Feature

Colorado Corn makes its voice heard at Commodity Classic

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Colorado Corn Executive Director Mark Sponsler, communications director Eric Brown and six Colorado Corn board members (Dave Eckhardt, Mark Oestman, Rod Hahn, Mike LeFever and Doug and Gary Melcher) attended the 2015 Commodity Classic in Phoenix this past week. 

At the annual event – which is America's largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show – staff and board members brought Colorado’s input to the national table, through events like Corn Congress, state caucus meetings with Corn Growers organizations from other states, the Open Forum, the State Presidents Meeting and other gatherings during the four-day convention.

Additionally, there were various breakout sessions and seminars that focused on an array of topics in the industry, including the Renewable Fuels Standard, biotechnology and the new Farm Bill programs, among many others.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered the keynote speech during the General Session.

The National Corn Growers Association’s booth at the trade show drew significant attention from participants looking to take action on pressing political issues, featuring the opportunity for attendees to contact legislators and regulators on the importance of passing Trade Promotion Authority and protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard.

During the NCGA Corn PAC Reception, the Colorado Corn Growers Association contributed thousands to the NCGA Corn PAC by paying to attend the Corn Pac Reception Wednesday night, and also contributed an engraved, 2015 Commodity Classic commemorative rifle, which was auctioned off for $2,900. Altogether the event raised over $130,000 for the PAC.

At the NCGA Awards Banquet, Colorado Corn board member Rod Hahn’s name appeared in the event program, listed as the top membership recruiter for Colorado.

Colo. Corn leader educates urban crowd about water at Gov. Forum

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Colorado Corn board member Charlie Bartlett, who also serves as the president for the Colorado Ag Water Alliance (CAWA), was at the Governor’s Forum on Agriculture in Denver this past week, manning the CAWA booth at the event, and also presented during a breakout session, discussing the input that CAWA is providing for the Colorado Water Plan.

“It was a great opportunity in that it wasn’t your usual ag crowd,” said Bartlett, a farmer from the Merino area. “There was a large urban population in attendance, and it certainly provided a great platform for agriculture to tell its positive story.”

Each year, the Governor’s Forum on Agriculture draws hundreds. This year, participants heard from a number of leading water experts about the challenges facing Colorado in meeting the water demands of a diverse state with competing needs.

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