Corn links: RFS, New York Times, Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge

Minnesota Corn Growers Association Executive Director Tim Gerlach accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last week.

It’s Monday, so let’s start the week off with an update on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a New York Times farming panel that doesn’t include any farmers and a corn-themed ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Final RFS number coming soon?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is almost a year late in announcing final numbers for the 2014 RFS, legislation that sets targets for the amount of renewable fuels like ethanol to be blended in our fuel supply.

EPA proposed a drastic reduction in ethanol use for 2014 and Minnesota corn farmers let them know just how misguided that decision was. Since then, EPA has been mostly silent on the issue, leaving farmers and the renewable fuels industry in limbo.

There was a bit of actual RFS news on Friday, however. Final RFS numbers have been sent to the Office of Management and Budget. This is the last step before a finalized rule can be unveiled publicly.

So, now what? More waiting. The White House has 90 days to weigh in on the numbers sent in by EPA and can extend that further if it really wants to.

Here’s hoping a decision comes sooner rather than later and the final numbers, unlike what EPA originally proposed, show support for homegrown renewable fuels.

No farmers on NY Times farming panel
The New York Times is hosting a panel on farming. Sounds good, right? The country’s largest newspaper giving agriculture some attention. Woo-hoo!

Well, there’s a problem: No actual farmers were asked to participate. Yup, that’s right. The New York Times is hosting a farming panel, sans real farmers.

Oh, there are big-city chefs, N.G.O leaders, activists and important thinkers. You have to love the phrase “important thinkers.”

“Hello, I’m John Smith and I’m an important thinker!”

These “important thinkers” are the usual crew who make a nice living selling books and charging speaking fees to bash modern agriculture for a built-in urban/hipster audience.

Perhaps a few agricultural organizations should put together a panel on journalism…and not invite any journalists.

Ice Bucket Challenge
Even the Minnesota Corn Growers got hit up to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Executive Director Tim Gerlach accepted the challenge and so did Maizey, the MCGA mascot.

Without further ado, here’s Tim and Maizy getting a bucket of ice water dumped on their heads!


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