(Posted Thu. Sep 29th, 2016)

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 2016 Executive Committee steps down, NCGA Chairman Martin Barbre will complete his term, passing the role of chairman to current president Chip Bowling.


The Off the Cob podcast series caught up with Barbre, who paused at his local elevator to share his thoughts. During the conversation, he discussed his perspective on his years in leadership, provided his insight into the future and explored 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 his time on the Corn Board, Barbre explained that, while daunting, being an officer is a phenomenal experience.


“I have been very blessed to have this opportunity,” said Barbre. “It gives a feeling of accomplishment and of responsibility. You have the chance to meet movers and shakers in the world, not only in our own country but all over the world. It has been an experience that allows one to do something for our growers, to make something better for their lot in life. Really, it is being a leader of the greatest commodity association in the world.”


While considering the service volunteer leaders provide, he reflected on how farmers working collaboratively can play a dynamic role in creating the future of the industry.


“Grower leaders provide value to the organization by bringing their perspective, leadership training and experience and, by putting them together, they help further the goals of the association,” he said. “Simply, we have a vision of improving corn growers’ lives by making them more profitable and more efficient. As a leader, that’s what you do.”


Looking toward the future, he urged farmers to get involved and offered words of wisdom to those considering doing so.


“In my mind, the most important thing is probably to make sure that if you take a position you have the time to do it.


“We have leadership programs and, after having been through them, most people are much better leaders than they were before they started. Don’t think that you can’t do it or that you can’t get up in front of a crowd and talk. You can, and we can help you learn how to do it. Don’t be afraid about your own skills. Be willing to step up in front of people and be a leader.”