2020 began with reason for optimism in our industry. The signing of the USMCA trade deal, emerging corn purchases by China, a successful challenge to EPA granting RFS waivers and approval of year-round sales of E15 had us all looking for an economic rebound. Then the unthinkable happened as a pandemic stunned the world.
Through it all farmers have answered the bell, responding in admirable fashion, putting us on track to produce an abundant crop. In response, NCGA is upping its efforts as well to reflect our concern for the business and mental health of growers, their families, and their communities. We have shared information on COVID-19 management on the farm, dealing with stress, and making sure you are fully utilizing the programs made available since the last farm program.
We are focused on keeping farmers in business. We continue to advocate on your behalf in Washington to get assistance for corn growers; work to get packers up and running; keep trade cranking and take the necessary steps to fire up ethanol plants. While we acknowledge the current realities, we are committed to addressing the mid-term and long-term needs of farmers.
We hope this report serves as a reminder that you are not alone. Our leaders and staff recognize the hurdles you face and the hard work and adjustments you are undertaking to keep your farm and business afloat.