Membership in the National Corn Growers Association now surpasses the 40,000 mark, the organization announced today, signaling deep and continued support for the 56-year-old national agriculture association. As of July 31, membership in NCGA stands at 40,157.

“We’re thrilled at what this new milestone means and we salute the hard work of our membership recruiters, state and national staff, and all who have helped build this into such a respected and strong grassroots association,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson, a farmer in Floyd, Iowa. “At a time when many associations struggle to maintain strong member numbers and there are so many pressing issues on the table, our growing membership means a louder voice in our nation’s capital, standing up for corn farmers throughout our nation.”

Johnson credits the rise to the importance of some seriously debated issues in Washington, especially the delayed farm bill and attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard for ethanol, which represents an important market for corn farmers. At the same time it fights for ethanol, with programs like American Ethanol Racing and Fuels America, NCGA involvement in other ag programs, such as the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, CommonGround and the new GMO Answers, help drive home how important feed-and-food issues are to its grower membership.

“Our members see what we’re doing and recognize the importance of our work, while at the same time enjoying a wide array of benefits that make membership really worthwhile,” Johnson said. “Just one example: Our National Corn Yield Contest continues to grow in popularity after nearly a half-century of existence. And new programs we’ve helped start and run, like the National Agricultural Genotyping Center, will help ensure we’re growing markets as well as membership interest.”

Founded in 1957, NCGA represents not only dues-paying farmer-members nationwide, but also the interests of more than 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 48 affiliated state associations and checkoff organizations work together to create and increase opportunities for their members and their industry.