Premier Science Institutions Support Biotechnology

Recent developments from premier international science institutions reaffirm what the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), has long stated: that biotechnology is safe, and governments are imposing barriers to the adoption and trade of this technology that are not grounded in science.

A new, comprehensive analysis from the the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded that genetically engineered crops are safe for humans and animals, based on evidence accumulated over the past two decades.

Three USGC Delegates Honored for A Decade of Service

Three U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) delegates – Randy Ives of Gavilon; Ray Defenbaugh of Big River Resources; and Stan Garbacz from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture – were honored for 10 years of service to the organization at its 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting this week in Montreal, Canada.

Asked about their experiences with the Council, the three told different stories but were unanimous in recognizing its value.

The highlight for Ives has been seeing the ethanol industry come together to meet challenges from antidumping cases to biotechnology acceptance.

Five-Year Honorees Praise A-Teams, Personal Connections

Jerry Wang, delegate for Living Water Integra Trade Inc., and Russ Hurlbert, delegate for the South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation were honored for five years of service to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) during the organization’s 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting held this week in Montreal, Canada.

For both men, their years of service to the Council have brought practical rewards.

“It’s been an excellent experience working with the Council, and especially with the value-added Advisory Team (A-Team),” Wang said. “I learned a lot and also gave a lot of insights I have in the grain industry. The Council always listens to the members’ opinions.”

Atkins Named Vice President and COO of U.S. Grains Council

Kimberly Atkins, a longtime staffer and current director of global programs for the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), will be the next vice president and chief operating officer (COO) of the organization.

In her new role, she will oversee the daily operations and management of the Council including relationships with strategic and member partners and oversight of the Council’s strategic plan. Atkins has been with the Council for 10 years, working in roles focused on management and execution of the Council’s global operations. She will assume the VP/COO role as of Aug. 1.

Tailored Traits Improve Corn Crop

Biotechnology is a critical tool used by U.S. corn farmers to produce a safe, high-yielding, quality crop in varying growing conditions while reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Still, the genetic quality, diversity and specificity in a bag of corn seed begins with a conventional breeding program that develops germplasm that is specific for the soil and environment where it is intended to grow.

Technology Use On U.S. Farms

Multiple forms of technology are available to improve production on the United States’ 2 million farms of all sizes. Beyond computer and Internet access, which is available on about 71 percent of U.S. crop farms (2013 report), various methods of technology are used in coordination with one another to increase efficiency, minimize labor and enhance sustainability.

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