KDUZ Radio: Farm Forum

Dave Ladd, President of RDL & Associates, was recently a guest on KDUZ Radio’s “Farm Forum”.  He was joined by Bob Worth, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield Ag News.

Topics included; buffer strips and conservation, federal tax reform, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and exports.

Dave Ladd formed RDL & Associates to assist clients seeking solutions to public policy issues, strategic communications and grassroots engagement.  He is also a Co-Founder of Heartland Advocates, which offers a team approach to help an organizations manage their political capital by engaging stakeholders and policymakers throughout the United States.

 

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Media Release: Al-Corn Clean Fuel Members Vote to Become Limited Liability Company

Claremont, Minnesota – By an overwhelming majority the membership of Al-Corn Clean Fuel has voted to convert from a cooperative to a Limited Liability Company (LLC).  The results of the shareholder vote were announced this morning by Rodney Jorgenson, Chairman of the Board of Al-Corn Clean Fuel.

Al-Corn Clean Fuel, LLC will be acquiring all of its corn for operations on the open market through traditional pricing methods, as well as average pricing contracts and other methods as determined by management.

“Without our member’s willingness to grow and compete in an ever changing business environment, we wouldn’t be here today.” said Rod Jorgenson.  “We have begun moving forward to allow the conversion to become a reality while ensuring our current operations continue running smoothly”.

Al-Corn Clean Fuel, LLC is currently expanding and modernizing the Claremont facility from 50 million gallons per year to 120 million gallons per year, including storage for 1.5 million bushels of corn to facilitate deliveries.  Once complete, the expansion will require an additional 25 – 27 million bushels of corn annually.

“By increasing the production capacity of the Claremont plant, we will be able to drive down cost of production and reach better price markets.  The conversion to an LLC was necessary for Al-Corn Clean Fuel to realize the full potential of the expansion and modernization project” said Jorgenson.

For additional information regarding Al-Corn Clean Fuel visit www.al-corn.com.

About Al-Corn Clean Fuel

Founded in 1994, Al-Corn Clean Fuel, LLC is located in Claremont, MN.  On an annual basis, Al-Corn Clean Fuel grinds 17.5 million bushels of corn and produces 50 million gallons of ethanol.  The plant produces 132,000 tons of high protein livestock feed and 12 million pounds of corn oil.

The media release can be accessed here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3bd4svxzwgi7elh/Media%20Release%20-%20Transition%20to%20LLC%20%28September%202017%29.pdf?dl=0

Interview: Moving Disaster Funding Through Congress (RDL & Associates)

Upon their return to Capitol Hill, members of Congress were met with a congressional agenda laden with fiscal issues – including an emergency funding package in response to Hurricane Harvey.

Dave Ladd, President of RDL & Associates, was recently a guest on the Linder Farm Network to provide an overview of the process of moving emergency disaster funding through Congress.

This segment is 1:18 in length.

Issue Update: Fiscal 2018 Appropriations (RDL & Associates)

Upon their return to Capitol Hill, members of the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives were met with a congressional agenda laden with fiscal issues that must be dealt with prior to the end of September.  In addition to an emergency funding package in response to Hurricane Harvey, Congress must also advance Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriations bills – as well as a continuing resolution and an increase in the debt ceiling.

The first order of business is an emergency spending package related to Hurricane Harvey.  The Trump Administration has requested $14.55 billion from Congress, with $7.9 billion being appropriated immediately as emergency supplemental FY 2017 funds.

Of this amount, $7.4 billion is for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support ongoing response efforts and $450 million is slated for the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the agency’s disaster loan program to assist small business and homeowners.

The remaining $6.7 billion of the Administration’s request is to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund as part of an anticipated continuing resolution.

Also on the appropriations front, the end of the current fiscal year means work on the eight remaining appropriations bills for fiscal 2018 must move forward.  Although the Senate and House Appropriations committees rejected most of the Trump Administration’s proposed FY 2018 budget reductions for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are a number of key differences.

In the Senate, appropriators included language that would block reorganization of rural development programs at USDA and the elimination of the rural development undersecretary post.  The Senate bill also includes language that would allow cotton farmers to be eligible for payments from the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program.

For dairy producers, the Senate bill modifies the Margin Protection Program (MPP) in an attempt to make coverage more affordable for farmers.  It would also require USDA to use monthly animal feed data as part of the payment formula.

Also of note is a ban on horse slaughter.  Although the last domestic horse meat slaughter facility closed in 2007, the issue remains a sensitive one within the public policy arena.

Speaking of policy, it was no surprise that a number of riders were included in the Senate version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill, including; a ban on the import and sale of genetically engineered salmon and block funding for USDA to implement a rule requiring convenience stores and similar retailers to expand the categories of food they stock in order to remain eligible to redeem Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

The dynamics were a bit different when House appropriators crafted their version of the bill.  They were silent on the USDA reorganization issue and did not include language banning USDA inspectors from examining horses slated for slaughter to provide meat for human consumption overseas.

Policy riders in the House bill include; a blockage of funding to carry out a rule allowing China to sell cooked chicken to the United States, unless USDA ensures China has an inspection system equivalent to the system used in the U.S.  A

The bill would allow legal foreign workers (primarily temporary agricultural workers brought in through the H-2A visa program) to use farm-worker housing currently limited to Americans and permanent U.S. residents and would block funding for USDA to implement a rule requiring convenience stores and similar retailers to expand the categories of food they stock to remain eligible to redeem SNAP benefits.  This latter provision mirrors language in the Senate bill.

As House leadership pushes ahead on regular appropriations action on the floor, the mechanics of how the spending bills will make it across the goal line remain uncertain.  The eight-bill omnibus package would likely be combined on the floor with a four-bill “minibus” (HR 3219) that has already been passed by the House.  A full 12-bill omnibus would then be sent to the Senate.

Dave Ladd, President of RDL & Associates writes about public policy and the political environment. He also serves as Co-Director of Heartland Advocates.  Contact him at daveladd66@gmail.com.