When the National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year Monday, Iowa farmer Kevin Ross assumed the role of first vice president. Off the Cob spoke with the new officer to explore the challenges he sees as most important to corn farmers in the next year and discuss his thoughts on leadership.
Ross began with the positive things that he sees on the horizon in his year as First Vice President.
“At NCGA, I am looking forward to strengthening the organization from within. I think that there are things that we can continue to improve upon internally as well as externally in some of the relationships with livestock groups and ethanol industry partners. There are many things that we can continue to move forward in the industry right now.
“I am also looking forward to working with our new CEO, Jon Doggett, and seeing his leadership at work.
“Lastly, I am really excited about the folks that we have sitting on our board right now. I think they are an exceptional group of people that we will be working with in the next year.”
Over the next year, Ross sees relationships, sustainability and fostering new industries as key to farmers’ futures.
“The relationships side is something I find to be key to keeping our industry at the forefront of good conversations as well as making sure we are involved in the discussions in Washington at the right moments, whether they are with the livestock or ethanol industries.
“Moving into the future, I look forward to discussions on conservation and with the Soil Health Partnership, things that are important to us here on our farm. Personally, I am exceptionally excited about bioplastics industry that seems to be emerging more and more. I think that it is going to be a huge part of corn’s future.”
A strong proponent of farmer leadership and the association’s grassroots focus, he thanked those who are involved while urging those still on the fence to take that step forward.
“I would like to thank everyone out there who is currently a member for being involved in NCGA. At the same time, I would like to encourage anyone else to speak up for the industry, become a member of NCGA and your state organization to help us move the industry forward. It is a small investment that is worth it in the long run.
To listen to the full interview, click 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.