(Posted Thu. Sep 25th, 2014)
When the National Corn Growers Association enters a new fiscal year on October 1, Wisconsin farmer Jim Zimmerman will become the newest member of the Corn Board. Off the Cob spoke with the new board member to explore his goals, insights and aspirations for NCGA as he takes on this role.
Corn Board elections were held during the session of Corn Congress held this July in Washington. While the election provided second terms for current board members Bob Bowman, Lynn Chrisp, Kevin Skunes and Paul Taylor, Zimmerman was the only new candidate selected by the delegates to serve in fiscal year 2015.
While Zimmerman may be new to the Corn Board, he brings a wealth of experience on nuanced issues to this new role.
“I have served on NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team and, for the last two, I have been fortunate to serve as chair,” he said. “Over that period, the team established alliances and developed strategies that have benefitted our industry. I hope to apply the lessons of that experience moving forward.”
Noting that he is looking forward to working with the other member of the Corn Board and the NCGA staff, Zimmerman also is excited to share a transitional period with Chris Novak, who will take over the CEO position in mid-October.
As he prepares for his new position, Zimmerman sees a variety of challenges and opportunities on the horizon for corn farmers.
“One of the biggest issues facing corn farmers is the movement to alter the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Zimmerman. “While some have tried to have the volumes required reduced, we need to hold the line. We need to actually expand on the strategies that give the public access to higher blends of ethanol in a way that reflects the low cost of the fuel itself.”
Additionally, Zimmerman pointed to the difficulties facing farmers in the form of pending regulations, such as the WOTUS rules, and to the opportunity all farmers have to share their story with an increasingly engaged public.
To listen to the full interview, including insight and perspective on the coming year, please click here.