(Posted Wed. Sep 28th, 2011)

Daryl HaackSept. 28: As the fiscal year comes to an end, the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board gets ready to seat new members and officers on October 1. At this time, three current Corn Board members will retire from the board: Daryl Haack, Jerry Larson and Dave Nelson. The Off the Cob podcast series caught up with each retiring Corn Board member to discuss what each learned and experienced through service and to ask for any advice that might benefit farmers considering stepping up to a leadership role.


First, Off the Cob spoke with Daryl Haack, a farmer from Primghar, Iowa. During his tenure, Haack served as the Corn Board’s liaison to NCGA’s Public Policy Action Team, chaired the Ethanol Committee, and represented the organization to the Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee, the BNSF Railway Ag Business Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation.


While reflecting on his time on the Corn Board, Haack found his service beneficial and enjoyable.


“I feel like I learned quite a bit both from formal leadership training and from my fellow growers,” said Haack.


He went on to explain the circumstances he and his fellow board members faced over the past years.


“It has been a rollercoaster ride for corn: for corn prices, corn yields, corn demand and corn supplies,” he said. “During my time on the board, we have seen ethanol go from being a public darling to something that many people seemingly love to hate. There have been real changes and challenges.”


While Haack noted the challenges that the board faced, he still recommends service to anyone with the ability to fully participate.


“While you can be as active as you want, our board members find themselves really wanting to play an active role,” said Haack. “I would advise anyone considering service to consider that they too will probably end up spending a considerable amount of time away from home as they become increasingly involved.”


He went on to note that, while board involvement does require a significant time investment, serving on the Corn Board presents an unparalleled opportunity to enrich the lives of its members through opportunities to work with some of the most influential individuals both in the industry and in the country as a whole.


“If you do have the time to get involved, the Corn Board presents a unique opportunity in that it allows you to meet people with whom you may not ever have another opportunity to interact,” said Haack. “You really do get to meet the very top echelon of leadership in both government and industry.”


To listen to this interview in its entirety, please click here.