The National Corn growers Association (NCGA) has launched the Consider Corn Challenge III Contest. The NCGA is asking for participants "to answer the call and submit proposals for new uses of field corn as a feedstock for producing sustainable chemicals and products with quantifiable market demand." Quite simply the NCGA is using check-off dollars to try and find new uses for corn. Who finds or pays into the corn checkoff you may ask? That would be all farmers that raise and sell corn!

"Corn is an affordable, abundant, sustainably grown crop that has a myriad of uses and applications, which is why we are holding our third Consider Corn Challenge contest," said NCGA Market Development Action Team Chair and Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath. Past winners of the Consider Corn Challenge  I and II have scaled up to the next phase of development and received grant funding, entered into joint agreements and even obtained registration for state biobased production incentives. If all the previous nine winners reached full commercialization the corn demand would be 2.9 billion bushel.

In a smaller way I saw first hand how the Minnesota Corn Growers Association was funding projects to develop new uses for corn. it was a couple years ago at the MN Ag Expo, the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association at the Mankato Civic Center. On the second floor of the Trade Show in the hockey rink  there were a number of graduate students that were working on their PhD. doing research on developing new uses for corn that were funded in part by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

It was fun doing interviews with these young students talking about their research projects for their PhD. under the supervision of their advisors! The Minnesota Corn Growers Association was not only helping to find new uses for corn but also helping educate the next generation of scientists!

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