"I am honored to receive this award from the National Corn Growers Association," said Thune. "I appreciate the work this organization does to represent the interests of corn growers across the country, and specifically the working relationship I have had over the years with the South Dakota Corn Growers. I look forward to continuing to work together on the Renewable Fuel Standard, supporting the move to E15, and other initiatives important to corn producers."
Thune, ranking member of the Agriculture Energy Subcommittee, has been a strong advocate for ethanol use. Last month he joined several Senate colleagues in denouncing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for continuing to delay approval of E15. In addition to working to establish and expand the Renewable Fuel Standard as part of the 2005 and 2007 Energy bills, Senator Thune also authored a provision known as the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) in the 2008 Farm Bill that provides payments to facilities converting nonedible plant material, including corn cobs, into biofuels and bioenergy.
"I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Senator Thune since his first term in the House of Representatives," said Ihnen. "When it came time to decide who this year's recipient of the NCGA President's award would be, I immediately thought of Senator Thune. Senator Thune has been an advocate for agriculture throughout his public career including work on such important items as the Renewable Fuel Standard and the 2008 Farm Bill. We are honored to call Senator Thune a friend of corn and look forward to continuing work with him and his staff."