February 24, 2017

NDFU Praises Trump for Support of Ethanol

North Dakota Farmers Union praised President Trump for his recent comments supporting ethanol and the renewable fuels industry.

“In a time of excess supply and less demand, it’s reassuring to hear the newly elected president support ethanol,” said NDFU President Mark Watne. “Ethanol drives the demand for corn, and corn helps increase commodity prices.”

trump-banner“Rest assured that your president and this administration value the importance of renewable fuels to America’s economy and to our energy independence,” Trump wrote in a letter to attendees of the National Ethanol Conference that was released on Tuesday. “As I emphasized throughout my campaign, renewable fuels are essential to America’s energy strategy.”

President Trump also said he was committed to reducing the regulatory burden on all businesses and reform regulations that impede growth, increase consumer costs, and eliminate good-paying jobs without providing sufficient environmental or public health benefit.

Watne said EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act has restricted the sale of mid-level high-octane fuel such as E30. “National energy labs have demonstrated that high-octane blends do not impair performance in non-flex fuel or standard vehicles. The use of E30 would actually reduce harmful emissions more effectively than E10,” he said.


Single-Day Registrations Available for Commodity Classic in San Antonio

Ed Erickson, Jr., a North Dakota farmer and co-chair of the 2017 Commodity Classic, said that, even if you only attend for one day — Commodity Classic is very much worth the investment.ed-erickson-jr

One-day registration provides admission to all applicable events and educational sessions scheduled for that day including educational sessions, the trade show, the AG CONNECT Main Stage on the trade show floor, and other daily activities.


Registration is available in advance at www.CommodityClassic.com and on-site during the event.

Thursday registration includes a wide range of educational sessions and technical presentations, the Early Riser session on grain marketing, the grand opening of the huge trade show and the fiesta reception on the trade show floor, and programming on the AG CONNECT Main Stage on the trade show floor.

Friday registration includes the General Session featuring inspirational speaker John O’Leary and other on-stage presentations, the early morning live taping of U.S. Farm Report, trade show access, the AG CONNECT Main Stage programs, and a wide range of educational sessions and technical presentations. Attendance at the association banquets for the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association is available at an extra charge, providing space is still available.

Saturday registration includes Early Riser sessions, educational sessions and technical presentations, trade show access, programming on the AG CONNECT Main Stage including special “Salute to Women in Ag” presentations, the closing learning center session, and admission to the Evening of Entertainment featuring country music star Pat Green. The trade show closes at noon that day.

Registration fees vary depending on the day you choose to attend. Full registration is also still available, and covers all three days of the event. Members of the sponsoring commodity associations receive additional discounts on both full and one-day registrations.

All registration and housing reservations should be made online at www.commodityclassic.com. Experient is the official registration and housing provider for Commodity Classic.  Check the website for a listing of the official Commodity Classic hotels to secure your hotel accommodations.

The 2017 Commodity Classic will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The convention center will house all Commodity Classic events, including the Opening Reception, General Session, Evening of Entertainment, Trade Show, Learning Center Sessions and What’s New Sessions.

A detailed schedule of events is also available on the website.

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show, produced by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and Association of Equipment Manufacturers.


South Dakota Senate Committee Passes State Level Country Of Origin Labeling

thaj348e9xThe country of origin labeling debate is back, at least for South Dakota.  The State Senate Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted 5 to 3 in favor of a bill that would require a label detailing the origin of beef sold in South Dakota refrigerator cases.  The measure so far has support from both the South Dakota Farmers Union and the South Dakota Stock Growers Association, although a similar bill presented last session failed to make it through the full Senate vote.  Matt Sibley is the Legislative Director for the South Dakota Farmers Union.  He says he’s optimistic for final passage, although he realizes it won’t be easy:

Sibley SD COOL 1

The bill, offically called SB 135, would require South Dakota retailers to present as much origination information as possible on the packaging.  Proponents of the bill don’t believe the requirement will impose an undue burden.  Silvia Christen, Executive Director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers says sellers of meat products can find the needed information on the boxes the meat comes in.  If they can’t find that information, the law would require them to mark the origination as “unknown”.  At this time, the bill only applies to beef, although Sibley says pork could be added later:

Sibley SD COOL 2

Just like COOL was a national issue, not everyone supports the measure.  Representatives from the South Dakota Pork Producers, the South Dakota Retailers Association and the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association have all issued varying concerns.  Jodie Anderson, executive director of the SDCA says Country of Origin Labeling is a marketing issue.  He acknowledged consumers want to know where their product comes from, but he argued studies have shown it ultimately doesn’t drive their purchasing decision and theres no evidence that it will ultimately add anything to producers bottom lines.