(Posted Tue. Sep 25th, 2012)

Mike GeskeSept. 25: As fiscal year 2012 comes to a close, Off the Cob takes time to look ahead with the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board members elected or reelected to their position during Corn Congress this July. Examining their views on membership, leadership and insight  into the issues which will affect corn farmers over the year to come, these interviews provide a glimpse into the leadership which will guide NCGA during 2013.


For Mike Geske, a farmer from Matthews, Mo., reelected to the board in July, the breadth and depth of the issues NCGA addresses play an important role in the organization’s importance while simultaneously presenting challenges.


“Like almost every year, the Corn Board’s plate will be full with a wide variety of issues,” said Geske. “But it’s like that every year and that makes it interesting. Looking at the action teams and committees, you get an idea of the flavor of the issues which we address, and we do so in great depth. One of our challenges is to keep from spreading ourselves too thin to effectively address all of the issues with which NCGA deals constantly.”


Geske goes on to note that, while the Corn Board will continue to face many of the same issues that it did in 2012, in the new year farmers should expect the unexpected.


“If I had to make a prediction about what will face farmers next year, I would say that it is almost certain that at least one, maybe two issues will come up which we could not even anticipate right now,” he said. “Whatever does come up, we will still face the issues with which we are currently dealing such as the farm bill, crop insurance, ethanol issues and environmental issues. It is nonstop.”


As NCGA works on so many issues for farmers, Geske strongly promotes membership. He notes that the greatest challenge to recruitment is often creating awareness of already ongoing activities and issues.


“The greatest issue we face is helping a farmer understand how very much he already benefits from NCGA,” he explained. “Farming is a consuming profession, and you can get so busy working on your farm that it is difficult to see all of the issues arising that affect them or how NCGA or their state association works on their behalf all of the time.”


For the full interview, click here.


In the following days, Off the Cob will offer more interviews and insight from NCGA grower-leaders as they prepare for 2013.