(Posted Wed. Dec 19th, 2012)

Dec. 19: The National Corn Growers Association’s Grower Services Action Team focuses on three areas for the organization: membership, leadership and communications. In each of these areas, 2013 will continue to bring exciting programs and reenergized efforts under the leadership of the 14 growers who, along with state and national staff assistance, keep a sharp eye on program efforts in these three areas.

Following the meetings, Off the Cob caught up with GSAT Chair Brandon Hunnicutt, a grower from Nebraska, to see what his team discussed and what NCGA members can expect to see in 2013.

“Over the past few years, our team has really become excited about some of the new communications projects that we have launched like the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, CommonGround and the Corn Farmers Coalition,” said Nebraska corn farmer Brandon Hunnicutt, who chairs the team. “Most recently, NCGA launched the Corn Farmers Action Network, which will help us gain valuable insight and enable us to really activate our membership in the future in defense of this industry that we love.”

During the December meetings, the teams and committees hosted a variety of expert speakers who provided insight into issues facing the industry and the organization. From presentations on specific issues from other stakeholder viewpoints to group exercises designed to expand perspective, the presenters helped team members develop a fuller, multifaceted understanding of the issues facing corn farmers.

“We had an expert speaker also as Phil Bruno addressed the group and led an exercise to explore our views on generational difference and on change,” said Hunnicutt. “Each team member shared as we delved into how Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers and Millennials view one another. In examining our views on the strengths and weaknesses of and differences between these groups, we gained valuable insight that will be of use as we move forward in growing our membership and activating our grassroots.”

Summarizing what might interest growers most, he expressed hope for the future rooted in the growing willingness to take on the part of farmers to stand up and speak out.

“First and foremost, they should know that our membership is growing,” stated Hunnicutt. “While many organizations are going through a contraction phase right now, we are actually expanding. I find it exciting to see how many corn farmers out there are willing to put their name on the line and speak out for the industry.”

To listen to the full interview,   click here  .

In addition to Hunnicutt, team members include Vice Chair Tom Haag, Corn Board Liaison Don Elsbernd, Roscoe Eggers, Lori Feltis, Robert Hemesath, Gary Hudson, Ken Kleinschmidt, Larry Mason, David Merrell, Herb Ringel, Mark Scott and Matt Habrock of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

This story is the first in a series looking at the challenges and opportunities to be faced by NCGA’s action teams and committees in the months ahead.