(Posted Wed. Jul 3rd, 2013)
July 3: The National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board has elected Chip Bowling of Maryland to become the organization's first vice president for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The full delegate body will vote to confirm his appointment during Corn Congress in Washington later this month.
A farmer for more than three decades, Bowling is a third-generation farmer who operates a 1,400-acre grain farm growing corn, soybean, wheat, barley and grain sorghum only an hour’s drive outside of Washington, D.C.
Off the Cob caught up with Bowling to discuss his experience, leadership style and perspective on the issues facing corn farmers today. While speaking of his experience, Bowling provides a detailed look at his prior service while maintaining a humble tone.
“Back in 2004 and 2005, I served as the president of the Maryland Grain Producers Association and, after that, I found myself becoming more and more involved with NCGA,” said Bowling. “So, I went through Leadership at Its Best and was in the inaugural class for the Advanced Leadership Academy. I served on NCGA’s Ethanol Committee and Public Policy Action Team, and I have testified before Congress on the association’s behalf. While I have years of experience and the comfort with change that farming requires, I really do believe that I am only one of many qualified leaders who could successfully execute this position.”
Bowling describes his leadership style as open noting that, while he has been accused of over-thinking things in the past, he has learned from his leadership training the importance of going with your gut.
“Before I make a decision, I like to let everyone voice their opinion,” explained Bowling. “I keep an open mind and like to really think things through. I like to think that I have a friendly way of getting things done because, if you work together, it is a lot easier on everyone, and you can get more done.”
Given the location of his farm, Bowling has played an active role on behalf of his fellow farmers in the nation’s capital many times. While he shares in their frustration over the seemingly endless barrage of issues they face, he knows what can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.
“Living 45 miles away from Washington has helped me do all that I have done with NCGA, and I think that it put me in a position to become first vice president,” Bowling said. “Right now, corn farmers’ issues are happening in D.C., whether they are related to the farm bill, the RFS or trade policies. I have had the opportunity to go in on a regular basis and help confront the ever-changing battles we face. If we keep addressing the issues, stating the facts and moving forward, we will get positive results for our nation’s corn farmers.”
On Oct. 1, Pam Johnson of Iowa, becomes chairwoman and the current first vice president, Martin Barbre of Illinois, becomes NCGA president. In October 2014, Barbre becomes chairman and Bowling would become president.
To listen to the full interview, click here.