The National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year on Sunday and seated the 2018 Corn Board with Kevin Skunes of Arthur, North Dakota, who assumed the presidency. Off the Cob spoke with the new president to discuss his thoughts on the previous year, explore his views on what lies ahead for corn farmers in 2018 and his goals for his term.
“Over the last year, we have been able to reach out to the administration in several ways,” he said. “We have met personally with Secretary Perdue, Secretary Ross and Administrator Pruitt on several issues very important to the corn industry.
“Over the last year, we have gotten very serious about discussions on the next farm bill that will roll into fiscal year 2018. We have also been working very hard on trade agreements, including NAFTA and the Korean free trade agreement. There are many things we have done, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us.”
To listen to the full interview, please click here.
Looking at how NCGA will meet this challenge, he notes the importance of grassroots action and of each individual to act as an advocate for agriculture.
“I am honored that the people who make up the corn industry have placed faith in me that allows me to serve this year as the president of NCGA,” said Skunes. “I take this responsibility very seriously.
“I truly believe that you can make a difference one voice and one vote at a time. I also believe that you must make your voice heard. You cannot depend on the next person in line; they may or may not voice what you believe is good for your industry. I believe it is up to each one of us to have the knowledge and foresight to let our voice be heard and help our industry.
Skunes concluded by urging his fellow farmers to actively engage in their industry and stressed the incredibly important role members play in ensuring NCGA’s success for years to come.
“NCGA has conducted studies, and they show that farmers are credible. Our customers believe us when we speak out. So, get involved and use your passion, for whatever part of the industry that you feel passionately about. Get involved by going to meetings and making your voice heard.”
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.