American Corn Growers Foundation
Wealth from the Wind
Leading on Rural Stakeholder Engagement and
Policy Outreach 1999-2016

Sponsor of both National and Nebraska Wind and Solar Conferences 2002-2016


Nebraska farm organization says holding ground on ethanol not good enough


July 9, 2017 - The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announced last week that it will maintain the conventional biofuel requirement at the 15 billion gallon level in renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2018.

“Holding ground is not good enough,” said Gale Lush of Wilcox, chairman of the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF). “It’s a minimal, inadequate corn ethanol demand strategy.”

“The Environmental Protection Agency announcement will do little or nothing to move corn markets according to one market analyst,” he added.

Lush said the U.S. corn industry needs to be “doing more than just ‘holding ground’ in terms of our domestic U.S. corn use because exports are forecast to drop substantially in the 2017-2018 marketing year.”

“As a longtime grain farmer and co-op patron what’s needed is for the farmer-owned co-ops to make a major commitment toward installing as many ethanol blender pumps as possible at all of their gas stations,” Lush said. “E-10 ethanol is great, but we need coops to be marketing a lot more of it plus E-15, E-30 and E-85 ethanol blended gasoline to drive demand growth in our domestic market.”

Lush said that strategy makes “more economic sense for farmer-owned cops than investing in risky foreign grain export ventures that promote U.S. competitor grain exports which compete directly against U.S. exports.”  Read more...


“Holding Ground” With EPA 15 Billion Gallon Target Not Good Enough and Won’t Move Markets
MY 2017-2018 U. S. Corn Exports Forecast Down by 350 Million Bu. To 1.875 Billion Bushels. Co-ops Need to Install Blender Pumps More Aggressively


WILCOX, NE---July 7, 2017 - “Holding ground is not good enough. It’s a minimal, inadequate corn ethanol demand strategy,” says Gale Lush, Wilcox, NE corn farmer and ACGF Chairman. “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement of the corn ethanol blending requirement of 15 billion gallons for 2018 will do little or nothing to move corn markets according to one market analyst,” said Lush. “The U.S. corn industry needs to be doing more than just ‘holding ground’ in terms of our domestic U.S. corn use because exports are forecast to drop substantially in the 2017-2018 marketing year. As a long time grain farmer and co-op patron what’s needed is for the farmer-owned co-ops to make a major commitment toward installing as many ethanol blender pumps as possible at all of their gas stations. E-10 ethanol is great but we need co-ops to be marketing a lot more of it plus E-15, E-30 and E-85 ethanol blended gasoline to drive demand growth for corn ethanol right here in our domestic market. That strategy makes more economic sense for farmer-owned co-ops than investing in risky foreign grain export ventures that promote U.S. competitor grain exports which compete directly against U.S. exports. A major U.S. cooperative recently announced suffering a sharp decline in income and confirmed it was a $200 million creditor of a failing Brazilian commodities trader. Domestic U.S. corn ethanol is a much better bet than exporting foreign grain. It’s the America-First oriented thing to do.”  Read more...


Ethanol, Wind Energy and Solar Power Are Strong Rural Economic Engines and Key Job Drivers
ACGF Sponsoring 9th Annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference in Lincoln November 7-8, 2016


WILCOX, NE---May 2, 2016 - “The American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF) continues to advocate renewable energy as an essential economic development component for the future of the rural economy. It’s our top priority,” said Gale Lush, ACGF Chairman from Wilcox, Nebraska. “Ethanol is a well-established and powerful economic driver for rural America, underpinning corn prices when exports are stagnant or fail to deliver as projected or promised by free trade policy deals. In 2015 ethanol-driven domestic corn demand did a lot more than defend corn prices. It delivered 85,967 well paying, stable, direct jobs and 271,440 indirect or induced jobs across the U. S., fueling domestic economic growth.”

Lush announced that the ACGF continues to lead on wind and solar energy advocacy with ACGF Director Dan McGuire as Co-Chair of the 9th Annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference to be held at the Cornhusker hotel in Lincoln on November 7-8, 2016. “ACGF is proud to again be a Kilowatt sponsor of the 2016 conference,” said Lush. “We’re pleased to join other key national and state wind and solar industry leaders that are sponsoring this year’s Nebraska conference. We urge local, county and state officials to register for the conference at www.NebraskaWindandSolarConference.com.   Read more...


30+ Years of Failed ‘Free Trade’ Export Promises Confirms Ethanol RFS Policy Must Stay Permanent


U.S. Corn Exports During 1980s-1990s-2000s "Free Trade" Policy & 2015-16 Projected with 16 Yr. Average ( In Billion Bushels) Source: USDA-WASDE & ERS

2015/16 US Wheat Exports Only 45% of 1981/82 2000-2015/16 Average is only 63%% of 1987/88 (in Billion Bushels)

WILCOX, NEB –February 4, 2016 – “Presidential candidates and their political handlers in both parties would be wise to learn from the thirty-plus year failed record of U.S. ‘free trade’ corn export promises before attacking the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the most successful domestic rural economic development policy in modern history,” said Gale Lush, a farmer from Wilcox, NE and Chairman of the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF). “Had we relied on exports without the ethanol RFS for essential new corn demand market growth since 2005 the rural economy would have experienced a meltdown. So why would any presidential candidate want to dismantle such a successful, economic development infrastructure? The ethanol RFS and ethanol industry create hundreds of thousands of jobs and keep the price of gasoline at the pump as much as $1 per gallon lower for consumers. RFS energy policy is ‘all American’ vs U.S. fossil fuel incentives that subsidize foreign oil interests. The ethanol RFS serves the economic security of America.” Read more...


Local View: Fossil fuel subsidies dwarf wind energy incentives


In response to the opinion column “Support affordable energy by ending corporate welfare” LJS, Nov. 14) here are three questions for author Thomas J. Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, with ties to the Koch Brothers oil company.

Why did you fail to call for an end to government/taxpayer-funded fossil fuel subsidies? Are you going to call on Nebraska’s U. S. senators and representatives to repeal oil, coal and gas subsidies? Aren’t oil companies able to stand on their own without subsidies? The fossil fuel industry has been getting federal subsidies for 100 years. The cumulative cost of oil, coal and gas subsidies dwarf wind energy incentives.

It’s ironic, if not downright hypocritical, for Mr. Pyle to complain about the wind production tax credit.  Read more...


Above: ACGF's Dan McGuire address 2014 Nebraska Wind-Solar Conference

Above: Dan McGuire at ACGF information booth at 2014 Nebraska Wind/Solar Conference


Wind and Renewable Energy: Nebraska's Growth Opportunity

September 4, 2014

Dan McGuire, Director of the ACGF Wealth From The Wind program, co-chair of the Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference, and NREL Facilitator of the Nebraska Wind for Schools program presented on all topics "wind" on September 4, 2014. With a Nebraska farm background and a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska– Lincoln, he has spent his career leading agricultural organizations and developing and advocating for state and national renewable energy policy and programs for the benefit of rural America. ...read more

[...view the presentation 19.5MB download]

Welcome to the The American Corn Growers Foundation

Wind Farms and the Highway Superintendent
Presentation to NACO:

Nebraska Association of County Engineers, Highway Superintendents And Surveyors
December 12, 2013, Omaha, NE
American Corn Growers Foundation
Dan McGuire, Stakeholder Outreach/Project Director
Co-Chairman, Nebraska Wind Conference 

[...view the presentation]


Leader of the Pack
Wilcox farmer has been trailblazer in adding value to farmers’ crops, natural resources
Reprinted with permission from the Kearney HUB | Kearney, NE
By LORI POTTER Hub Staff Writer | Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 12:45 pm

WILCOX — Every Nebraska harvest season is different.
Most of the 2012 corn was in the bin by late October, while the 2013 harvest is just now peaking.
“I hope we’re done by Nov. 1, but it might be more like Nov. 11,” farmer Gale Lush said last week as he waited for his rain-dampened fields south of Wilcox to dry.  There has been one constant since Lush came home to farm full time in 1977. He has been a leader in organizations that support opportunities for farmers to add value to their crops and natural resources, including the development of the ethanol and wind energy industries.
“I just thought somebody needed to do it,” Lush said about serving as chairman of the American Corn Growers Association Foundation and as a Nebraska Farmers Union board member. “I started by talking to like-minded people.”  [...read more]

Name: Gale Lush
Home: Farm south of Wilcox
Education: Wilcox High School graduate, 1970; University of Nebraska-Lincoln, bachelor’s degree in agriculture, 1974; and three years at UNL law school
Profession: Full-time farmer since 1977 and now farms with his two brothers and son
Crops: Corn, soybeans and wheat
Family: Wife, Laurie; son and daughter-in-law, Alexander and Elise, and their boys, Luke, Rylan and Henry; and daughter Sarah of Omaha
Ag organizations: American Corn Growers Association Foundation chairman and ACGA board ex officio member; Nebraska Farmers Union Board director; National Farmers Union and KAAPA member; Nebraska Corn Board past director; and Class 2 Nebraska LEAD Program alum
Community activities: Trinity Lutheran Church in Hildreth member and Wilcox School Board past member
Renewable Fuel Standard

Original goal: 7.5 billions of renewable fuels blended into gasoline by 2012

Increased: From 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022

For 2013: Expected that nearly 10 percent of all fuel used will be from renewable sources
For 2014: 16.55 billion gallons

Nebraska plants: 24 active

Annual production capacity: More than 2 billion gallons

Corn used: About 700 million bushels

Sources: Environmental Protection Agency and Nebraska Ethanol Board websites


ACGF Chairman Says Petroleum Industry is Duplicitous by Misleading Congress and Consumers about RFS and Ethanol -Apparently Attempting to Seize Back Monopoly Market Power over the Consumer Gasoline Market
WILCOX, NEB –July 19, 2013 – “Recent attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by the American Petroleum Institute (API) are misleading the United States Congress and American consumers,” said Gale Lush, Chairman of the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF), a corn, soybean and wheat farmer from Wilcox, Nebraska. “Considering that the fossil fuel industry has had one hundred years of various forms of government support and subsidies including tax credits through which they avoid paying federal taxes, it’s about the same as oil companies getting the equivalent of checks from the federal government and U.S. taxpayers, just in a little different form. Government support, combined with their dominance of motor fuels has amounted to a “mandate” and a captive market for their product, namely gasoline. The API’s call for the elimination of the RFS for ethanol is duplicitous at best and shows a selfish disregard for the best interests of the U.S. economy, U.S. consumers and U.S. energy security given that ethanol keeps gas prices $1.09 per gallon less at the pump than those prices otherwise would be without ethanol in the gasoline pipeline, according to a recent study by Iowa State University. It appears the petroleum industry wants to seize back monopoly market power which could result in a 100 percent oil industry monopoly “mandate” in the U.S. gasoline market if they could replace clean burning, environmentally-friendly ethanol with strictly gasoline, including all its carcinogens such as benzene.”   [...read more]

ACGF Sponsoring Nebraska’s 5th Annual Wind Conference
Advocating Economic Benefits of Wind Energy PTC & Ethanol RFS and Urging Active Stakeholder Public Policy Engagement
LINCOLN Neb. – October 17, 2012 – “The American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF) is a major, megawatt sponsor of the 5th Nebraska Annual Wind Conference at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln on October 22-23. For years the ACGF has carried out a program of outreach and education advocating the rural economic development benefits for Nebraska from federal renewable energy incentives,” says Gale Lush, ACGF Chairman from Wilcox. “The federal Wind Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), like the Ethanol Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), is under attack from fossil fuels, an industry that has had federal subsidies for nearly 100 years. According to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation and other budget experts, over $113 billion in federal subsidies is expected to go to fossil fuel corporations over the next 10 years. Nebraskans need to be engaged in strong defense of federal renewable energy incentives. This is about Nebraska’s economic future. The wind energy PTC and the ethanol RFS are great examples of smart government policy. Like ethanol, wind energy can be an economic superstar, but only if Congress extends the wind PTC beyond December 31, 2012.”   [...read more]

Fossil Fuel Industry Attempting to Redefine Gasoline as “Green” Renewable Energy is like Farmers claiming they are “No-Till” Plowing. That Dog Will Not Hunt says ACGF Chairman.
Ethanol in the fuel supply results in each U. S. household saving an estimated $1,200 in lower fuel costs.
WILCOX, NEB –September 14, 2012 – “If farm implement dealers tried to sell modern farmers something called a “no-till plow” they might be laughed off the farm, but oil and coal companies are trying to get U.S. government regulatory officials and American consumers to believe that they can create “green/renewable gasoline” or “clean coal” which are both an oxymoron,” said Gale Lush, Chairman of the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF), a corn, soybean and wheat farmer from Wilcox, Nebraska. “If a farmer plows, that’s tillage…opposite of no-till. It causes moisture to escape and the soil to dry out as deep as he plowed. It does not fit the definition of ‘no-till’ farming. When oil companies try to say they are creating ‘green gasoline’ from oil or are using some kind of catalytically modified petroleum waste material to create so-called ‘renewable’ gasoline, it’s simply an attempt to redefine renewable fuels and that dog won’t hunt.”   [...read more]

ACGF Promoting Ethanol RFS and Wind Energy PTC at Farm Progress Show in Iowa
The RFS and PTC are Perfect Examples of Smart U. S. Government Policy Creating Thousands of Excellent American Jobs
BOONE, IA – August 24, 2012 – “With the federal ethanol Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) under attack from various anti-renewable energy groups the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF) is providing important educational information to the public at the Farm Progress Show this coming week in Boone, Iowa,” says Gale Lush ACGF Chairman, a Nebraska corn, wheat and soybean farmer.  [...read more]

Extreme Drought is Cause of Tight Corn Supply. It’s Not the Ethanol RFS!
WILCOX, Neb. – August 6, 2012 – “The extreme drought situation across the Midwest, not the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for ethanol, is the primary reason for the reduced corn supply and higher corn prices,” says Gale Lush Chairman of the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF), a Wilcox, Nebraska corn, wheat and soybean farmer. “And, consumers, livestock feeders and politicians all need to acknowledge that only the starch from corn is used in ethanol production. The protein, minerals and oil (high value feed components) from that same corn kernel still provides abundant feed for the livestock sector which is where most of the corn supply would have gone in the first place.”  [...read more]

Attacks on Ethanol RFS by Corporate Livestock to Reduce Corn Demand Is A Bad Idea
Only Corn Starch Goes to Ethanol. Protein, Minerals, Oils from Corn Kernel Are Still Used As Livestock Feed Soybean Embargoes by President Nixon in 1973 and President Ford in 1975 Taught U.S. Serious Lesson
WILCOX, Neb. – July 20, 2012 – “Two negative, corn and ethanol demand-restricting bills introduced by Representative Goodlatte of Virginia aimed at reducing or eliminating volumes of ethanol use connected with the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) are sadly reminiscent of bad demand/trade restrictive export policies used first by President Richard Nixon in 1973 to curb U.S. soybean exports to Japan and then again used by President Gerald Ford on September 9, 1975 when he suspended grain exports to the Soviet Union,” says Gale Lush, Chairman of the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF), Wilcox, Nebraska corn, soybean and wheat farmer. “America doesn’t need attacks on renewable fuels at the same time the U.S. House of Representatives dithers and fails to move a new farm bill during the most serious U.S. drought in the past fifty years. The House of Representatives is already trying to severely weaken the Senate version of the new farm bill. We don’t need members of Congress attacking our best domestic corn market, which is ethanol. Where are the farm state Congressional leaders of the U.S. House majority party when farmers need them? What’s holding up this key farm bill passage when rural state economies are in serious trouble and need fast, decisive action?”  [...read more]

Don’t Blame Higher Corn Prices or Ethanol for Higher Food Prices Says ACGF Chairman
Only 1.5% of U.S. Corn Supply Is Used In “Cereals and Other Products” Category…Farmers Still Get Only 9 Cents of the $4.19 That Consumers Pay for a Box of Cereal According To USDA Price Statistics
WILCOX, Neb. – July 11, 2012 – “With a drought-driven-reduced 2012 corn crop we see higher corn prices paid to farmers being blamed as the reason food prices to consumers will rise and that is wrong,” says Gale Lush, Nebraska corn farmer and Chairman of the American Corn Growers Foundation. “Only 200 million bushels or 1.5% of the 2011/12 marketing year’s 13.5 billion bushel corn supply will be utilized in the corn use category of “Cereals and Other Products” according to the June 2012 reports from the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service. The farmer’s share is only 9 cents of a $4.19 box of cereal.”  [...read more]

Make Renewable Energy Subsidies Untouchable Like Fossil Fuel Subsidies Says ACGF Chairman
Expand Ethanol Use to Keep U.S. Gasoline Prices $1/Gallon Lower for All U.S. Motorists
WILCOX, Neb. – Jun. 26, 2012 –“Congress likes to talk about creating jobs but a recent farm market reporting service indicated that the staffs of seven Republican members and one Democrat member of the U.S. Senate are developing plans to eliminate or reduce the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for ethanol after the November elections. That would be a massive job and economic killer,” says Gale Lush, Chair of the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF). “That news report should put farm and commodity organizations, as well as consumer-oriented members of Congress on high alert. Ironically, a recent report by Oil Change International says the G20’s commitment to reduce crude oil subsidies is going nowhere. The report, “Phasing Out Fossil-Fuel Subsidies in the G20” released earlier this month is confirmation that governments are not phasing out oil subsidies. The report says that oil subsidies are expected to more than double by 2020, from $312 billion in 2010 to $660 billion in 2020. Doubling oil subsidies is a doubly bad double standard. Let’s not forget that it was the oil lobby and their oil-subsidizing friends in the U.S. Senate that got rid of the only ethanol subsidies our industry had (the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit-VEETC and the Ethanol Import Duty) so they ended on December 31, 2011. Apparently the only subsidies the oil and fossil fuel industry believes in are their own,” said Lush.  [...read more]

E15 (15% Ethanol) Reduces Engine Failure by Nearly 60% vs. Straight Gasoline Based On Reported American Petroleum Institute (API)-Funded Study
API’s Own Study Shows That 33% of Engines Failed With Straight Gasoline
WILCOX, Neb. – May 21, 2012 –Gale Lush, Chairman of the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF) is responding to recent news articles reporting on an API study slamming E15. The May 17, 2012 Farm Futures article with the headline “Test Slamming E15 Draws Fire”, reports on a new study on E15 (15 percent ethanol blended in gasoline). The API study, suggests that E15 can damage engines, but the study results actually make a strong case that E15 is better for engines than straight gasoline, when the reported data is analyzed more closely. “The study reportedly funded by the American Petroleum Institute (API) shows that only two of eight engines (25 percent) failed using E15. However, one of those engines was reportedly under recall for engine failure, so actually only one of seven engines (14.3%) failed using E15 versus one of three engines or 33.3 percent that failed using straight gasoline (see Farm Futures article cited above). That suggests that burning E15 actually reduced engine failures by nearly 60 percent compared to straight gasoline in that API study/test,” said Lush.  [...read more]

ACGF Chairman Says With EIA Projections as High as $4 a Gallon Gas It’s No Time For Congress To Weaken Ethanol RFS and It’s High Time for Congress to Extend Wind PTC
WILCOX, Neb. – Feb. 8, 2012 –“Yesterday the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) boosted its forecast for global oil demand and said it expects gasoline prices to average $3.55 per gallon in 2012, up 2 cents from 2011 and there is a one in four chance they could jump above $4 a gallon in June. Given that report and the need to create jobs in America this is no time for members of Congress to be talking about weakening the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for ethanol or delaying action on extending the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC).” If Congress wants to cut subsidies, let them first cut the massive, 100-year old oil and fossil fuel subsidies,” said Gale Lush, Chairman of the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF). [...read more]

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