National convention

The 94th Annual FFA National Convention will be live in 2021

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) — FFA members from across the country will return to Indianapolis in October. Indeed, the National FFA Organization announced this week that the band’s 94th annual convention will be live with virtual elements. Most of the convention will be live, but virtual events such as student and faculty workshops, the FFA Blue Room, and general sessions will be offered online. Traditionally, the convention draws around 65,000 members, councilors and guests, but officials believe this year’s crowd will be a bit smaller due to ongoing health precautions. The convention will take place from October 27 to 30.

Corn growers and the renewable fuels industry are pleased with a recent court ruling. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that refinery waivers granted to 3 small refineries will not be honored. These 3 waivers were granted by the Environmental Protection Agency in the final days of the Trump administration and would have represented the market loss of 260 million gallons of ethanol blended into our domestic gasoline supply. The court ruled that the EPA only had the authority to extend waivers already in place, not to issue new waivers.

Our rains this week will surely help our newly planted crops get the growing season off to a good start. But not all state cultures are just beginning. Growers of Wisconsin’s tart cherry crop, grown primarily in Door County, are hoping for another big harvest in about 2 months. Last year’s tart cherry harvest was 11% higher than 2019, with production just over 10 million pounds. Yields per acre increased by a thousand pounds to 6,700 pounds per acre. The price also increased last year, from 10.9 cents per pound in 2019 to 49.9 cents last year, bringing the total crop value to $55 million. Michigan is by far the largest producer of tart cherries with over 69 million pounds grown in 2020.

Major League Baseball is coming to the cornfields this summer. The National Corn Growers Association has signed on as a major sponsor for a game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, August 12 at Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. The game will be played in a soon-to-be-built stadium next to the Field of Dreams movie site. The match was scheduled for last summer but had to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. FOX will broadcast the game nationally.

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