In a conference call meeting Friday, The National Corn Growers Association's Climate Change Task Force reviewed the history of climate change concerns and issues, received an update on proposed federal climate change legislation and discussed pending projects.

"We are off to a good and fast start with this group, and the growers involved are very excited to be part of something that will be of great importance to the industry," said Steve Ruh., task force chairman and a farmer from Sugar Grove, Ill. "What's essential to us is that any final remedies for climate change protect American agriculture and provide opportunity for growth."

The Climate Change Task Force was established in March with a focus on such issues as land use change, greenhouse gas emissions, cap-and-trade policies, carbon sequestration and low carbon fuel standards.

Three legislative or regulatory challenges are in the pipeline that the task force especially will focus on: the California Air Resource Board's proposed low carbon fuel standard, the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rules implementing the new federal renewable fuel standard, and climate change legislation proposed by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Also on the call, task force member Fred Yoder, an NCGA past president and member of the 25x'25 Carbon Work Group, talked about the recent 25x'25 summit in Virginia and its documents on climate change. The organization recently released a discussion guide on farming and forestry in a reduced-carbon economy, available for download here.

In addition to Ruh and Yoder, farmer-members of the Climate Change Task Force are Steve Ebke of Nebraska, vice chairman of the Production of Stewardship Action Team; Mike Geske of Missouri, chairman of the Public Policy Action Team; Dave Loos of Illinois, a staff member of the Illinois Corn Growers Association; and David Nelson of Iowa, Corn Board member and Ethanol Committee liaison.