(Posted Thu. Jul 7th, 2011)
With Corn Congress fast approaching, corn farmers across the country are turning their attention to Washington, where delegates from their home states will convene to determine the policies and leadership that will guide the National Corn Growers Association into fiscal year 2012. Today, Off the Cob spoke with NCGA First Vice President-Elect Pam Johnson about her recent election to the post, the vice presidential ratification vote that will occur during Corn Congress, and her views on leadership.
Selected June 15 by the Corn Board to serve as NCGA First Vice President in 2012, Johnson will take office on October 1. Johnson brings to the position the insight gained through many years of service both at the national level, as a current Corn Board member and past chair of the Research and Business Development Action Team. In her home state, she is a director of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and a past chair of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.
“I am honored to be selected as the vice president-elect and to be the first woman elected to this position,” said Johnson. “I am excited to continue my service advocating for corn growers and working with this great team. I look forward to continuing the work that we have done in the past and building upon it to meet the challenges and find the opportunities that are a part of our collective future.”
Johnson addressed the importance of Corn Congress in policy development noting that process the delegates will follow yields effective results for farmers due to its grassroots approach.
“Corn Congress is great in that it allows all of us from diverse locations and schools of thought to come together and work on behalf of the people who grow corn,” said Johnson. “Through my ten years of involvement, I have watched the process as policy comes bubbling up through the grassroots. Here, the delegates can discuss and fine-tune the ideas brought to them and develop the policies implemented both in Washington and throughout the country.”
Having seen the importance of cooperation, she noted that Corn Congress is also important as it helps leadership work together to develop sound policies and speak with a unified voice. In the current political and economic environment, the ability to magnify our collective voice takes on especial importance as it increases the effectiveness of efforts to maintain and create opportunities for growers.
“During Corn Congress, we are able to determine and prioritize exactly what corn growers need from policy,” said Johnson. “Today, this is particularly important as we look at the current situation with the federal budget. We will really have to hone in on what corn growers need to participate in a vibrant industry in the future and supply a world with a growing demand for food and energy.”
Johnson looks forward to helping lead NCGA into this future.
“I am motivated to serve because it is some of the most rewarding work that I have ever done,” said Johnson. “I have seen how when corn growers come together we can make a real difference. When we work together and speak with one voice, we can accomplish so much more than I as a farmer could do by myself.”