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ACGA convention reaffirms support for disaster assistance, national energy policy

(Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- From a press release.

Larry Mitchell (202) 835-0330
Keith Dittrich (402) 385-778

CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb 1, 2003---At its eleventh annual national convention held recently in Charleston, S.C., the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) reaffirmed support for passage of adequate disaster assistance and an improved national energy policy.

"We had an exceptionally upbeat and productive convention this year," says Keith Dittrich, a farmer from Tilden, Neb. and president of the ACGA. "Our membership made it clear that we need adequate disaster assistance to cover crop losses for both the 2001 and 2002 crop years, that it be available for all production losses, crop and livestock, and that it be properly funded and not cut out of existing programs. No one at the convention believed the measure passed by the U.S. Senate last month meets these goals. We therefore call on the U.S. House to substitute a measure similar to HR 307 in order to meet the need."

The organizations rank and file also voiced its support for improving the nation's energy policy. "Last year's Energy Policy Act contained many provisions that are important to the economic and environmental well being of our rural citizens and these initiatives should also be a part of the early agenda for the new Congress," stated Mike Alberts, ACGA Vice President and corn farmer from Marquette, Neb. "ACGA strongly supports the introduction of a Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which will more than double the demand for ethanol, thus creating almost a billion bushels of new corn demand. Additionally, ACGA supports the extension of the wind power Production Tax Credit (PTC), which will assist in encouraging new farmer-owned wind power development projects. The bottom line is the fact that America needs an energy policy, which is more diverse, decentralized, domestic and renewable. This is of vital importance to our national security."

The organization also took time to honor Senator Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., for his leadership and initiative in improving last year's farm bill. Dittrich announced, "Senator Daschle received the American Corn Growers Association 'Friend of the Farmer' award, our annual award recognizing our choice for the best legislative friend for farm families. The new farm bill is much better because of his untiring efforts."

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