The Nebraska Corn Board Kicks off New Fiscal Year with New Program Focuses

Nebraska State News

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) began the new fiscal year on July 1 which brings new programs funded by the checkoff for the 2024-2025 year. With a strategic plan in place through 2027, the goals of the checkoff rely on the main objectives of the plan aligning with the four main pillars of NCB including promotion, education, market development and research. A sample of funded programs in the four areas are outlined below.

Partnering with national cooperators including the National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Meat Export Federation will continue to support Nebraska corn farmers on national and international levels, ensuring demand and increasing the value of the corn grown in Nebraska.

Promotion and Education
Programs in the promotion and education pillars include promotion for youth development by partnering with the Ag in the Classroom Foundation, Nebraska FFA Foundation and Ag Sack Lunch Program. The Ag Sack Lunch Program is a supplemental program for fourth-grade students who come to Lincoln as a part of their Nebraska history curriculum. In partnership with other commodities, students receive an all-Nebraska lunch of a roast beef or chicken sandwich with cheese, corn Fritos and Rice Krispie treat, while learning in a 20-minute presentation about the direct connection to Nebraska agriculture. Promotion programs funded for the 2024-2025 year include the Big Ten Network promotion, a Nebraska-led Unleaded 88 ethanol promotion to educate viewers who watch the Big Ten Conference on television and streaming.

Market Development
Market development programs focus on the growth and expansion of corn demand, new uses, ethanol and livestock development both domestically and internationally. Programs for the 2024-2025 year include ethanol infrastructure as the organization looks to help build infrastructure within the state of Nebraska in addition to California for the growing demand for E85 ethanol. NCB partners with Pearson Fuels who promote the use of E85 in California. Market Development projects also include partnering with The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN) on projects to responsibly expand livestock in Nebraska.

As research continues to be a key topic of conversation, many projects for the new year will revolve around sustainability and research areas. Research programs include the development of new corn varieties that may enable higher sugar and oil yields during bioprocessing of value-added products. This innovation may allow farmers to increase per-bushel value of corn. STEM education has two programs, the Innovative Youth Corn Challenge and Ag Literacy Festivals, reaching youth with a hands-on curriculum demonstrating the importance of agriculture, with the Baltzell Innovation Award supporting undergraduate career-based research in crop production. When looking for innovative opportunities for corn, new uses continues to be an important research piece.

“The Nebraska Corn Board is looking forward to the programs during this fiscal year,” said Jay Reiners, chairman of NCB. “Futuristic thinking is key in the next steps of the corn industry, and we take the program funding decisions extremely seriously. The goal is to continuously increase the value and sustainability of Nebraska corn in the areas of promotion, market development and research and we will  make them and Nebraska corn farmers top priority, ensuring a strong return on their investment in the checkoff.”