New NCGA President Lays Out Goals, Including More Trade

Iowa farmer Chris Edgington is the new president of the National Corn Growers Association. He raises corn and soybeans, working together with his father, brother, and son. Edgington says the lessons he learned growing up on a farm will help in his new role.

NCGA President Chris Edgington

“Dad always believed in leaning on each other to get the job done, so we did, and I sure learned to appreciate the simple satisfaction of working together on a common task. That life lesson probably helped prepare me for my new position more than anything else.”

Edgington talks about the goals he’s set as president of the NCGA.

“Making family farms like ours better is what drives me. It’s also why I ran for the Corn Board, and it’s why I ran to be president of NCGA. And just like our farm, my goal as president is to make NCGA the best team it can be. That starts with staying focused on our top priorities, including growing demand for our products, protecting the profitability of our businesses, and building trust in our sustainable production methods. Expanding the use of higher ethanol blends is one way to grow demand.”

The Biden Administration released its list of priorities for improving trade relations with China. Edgington says the NCGA wants the administration to be as proactive as possible when it comes to trade.

“Trade is important to agriculture; it’s important to America. We have a tremendous amount of ability to produce both ag products and other products in this country, and we want the Biden administration to be proactive in their approach to trade. We’ve got some long-term partners, Mexico and Canada, that we’ve done a lot with. And yet, we maybe have some challenges with them. That’s why USMCA is such a great piece of material. China is the wild card, and right now, we seem to have pretty decent trading relationships with them. But we want to build on that Southeast Asia region that is continuing to grow, add people, add demand for food products and other products. And we certainly need to spend some more time encouraging and educating the European Union that what we produce is a safe, wholesome product that they need to utilize.”

Making E15 ethanol a year-round product once again is going to be a big challenge.

“Growth Energy is applying to the Supreme Court to take a look at that. So, that’s the last avenue that I understand on the legal front, but we do have champions in Congress that are working to add a few words to the current legislation we have that will allow E15 to be sold year-round. It’s a tremendous product, it’s great for the consumer, it’s great for the environment, and so we will continue to work with whatever avenues are presented to us, or with any other opportunities to continue to push the value of E15 on a year-round basis.”