Monte Shaw is executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
Growing up in the small town of Shenandoah, I came of age during the farm crisis of the 1980s. Simply put, it was not a fun time to be a farm kid.
The single biggest force making things better for ag over the last 40 years was the explosive growth of the renewable fuels industry during the first decade of this century. In high school, I remember getting 30 cents under the Chicago price for corn at the local elevator. Today, our local ethanol plant routinely offers 30 to 40 cents over Chicago. That change in farm income did not happen by accident, and we should not assume it won’t go away if ethanol production does.