New leaders have been selected for a pair of organizations representing corn growers in the state. Jerry Mohr, who farms just west of Eldridge in eastern Iowa’s Scott County, will serve as president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). He plans on fighting an Environmental Protection Agency proposal related to the Renewable Fuels Standard, which would reduce production of corn-based ethanol.
“The ethanol thing has brought young farmers back to the state of Iowa. It’s brought wealth across the state. It’s brought the cattle business back to the state of Iowa,” Mohr said. “It’s been good for the livestock people and it’s been good for the crop growing people.”
The 61-year-old Mohr will officially take over the lead of the ICGA on September 1, the same day Chris Edgington will become president of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB).”Obviously, I’m one of the lucky guys who gets to have one of the new positions after the market’s dropped three dollars,” Edgington joked. The 51-year-old farmer from Mitchell County said he’ll be working with Mohr and others to boost demand for corn. “We’ll be working hard to, not only help the livestock industry with their feed requirements, but also the ethanol industry and exports,” Edgington said.
Mohr agrees that turning around the drop in corn prices is the top priority. “That’s going to be a shock for everybody going from $5.50 last year to something like $3.60 today…so, we’re going to have kick up the exports,” Mohr said. “We’re going to have to pick up the usage to deal with that production.” Mohr added, while he wants to improve the quality of Iowa’s waterways, he supports keeping the current voluntary policies in place under the state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
“We have to keep it moving forward or else it will become mandatory and that always costs more money once it becomes mandatory,” Mohr said.
Edgington said his overall goal is leaving the ICPB in better shape than it is now. “In a lot of cases, it’s in really great shape, so I just need to make sure we keep doing all the good things we’re doing and try to handle all the issues that come forth in the year,” Edgington said. Among the other elected leaders for the two organizations are Bob Hemesath of Winneshiek County, who will serve as vice-president of the ICGA, and Mark Heckman of Muscatine County, who will serve as vice-president of the ICPB.