of Portland; and Ned Wyse of Camden.
Commodity Classic is the combined annual meeting of the National Corn Growers Assoc. (NCGA), the American Soybean Assoc. (ASA), the National Assoc. of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and the National Sorghum Producers (NSP).
Some of the highlights of this year’s convention were the general session featuring Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; learning-center sessions on subjects from increasing efficiency to discovering personal influence as a farmer; and an evening of entertainment with a classic rock band.
In addition to the general session, the NCGA held the first of two semiannual sessions of the NCGA Corn Congress. At Corn Congress, delegates from state corn organizations voted on policy issues to guide the national organization in the coming year.
The second session of Corn Congress will be held this July in Washington, D.C., where delegates will update NCGA policy again and visit with U.S. lawmakers.
Another highlight for many growers was the large agricultural trade show. This year, the show consisted of more than 960 booths, featuring more than 250 companies. On the trade show floor, the latest in equipment and technology were showcased while company representatives met with individual growers to discuss their new products.
MCGA President Lonier said the Classic provides an outstanding combination of educational sessions, issue updates and industry interactions to growers from across the country and allows everyone to learn from some of the best and brightest in the industry.
The 2014 Commodity Classic will take place in San Antonio, Texas.
Michigan corn grower honored by USGC
Ed Breitmeyer, a corn grower from Buckley, in northern Michigan, was recognized recently by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) for five years of service as a delegate.
Breitmeyer was honored at USGC’s 10th International Marketing Conference and 53rd Annual Membership Meeting in Charleston, S.C. Since becoming a member, he has attended numerous USGC meetings and participated in many hands-on assessments of production, market development and transportation and maintenance issues in other countries.
In 2012, Breitmeyer was part of the 16th Annual China Corn Harvest Tour and in 2011, he joined a similar trip to Panama to examine progress of the Panama Canal expansion. He is also an active member of the USGC’s Membership and Communications Advisory Team.
As always, if you have any questions about the corn industry or would like to join MCGA, please call the Michigan Corn office at 888-323-6601 or visit us online at www.micorn.org