Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association representatives accept their award: 
Stacie McCracken, Tadd Nicholson, Chad Kemp, Brad Moffitt, Ellen Gililand


Over the decades, state associations representing corn farmers have developed innovative solutions to address a variety of challenges.  To recognize these achievements, the National Corn Growers Association has created the Reaching for Excellence Award. This award will be given to spotlight new approaches and encourage implementation of such advances in other states facing similar challenges.


NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team announced this new award at their December 2015 meeting in St. Louis. 


“Any state corn association or state checkoff board program, project, process, procedure, or strategy that has significantly advanced the mission of their association is eligible,” said GSAT Chairwoman Patty Mann, a farmer from Ohio. “The goal of the program is to not only recognize excellence across state’s programs and training but, also, to provide the details for other states that need help in those same areas.”  


While there is not a formal application, state grower associations and/or state checkoff boards interested in applying should supply a two to three-page narrative, on that state association’s letterhead, that includes the following elements:


Program Summary – a precise two to three-paragraph description of the program, the need it addressed and its outcome.


Program Description - What was the level of effort required and resources used? How many staff members, consultants or volunteers were involved? What were their roles? What was the estimated cost of implementation?  Did the program collaborate with other ag or community groups?


Program Evaluation - Describe the qualified or quantified performance outcomes for the program.  Why do you consider this program a success?  What advice or recommendations would you have for others considering your program?


Please submit the outlined two to three-page narrative documenting programmatic excellence by Friday, December 2, 2016. All submissions should be sent to Steve Uram.


A panel, comprised of members of the Engaging Members Committee, will select the winner.  All submissions will be posted on ShareFile to better facilitate the sharing of ideas and successes among NCGA’s state affiliate organizations.


The winning state and program will be recognized during the NCGA Awards Banquet at the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.




IowaCorn Collegiate Advisory Team

The Iowa Corn Collegiate Advisory Team (CAT) assists the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) in developing programs that target and enhance Iowa Corn’s relationship with those individuals who are pursuing careers in agricultural production and allied industries. The Iowa CAT Team is made up of students seeking degrees related to agriculture at Iowa’s colleges and universities. The CAT program meets the need of the organization to offer relevant programming, advocacy and services to new stakeholders entering Iowa’s agricultural sector who will be potential supporters and leaders of Iowa Corn. Read more.


TexasLeadership, Activism, Networking and Development (LAND) Program

LAND is a weekend-long commitment for young farm couples in Texas. Participants include those who have recently returned to the farm or have begun a new farm business, and are looking to expand their roles on and off the farm. While many other state leadership programs exist, they target more mature farmers with existing leadership skills. LAND fills the void and reignites the excitement of being active in the industry beyond the farm. Not only is it a wonderful learning opportunity for these young farmers, it also allows them an all-expense paid weekend away from the stresses of the farm and family life. Read more.


Nebraska Grassroots Workshop

Nebraska’s Grassroots Advocacy Workshop is a two-day workshop focused on strengthening the attendee’s advocacy skills. All members were invited to attend especially local presidents and board members. The first part of the program was dedicated to giving the attendees a state, national and industry update. The second part of the program focused on building their advocacy skills. This included social media strategies and why it is important to be active on social media, how to interact with elected officials, and writing an op-ed in a local paper. Read more.


2015 Winner:  Ohio
The New Crop Program 

Through the sponsorship of Becks, Ohio Corn & Wheat has created a subgroup of membership called The New Crop. This recruitment campaign targeted high school students, collegiate students and young farmers. OCW collaborated with academic agricultural programming staff across the state at various colleges, high schools and the Ohio Department of Education. Connecting with 15-35-year-olds naturally brings diversity to a group already comfortable with diversity. It brings value to our organization and the next generation of farmer leaders, board members and agribusiness leaders. Read more.


IndianaAg Policy Summit

The Indiana Corn Growers Association partnered with the Indiana Soybean Alliance to host the Indiana Ag Policy Summit in July 2015. The program was developed from the need to bring our members together for our summer joint policy meeting and to get more involved in the policy realm in our state. The goal was to seek ways to involve more members, non-members, industry partners all while getting media attention for our organizations. Read more.


Michigan Between the Rows
(Farm Tour)

The inaugural Between the Rows Tour was put on by the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan in August of 2015. The tour’s goal was to provide more face to face contact with corn growers in the state of Michigan. In order to achieve this goal, eight stops were preplanned for dates in August in some of the larger production counties in multiple regions across the state. These stops are where the tour met with growers in the area. This gave growers the opportunity to ask them about market changes or expectations for harvest. Read more.