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Corn Growers support Lincoln initiatives for energy independence

From a press release

Contact: Larry Mitchell (202) 835-0330
Harvey Joe Sanner (870) 256-4766


WASHINGTON --- March 4, 2002 ---The American Corn Growers Association (ACGA), a proven leader in alternative energy development, has endorsed and applauded the recent initiatives of Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., to provide tax incentives for the production and promotion of soydiesel. "Just because we are labeled Corn growers doesn't mean that we don't grow or represent other crops," said Keith Dittrich, ACGA President and corn and soybean farmer from Tilden, Neb. "In fact, almost all of our members raise other crops, and many of them raise soybeans."

According to Harvey Joe Sanner, an Arkansas soybean producer and member of the ACGA, his home state senator is putting forth the type of forward thinking we need in all areas of the agriculture economy. "Her recommendation to the Senate Finance Committee that provides tax credits to promote soydiesel is surely welcome and wise," stated Sanner.

Lincoln worked in the Senate Finance Committee to add three provisions to the Senate comprehensive energy bill scheduled for debate this month in the Senate. Lincoln added an amendment that would encourage the production of biodiesel, a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic renewable sources, such as soybean, cottonseed, or rice oils. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, and non-toxic as an alternative fuel to petroleum based diesel fuel that can be burned in today's diesel engines without any modifications. Although new to our country, its use is well established in Europe with over 250 million gallons used annually.

"Senator Lincoln's efforts during the farm bill debate are evidence of her concern that production agriculture needs and deserves a stronger safety net," added Sanner. "We applaud all new uses of farm products, while recognizing that a stronger safety net is crucial to economic improvement in the farm economy, regardless of what the end use of our production becomes."

"Soydiesel is an exciting frontier in a farm economy that has been deficient in excitement and profit lately," said Sanner. "Soydiesel is another example of rural Americans stepping up to the plate to provide this nation with energy which is renewable, decentralized, diverse, and domestic. It's 'Home Grown Energy!' Someday, with our industry producing environmentally friendly fuel while continuing to produce wholesome food, we can be the type of vibrant economic contributor the nation needs and earn decent returns as producers at the same time."

The American Corn Growers Association represents 14,000 members in 35 states. See http://www.acga.org