While it brought its fair share of challenges, 2018 will also be remembered as a year when the power of grassroots outreach took center stage. The most-read stories from last year include a number of moments when corn growers made their voice heard on both the state and federal level.
Here are the eight most-popular posts from the MCGA blog in 2018:
- MCGA, WCCO Radio to co-host Greater Minnesota Gubernatorial Debate: The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) partnered with WCCO Radio and Minnesota AgriGrowth to host the Greater Minnesota Debate, raising awareness of issues impacting farmers and rural communities.
- MCGA: Proposed buffer law penalties for noncompliance are beyond excessive: The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) introduced a proposed amendment that would allow counties and watershed districts to assess Buffer Law penalties based on linear feet of non-compliant water body frontage. Farmers engaged in grassroots efforts to call the penalty unreasonable, and BWSR eventually rejected the amendment.
- Potential changes to RFS harm nation’s corn growers: During Commodity Classic, rumors surfaced around oil -backed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that would have devastated ethanol demand. Corn growers nationwide took action to contact federal officials to stress the importance of a strong RFS.
- MDA unveils an updated map and timeline for the Nitrogen Rule: The Groundwater Protection Rule, then referred to as the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, was a hot topic in 2018. The unveiling of the map and timeline shed new light on how the rule would impact corn farmers.
- MDA responds to MCGA’s call for the release of the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule: In April, the state’s corn farmers called for the release of the draft Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) responded with more details around the framework of the rule and the comment period.
- Dayton states support for tax relief for ag land converted to buffers: A top legislative priority for corn growers in 2018, the Buffer Tax Credit received support from Dayton in an April 20 release. The rule eventually failed to pass due to a disagreement on the funding source.
- The 2018 farm bill is revealed, passes in House and Senate: After doubt it would happen in 2018, the farm bill was passed in Congress in December, bringing some stability to the nation’s farmers. The bill would go on to be signed by President Trump on Dec. 20.
- Setting the stage for profitability: Political engagement: MCGA launched a series sharing the many ways corn growers’ investment in the corn check-off is setting the stage for profitability. Building connections with candidates for elected office was one of many ways corn growers were building a more sustainable future in 2018.