December 27, 2001

MCGA President Brent Rockhold Declares 2001 A Good Year For Missouri Corn Growers Association

Nearly 100 members and guests joined the board members and staff of the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) for the organization's Annual Meeting on December 16, 2001. MCGA leaders reviewed successes of the year 2001, reported on financial status, elected two new board members, and thanked MCGA supporters with awards and recognition. The event was held in conjunction with the Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture.

Brent Rockhold, MCGA President, summarized the success of MCGA as follows:

The year 2001 will be remembered as a year of value-added success. Golden Triangle Energy Cooperative opened the second Missouri ethanol plant at Craig in mid-February. Missouri farmers also joined with their neighbors from Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska to form a new generation cooperative, AgraMarke Quality Foods, and purchased the former Quaker Oats plant in St. Joseph. The plant, now known as LifeLine Foods, will process identity-preserved grain grown by its members.

"In addition, MCGA started a new Value Enhancement Program, and hired a director, Jamey Cline, for the program in early January," he stated. "As a part of this program, MCGA commissioned a study by SJH and Company to provide a blueprint for the future growth of Missouri's farmer-owned ethanol industry. The study, released in late August, recommends a potential build-out of five such farmer-owned ethanol plants. MCGA also commissioned a second value-added corn opportunities study, which should be completed in early 2002."

Gary Marshall, MCGA CEO, highlighted legislative and public policy successes of the organization in 2001.

"We're extremely proud of the positive impact we had in 2001," Marshall said. "We joined the National Corn Growers Association, fellow state corn grower organizations and other ethanol industry supporters, to convince two Administrations this year to support ethanol and deny California a waiver from Clean Air Act requirements. California is expected to use over 600 million gallons of ethanol as they phase out of MTBE for groundwater concerns.

"We also joined NCGA to successfully support passage of Trade Promotion Authority in the U.S. House, and influence the writing of the new Farm Bill by the House and Senate. On a state level, MCGA lobbied successfully for legislation requiring the labeling of the animal carcinogen MTBE on fuel pumps, so that consumers can choose clean-burning ethanol instead."

MCGA Award Winners:

Public Servant of the Year Awards - State Senator John Cauthorn (R-Mexico) and State Representative Maurice Lawson (D-St. Joseph) were recognized for their service to corn growers in 2001. Senator Cauthorn introduced legislation requiring fuel pumps dispensing MTBE to be labeled. Representative Lawson amended omni-bus agriculture legislation during House consideration to include MTBE labeling provisions.

Farm Broadcaster of the Year - Lynn Hammond, KMZU farm director, Carrolton, was recognized for her excellence in farm reporting and service to the MCGA.

President's Award - Ryland Utlaut, farmer from Grand Pass, and former NCGA President, was recognized for his continued service to the organization on an NCGA Trade Task Force.

Outstanding Member Award - Sam Cobb, farmer from New Florence, and former MCGA President, was recognized for continued service to the organization on the NCGA Grower Services Action Team.

Appreciation Awards - Don Fischer, farmer from Corder, and Randy Jennings, farmer from Bernie, were recognized for their years of service to the organization. Fischer and Jennings are past MCGA Presidents and retired from the board in 2001.

Business Meeting:

In the business portion of the meeting, members approved the 2000 Annual Meeting minutes and the MCGA Treasurer's Report, including the Fiscal Year 2001 Audit Review. MCGA members also elected two new members to the MCGA board of directors: Keith Witt of Warrenton to represent District 6 in east-central Missouri, and Mike Geske of Matthews to represent District 7 in southeast Missouri. Re-elected to additional three-year terms were: Sam Creed of Fairfax to represent District 1 in northwest Missouri, Don Arth of Malta Bend to represent District 5 in central Missouri, and Ron McNeall to represent District 2 in north-central Missouri. It was also announced that Paul Gross of Corder was recently appointed by the MCGA board of directors to fill a vacancy in District 4, or western Missouri. The vacancy was created when Don Fischer resigned from the MCGA board to become state USDA Farm Service Agency committee chairman.

The Missouri Corn Growers Association is a grassroots organization of over 1,400 farmer-members dedicated to increasing the profitability of corn production. For more information, call the Missouri Corn Hotline at (800) 827-4181, or visit Missouri Corn online at

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