The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) voiced concern over recent public statements and positions that do not support sound agricultural policy in the Presidential race. The SDCGA believes South Dakota voters should understand the potential impact to South Dakota’s economy and overall ag stability on those positions.
"It is not our job to tell you who you should vote for or what party you should follow," said Bill Chase, president of the SDCGA, "but it is our duty to stand up to promote the interests of South Dakota corn producers, consumers, and their future.
"In our current economic crunch, the importance of agriculture has never been more obvious," said Chase. "South Dakota currently has over a $2 billion economic impact due to our ethanol industry, not to mention that ethanol has reduced our dependence on foreign oil, lowered gas prices at the pump, stimulated rural America, created millions of green jobs, and lowered federal farm program costs by billions."
According to the US Department of Agriculture, the ethanol industry added nearly $48 billion to the nation’s GDP and generated $4.6 billion in federal tax revenues. The production and use of ethanol just last year cut oil imports by 228 million barrels as a savings of over $16 billion.
"Change is a theme for both presidential campaigns and no matter what happens this November, there will be a change,” said Chase. “What we need to do for our corn grower members is to make sure the new President understands the importance of agriculture and agricultural products."
Current South Dakota Corn Growers Association policy positions include:o
- Energy Policy: As the first environmentalists, South Dakota’s corn growers have worked to build market demand for our current viable source for energy independence. The SDCGA supports the continuation of the 45 cent per gallon blenders’ credit for ethanol, the 54 cent per gallon ethanol import tariff, the federal Renewable Fuels Standard, and other tax incentives for ethanol (such as E85) that will reduce prices at the pump for consumers.
- Farm Bill: In the farm bill, the SDCGA supports a safety net for farmers that is based on revenue and not price, which supports production and market demand.
Current Presidential positions include:
- McCain*: Opposes agricultural subsidies and has stated he would have vetoed the 2008 Farm Bill. Supports trade compliance and opening markets.
- Obama*: Pledges to support a strong safety net for farmers. Supports crop revenue insurance program and voted for the 2008 Farm Bill. Pledges to support a permanent mechanism to encourage wide use of crop insurance.
- McCain*: Opposes tariffs and price supports for ethanol. Signed a letter urging the EPA to exercise its authority to waive the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). His presidential platform calls for an end to the RFS.
- Obama*: Pledges to continue the 45 cent blenders’ tax credit and maintain the 54 cent tariff on ethanol. Pledges to increase the RFS to 60 billion gallons by 2030. Pledges to support maximum funding for the Department of Energy’s alternative fuels program, with a focus on E85.
For additional information about the candidates’ positions on issues important to agriculture, visit www.sdcorn.org.