(Posted Fri. Oct 28th, 2016)
As the National Corn Growers Association prepares to issue applications for the FY 2018 Corn Board, interested members are invited to find out more about NCGA’s FY 2017 Nominating Committee. This group, which reviews applications and shapes the election process, welcomes questions, conversations and inquiries from association members.
In FY 2017, NCGA Chairman Chip Bowling chairs the committee, which includes Doug Albin, Jeff Jarboe, Chad Kemp and Joe Reed.
Bowling, a third-generation farmer, grows corn, soybeans, wheat, barley and grain sorghum an hour outside of Washington, D.C. A graduate of NCGA’s first Advanced Leadership Academy class, Bowling currently chairs the Nominating Committee, the National Corn Growers Association Foundation and co-chairs the Allied Industry Council Executive Committee. Additionally, he serves on NCGA’s Governance Committee, Resolutions Task Force and as its representative on Monsanto’s Grower Advisory Committee, the USDA Environmental and Rural Protection Agency Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Committee and the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Board of Directors.
Albin farms with his wife and combine operator, Lois, in Clarkfield, Minn., where he grows a corn and soybean rotation with wheat at times. Currently, he serves on NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. Previously, he has chaired the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council. Through his years of service, he has held the full range of officer positions on both the MCRPC and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.
Jarboe farms in Loda, Ill. with his father and his two sons. Currently, he serves as president of Illinois Corn Growers Association. Prior to that, he served as vice president of that association.
Kemp grows corn, soybeans and wheat in Lewisburg, Ohio. The current president of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, he has also served as secretary and vice president previously and graduated from the Leadership At Its Best program. Before he began farming, Kemp taught school for ten years and remains active in many facets of his community.
Reed grows corn, cotton, sorghum and wheat in Kress, Texas, where he also raises cattle. Currently, he serves as the Vice President of the Corn Producers Association of Texas. Previously, he has chaired the Texas Corn Producers Board.
The members of the Nominating Committee, as a whole, are personally motivated to serve in their various capacities at the state and national level for similar reasons. Many, prior to entering leadership of their state associations, served their communities as members of leadership in church, school and other boards. Desiring to give back to the agricultural community as a whole, these leaders dedicate time to state and national organizations as a way to give back to an industry for which they feel a passion. Notably, one member expressed that, as a recruiter, he had often heard people say that they wanted to join a corn organization so long as they didn’t have to do anything. He realized through these conversations that, for him, membership was more worthwhile if one became more involved.
Several common themes emerge in the members’ views on what traits a candidate for the Corn Board should possess. Universally, the members see the importance of seeing the larger picture, instead of just one’s own point of view, and acting in the collective best interest of all American corn farmers as essential. Additionally, many expressed that they place a priority on the ability to be participatory and assertive without being overly aggressive and, particularly, on being a good listener.
The members advise interested candidates to reflect upon the time commitment that Corn Board membership entails and seek the advice and support of their families. For those in a place which allows them to do so, interested members who have the heart to do what is best to build a bright future for all U.S. corn growers are encouraged to apply.