When the National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year yesterday, Maryland farmer Chip Bowling assumed the role of first vice president. Off the Cob spoke with the new officer to explore the issues he sees as needing the most immediate attention and his long-term goals for his term.
“We will still be facing the need to pass a new farm bill in 2014,” he said. “Passing this legislation is a necessity. It’s been an ongoing struggle for all farm commodities, and it doesn’t appear that a new five-year bill will be completed any time soon.”
He notes that, at the same time, it is imperative that NCGA, and all corn farmers, defend the RFS vigorously.
“We will also continue to face the seemingly never-ending attack on the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Bowling. “At this point, ethanol means almost everything to a corn farmer. We will carry on in our efforts to protect the RFS, and we will look for new ways to grow and improve the market for ethanol markets.”
Following his term as first vice president, Bowling will serve as president for the 2015 fiscal year. In the long run, he hopes to execute a sustained effort to help Midwestern farmers who will face regulatory issues similar to those already in place in his home state.
“I want to improve how we work with the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure we have a seat at the table,” he said. “We are going to have new regulations coming out and face the implementation of those already in place. Dealing with water regulations on the Chesapeake Bay has been a non-stop effort for the farmers in my area. It appears that our regulatory issues are moving westward to impact those near the Mississippi River. As these issues begin to affect more and more corn farmers, we need to work to make compliance as easy and effortless as possible. We know that they are coming, but we need a seat at the table to make sure that they work well with how we farm.”