Throughout the last half century, IL Corn has been working on behalf of Illinois corn farmers through two organizations. Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB). While the groups have different purposes they share the same vision, “Through their farmer-led organizations, Illinois corn farmers are continually positioned to create and capture profit opportunities, preserve their independence, and prosper for generations." There have been major accomplishments by these two groups over the years, many leaving a lasting impact on agriculture and corn farming to this day.
LOCK 25 ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER RECEIVES DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION FUNDS
Funding to complete design and construction for Lock 25 near Winfield, MO on the Mississippi River is included in the Army Corps of Engineers budget presented to Congress today to allocate the funding named in the infrastructure package passed on November 5. Total allocated funds for Lock 25 are $732 million dollars.
“The IL Corn Growers Association and the diverse partners brought together by Waterways Council Inc. have worked on updating our inland waterways infrastructure for more than two decades. The announcement that we have finally seen allocation of funds to begin construction on Lock 25 on the Mississippi River is the culmination of all our efforts. Our hope is that the allocation of these funds will begin a waterfall of work on the infrastructure on the Illinois and Mississippi River,” said Marty Marr, President of the association and New Berlin, IL farmer.
Lock and Dam Cost Share Change
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure voted the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA 2020) favorably out of Committee. The bill adjusts the cost-share for construction and major rehabilitation of inland waterways projects. Previously the cost-share was 50 percent from the general fund of the Treasury and 50 percent from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Now the cost-share moves to 65 percent from the general fund of the Treasury and 35 percent from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.
Next Generation Fuels Act
The Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) welcomes legislation introduced by Rep. Cheri Bustos in the U.S. House of Representatives that will boost long term corn demand for clean, affordable ethanol. The bill pushes for engines that can use higher blends of ethanol like E20 and E30
Year Long E-15 Sales
Cheers across the corn industry rang out when news of year long E-15 sales finally being approved by the EPA, leading to cleaner air, and more homegrown fuel.
The Olmstead lock and dam was finally complete! After 30 years of construction funding changes needed to happen to finish up this project. Locks and dams throughout the Inland Waterways still need upgrading and it remains a top legislative priority issue to this day.
Precision Conservation Management begins through a grant. The goal is to increase the usage of cover crops throughout Illinois and spreading the message of the benefits from reduced nutrient runoff, carbon sequestration and cutting down erosion.
Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy
The Illinois Nutrient Reduction Strategy came about as a solution to the hypoxia zone that has developed in the Gulf of Mexico due to the excess nitrogen runoff throughout the Midwest. The strategy puts in place measured goals for farmers, along with other industries, to meet targets and remove additional amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus from our water.
Crop Insurance Change
Farmers could now select yield trend endorsements for crop insurance.
Ethanol Tax Credit Expires
The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit expired
Farmers could now sign up for the ACRE program which changed the way crop insurance worked, benefiting farmers!
Cornbelters Baseball Team Begins Inaugural Season
The team was created an sponsored by ICMB as a way to promote and encourage conversations about corn and farming while audiences came to watch baseball games during the summer
Corn Farmers Coalition
The Corn Farmers Coalition is formed to increase educational opportunities and promotion in Washington D.C.
IL Corn Goes Social!
Social Media accounts are created! Our organization adopted social media accounts relatively early and today we have around 12k followers on Facebook and Twitter
The Illinois Renewable Fuels Association is formed with goals to promote Illinois' ethanol industry
Illinois Farm Families
Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, Time Magazine’s “The Real Cost of Cheap Food,” and Food Inc. were all released in the 2008-2009 time frame, making farmers concerned that the public didn’t trust or understand them anymore. A farmer-led effort to discern how to talk to non-farmers began.
Initial coalition members were Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association. Since the beginning, all decisions for the group have been made by consensus of staff representatives.
Renewable Fuel Standard II
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) required a certain amount of renewable fuels to be used across the country. This caused a tremendous increase in demand for corn and resulted in higher prices. For consumers, it meant 10% of standard gasoline now comprised of ethanol and cleaner air.
Livestock Groups in Illinois Form
Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG) began with goals to promote the livestock industry, which consumes a lot of corn, throughout the state.
Constructed Current Building
Moved into the current office at 14129 Carole Dr, Bloomington, IL
Farm Progress Show
With the Farm Progress Show being in Ilinois, ethanol billboards in the surrounding Decatur area were purchased.
Illinois Corn Marketing Board begins their funding partnership with the United Stated Meat Export Federation which aims to expand meat consumption across the globe.
IL Corn begins exhibiting at the Illinois State Fair! The group still takes part in the festivities in Springfield every year.
Trade Teams Established
The Board decided to sponsor investment into trade teams and sending surveys to farmers to learn more about individual operations throughout the state and how they fit in, in a world-view.
ICMB decided to have its own office and chose a location at 2415 E Washington St in Bloomington.
After trying to pass a check off many times throughout the previous years, voters decided to allow the check off program to begin to promote the usage of corn throughout the state, nation and world. The checkoff program today allows ICMB to produce advertisements, sponsor groups that increase the demand of corn and promote ethanol usage.
Rollie Main from Altona began to gather interest in a group exclusively for corn growers throughout the state. Proper documentation was submitted and the Illinois Corn Growers Association's first office was within the Knox County Farm Bureau building. The group was originally formed under the family of companies at Illinois Agriculture Association (IAA).
The agriculture industry continues to change to meet the needs of consumers. Our organization continues to change along with the agriculture industry while maintaining the same values of capturing profit opportunities and ensuring success for generations to come.
We look forward to the future challenges within the industry and believe we are stronger when our voices work together. Consider becoming more active within your organization by responding to calls to action, volunteering to speak to media and reaching out to our office to receive up to date communication throughout the corn industry.