This article and podcast are part of a series profiling candidates for the 2018 Corn Board.
Dedicated to service since watching his parents’ example as a boy, Brandon Hunnicutt envisions a future where farmers communicate in a transparent, transformative way with the public. This combined dedication to giving back and forward-facing attitude have led him to find a new, national way to better service farmers as he runs for election to the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board.
“Going all the way back to when I was a kid, I saw my grandpa, my dad and my uncles involved in different committees and boards. They were trying to make agriculture a better place,” he said. “The more involved I became with my state and national organization, the more I wanted to help steer NCGA in a way that will make farming profitable and forward-thinking for the next generation.”
Hunnicutt has immersed himself in a variety of leadership roles since returning to the farm. From his work at the local, state and national levels, he has developed perspective on the values which make a leader effective.
“Leadership is one of those concepts that inspires a lot of theories. Looking at them all, it seems to come down to a few components,” he explained. “You must have a willingness to learn and to realize that just because you do something one way someone else might do it differently. You need the ability to listen. Sometimes, we all want to just speak our mind, but you have to take a step back and really listen. Also, you need the ability to, hopefully, bring people together of differing mindsets and ideas to pursue a common goal which, in this case, is to ensure corn remains profitable.”
As a Corn Board member, Hunnicutt would start by putting a key part of his theory on leadership into action.
“I would, first, learn from others, those from different experiences and about new areas. I would work to bring in the next generation. I would push forward to make sure we are actively pursuing coexistence in cropping systems. As a board member, I would strive to ensure we are utilizing social media while putting forth our values as corn farmers. At the same time, we must move the ball forward on ideas like cover crops and making sure we are acting as good stewards of the environment as corn growers.”
Hunnicutt, raises corn, soybeans, seed corn, popcorn and sorghum on his family farm in Nebraska. Along with his father, Daryl, and brother, Zach, he utilizes the latest technologies while integrating conservation tillage practices and cover crops, on a nearly 100 percent irrigated farm.
To listen to the full interview with Hunnicutt, click here.
The NCGA Corn Board election takes place at the July 19 Corn Congress session in Washington.
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.