NORMAL – Despite some looming changes at the state and national levels, the Illinois Corn Growers Association foresees opportunity on a number of agricultural issues.
President Trump wants an infrastructure bill which is something the new House Democratic leaders have been talking about and that has many hopeful for a solution.
“We think waterways infrastructure can play a big role there so we see an opportunity over the next year or so,” said Rodney Weinzierl, ICGA executive director, during last week’s ICGA annual meeting.
Weinzierl believes the competitiveness of our ethanol manufacturing platform has only gotten better, with ethanol the cheapest source of octane not only in the U.S. but the world. There are market opportunities for the high-quality product which is environmentally friendly.
During his address to the ICGA, Weinzierl spoke about turning challenges into opportunities. He noted the good things happening with agriculture and things which people get nervous about.
“A lot of times, that apprehension is not necessarily an apprehension of an expected bad thing, but it’s uncertainty.”
Weinzierl acknowledged the change in Congress with the House transitioning to Democratic leadership and the change in the Illinois governor’s office.
“Is it bad? Not necessarily so.”
Annual meeting attendees were updated on ag production in Brazil and the groundbreaking of a new ethanol plant which will use corn rather than sugar cane, which Brazil is known for. The recently-elected president wants Brazil to the be biggest ag producer in the world.
“Brazil is much different that the U.S. in the sense that the main crop is soybeans but their growing season is long enough that they raise a pretty large and growing corn crop after that,” Weinzierl added.
NEW OFFICERS, BOARD MEMBERS ELECTED:
Ted Mottaz, a farmer from Elmwood, has been elected president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) for 2018-2019 at their re-organizational meeting, which was held immediately following the organization’s annual meeting.
Mottaz has served on the ICGA board for six years, most recently as vice president. He will continue his role as District 8 Director for the duration of his term as president, serving members in Cass, Fulton, Logan, Mason, Menard, Peoria, and Tazewell Counties.
Joining Mottaz in leadership roles are Vice President Bill Leigh of Minonk, Treasurer Matt Rush of Fairfield and Secretary Dave Rylander of Victoria.
The Exports Committee will be led by Chairman Marty Marr of New Berlin and Vice Chairman Don Guinnip of Marshall. Elected to lead the Industrial Committee were Randy DeSutter of Woodhull and Vice Chairman Mike Homerding of Plainfield. Grassroots Committee leadership for the coming year are Chairman Aron Carlson of Winnebago and Vice Chairman Terry Smith of Clayton.
Four directors were re-elected and will continue in their positions as directors. They are Randy DeSutter for District 3, Terry Smith for District 9, Don Guinnip for District 12, and Joe Murphy for District 15. Reelected At-Large Directors include Kate Danner of Aledo and Dave Rylander of Victoria. The Director of District 6, serving Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties did not seek reelection.