Three veterans to win re-election to Council

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Three incumbent members of Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council won re-election, representing districts in central and south central and southwestern Minnesota. The three are Jerry Ploehn, current vice chairman; Chad Willis, treasurer, and David Ward, council member.

Asked about the priorities he puts at the top of the agenda, Ploehn, a farmer in Alpha (Jackson County), said “We have to continue to pay attention to the ethanol situation, first and foremost trying to get the E15 waiver approved by the EPA. Also we need to keep abreast of the attempt by some to get Minnesota to adopt California’s low carbon fuel standard—it’s just not a good fit for Minnesota—it would kill the ethanol industry and have a terrible impact on all the workers in the industry, and the communities that depend on the revenue from ethanol plants and the farmers who benefit from stronger prices for our products. What we have to educate people about is that there is a path to get to the same goal of clean air and reducing carbon, without undoing the great work we have done to build our ethanol and biodiesel industries.”

Willis represents  districts III, V and VI (a single seat), which includes: Aitkin, Anoka, Benton, Carlton, Carver, Chisago, Crow Wing, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Lake, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Ramsey, Renville, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Washington and Wright Counties.

Ploehn represents district VII, which includes: Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood and Rock Counties.

Ward represents district VIII, which includes: Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Freeborn, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Rice, Steele, Waseca and Watonwan Counties.

Ward emphasizes the need to continue to educate the public about agriculture, and says this information about agriculture proceeds naturally from the research the Council underwrites, with the aim of improving farmers’ practices—to maximize production and reduce environmental impact.

“I see (the results of the Council elections) as a ringing endorsement of the eleven-member council and the work we have been doing in the last few years—the increase in the checkoff collection, and the management of those funds in projects that truly serve all corn producers in Minnesota,” said Ward, a farmer in Mapleton (Faribault County), who has a dozen years of leadership experience on both the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council and Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture oversaw the Council elections for a number commodity groups. In addition to MCR&PC, elections were held for Barley, Beef, and Soybean promotion councils.

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