Corn farmers from across the country traveled to Washington this week to take part in the second phase of the annual Leadership Academy sponsored by NCGA. While in town, the group visited numerous congressional leaders and got an inside look at parliamentary procedure and how lobbying works on Capitol Hill.
“For three decades, our leadership programs have played an important role in helping corn growers become leaders at the state and national level,” said Kevin Ross, NCGA president and a LAIB graduate himself. “In Washington, our farmer leaders saw firsthand how decisions made in our nation’s capital impact us all back on our farms. Using the skills developed here, these farmer-leaders’ voices will benefit NCGA and all of agriculture through their current and future endeavors. NCGA will continue to invest in making our leaders the most effective they can be as they are a critical piece in keeping positive corn policies at the forefront in D.C. and state politics.”
The Leadership Academy class received briefings on the issues facing America’s farmers in the coming year followed by presentations from lobbyist and Hill staffer panels explaining how the lobbying process functions in Washington, D.C. to get the best result from interaction with members of Congress and their staff. They then had the opportunity to see the process in action during a series of visits with congressional leaders.
This advanced leadership class, co-sponsored by Syngenta and now named Leadership At Its Best also met in Washington for a second session that also included intensive training and learning opportunities in Raleigh, N.C. In addition to exploring important topical briefings from a multi-organization team of staff experts, the group underwent extensive, high-level media training and met with representatives in the House and Senate. This program, which builds upon the skill set developed through Leadership Academy, has played an integral role in developing top-notch association leadership in a multi-association class that builds bonds that facilitate future success.
This year’s Leadership Academy class includes: Greg Alber (Iowa); Les Anderson (Minn.), Russell Braun (Mich.); Courtney Drew (N.D.); James Giese (Wis.); J.D. Hanna (Kan.); Robert Hanson (N.D.); Carl Jardon (Iowa); Grant Rix (S.D.); Brent Rogers (Kan.); Matt Rush (Ill.); Dave Rylander (Ill.); Kyle Speich (N.D.); Tim Waibel (Minn.); and Addie Yoder (Mo.).
The current Leadership At Its Best class members affiliated with NCGA include: Mike Berget (Wisc.); Troy Schneider (Colo.); Randy Melvin (N.D.); Dave Merrell (Neb.); Mark Recker (Iowa); Jay Reiners (Neb.); James “J.R.” Roesner (Ind.); and Dan Wesley (Neb.).