From scholarships to flex-fuel promotions and billboards to field days – the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s (MCGA) county affiliates had a big year in 2015. MCGA’s state office in Shakopee works closely with 52 local county affiliates to promote corn farming, homegrown ethanol and other agriculture-related activities in communities throughout Minnesota.
For example, 23 counties provided more than $60,000 in scholarships to students pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field. Local MCGA affiliates were represented in 87 area parades, and 13 counties participated in Breakfast on the Farm events where the general public is invited to a local farm to learn more about food and agriculture.
There were 32 counties that sponsored “Tasseldega Nights” or “Jam the Stands” racing events at local tracks to promote clean, renewable, homegrown ethanol. Also on the ethanol front, 20 counties sponsored flex-fuel promotions at local fueling stations, pumping over 17,000 gallons of ethanol-blended fuel.
For general promotional activities, 29 counties sponsored billboards and/or a radio/print ad campaign. Local county fairs saw participation from 20 counties.
MCGA’s county affiliates also plan and organize events for area farmers. There were 37 counties that hosted a field day, plot tour or participated in MCGA’s variety plot program. Forty-seven counties hosted annual meetings featuring educational speakers and networking opportunities. A total of 43 counties were represented at MN Ag EXPO in Mankato and 44 counties at Commodity Classic in Phoenix.
“MCGA doesn’t call itself one of the largest grassroots agriculture organizations in the United States for nothing,” said Noah Hultgren, a farmer near Raymond, Minn., and MCGA President. “We’re able to give Minnesota corn farmers a much more powerful and impactful voice because of the grassroots actions of our members at the county level.”