In The News

May 5, 2022

EP. 33 – 4-Time National Corn Yield Contest Record Holder David Hula’s Winning Formula

Author: Dusty Weis

Along the banks of the James River in Virginia, David Hula is harvesting some real bin-busters.   The NCGA National Corn Yield Contest is an annual tradition that dates back to 1965.   But in that time, no one has had quite the sustained success as Charles City, Virginia’s David Hula, who has won the contest with record-setting yields on four separate occasions.   In this episode, we talk to David about his formula for success, which includes a combination of precisely-targeted fertilizer applications and a blend of strip-till and no-till.   Plus, we discuss the unique environmental challenges he faces as he works tirelessly to preserve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and how his farm traces its historic roots back to a time when growers planted a dead catfish with their corn seed.     DIRECT SHARE LINK   TRANSCRIPT   David Hula: I like to say there's three great things that produce high yield and corn. A good Lord blesses you. Number two, you got...

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Apr 13, 2022

EP. 32 - Agriculture Industry Authorities: the Commodity Classic Executive Round Table

Author: Dusty Weis

Leaders from NCGA, ASA, NAWG, NSP and AEM discuss the changing state of ag in 2022.   150 years of experience, at the very highest levels of the agriculture industry, was on display at the Commodity Classic Executives Round Table a few weeks ago.   As leaders from the five Commodity Classic presenting organizations, these five executives have their fingers on the pulse of the agriculture world and those issues affecting farmers.   Panel members included: Jon Doggett, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association. Steve Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers Tim Lust, CEO of the National Sorghum Producers Curt Blades, Senior Vice President of Ag at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Together, we discussed policy, supply chain, sustainability, infrastructure, biofuels, precision ag, the next Farm Bill, and just about every other issue facing the ag industry today.   And in this episode,...

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Mar 29, 2022

EP. 31 - Smooth Sailing on River Transportation Infrastructure, with Jim Tarmann and Tracy Zea

Key Issues: Farm PolicyTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Dusty Weis

Jon celebrates a big win in Congress with the leaders of the Illinois Corn Growers and the Waterways Council.   The Mississippi River transports 60% of American corn and soybean exports to market. The massive barges that ply America’s waterways are more cost-effective than any other form of transportation, and also play a role in getting vital inputs to growers.   And yet, much of the infrastructure that makes this possible hasn’t been updated since the 1930s… until now.   In this episode, we talk about a key win for the NCGA and other groups who have spent decades pushing Congress to act on this critical infrastructure problem.   Joining us are Jim Tarmann, the managing director with Illinois Corn Growers, and Tracy Zea, the president and CEO of the Waterways Council, which is an association dedicated to advocating for a modern national system of inland waterway infrastructure.   We discuss how we got to this point, what it means for growers in the Midwest, and what...

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Mar 17, 2022

EP. 30 - AgriTalk's Chip Flory: Flipping the Script on Chip at Commodity Classic

Author: Dusty Weis

"The Voice of Rural America," Chip Flory has been informing growers about the ag industry for decades.   Chip Flory is sometimes called the Voice of Rural America.   Host of the AgriTalk radio program and podcast, he brings ag news, policy updates and expert insights to a network of more than 135 radio stations across the U.S.   So in this episode, we flip the script on Chip, interviewing him at the National Corn Growers Association booth on the show floor at Commodity Classic.   Plus, we finally settle, once and for all, who’s the biggest music buff—Chip Flory or NCGA CEO Jon Doggett—with a classic rock trivia contest for the ages.     DIRECT SHARE   Transcript   Chip Flory: We went from one day being an operating family farm, a farm that I saw my future on, and the next morning when the bank president called and said, "We've got to have a conversation because things have changed." To being in a position that I felt like I could help farmers make better business...

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Feb 18, 2022

EP. 29 - National Security, Food and Geopolitics, with Col. Mark Purdy from Aimpoint Research

Author: Dusty Weis

A potential Russian invasion of Ukraine and other global flashpoints have real implications for the corn industry.   Heightened tensions in Eastern Europe have dominated the news lately, as Russia seems poised to invade Ukraine.   As a result of this and other global flashpoints, the unstable geopolitical climate is creating uncertainty in the world of agriculture, and growers are already feeling the effects.   So in this episode, we’re talking to Colonel Mark Purdy, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Aimpoint Research, about how food security is vital to national security.   We’ll sort out the context of the showdown in Eastern Europe, explore scenarios for what’s likely to happen, and provide some insight about what this could mean for growers here in the U.S.   Most importantly, we’ll revisit how food power is vital to national security in the U.S.     DIRECT SHARE LINK   Mark Purdy: When it comes to the stability of society, I call it...

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Jan 26, 2022

EP. 28 - New Challenges and Opportunities for Growers in 2022, with NCGA President Chris Edgington

Author: Dusty Weis

We're taking a close look at the state of the market, and its impact on Chris’s own operation.   Last year was a mixed bag of news for the nation’s corn growers.   Corn prices climbed, but so did input costs. News about supply lines, infrastructure and politics came fast and heavy.   And 2022 is giving every indication of continuing on that chaotic, breakneck pace.   So in this episode, we check in with NCGA President Chris Edgington to hear how all these big national news stories have impacted his operation in Iowa, what lessons he learned in 2021 and what growers need to know to thrive in 2022.     DIRECT SHARE   Transcript     Chris Edgington: NCGA and Corn are present. They're involved. They're engaged, at the local level, at the state level, at the national level. Whether it's a federal policy meeting, whether it's a tax discussion, whether it's a local water waste problem, it's not about the people that are sitting on the board, but it's the organization as...

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Oct 27, 2021

EP. 26 - Ringing in the "New Year" with NCGA's Incoming President Chris Edgington

Author: Dusty Weis

It may not be January 1, but there’s a new president at NCGA, and we’re getting to know him better.   With harvest season winding down, NCGA members are observing another fall milestone—the induction of a new NCGA president, Chris Edgington.   Administratively speaking, NCGA’s “new year” began on October 1.   And, hailing from St. Ansgar, Iowa, Chris has been sworn in to lead the organization in the year ahead.   So in this episode, we’re going to get to know him a little bit better… his operation, what drives him to lead, and what he sees as the biggest hurdles that growers face in the year ahead.     Direct Share Link   Transcript   Chris Edgington: Those of us in agriculture, we need a team. We need people that are working on this daily because we can produce a lot of products in the U.S. that we cannot consume here. So we need a team promoting them.   Dusty Weis: Hello and welcome to Wherever Jon May Roam, the National Corn Growers Association podcast. This...

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Sep 28, 2021

EP. 25 - Meat-ing Customer Needs with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Certified Angus Beef

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Dusty Weis

NCBA’s Colin Woodall and CAB’s Nicole Erceg discuss corn partnerships and how you might be cooking steak wrong.   After a long day in the field, there's no reward like a tender juicy, corn-fed cut of steak.   And it's made all the sweeter by the fact that the US beef industry is one of the largest consumers of American corn.   So, in this episode, we're going to talk to two beef industry leaders, Collin Woodall from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Nicole Erceg from Certified Angus Beef, about how corn growers can be good partners to the beef industry, what it means to meet modern consumer expectations, and how you might be cooking your steaks wrong.   As Nicole notes, sustainability is a team sport. And with consumer expectations evolving year in and year out, close partnerships between corn growers and beef producers are more important than ever before.   Colin shared his favorite recipe for Grilled Cowboy Steaks.   And Nicole invites you to: Access...

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Sep 1, 2021

EP. 23 - Congressional Rep. Cheri Bustos and the Next Generation Fuels Act: A Full Tank of Good Policy

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Dusty Weis

The fifth-term Congresswoman from Illinois is the recipient of the NCGA’s President’s Award.    The Next Generation Fuels Act is poised to reinforce the market for American ethanol, and it’s been introduced in Congress with bipartisan support.   And in this episode of the podcast, we’re joined by Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, who was honored with the NCGA President’s Award this year for her support as sponsor of the Next Generation Fuels Act.   She’ll outline the specifics of the bill, share the outlook from Washington and detail what you can do to make sure this important piece of legislation becomes law.     Direct Share Link   Transcript   Rep. Cheri Bustos: Creating jobs, opening up opportunities for our family farmers, driving down carbon emissions. All of that happens if we can get the Next Generation Fuels Act passed, this is an opportunity that we have, and I would love to be able to get this signed into law and make this part of how we do business...

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May 12, 2021

EP. 20 - Corn & Bourbon: Powering Partnerships and Kentucky’s Economic Revival

Author: Dusty Weis

The Kentucky Corn Growers Association and Green River Distilling have teamed up to produce a locally sourced bourbon that supports corn research.   With a grain content of at least 51% corn, bourbon is a drink that’s near and dear to every grower’s heart.   But in the heart of bourbon country, there’s a really neat partnership taking root between the Kentucky Corn Growers Association and the producers of Yellow Banks bourbon, who source their corn from local growers and donate a portion of their profits to support corn research.   In this episode, we’re back at the Frazier Kentucky History Museum in Louisville for part two of our discussion about bourbon, as 8th generation master distiller Jacob Call from Green River Distilling talks about the partnerships… and the relationships… that make Yellow Banks possible.   Plus, Frazier Kentucky History Museum president and CEO Andy Treinen talks about how bourbon tourism is helping people reconnect with life on the farm.   And...

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Apr 28, 2021

EP 19-Bourbon, the Spirit of America, and Corn's Deep Roots in Kentucky

Author: Dusty Weis

Jon visits the Frazier Kentucky History Museum bourbon exhibit and hears from an 8th generation master distiller.   Bourbon is a uniquely American beverage.   Not only is its heritage deeply rooted in early Appalachian history, but up to two-and-a-half pounds of corn go into every bottle that’s distilled.   So in this episode of the podcast, we’re going on the road with Jon as he pays a visit to the Frazier Kentucky History Museum in Louisville. There, in the midst of the exhibit on bourbon, we’ll learn about the unique way that corn farming contributed to the history of this singular beverage from museum president and CEO Andy Treinen.   We'll also follow the crop from kernel to kettle to bottle with 8th generation master distiller Jacob Call from Green River Distilling. And we'll explore how the corn industry and bourbon celebrate their shared history together from Laura Knoth and Adam Andrews from the Kentucky Corn Grower's Association.       DIRECT...

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Mar 25, 2021

EP.17-Short Stature Corn and Other New Ag Tech, with Bayer Crop Science’s Brett Begemann

Author: Dusty Weis

With planting season upon us, we continue our focus on agronomy for the month of March.   In this episode, we catch up with Brett Begemann, the Chief Operating Officer at Bayer Crop Science. He shares details about the new inputs they’ve got in their technology pipeline, what that means for the future of farming and how their role in the ag industry is evolving.   We also catch a bit of the March Madness and hear Jon Doggett’s secret for filling out his bracket every year.   Before joining Bayer, Brett served as President and Chief Operating Officer at Monsanto Company, where he led global efforts to connect farmers with solutions for growing better harvests. Brett worked for 35 years at Monsanto, holding a number of leadership roles, including Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.     Direct Share TRANSCRIPTS   Brett Begemann: I think things are changing faster now than at any time I've seen them, and mostly for the good. And when things are...

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Mar 18, 2021

EP. 16-Inside the C-Suite with Corteva Agriscience's Tim Glenn

Author: Dusty Weis

Planting season is almost here. So we’re digging in on the topic of agronomy this month, talking to the leaders of some of the world’s foremost providers of agriculture inputs.   In this episode of Wherever Jon May Roam, Jon catches up with Tim Glenn, the Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Corteva Agriscience, about how they’ve navigated the roller coaster of the last couple years, what new technologies they’re bringing to bear, and what kind of barbecue they cook up in Alabama.    Tim has been in the ag inputs business with Corteva and its heritage organizations for 30 years, and shares insights to help growers maximize their productivity after a roller coaster couple of years in the ag business.       Direct Share Link   Transcripts   Tim Glenn: Twelve months ago, commodity markets were depressed, we had elevated stocks and we had a lot of market uncertainty. Things got to be very concerning about the health of our commodity markets and what...

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Jan 5, 2021

EP. 14 - New Year, New Challenges: What's On Tap for 2021, with NCGA President John Linder

Author: Dusty Weis

After a 2020 calendar year in which it seems like we were always asking, "What next?", we take a look at what the future holds for America's corn industry with the President of the NCGA, John Linder, in the latest episode of Wherever Jon May Roam.   Linder is a fifth-generation farmer from the little town of Edison, Ohio. Prior to his elevation to the role of President, John served as the Corn Board liaison to the Market Access Action Team, on the Resolutions Committee and chaired the Finance and Engaging Members Committees. He also represented NCGA at the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research and the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center.   Together with association CEO Jon Doggett, they'll discuss new demand generation opportunities, why it's important to get new growers involved with the NCGA, and what Commodity Classic is going to look like in a pandemic year.     DIRECT SHARE TRANSCRIPTS John Linder: This is where we're heading this year with the...

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Dec 8, 2020

EP 13-CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny Discusses the Biden Administration and Agriculture on the New Episode of Wherever Jon May Roam

Author: Dusty Weis

From his roots on a Nebraska corn farm, Jeff Zeleny has gone on to become one of the nation's foremost experts on presidential politics, covering the White House and campaigns for the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. Now as CNN's Senior White House Correspondent, he's spent every day of 2020 with his finger on the pulse of the election for U.S. president.   In this episode, Jeff joins Jon to talk about the issues that defined the campaign, what we can expect as President-Elect Joe Biden transitions to the presidency, the future for President Donald Trump, and what it all means for America's corn farmers. With the economy and the COVID-19 response hanging in the balance, he also offers insights about what a Biden presidency means for agriculture-focused issues like trade and the environment.    And, Jeff shares tales about how growing up in the heart of corn country shaped his world view and his work ethic as a world-renowned journalist.     Direct Share...

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Oct 20, 2020

EP. 12 - A Wild Ride: Outgoing NCGA President Kevin Ross on his Eventful Term in Office

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Dusty Weis

The NCGA’s outgoing President Kevin Ross had a term in office unlike any other. From a Twitter battle with the world’s largest beer brewer, to a public speech with President Donald Trump, to the NCGA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, his year at the helm was anything but boring.   In this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett asks the Iowa grower to unpack all the highlights from his term and look to the future of the industry. And, in spite of all the uncertainty, Kevin shares his reasons for optimism and a love of farming that's stronger than ever.     DIRECT SHARE   TRANSCRIPT   Kevin Ross: Having that opportunity to speak to the leader of the free world about what you've got going on in your industry and it did hit me right as I was walking up onto the stage and like you said, you see that seal of the president of the United States on a podium and you're sitting there going, "Hmm, that's kind of a big deal standing behind that thing and give a speech."   Dusty...

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Sep 30, 2020

Ep. 11 - Applying a Military Strategic Mindset to Corn Demand, with Col. Mark Purdy

Author: Dusty Weis

NCGA’s efforts to spur corn demand have made great strides toward big-picture, far-horizon initiatives that will grow corn consumption in the future. But with the extra hit to corn demand posed by the pandemic, farmers could use a little extra help this harvest season.   And so the NCGA is partnering with Aimpoint Research, a strategic consulting firm that specializes in applying a military mindset to solving business problems. In this episode, Jon discusses the issues with Aimpoint Senior Vice President Mark Purdy, a former Army Colonel who graduated from West Point Academy. He served as Director of War Games at the U.S. Army War College, and his experience ranges from leading combat units to managing multi-billion dollar security assistance portfolios. He traces his roots back to a family farm in Ohio where he grew up raising sheep, corn soybeans and hay.   They’re also joined by Jim Bauman, NCGA’s Vice President of Market Development.     Direct Share...

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Aug 27, 2020

Ep. 10 - Broadband a Big Challenge for Small Towns During COVID-19, with Elsie Wetzel

Author: Dusty Weis

With kids in farm country headed back-to-school, rural broadband access is a bigger issue than ever before.   The poor quality of internet access in rural America has been an issue for a long time. The lack of reliable broadband has impacted farms, communities and the rural economy, and that was BEFORE the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.   Now that kids in farm country are headed back to school, some virtually and some in-person, broadband access is a bigger issue than ever before.   In this episode, Jon talks with Elsie Wetzel--a school administrator, teacher, mother, farmer and Common Ground volunteer from North Texas--about how they’re making it work in these unprecedented times. Together, they explore the need to connect our rural communities, discuss the pandemic's impact on kids, families and rural schools, and share some important advice for staying grounded in the midst of all this uncertainty.     Direct Share   Transcript   Elsie Wetzel: We need the...

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Jul 21, 2020

Ep. 9. Corn’s Place at the Table in Global Trade Policy, with Amb. Darci Vetter and Ryan LeGrand

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Dusty Weis

In this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett talks to a pair of the world’s foremost experts in global agricultural trade about what comes next for U.S. ag trade policy.   Ambassador Darci Vetter is the Former USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator and USDA Deputy Under Secretary and currently works as a consultant at Edelman. And Ryan LeGrand is the CEO of the U.S. Grains Council.       Direct Share   Transcript Darci Vetter: Lots of our competitors are out there concluding bilateral or regional free trade agreements. We can't take our eye off the fact that our competitive position is declining. We're really falling behind here.   Ryan LeGrand: We have to have a seat at the table. We used to be the dominant player in corn exports to the world, and that has just been chipped away year after year.   Dusty Weis: Hello, and welcome to Wherever Jon May Roam, the National Corn Growers Association podcast. This is where leaders, growers, and stakeholders in the corn industry can...

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Apr 16, 2020

Ethanol: The Future of the Fuel Industry, with RFA's Bob Dinneen and NCGA's Mark Palmer

Author: Dusty Weis

This may be a tumultuous time for corn farmers and ethanol producers.   But then again, the ethanol industry's entire history has been a roller coaster ride.   In this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett revisits the battles that got us to this point with "the Godfather of Ethanol" himself, Bob Dinneen from the Renewable Fuels Association. Plus, they're joined by NCGA's Director of Renewable Fuels, Mark Palmer, to discuss what the future might hold as the ethanol industry navigates a new set of uncertain times.     Direct Share

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Mar 26, 2020

Coronavirus Update: "Business As Unusual," with Nutrien Ag Solutions CEO Mike Frank

Author: Dusty Weis

Jon and Mike examine the status of farm inputs availability amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.    In response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, the institution of social distancing protocols has left growers and ag stakeholders with questions as they head into planting season.   So we're interrupting your normal programming to provide a timely update with the CEO of Nutrien Ag Solutions, Mike Frank.   In this episode, Mike tells NCGA CEO Jon Doggett that Nutrien is on-track to deliver all the inputs growers need to get a jump on the season and enacting special protocols to keep staff and farmers safe.   Ultimately, the fate of the nation hangs on its uninterrupted food supply, and Jon has details on NCGA's efforts to ensure the supply lines remain open and farmers have the support they need.     You can stream Wherever Jon May Roam at NCGA.com/podcast, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podasts.

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Feb 26, 2020

Ep. 3: Climate-Proofing Agriculture and Adding Value to the Industry, with EDF

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Dusty Weis

Listen to Wherever Jon May Roam on iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.   Farmers are the original environmentalists. For generations, they’ve tended the land, kept track of its health and put their hearts, backs and livelihoods into keeping it productive.   But in an era of climate change and extreme weather events, it’s going to take new allies and new tactics to help farmers in that mission, and the National Corn Growers Association has found an important partner in an unexpected place.   In this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett and Environmental Defense Fund Senior VP of Ecosystems David Festa discuss the common ground they’ve discovered in helping growers weather storms, grow their profits and reduce their impact on the environment. They’re joined as well by NCGA VP of Production and Sustainability Nathan Fields.   Learn more about EDF’s conservation efforts to bolster farm finances.      Direct share TRANSCRIPT   David Festa: I've never...

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