(Posted Mon. Sep 30th, 2013)
Sept. 30: As the fiscal year comes to an end, the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board prepares to seat new members and officers on October 1. When the 2013 Executive Committee steps down, NCGA President Pam Johnson will complete her term and move on to the role of Chairwoman, passing the role of president to current First Vice President Martin Barbre.
The Off the Cob podcast series sat down with Johnson to discuss her perspective on fiscal year 2013 insight into the future and to discuss how members can work together to make NCGA an even more effective advocate for farmers.
To listen to the full interview, please click here.
Reflecting upon her time as president of the Corn Board, Johnson explained that while the breadth of the issues faced by the Corn Board was wide, NCGA offered programs to support farmers as they advocated for every issue they face today.
“It was an incredible year being the president of NCGA and truly an honor and a privilege,” said Johnson. “We had many challenges and opportunities in 2013. We worked on a variety of issues from trying to pass a farm bill, to defending the Renewable Fuel Standard, to working to promote fair trade and research and many others. Those challenges loom out there, but I think the one that encouraged me so much was that, no matter what the issues was, NCGA has a program to address it. We can provide farmers with the tools and techniques they need to effectively stand up and speak to them.”
Looking forward, she once again issued a call to action, urging all farmers to take a dynamic role in creating the future of the industry.
“Right now, it is more important than ever that our members and those farmers who are not members get engaged,” Johnson said. “Yes, your leadership at NCGA works very hard to make sure that farmers’ voices are heard in Washington, but we need every farmer’s voice if we are going to really be heard. So, what that means is when NCGA puts out a call to action or you hear something that troubles you and leads you to believe that your voice, your concerns, your issues are not being addressed; you need to call your Congressmen and tell them.
“Farmers need to call their representatives in Washington to explain exactly how important crop insurance has been to them personally and to their communities in the past few years. They need to relate this to why a farm bill must be passed and to why we must stand strong on the RFS. This year, take time to move beyond your farm gate to make that call, write a letter to your local newspaper editor or send an email. We need to get our message across to our legislators and to the public at large.”
In closing, Johnson expressed appreciation for those who have worked for change while calling upon more to join them.
“I want to thank those members that have been engaged over the past year and those legislators who have listened and stood with us on the important issues. Next year, I urge all of our members to do the same.”