Minnesota’s farms and agribusinesses play a vital role in rural communities and the overall economic well-being of our state. To strengthen the ag sector, Minnesota corn farmers are funding research that shapes its future, building new markets for homegrown commodities, promoting the importance of agriculture to consumers, and advocating at the Capitol.
Through their investment in the corn check-off, Minnesota’s corn growers support nearly $4 million annually in research that identifies opportunities for both corn farmers and their peers in agriculture.
For example, corn farmers are investing in a research project that has the potential to lower production costs for the state’s livestock producers by boosting the nutritional profile of less-expensive alternative feeds.
University of Minnesota researchers are adding amino acids to Dried Distillers Grains, which is a co-product from ethanol. By adding amino acids to these grains, livestock producers are able to save on feed without sacrificing nutritional benefits.
And as research boosts production on the farm, the state’s corn growers are investing time in growing export markets for Minnesota-grown agricultural products. In 2017 alone, Minnesota’s corn farmers hosted government officials from China, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Kazakhstan; and industry visits from Japan, Mexico, India, South Korea, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Ecuador.
The state’s corn farmers are also passionate about building relationships at home by sharing information with Minnesotans about modern agriculture.
The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and its grower members are proud supporters of CommonGround Minnesota, which is a group of women in agriculture who volunteer their time to share information about food and farming. CommonGround hosts Field-To-Fork farm dinners each year that bring Twin Cities bloggers and foodies to a family farm for an evening of conversation about food and farming. Each dinner is an opportunity to answer questions and address common myths and misconceptions about farming with a metro audience.
And finally, MCGA and its grower leaders are important advocates at the Capitol on issues impacting agriculture. Last year, MCGA was part of a coalition effort to enact the Ag2School property tax credit, which provides a 40-percent credit on farm property taxes levied for school district bonding projects. The credit provided much-needed property tax relief to farmers, while ensuring a more equitable system for rural school funding.
Whether it is in the lab, on the farm or at the Capitol, the state’s corn growers will continue to take a proactive role in supporting Minnesota agriculture. It is one of many ways MN Corn Grows MN.