Written by Emily Keiser
After traveling to six different states, visiting D.C. twice, and learning the true meaning of “farmers come first,” I could not be more grateful for my time with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Soil Health Partnership (SHP). Throughout the summer, I have learned the mission of NCGA, the dedication it takes to continue to move the needle through the tough times, and the importance of continuing to spread the positive message of agriculture.
With over 40,000 farmers served by NCGA nationwide, it becomes a big task to have each region represented. During my time in the national office, I have seen the true dedication to provide the voice for farmers, no matter what their geography. Learning how an issue that starts in a farmer’s field gets to Washington is a process that I have truly enjoyed getting to learn more about.
This year has not been the year most farmers would hang their hat on, with the continued trade challenges and the increasingly difficult weather, farmers have had an uphill battle. However, considering all the struggles happening throughout the industry, NCGA has taken the initiative to visit farmers and learn more about what they are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. As an intern, this has helped me learn that no matter what your title or role is in an organization, you always take the time to experience firsthand what those who support you are walking through.
In the light of the year farmers have had, NCGA has continued to push the issues that will benefit farmers. Lobbying in Washington D.C., attending various commodity events, and lending support to other organizations. As agriculture continues to grow and feed to a growing population, it is becoming more important to feature the farmers and those who serve the farmers in a more positive light. As NCGA continues to work with other organizations and policymakers, those values are continuing to stand true.
As I wrap up my time with NCGA, I have been able to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned throughout the summer. Whether it be my time spent at the Capitol talking with state representatives or the time I’ve spent in St. Louis focusing on the communication between the association and its growers, I could not be more thankful for this opportunity.
I would also like to thank the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and the Nebraska Corn Board for sponsoring my internship throughout the summer. This has been a great opportunity, and I hope others in Nebraska will consider taking advantage of it in the future. I look forward to continuing to be the voice for America’s corn farmers in the future.
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.