The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Katharine Emerson as Director of Public Policy and Political Strategy and Colleen Willard as Director of Public Policy to their DC team. Emerson leads NCGA’s political strategy development and PAC duties while also heading lobbying efforts on conservation and domestic biotech issues. Willard will be handling water quality and ag chemical issues.
“In adding both Katharine and Colleen to our team, NCGA gains a wealth of experience and unique perspectives that will serve our efforts to advance opportunities for America’s corn farmers well,” said NCGA Executive Vice President Jon Doggett. “It is with great enthusiasm we welcome these respected industry-leading professionals. I look forward, and I believe our membership should as well, to seeing the new heights that they will help us reach.”
Prior to joining NCGA, Emerson served as Director of Strategic Partnerships at the World Food Program USA, where she oversaw WFP USA’s annual fundraising event honoring U.S. leaders who have made a major impact in ending global hunger. Prior to her service with WFP USA, she served as Manager of Government Affairs for Monsanto Company for nearly eight years, where she also managed the company’s DC-based food and nutrition security partnerships, an issue she also represented on behalf of Monsanto on the Hill.
A passionate advocate to end hunger, Emerson is a board member for the Congressional Hunger Center, where she chairs the Development Committee. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
Before coming to NCGA, Willard served as Director of Government Affairs for the Community Associations Institute. She has also previously worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), interned for Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO) and also at The Fertilizer Institute.
Willard works ardently on behalf of America’s veterans by donating her services as an attorney through the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. She earned a law degree from Charleston School of Law in Charleston, S.C. and a Bachelor of Science degree in business marketing with a minor in legal studies from Clemson University.
Hailing from Poolesville, Maryland, her family owns and operates Willard Agri-Service, providing crop nutrients, crop protectants and agronomic services to the Delmarva Peninsula.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
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.