(Posted Fri. Jul 11th, 2014)
Next week, delegates attending the National Corn Growers Association Corn Congress in Washington will elect five farmers to serve on the organization’s Corn Board. Taking office on Oct. 1, the start of NCGA’s 2015 fiscal year, the leaders selected will help shape the policies that guide the organization and will best serve corn farmers across the United States.
Corn Board Candidates for 2015 are Bob Bowman, DeWitt, Iowa; Lynn Chrisp, Hastings, Neb.; David Howell, Middletown, Ind.; Jim Reed, Monticello, Ill.; Bruce Rohwer, Paullina, Iowa; Kevin Skunes, Arthur, N.D.; Dean Taylor, Prairie City, Iowa; Paul Taylor, Esmond, Ill.; and Jim Zimmerman, Rosendale, Wis. The five new members receiving the most votes will serve three-year terms, while the candidate elected to the board receiving the fewest votes will serve a two-year term beginning the same day.
“NCGA has historically been blessed with a large pool of quality, skilled candidates willing to serve their fellow farmers by stepping into an active leadership role, and this year proves no exception,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “The candidates’ willingness to dedicate this amount of time and energy serves as a testament to NCGA and the effectiveness of our efforts on behalf of corn farmers.”
Bowman, who currently serves on NCGA’s Corn Board, is running for reelection. As a Corn Board member, he functions as the board’s liaison to the Research and Business Development Team. He also serves as president of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. He is a past president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and past member of the U.S. Meat Exporters Federation Executive Committee. He farms with his son, growing row crops, including some identity-preserved production, in addition to running a custom fertilizer and pesticide application business.
Running for a second term on the Corn Board, Chrisp currently acts as Corn Board liaison to the Ethanol Committee. Additionally, he serves on both the Finance and CEO Search Committees. Previously, he has served as the Corn Board’s liaison to the Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team, chaired NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and served on the Nebraska Corn Growers Association Executive Committee. He farms a highly productive irrigated operation in south central Nebraska consisting of 1,150 acres. With his son Brandon and part-time seasonal help, Lynn raises mostly corn with some soybeans.
Howell currently serves on NCGA's Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. He also serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Grains Council and Indiana Corn Marketing Council. He is also a member of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Advisory Board and the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture Industry Council. He operates a first-generation family farm which he founded with his wife in Middleton, Indiana. Along with their two sons, they grow corn and soybeans as well as processing tomatoes and pumpkins marketed to major retailers nationwide. Additionally, the family also has agricultural interests in Brazil that produce corn and soybeans.
Currently, Reed chairs the NCGA Public Policy Action Team. He previously chaired NCGA’s CornPAC and was a member of its Grassroots Committee and Grower Services Action Team. At the state level, he is a past president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and former chair of the ICGA Industrial Committee. Along with his family, he farms 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans in addition to performing custom farming operations for his relatives. The proud owner of a Centennial farm, his is the fifth generation of his family to farm in his community.
Rohwer serves as the custodian of records for the NCGA CornPAC and as a member of the NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team and the U.S. Grain Council’s Middle East and Africa Action Team currently. At the state level, he is chair and past president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and chair of the ICGA CornPAC. He operates a corn and soybean farm along with his son and daughter, in addition to owning a drainage tillage business. Along with a neighbor, he also runs a sow farrow-to-finish operation.
A current Corn Board member, Skunes is also running for reelection. At this time, Skunes serves as liaison to the Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. He previously chaired both the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council and the North Dakota Farm Bureau. Along with his wife, Betty, and their two sons, he farms 4,900 acres of corn and soybeans in Cass Country, N.D.
Dean Taylor currently serves as a member of NCGA’s Public Policy Action Team and on the U.S. Grains Council Western Hemisphere Action Team. He has previously chaired the NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team and served as president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. He operates a multigenerational corn and soybean farm in central Iowa with his brother.
Current Corn Board Member Paul Taylor is also running for reelection this year. He currently serves on NCGA’s Association Relations Committee and as the association’s representative to 25x’25. In the past, he has served as vice chair of the NCGA Ethanol Committee and as president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and Wisconsin Soybean Association. Taylor continues a farming tradition on land which has been in his family for nearly 100 years in northern Illinois. There, he raises corn, seed corn, food-grade non-GMO soybeans and canning vegetables for Del Monte, including sweet corn, lima beans and green peas. While he no longer raises livestock personally, he continues to value that component of our agricultural system.
Current NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Zimmerman is running for election to the Corn Board. He serves as a director for the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board and an advisor to the Integrated Pest and Crop Management Program. Formerly, he served as president of the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association. Zimmerman farms corn, soybeans and wheat in east central Wisconsin. A strong advocate for innovation in agriculture, his operation utilizes precision farming techniques and no-till/strip-till practices. In addition to his farm, he runs a 550,000-bushel grain storage facility, holding a state grain dealer license and a federal warehouse license.
The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations. Board members represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokesmen for the NCGA and enhance the organization’s public standing on all organizational and policy issues.