(Posted Mon. Jul 21st, 2014)
The inaugural class of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) DuPont New Leaders Program wrapped up last week with a flurry of activities in Washington, D.C., and the local area.
The program, which kicked off in Johnston, Iowa, in January, was designed by NCGA and DuPont to build the communications and leadership skills of growers just starting leadership positions in American agriculture, with a special focus on farming couples.
“DuPont is proud to have sponsored the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program,” said Rik Miller, President DuPont Crop Protection. "I am impressed with the energy, work ethic and dedication of the program participants. They have developed the necessary skills to become great advocates for our industry in their local communities and in Washington, D.C."
On Sunday, participants learned about agriculture, aquaculture and viticulture with visits to a historic grain farm south of the nation’s capital, an oyster farm and restaurant along the Rappahannock River, and a vineyard on the site of a former plantation on Virginia’s Northern Neck. The following day, they learned about advances in crop protection from DuPont with a visit to a research facility, as well as a museum spotlighting the company’s important history to our country. A special dinner gave the growers valuable time with top executives representing DuPont’s innovative agriculture businesses, including Miller.
Back in Washington, the growers, representing 14 states, toured Washington sites, took part in meetings of NCGA’s action teams, its Corn Congress policy session, and visits to Capitol Hill with delegations from NCGA’s member states. In the action team meetings, they shared with their peers many of the skills they have developed – including, for several, getting rid of the fear of public speaking.
“Having spent time with these growers back home in Iowa in January, I was very happy to see how they have progressed and stepped forward to speak out on behalf of America’s farmers,” said NCGA Chairwoman Pam Johnson, a corn farmer in Iowa. “We’re very excited about what these younger growers will do in the years to come, and the great potential this program has to develop a bumper crop of smart, sophisticated leaders for the corn industry. We appreciate DuPont’s generous support of the program.”