Corn farmers from across the country traveled to Washington this week to take part in the second phase of the annual leadership development programs co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and Syngenta. While in town, the group visited numerous Congressional leaders and got an inside look at parliamentary procedure and how lobbying works on Capitol Hill.
“Leadership At Its Best has been a vital tool for helping corn growers become leaders at the state and national level for more than a quarter century,” said Wesley Spurlock, NCGA’s current president and a LAIB graduate himself. “In Washington, our farmer leaders see firsthand how decisions made in our nation’s capital impact us all back on our farms. Having an effective, compelling voice here directly benefits NCGA and all its farmer members.”
The Leadership At Its Best class received briefings from NCGA staffers on the issues facing America’s farmers in the coming year followed by presentations from lobbyist and Hill staffer panels explaining how the lobbying process functions in Washington, D.C. to get the best result from interaction with members of Congress and their staff. They then had the opportunity to see the process in action during a series of visits with Congressional leaders. Additionally, the group participated in parliamentary procedure training with NCGA Parliamentarian Chris Dickey.
This year’s Leadership at Its Best Class includes: Duane Aistrope (Iowa), Aron Carlon (Ill.); Jayne Dalton (Wis.); Sarah Delbecq (Ind.); Deb Gangwish (Neb.); Patricia Geerdes (Minn.); Jeff Gromong (Ind.); Brent Hoerr (Mo.); Mike Lefever (Colo.); William Leigh (Ill.); Stacy Mayo (Kan.); Guy Mills, Jr. (Neb.); Lawrence Onweller (Ohio); Mark Recker (Iowa); Betty Skunes (N.D.); Randall Small (Kan.) Clint Stephens (Mo.); Roger Sy (Ill.); and Josh Yoder (Ohio).
Phase One of Leadership At Its Best took place in August and included sessions on media training, public speaking, business etiquette and meeting management. Applications for the 2017-2018 program can be found on NCGA’s website here.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.
The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is a biennial event happening this June. Learn more.