Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We have moved!

Monday, January 3, 2011

NEW YEAR, NEW HOME

Corn Corps is officially launching their new home at Wordpress today!

For those of you that don’t like change, this might seem unnecessary. I know that you are still trying to get acclimated to the fact that we even HAVE a blog and now I’m going to change the address so that you can’t figure out where to go! There is a point to the move, I swear.

At Wordpress, we will be able to customize our blog to accomplish exactly what we intend. Those customizations and changes will happen gradually over time as we learn more and more about blogs and how to best utilize them. We also have a lot more options to make our posts “searchable” so that more people happen upon us when they are searching things like “locks and dams” or “animal welfare.” This is a good thing; we should always hope that a general search will bring the empty vessels our way.

Of course, the blog is, and will likely always remain, a work in progress. Knowledge continues to grow, and with it, the changes to the blog that are necessary to keep us ahead of the game.

For those of you that have subscribed to Corn Corps via email, you’ve likely already noticed a change. You don’t need to do anything to continue receiving our updates and if you’ve clicked on any of the recent posts in your emails, you’ve probably already checked out the new page. For the rest of you that might have us bookmarked or be following us in a feed reader of some sort, be sure to update our address.

See you tomorrow at http://www.corncorps.wordpress.com/!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

FARMERS ARE FEEDING A HUNGRY WORLD BY DOING MORE WITH LESS

Farmers have to be part agronimist, conservationist, meterologist, economist ...

and all optimist!



Find out more about Illinois farmer's best management practices at www.ilcorn.org.

If you liked this post, check out:
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION RECOMMENDS LESS STRINGENT...
ETHANOL EFFICIENCIES FUEL A GREEN REVOLUTION
ENTERTAINING AND INFORMATIVE: IS THIS THE WAY TO GO?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

HIGH FIVE FOR FARMERS!

This video won second place in the Alpharma Student Video Contest! Tori Frobish is a University of Illinois student from the Champaign-Urbana area.



If you liked this post, you might like:
FARM WOMEN LEAVE A STRONG LEGACY
THANK A FARMER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
HOLIDAYS ARE NON EXISTENT FOR FARMERS

Monday, December 27, 2010

KEEP AMERICA MOVING

Now that you've celebrated Merry Christmas and are happily staying warm until Happy New Year, I invite you to join us for VIDEO WEEK!

Yes, this week, Corn Corps will celebrate the holiday by bringing you interesting, informative, and intriguing videos from YouTube that address agriculture.

Today, we share an oldie but a goodie to keep this, our top priority, in the forefront of your minds. Improvements in our river transportation system are imparative if Illinois farmers are to compete in a global marketplace.



If you liked this post, you might enjoy:
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUTAIN: AMERICA NEEDS ...
BETWEEN LOCK AND DAM 22 & 23
BP'S GULF OIL SPILL HAS MANY IMPACTS

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS: CONSUMER TRUST IN THE AMERICAN FARMER

Dear Santa,

Over the past year Illinois farmers feel that they have been very well behaved. We have worked diligently to once again feed the world while making several changes to help our environment, protect the safety of our consumers, and produce high quality products. In fact, America’s corn farmers have cut soil erosion forty-four percent by using innovative conservation tillage methods! As far as yields are concerned, nationwide there has been a twenty percent increase since the year 2000. We hope that you will please take our Christmas list into consideration and do whatever you can to help us make the best better in the agricultural industry. Have a Merry Christmas!

Yours Truly,

Illinois Corn

1. Free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
2. Corn based ethanol to be allowed to qualify as an advanced biofuel.
3. Upgraded locks and dams.
4. Consumer trust in the American farmer.

The family farmers Illinois Corn represents are misunderstood.

Ninety-eight percent of farmers are family farmers and two percent are corporate farmers. However, the general public would tell you the opposite. Over the past two decades, corn farmers have cut soil erosion by forty-four percent using innovative conservation methods. American consumers will tell you we are destroying the land. Americans spend approximately ten percent of their annual income on food while other countries spend up to seventy percent of their annual income. Yet, the general public is encouraging new laws and regulations that will run our American farmers out of business forcing us to import food.

While I hate to bore you with facts, they have the capacity to change the entire outlook of our industry. The only problem is that the facts are not reaching our consumers.

Everyday United States farmers fight the battle to protect their image in the public eye. Due to groups and organizations such as PeTA, the Humane Society of the US, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and even the Environmental Protection Agency, our battle is getting harder every day. While these groups are attempting to dismantle our industry, farmers are quietly continuing to feed the world, which, if you know any farmers, is our way.

Growing up in the grass roots of production agriculture, I have strong feelings on this issue. Over the past year through my internship with Illinois Corn my eyes have truly been opened. As a Tazewell County farmer’s daughter, former 4-H queen, and an Illinois State Ag Major, I was not aware of the depth of the criticism the agriculture industry was receiving every minute of every day … and I’m taking offense.

My dad does not work an eight to five job. During harvest and planting seasons my mom, sister, and I make meals for the farm hands, help move guys from field to field, run for parts when we have unexpected breakdowns, and are prepared to jump into any piece of machinery at a moment’s notice. Throughout the summer, my dad spends sleepless nights running irrigation systems that allow us to grow crops in fields that we would otherwise not be able to utilize. Every farm family in the United States could tell the same story; we work hard because we love what we do. In fact, feeding the world comes naturally to us and we take a great deal of pride in the family farms our ancestors developed decades ago.

More and more farmers are beginning to understand that quietly feeding the world isn’t going to fix this issue and they are learning to utilize social media to talk about the truth on their farm. For others, though they are independent people that enjoy quiet and solitude, they are inviting school groups for farm tours to prove they are transparent. This is the hard part – how do we convince people who love peace and quiet, who are independent business owners, and who just want to be proud of their family farm legacy to work together with consumers, listen, and take harsh criticisms without being defensive?

Santa, we need your help. Farmers will have to go against years of tradition and become better communicators who are transparent about their businesses. Consumers will have to understand more about farm life and who farmers really are.

What a daunting task.

Kelsey Vance
Illinois State University Student

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS: NEW LOCKS AND DAMS

Dear Santa,

Over the past year Illinois farmers feel that they have been very well behaved. We have worked diligently to once again feed the world while making several changes to help our environment, protect the safety of our consumers, and produce high quality products. In fact, America’s corn farmers have cut soil erosion forty-four percent by using innovative conservation tillage methods! As far as yields are concerned, nationwide there has been a twenty percent increase since the year 2000. We hope that you will please take our Christmas list into consideration and do whatever you can to help us make the best better in the agricultural industry. Have a Merry Christmas!

Yours Truly,

Illinois Corn


  1. Free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
  2. Corn based ethanol to be allowed to qualify as an advanced biofuel
  3. Upgraded locks and dams.
Due to Illinois’ geographical location, upgrading locks and dams is vital to our economy. The Mississippi and Illinois Rivers allow Illinois corn farmers to transport their grains all over the world. By utilizing the locks and dams system we are protecting the environment, being energy efficient, preventing congestion on our roadways, providing American jobs, and staying competitive in the world trade market.

Many industries (Illinois Corn is one!) that realize how vital lock and dam upgrades really are have come together in order to help the progress of the upgrades. In fact, the users of the river system have even agreed to increase the fuel tax in order to assist in the funding of the project. Farmers need efficient means to get their product to market so desperately that even with the additional costs, they are money ahead!

And when record federal deficits are the headline in every paper, farmers and barge companies realize what they have to do to get this done.  There are very few groups that are currently willing to fund part of their own project.

There are only a few things that I can add that you probably haven’t already read in the fourteen year time span that Illinois corn has worked for upgraded locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois.  And actually, maybe you already knew some of these things too.
  • One barge has the same capacity of seventy semi trucks and sixteen railcars.
  • A barge can travel five hundred and seventy six miles on one gallon of fuel.
  • The present locks and dams were built in the 1930s and 1940s when the paddleboats that Mark Twain writes of traveled the Mississippi. 
  • Panama is nearing completion of their canal expansion, allowing even larger vessels through to the US.  We don’t have the infrastructure to accommodate those larger vessels or their cargo.
  • The Pacific Northwest transportation system is at capacity.  If we plan to increase exports, we will have to utilize the Mississippi River system.
Kelsey Vance
Illinois State University student