PIERRE, S.D. -- The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is celebrating a record-breaking feat as it ends fiscal 2003 with a record membership of 32,922, breaking the previous end-of-year mark by 543 members.
"While most associations nationwide are losing members, NCGA is bucking the trend with its growth," says Mark Garber, a grower from Pierre, S.D., and chairman of the NCGA Grower Services Action Team. "This phenomenal membership growth clearly indicates the confidence growers have in their state and national corn grower associations as we represent them on key issues that are important to them."
The reason for the National Corn Growers Association's success, Garber says, can be traced back to several accomplishments during the fiscal 2003.
The grower-funded association pushed for the inclusion of a renewable fuels standard (RFS) in national energy legislation currently in conference, and participated in the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico, to advance critical trade issues. They influenced transportation issues such as lock and dam modernization on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers and economic use of the Missouri River.
In addition, the National Corn Growers Association continues to provide industry-wide grower education on biotechnology topics like insect resistance management and making identity pay. They also work to enhance research and business development issues that will lead to new uses for corn, and represent the corn industry in legislation including the farm bill.
"None of this could have been accomplished without our states and grower involvement in state and national issues. Recruiters in each state are also key," Garber says. "Growers are seeing the respect and influence their corn grower associations have garnered, and they want to be a part of it."