(Posted Tue. Jun 18th, 2013)
This article and podcast are the second in a series profiling candidates for the 2014 Corn Board.
June 18: A critical thinker who aims to create consensus and balanced solutions, Rob Elliott brings both passion for agriculture and a calm, nuanced approach to his work on behalf of farmers. Now, he wishes to continue his service as he runs for a second term on the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.
In running for a second term, Elliott desires to help his industry address the challenges it faces. Particularly, he sites public awareness of agriculture as one of the most important issues which must be addressed to build a better future.
“Our society has a shifting dynamic, and I think that public perception is going to continue to be one of our biggest challenges,” said Elliott. “We live in a world where people removed from the farm seem not to have an understanding of where food comes from or what agriculture is really all about. Some of that crowd tends to want to dictate to farmers how we should conduct our business. From the market place to public policy arenas, one of our biggest challenges as farmers today is learning to tell our story in a world that, largely, does not understand us.”
As he works to address these challenges, Elliott draws upon his experiences as a grower leader to find innovative and effective solutions. On the national level, Elliott co-chairs the Commodity Classic Committee for 2014 and is vice chair of the NASCAR Advisory Committee. Previously, he served as the organizational representative to the Waterways Council. In his home state, Elliott has served as president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. Prior to this, he served as vice president, secretary and treasurer of the state organization.
“Through my experience, I have learned how to take a big picture look at the way we conduct business as a Corn Board,” explained Elliott. “For me, it is not about I or me, it is about us, all the nation’s corn farmers.”
Elliott earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Illinois State University in Normal. He and his wife, Stephanie, have four children: Eric, Jared, Robbie and Gina. Along with two brothers, his 88-year-old father and a nephew, he farms corn and soybeans while running a growing seed business in Warren County, Ill. Elliott has farmed for 36 years.
To listen to the full interview with Elliott, click here.
The NCGA Corn Board election takes place at the July 17 Corn Congress session in Washington.